Hit the slopes with weapons
Hudson is one of the biggest and most creative developers supporting WiiWare. By experimenting with new ideas and releasing new long overdue installments for older franchises, Hudson has had huge success with WiiWare. Their latest game, Snowboard Riot, also experiments with new ideas by mixing snowboarding with weapons. The idea sounds sort of risky on paper and even Hudson couldnít execute it properly. Well actually, they did, but they fouled the game up by adding one little thing: rubber-band AI players.
Snowboard Riot isnít so much a snowboarding game as it is a racing game on snow. The game offers a limited amount of modes, ranging from a typical offline single-player mode to an online mode. The game also offers a limited number of characters, two male and two female, as well as only four different courses. Worst of all, everything is unlocked from the beginning of the game. Yes, that means that thereís no story mode, no challenge mode, and no unlockables. If that werenít enough, the single-player mode will have you falling asleep after an hour or two.
Let me also say that the game isnít the easiest to learn. When it comes to a tutorial, Hudson took the novelist's way out and wrote a twenty-nine page tutorial. Honestly, whoís going to take the time and read a twenty-nine page tutorial to learn how to play a game? By the time theyíre finished reading it, they might have been able to figure out how to play the game by doing a little experimenting.
The main offline mode for single-players is known as Stand Alone mode. Here players can engage in frantic races to the bottom of a slope, teleport back to the top, and start over again. The game offers two different types of racing as well, Battle and Stoic. The main difference between the two modes is that Battle focuses primarily on weapons whereas Stoic focuses on technique and doesnít use weapons. Both are fun to play with friends, but when playing by yourself, they arenít all that great.
In addition to racing other players, thereís a time trial mode in which you try and earn the best time possible. Like in the other racing modes, players will have three boosts at their disposal and using them at the right time will help improve your time. Once you have a time, you can use Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection to see how you stack up against the rest of the world.
The offline Battle Mode in Snowboard Riot isnít what we would call great, and unfortunately, itís what Hudson put the most emphasis on. Essentially your objective is to finish as high as you can against three other players, using weapons and boosts along the way to help you out. Each area has numerous locations where weapons can be picked up, and unfortunately that also means that youíll almost always have a weapon at your disposal. While having power-ups all the time may sound good, it subtracts from the skill needed to win a race. Out of all the races Iíve raced in, Iíve found myself relying more on weapons than I did on skill.
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