Review by ZDRich
Horrible. A mockery of one of my favorite N64 series.
W-what is this? Is this supposed to be Snowboard Kids? Where are the giant noses? Where are the frying pans? WHERE'S MY SNOWMEN PROJECTILES? Once again, I wasted my money on impulse, thinking this revival of one of my favorite N64 series would bring back fond memories of the "Mario Kart on Snowboards" racer. I was wrong. What I got was a horrible, uninspired, generic DS title with tacked on DS features.
The first thing you'll notice is the character redesign. Throwing away the kiddy, big-nose stylings of the first two games, these Kids are TEENS. HARDCORE SNOWBOARDING TEENS. Remember Nancy? She was a kind girl who wore pink bunny ears and had a heart on her face. Now, she dresses in purple, with an icy heart, an ego issue, and no bunny ears. And what about Tommy? He was the fat, funny guy who ate his weight in burgers. Now, he's a punk who is fixated on the attention of the icy heart of Nancy. Oh, and Jam is a Jamican Man. Ugh. Oh, WAIT, there's a Ninja. And she's ENTERING A SNOWBOARDING COMPETITION TO HOME HER NINJA SKILLS.
SNOWBOARDING =/= NINJA SKILLS.
Well, that's ok. What of the tracks? Do we get to Snowboard on grass, or go underwater? Nope! You get to play generic tracks based on REAL WORLD PLACES! New York, San Francesco, China, The UK, and Japan are some of the places you get to SHRED FOR FAME, ending with a great, big romp through CANADA. Are there crazy big jumps labeled "JUMP" in big yellow letters with an Arrow? No. Are there Snowmen and Penguins littered all over the track? No. Is there anything out of the ordinary that makes any stage cooler than the other one? No. These tracks are boring, and much shorter than the ones in previous titles in the series.
OK, The weapons and items. The coins littered all over the place to use on those shops. Does Mr. Dog tell you "NOT ENOUGH" when you have less than 100 coins? NO! For Weapons, each character has their own weapon, and only one. And most are annoying. Tommy throws an unavoidable bomb that stops you completely. Nancy has some kind of Ice thing. Jam plays music. No variation between characters. The items are in "?" boxes that do things like white-out opponents screens or give a speed boost. To get over different attacks, you have to press buttons like you were a 5 year old, and blow, or scream into the microphone. Guess how stupid you'll be looking shouting "WAKE UP" at your DS? The Mick support is tacked on, and annoying.
The trick system, unfortunally, is worse. Standard tricks consist of just pressing a button and turning in midair. The special tricks though, require you to tap boxes on the Touch Screen, or Tap it 6+ times, and by the time you accomplish that, the extremely long trick won't finish before you hit the ground, and you'll just fall. Tricks earn you points which you can use at the shop.
There are 3 game modes to play through. The standard race, Slalom, and Boss Battle. Races have 3 opponents, in which you race laps (At the end of the track is a Ski Lift that takes you to the top of the track. Although this is a staple of the series, this time around, it's been simplified, and isn't an added challenge as before, which is a very bad thing.). In Slalom, you're racing against the clock while tiring to get a certain amount of points by doing tricks, and picking up items on the track. Boss Battle is the worst though. In this mode, you go against a robot... sled... ball... THING that you attack with your weapon. Oh, I didn't explain how Weapons work. There's a meter, the SBK meter, that fills gradually over time, and when you pull off tricks. As if fills up, your weapon appears. This means that you actually need to full up the meter by performing tricks off of things that are not jumps, thus slowing you down, and letting the Robot reach the finish before you can EVEN TOUCH IT. Oh, by the way, the Meter also controls your special trick. Do a special trick, or use your weapon, and the meters empty. GREAT GAMEPLAY MECHANIC. Also, there are only 3 stages each for Slalom and Boss Battle. Can't do it for them all. Nice, Altus.
When you have points, you can go spend them at the Shop. You can upgrade your board, buy new characters, or buy Cheat Codes that allow you to win the game without ever tiring.
Yeah, that's right. For a few points, you can buy cheats what make you invincible, fills out your SBK meter eternally, or allows you to land any trick, thus making the game, not a game. Of course, you can choose not to play with them, but COME ON! The third set of codes is 999,999 points, but that's how they should ALL be. This is just terrible.
SBK is an example of a DS game with uninspired design, tacked on DS uses, and blunt mediocrity. This is a tremendous let-down for any good fan of the series, to find youre cutesy, fanatical Snowboarder replaced with a boring game. There's Multiplayer, sure, but the Single-Card is only one track, and if you can find someone else with this game, congratulations. SBK is horrible. Find the N64 classics, and burn this game.
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