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|A.P.I Review:||PHAT AIR Extreme Snowboarding|
No.1 No.2 No.3
|Distributor:||TV Tokyo||1-2 Player|
|Game Type:||Snowboarding||Memory Card|
|Review Date:||October 1998||Standard Joypad|
Setting the Scene
Snowboarding is now an official discipline for the Olympics, and has become one of the most popular sports of the nineties. Phat Air Extreme Snowboarding takes the sport of the piste and slides it onto the Playstation. It includes all of the familiar jumps, tricks, turns and of course those times when you fall flat on your face. There are six different disciplines which are split into nine different levels. From this choice there are also five characters to choose from who all have different techniques and styles. Phat Air Extreme Snowboarding is the latest game trying to capitalize on the ever-growing interest in snow boarding games. Select your board, put on your best duds and get ready to do some shredding!
Phat Air Extreme Snowboarding is a one or two player X'treme-style sporting game.
To start off, Phat Air Extreme Snowboarding does not have any sort of opening FMV, it simply kicks you right into the main menu. Now I realize that this doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things but I much prefer to get psyched up to play a game with a real good opening. Like you get with NHL '98. The graphics throughout the game are quite decent doing the job of representing the sport of snow boarding . The courses are easy to follow and the players have good animation during moves but there were a couple of flaws. First, the crowds along the slopes look like cardboard cutouts propped up in some old ghost town. It's as if they are trying to fool Big Bad Bart into thinking there are more townspeople than there actually are. Another thing is when you veer slightly off course and collide with the rocks, or fence (which I did many times), there is an awful amount of polygon seaming and clipping going on. Overall the graphics weren't too bad but there is room for improvement.
Sounds and Effects
The music for this game is actually pretty good. There is approximately eight different songs to choose from in the Configuration menu and all of them can get your blood pumping. However, there is an announcer throughout the game that becomes a bit of a nuisance. He has an extremely annoying voice and if you play the game long enough he will drive you completely insane. The overall sound effects are fairly accurate in imitating the sounds that you would expect to hear in a sport of this sort. Cool snow shredding sounds, painful thuds as you slam into a wall or snow bank. You know... the usual stuff.
Phat Air Extreme Snowboarding has four different playable modes to choose from, Championship, Time Competition, Free Style, and VS Modes. The Championship mode is obviously the most comprehensive of the bunch. You start by picking the particular boarder you want. There are five different people to choose from with varying skills. Once you have selected a boarder you proceed to the first race. There are eight races and depending on how well you do, you get points to upgrade your skills between races. Championship Mode touches the full gamut of courses from downhill to half pipe with slalom and freestyle jumping in between. The Free Style mode allows you to pick the particular course you want to race on and then compete for the highest point value (trick points and speed). What I enjoyed about this mode was the free style jump course. It affords a setting in which to practice your jump moves, and they are not easy. You have to hold down particular buttons while simultaneously moving the D-Pad, but only after you jump properly! Eventually you get used to it... but the developers don't make it easy. The Time Competition mode is just as it sounds. You race simply for the best time. I always enjoy competing against friends but I was a little disappointed in the VS mode. In this mode you race against a friend but with a side by side - vertical split screen. This may not sound like a big deal but it gets very confusing when you start bumping into things and seeing through walls, which I mentioned earlier. VS mode is fun but it will definitely screw with your eyes.
Value for Money
Phat Air Extreme Snowboarding is your typical run of the mill sporting game for Playstation. It can grab your attention for a short while as you learn the moves and skills, but it fails to hold your interest enough to keep coming back for more. It's the kind of game that is fun to play every once in a while, but not nearly exciting enough to play everyday. I would recommend you give Phat Air Extreme Snowboarding a rental before purchasing.
thought Phat Air Extreme Snowboarding was an average game. It has
average graphics, average gameplay, average sounds!
It does have it's moments, especially in the Championship Mode, but lacks that something extra to give it that "WOW" factor.
It also has it's fun aspects but lacks the excitement to keep you coming back for more. It can be enjoyable to play, but only once in a while.