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Amped 2 Preview for Xbox
Posted on Sunday, October 05, 2003 @ 06:41:12 pm E.S.T

Amped , the Xbox-exclusive snowboarding game was accepted by many and rejected by others - it failed to achieve its SSX-dominating position it hoped to get. If you really got into the game it could be very fun - not SSX-fun, but fun nonetheless. Its appearance was deceiving in that it seemed to be the Slugfest of snowboarding games - it just seemed to stray from the roots SSX and Cool Boarders had established. Amped 2 is attempting to change its look and appear much like the others, while still retaining the fun and excitement from the original.

A new move to Amped 2 is ripped straight out of Tony Hawk - the Butter, a snowboarding equivalent of a manual. You’ll be able to combine tricks using this maneuver to rack up some really high scores. By just tapping up or down on the control stick you’ll enter ‘Butter-mode’ where you’ll move through the snow like a knife through better (hence the name) while balancing yourself by means of a horizontal balance meter. The other addition right from Tony Hawk is the ability to hand plant, eggplant and faceplant at a pipe lip.

The graphics are absolutely stunning in Amped 2 - as you watch your character drop from the helicopter you’ll be awe-struck. The scene looks absolutely gorgeous, whether it be your own character or others - that’s right, in online mode you’ll see other players going down the mountain in real-time. Amazing.

Not only that, but the graphics have improved even more all-around. The snow looks more realistic as does everything - trees, the sky, etc. The character animations are looking much smoother as are the shadows cast by everything.

Now onto the important stuff - gameplay. Amped 2 is about as non-linear as you can get; there are multiple pathways that lead to completely different trails. These could contain half pipes, while another may contain a straight away and the other path a succession of large hills. Much unlike the original, the game no longer demands such a high level of perfection. In the original if you didn’t land perfectly, you would bail. Now it’s actually rather hard to bail.

On the tricks-side of the snowboarding realm there are two general categories - more classical style moves, and then more of a combo approach. If you take the classical style you’ll gain points by doing the norm - flips and basic tricks. On the other hand you can combo your way to victory by linking tricks together using the new Butter technique. Neither one has a distinct advantage over the other, so this should promote a lot of diversity online. Or you can use a bit of both and create your own style of snowboard tricks.

Xbox LIVE allows for up to 8 players to be on one mountain at a time - and as I said earlier, you’ll see each and every one of those players in real time, boarding down the mountain. A few new online modes planned include HORSE (You attempt to out trick the other players, if you don’t you get a letter. First person to attain ‘HORSE’ loses), King of the Mountain (Trick off of areas on the mountain to tag them - the person who has tagged the most areas at the end of the run wins) and Just Ride (Attempt to get the #1 trick in all categories). Another LIVE-enhancement is the XSN support which will allow you to record your best runs and post them on XSN or send them to others. All of your stats will also be accessible via a PC. Most likely there will be the inevitable downloads that most LIVE-supported games receive.

Amped 2 packs a huge punch - the essential element to a successful sequel. You’ll find many LIVE-enhancements, tons of mountains, 14 characters, an extremely deep customization engine, new tricks, more than 300 (!) licensed songs…it certainly looks like Amped 2 is shooting to be the snowboarding king.


Preview By: Chris Pereira - 3152 Reads


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Amped 2 Screenshots for Xbox
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