Replay Value: 7.3
The fourth Cool Boarders title has arrived, after 3 mediocre games in its series, it seems as if 989 Studios and Idol Minds thought about this game before they rushed it to stores. Uep Systems, who just recently made their newest Snowboarding game for Dreamcast, developed the first two Cool Boarders. Later on 989 took over with Idol Minds and developed CB3. Now the time has come and it wasn't too hard to guess that a fourth sequel to CB would arrive. Has 989 changed the game or have they left it the same old same old?
Graphically I can see an improvement over the previous Cool Boarders. The player animations look very solid; each player is detailed to the fullest. You can see your character sporting his/her gear, like gloves, hats etc. And best of all the game doesn't have any polygonal clipping. I also liked the FMV intro that was implemented into the game, and it showed off the lineup of real athletes. Something else that's noticeable is the environment; since you are always up on the mountains it only makes sense that you see some trees, great looking backgrounds and sharply detailed snow. And to say the truth Cool Boarders 4 does a great job of making everything around you look great.
When you first start the game you are limited to the amount of characters you can select from and you can only choose 2 stages. But when playing tournaments you see yourself unlocking everything. Each tournament stage contains a CBX, Slope Style, Half Pipe, Big Air and a Down Hill challenge. So don't get me wrong here, because unlocking everything in CB4 will take you some time, although not much time. The game features approximately 16 characters to choose from, and all of them are real life athletes. If you are wondering if the game lets you practice any of your moves, CB4 features a special mode for that called Trickmaster. Along with that mode CB4 features a practice mode, tournament, Single event and tons of different events. In addition to supporting two players CB4 also supports 4 players via link cable.
Like many other extreme sports games, CB4 features a pretty good soundtrack. There are beats that will keep you going for a long time, while others that are too repetitive, to even care about. The sound effects are really nothing special and they could have been done a little bit better. Overall good soundtrack, weak sound effects.
The control is not bad; the game doesn't feature too many moves to pull off. I find myself doing front flips and back flips over and over again. I know CB4 features other moves but they are too boring to look at. The control layout is fairly simple O + directional button pulls off a flip, while holding the X button makes you prepare for a jump, and also X+ directional button makes you do moves to.
There are many improvements in Cool Boarders 4, some which make the game more appealing to play. Although the tricks seem boring the gameplay it's self is not bad. I would suggest renting it first to see how you like it, and then if you are satisfied purchase it.