One of the biggest features missing from the first game was racing. This was provided in spades by marking courses much as we saw on Whistler Mountain during the Vancouver Olympics, and putting you up against one of the seven pros. You can also race multiple opponents on XBL
, though my record against human opponents was basically the opposite of my NHL 10
record. I’m brutal at racing.
Graphically the game is pretty sharp and I didn’t feel like the developers needed to do too much in this area. But they took the time anyways update lighting, added fog and several other effects that really made a sharp contrast to the original. Like most of the other skating or snowboard games, the professional and sport apparel aspects of BAE are very important. In fact, several of the skaters switched sponsors or professional teams between the two versions of the game, so the graphics were updated to reflect this. The riders, the boards, and the trees all look very realistic, with the only negative being some of the snow formations. Some of the animations when riding the park elements are not all that strong, particularly when grinding rails near other large objects.
Back to the professional aspect and one area that still needs to be cleaned up; the sponsorships are all exactly the same. Each move up the ladder, you start with the same tasks and have basically the same milestones. This seems counterintuitive to the simulation feel of the rest of the game. Plus, as heavily involved as the sponsors seem to be in the game, getting this section of the game right should be pretty easy. The pros are all big name in the sport, and you would think at least one of them would play the game enough to see what needed fixed in this area. None of them made the Olympic teams in the Vancouver games, so I'm sure they had the time (oooh, snap!)
In conclusion, with all of the enhancements, and in light of the budget price the game was released at, I have to give the game some pretty solid marks. While it’s still not perfect, it’s definitely improved and has taken a pretty good game and made it better.
Snippet: A good game made better. Improved graphics, the addition of racing, and some control scheme enhancements have made the game better. Still needs enhancement in the professional sponsorship areas.
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