Transworld Snowboarding

Review

posted 12/3/2002 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
One Page Platforms: Xbox
Atari has been getting their feet wet in the Xtreme Sports realm for quite some time. Starting the Transworld line of games with Surf, they would release Splashdown and now, Transworld Snow. There are already three other snowboarding titles available on the Xbox and although only one of them is an exclusive, is there really room for another? While Transworld Snow is an above average title, it eventually fails because it brings little if anything new to the table.

The titles currently available tend to lean heavily towards varying ends of the genre. SSX Tricky is a pure arcade-lovers delight that features over the top action and tricks while Amped caters to the more hardcore fanbase. Dark Summit isn’t really an Xtreme sports title per se but it is a snowboarding game nonetheless, just a snowboarding title with adventure game elements. So where does Transworld fit into the scheme of things? It’s basically a nice fit between Tricky and Amped that leans a little more towards the Tricky side of things as opposed to the Amped side. So thus we have Transworld Snow, a snowboarding game that is slightly below average because it tries too hard to appeal to everyone and in the process, caters to no one.

From the start you’ll be able to carve up one track with one of ten riders. As your curiosity gets the best of you, you decide to scroll the track list all the way over and discover that quite a large number of tracks are waiting to be unlocked, 16 to be exact. So far this game is looking like a million bucks. You step into the first level and you’re greeted by a pretty well rendered mountainside. You’ll notice that the draw distance is quite far and the textures look quite nice. You decide to do a few tricks off the jumps and you realize that the tricking system is quite easy to grab a hold of. As you head down the mountain you’ll encounter a small village, complete with cars that move along the roads. As a vehicle is about to hit you, you ollie over it and notice that the sound of car pans through your 5.1 speakers as it passes you by. Your first run finally comes to an end as you launch yourself off a huge jump that leads up to the finishing line. You’re not finished yet though, you admire yourself in the replay that follows, giving yourself credit for a pretty decent first run through the game. Then you hit the next run and realize exactly why this game is so flawed.

As it is true with most games, the more you play it the more you learn to hate it. This holds true with Snow as well, while I initially loved the game I kept noticing more and more problems with the game that really stuck out like sore thumbs. While I initially loved the visuals, I began to noticed that their charm would wear off over time. Snow doesn’t quite look like snow and the texture work really seems incomplete, I began to notice artifacts and seams in the scenery where pieces of the maps came together. When I watched the replay I was able to notice quite a few problems, my rider would sink into the snow for no reason. I always thought that snowboards were supposed to ride on the surface of the snow, not somehow fall beneath it. Then I began to notice that the graphics are quite ugly when viewed up close, it’s kind of like being drunk and picking up that chick at the club and the seeing her for the first time the next morning. It may have looked good from far away but now that you’re up close and personal, you’ll notice her many many flaws.
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