I was never very interested in sports games, and extreme sports games doubly so. I knew a lot of people who play and enjoy these types of games, so there is clearly some broad appeal, but I’ve never been drawn to them myself. I say this to give the reader some context into my thoughts on Amped 2 (Giant Bomb|Wikipedia).
Amped 2 is an original Xbox exclusive released in 2003 by Microsoft Game Studios. The game take a decidedly arcade sports approach, which for snowboarding is a perfect fit. You can select a snowboarder, customize their look and board, and take them out on the mountain to perform tricks for points. That’s pretty much the entire game however the developers managed to mix it up a fair amount by not only having a massive amount of courses but different challenges and scenarios to play through as well.
The graphics are very nice for the original Xbox – high detail character models and some great looking courses. Some of the textures are a bit muddy and low res, but considering the time it was released (2003) they are more than acceptable.
The sound effects and music are all very fitting, but I didn’t care for the music – it’s mostly licensed and not my taste. According to Wikipedia, you can use your own MP3s if you don’t care for the soundtrack which is a nice feature.
The controls feel good for the most part, but there is some definite issues with the analog sticks on the Xbox – the dead zones are pretty large by today’s standards and balancing on a rail never felt quite right to me.
Overall, if you have an original Xbox and are interested in snowboarding games, I think this would be a good one to try. It’s just not for me.
Verdict: Back on the shelf.
Images courtesy of Giant Bomb