Title: Cool Boarders 2001   Developer: Sony   Type: Snowboard Racing
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Cool Boarders 2001
"Cool Boarders 2001 is a downhill-racing tournament held on a surface of snow and ice incorporating all the acrobatic tricks associated with this winter sport. For the uninitiated, snowboarding has the participants wearing loud colored clothing as they attempt to surf off a snow-covered mountain with a plank of wood firmly strapped to their feet. Crazy? You bet!"
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PSone REVIEW:
 
Doesn\'t time fly. Believe it or not, this is the fifth game in the Cool Boarders series. The original was… err… original (albeit short on courses). Cool Boarders 2 offered much more. More circuits, more events, more tricks, more thrills and more spills. Finally the summit was reached with the highly playable third game. Of course there is a saying that \'what goes up, must come down\', and tumbling down came Cool Boarders 4, with the force of an avalanche. It was godam awful in all departments. Poor control, motion sickness, snagging scenery, frustrating gameplay… need I go on.

I popped the Cool Boarders 2001 disc (at least they didn\'t call it \'5\') into the \'station, admittedly with trepidation. Thankfully, after playing only one event my fear was unwarranted as I stopped thinking about what was wrong with last years title and began enjoying the best CB game to date.

Gone were those measly \'3 attempts\' for an entire venue to be replaced with unlimited restarts. Now this may sound soppy to you hardened gamers, but who the hell in their right mind wants continue a five race series when all chance of winning has evaporated on the first run? I rest my case! Also, into the trash can goes the old \'timed jump\' system. This has now been replaced with a simplified jump button that can be held down as long as you wish, allowing more time to concentrate on performing those tricky mid air combos. Finally the messy venue system, in which completely different events were hastily thrown together, has now been ditched. In place you get to play out an entire career where success in a particular event opens up a slightly more challenging circuit in a similar event.

I\'ll elaborate. Let\'s say you love swishing your way through downhill checkpoints, but hate those thumb blistering Big Air contests. Fine! Simply select the downhill event and attempt the first of 12 testing challenges and to keep things interesting each event has a sub requirement that must be met in order to advance.

Once the first two downhill events have been won you are ready to race against a professional rider. These \'Pro Challenges\' also have sub missions attached such as collecting a set amount of tokens scattered across the course, or the brilliant \'tag race\' where friends of the pro rider leap out of trees attempting to touch your character. One \'tag\' and you\'re disqualified. They even fall from the sky leaping out of a hovering helicopter. Great stuff!

Graphically Cool Boarders 2001 is excellent, although not without a few of those glitches which your character can occasionally get snagged upon. This time I found it to be forgivable if only because it usually happens when falling into a ditch after a failed jump or by wandering too far off the race line. Besides, if you foul up simply pause the game and restart without suffering any loading time.

The sound effects are pretty much as found in past snowboarding games. You get a thumping rock soundtrack to accompany the slushy noises of snow being parted by the board. The characters have little too say apart from an agonizing moan when a left hook makes contact should you decide to switch fighting mode on.

FEATURES:
 
Including world class pro snowboarders such as: Morrow\'s Todd Richards, Salmon\'s Michele Taggart, Lamar\'s Kevin Jones and Gnu\'s Barrett Christy

27 challenging courses

Take on a professional rider in the new one-on-one Pro Challenge mode.

All-new tricks, grabs, grinds and special moves

Immersive graphics including falling snow, deep powder and snow debris on boards

Create a character

Head to head and turn based two player mode

Enhanced fighting feature

Game modes include: Quick Race and Career Mode featuring Downhill Gates, Downhill Checkpoint, Half Pipe, CBX, Board Park, Big Air, and Pro Challenge.

OPTIONS:
 
• 1 Disk(s)
• CD Media
• 1 Block required on Memory card per save (min)
• Up to 2 Players (without Multi-tap)
• 2 way split screen multi-player option
• Uses Dual Shock Pad Buttons
• Uses Dual Shock Pad Analog Sticks
• Uses Dual Shock Pad Vibration facility

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Review SUMMARY and SCORE
Martin  "Maybe the sales of Cool Boarders 2001 will get a boost following the phenomenal success of the Tony Hawk\'s board games. I sincerely hope so because this is too good a game to slip by unnoticed.

Forget last year\'s turkey, which opted for frustrating realism, and enjoy this gripping challenge. It has a gentle learning curve, wide range of game modes and has that \'give it one more go\' feel to it. But most important it\'s fun to play."
Graphics  18/20
Playability  48/50
Sound  8/10
Lastability  19/20
93%
This game either pushes the boundaries of it's genre further than ever before on this system, or creates a completely new gaming experience. Either way, it should not be missed and is an essential purchase in our opinion.
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REVIEW SCORE GUIDE:

OUR PLEDGE:

We promise that we have fully played 'Cool Boarders 2001' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.

SUMMARY OF FINAL RATING (%)

00 - 59 This makes your console seem like an older machine. It utilises little or none of the PSone power.

60 - 69 This game is little more than average and we advise renting or play-testing before considering a purchase.

70 - 79 This is a good solid title that should still appeal to those who like this type of game.

80 - 89 This is a fantastic game that we think you will enjoy playing for quite some time.

90 - 100 This game either pushes the boundaries of it's genre further than ever before on this system, or creates a completely new gaming experience. Either way, it should not be missed and is an essential purchase in our opinion.

IMPORTANT - PLEASE READ:

It is very important that you are aware that the criteria we use to obtain review scores on the PS2 is very different to that used for games on the original Playstation (PSone). The Processing and Graphical power of the two consoles are vastly different and as our reviews are graded against what we estimate is the achievable potential of each system, it does not mean in any way that a game scoring 80 percent on PS2 is worse than a Playstation (PSone) equivalent which scores 95.

A more detailed breakdown of this guide can be read here.


READERS REVIEWS:


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