#367 1080 Degrees Snowboarding

Posted: 26th November 2019 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , , ,

826th played so far

Genre: Sports
Platform: Nintendo 64
Year of Release: 1998
Developer: Nintendo EAD
Publisher: Nintendo

Sometimes, going into a game, you know it’s not going to be great. After SSX Tricky was an early highlight, an earlier snowboarding game on the older Nintendo 64 will never quite live up – with nostalgia and the earlier implementation of the sport being the more important reason it’s on the list. Not that it’s necessarily best, but for style, I don’t expect something quite the same.

This week, we’re playing some Nintendo 64 games, as we got it out of storage, and this would feel like a good time to get through them.

Our Thoughts

I’ve never been snowboarding – the only winter sports experience I have is from (a lot of) ice skating and one afternoon of cross-country skiing organised by school. For that reason, anything I can say about snowboarding is second hand – although I suspect games have taught me some priorities. One of the big differences seems to be that when going down a slope you don’t just do it to go as fast as possible, but you want to put tricks in – jups and moves and such. It’s what makes snowboarding stand out here.

1080° Snowboarding includes these tricks too and the practice mode dedicates a lot of time to you getting them right. Sadly, half the modes after that don’t need them as they’re purely speed focused. While they might be a nice distraction, the controls are imprecise enough that it’s hard enough to make your way down. I manage quite well, for a first handful of races at least, but it felt like a fairly plain race where it came down to how well I managed to start to follow the route. The controls became a bigger problem in the slalom – I just didn’t feel like I could always make the movements necessary to alternate sides and I ran out of time partway through – it has the arcade mechanism of timed check points. The trick attack mode is the best for being able to use the tricks, but again the time limit stops you from it being that much fun.

Final Thoughts

1080° Snowboarding is a decent implementation of a snowboarding game – at times a bit too hindered by the mechanics of the time, but it does what you expect. At the same time, that experiences has been improved on so often since that it’s more of a step up than a game worth chasing down on its own merits.