Review by punkrawkpunk88

Reviewed: 11/03/05

Amped 2 is an awesome snowboarding experience

I was a pretty big fan of Amped when I first purchased my Xbox in 2002. I was very excited for Amped 2 when I heard that it was coming out in 2003 and that it would introduce a lot of new features that would improve the experience.

Gameplay: 9/10
Amped 2 is a unique snowboarding game. Like most snowboarding games, you use the left thumb-stick to move your character. Rather than using the face buttons to pull off tricks though, you use your right thumb-stick. Every direction on the right thumb-stick features a different trick. This makes things difficult for players used to other snowboarding games; however, it is very important for Amped 2. The reason Amped 2 is controlled this way is because of the new style meter. The style meter basically gives you more points when you pull off a smooth slow trick than if you pulled off a fast sloppy trick. To make your tricks smoother, you move the joysticks only a bit of the way (not just to the very edge) and keep it there so you are consistent. You can do this with the left thumb-stick when you are spinning or flipping and with the right thumb-stick with your grabs. The two back triggers on the Xbox make use of this feature. When you pull a trigger, or both, you will tweak your trick. If you slowly pull the trigger(s), it will be smooth and you will get more style bonus points. With the new style system, button mashers won’t win; the experienced players will be able to separate themselves from the beginners and look better in the process. If you’re a beginner, don’t worry, there is a very good tutorial to start you off.

In addition to snowboards in Amped 2, there are snow skates which are basically skateboards on snow. What separates itself from the snowboard is that the boarder is not bound to it by the feet. This lets you do flip tricks with the snow skate. One of the cool things about this in Amped 2 is that you can flip trick onto or off of rails that you can grind. Since the snow skate isn’t attached to your feet, it will fly away when you’re spinning or flipping through the air so you will have to use a grab trick to hold onto it or you will bail. The snow skate is a fun experience and feels a lot different from when you are snowboarding.

Single Player: 9/10
In career mode you will start off by making your own snowboarder. There are a lot of things to choose from which will allow you to make the snowboarder that you want. Male or female, it is up to you. After you finish making your character, you will start off with a single mountain with a few runs available. As you progress through the game and impress sponsors, there will be new equipment that you will be able to use. Your character will have low stats and a world ranking. Your goal is to increase your stats and be the best snowboarding in the world. To increase your stats and fame, you need to complete goals such as getting a high score, impressing a sponsor, getting media footage, or beating a pro’s best line. As you complete these goals, you will unlock more runs on the mountain, more goals, and new mountains. You will also unlock events which put you into a competition against 7 other AI controlled snowboarders. The difficulty is nicely balanced with easier goals for beginners to insanely hard goals for gamers that have completed the game with a #1 world ranking. There are also snowmen on each level that you have to hunt down which are hard to find and add to the replay value. You will know when you are near a snowman when he starts mocking you and calling out to you.

Sound: 10/10
I believe that the sound in Amped 2 is quite incredibly. You truly feel like you are speeding down the mountain with other snowboarders and media around you. The sounds all seem accurate. The music is quite impressive. The game includes over 300 songs that you are able to listen to while you snowboard. Not only that but you can rip songs to your hard drive and listen to them as you play. One of the things I really like is that songs keep playing even when you select different menus and runs on the mountain. In a lot of games, it skips to the next song when you enter menus, but not in Amped 2. Another really useful feature is that the white and black buttons on the controller are used just for controlling your music! The black button will highlight the current song if you press it which will add or remove it to your favorites. Your favorite songs will play more often during the game. The white button skips to the next song so you don’t have to pause the game and enter the music menu to change it.

Multiplayer: 8/10
For multiplayer, you can play with 1 friend via split screen, hook up 8 Xbox’s with system link, or play with 7 others in an online game. Xbox Live is where Amped 2 really shines. You can just jump into any game with 7 others and free ride down the mountain or play a variety of fun games where you have to get the most points, best tricks, most media points, or control the mountain in king of the hill. There are many other options also. You can join or create a pack which is like a clan. Your pack can ride with each other, or challenge other packs. Amped 2 has a leader board, so you can actually see if you are indeed the #1 snowboarder in the world. Cruising down the mountain with some of your buddies online is very relaxing. You can just have your own music playing and just hang out as if you were really snowboarding. There is also a free downloadable mountain on Xbox Live which is really fun and worth checking out. Split screen players are going to miss out on a lot of fun though

Graphics: 9/10
The graphics in Amped 2 have come a long way since Amped 1. Every single thing looks better in every way. The characters look improved so much. The snow looks more realistic, the trails your snowboard makes as it goes down the mountain are improved. The weather effects look better. The night time levels look amazing. I could just go on and on about the graphics but it just isn’t necessary.

Overall: 9/10
Amped 2 is my favorite snowboarding game. There are so many things you can do, and it actually feels more realistic than other snowboarding games out there. The new style meter, snowskate and butter move (which is like a manual) are great additions to the game. Online is very impressive and fun. It is easier to land a trick than it was in Amped 1 which I know frustrated a lot of players. I keep coming back for more. The levels have a good variety with different weather conditions. Some levels are at night, while some are during the day. If you’re looking for a snowboarding game that is more realistic than the SSX series, Amped 2 is for you. The game is a platinum hit now, so it is pretty cheap.

To rent or buy? I think it is best to buy this game if you are a snowboarding fan. The single player will last you quite a bit if you want to complete every single goal and find all the snowmen. The Xbox Live multiplayer will make you keep coming back again and again.

Rating: 9

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