PS2 Previews: Snowboard Heaven Preview

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Snowboard Heaven Preview

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  Finishing what they started, Capcom is set to release a snowboarding game on the Playstation 2, that they expect to release around November in Japan. Snowboard Heaven is Capcom's spiritual successor to their previously released PS title, Trick N' Snow Boarder. The game didn't do as good as Capcom hoped, but it did feature snowboarders from the Resident Evil series, who were secret characters. Though the goodies that were included didn't make up for what the game lacked, and that was some better gameplay and tightened physics. The game first debuted at the Tokyo Game Show, and judging by its latest appearance, SH has a long way to catch up to the likes of ESPN X Games Snowboarding or SSX.

   Visually Snowboard Heaven is pretty much a far cry from SSX and X Games. The character detail just doesn't add up, the boarders are a bit on the clunky side and definitely not how they should look like on the PS2. I haven't seen much on the game but I can tell that Capcom surely needs more experience in creating snowboarding games. The environments at this point are decent, they may not compete with SSX or X-Games, but if the the game ever makes it to the US, Capcom's got a great deal of time into shaping this game up into a good snowboarder. While I can't comment on the visuals any further, I will when I see something more from Capcom.

   Early reviews and raves are already calling SSX the best PS2 launch game and they all have no doubts on stating that fact. So if Capcom wants to grab even a little attention, they would have to go through great lengths in order to be mentioned next to SSX, and at this rate that seems somewhat unlikely. If the gameplay is sluggish like Capcom's previous snowboarding games, then it's official that they should stick with Street Fighter, Breath of Fire and Resident Evil. SH's modes include, Freeride, Boardercross and a two player mode. Capcom will include eight boarders, none of which are professional real-life ones and but I am expecting some Capcom mascots to appear, like they did in Trick N' Snow. At the moment it will take a great amount of visual change in order for the game to compete with SSX and X-Games, and it will take a lot more than three modes to steal my love for SSX. Basically here's a message to anybody developing a snowboarding title: "Play SSX and 'then' see if you can evaluate and make your game better than the best". We currently have no screenshots for the game, that's because Capcom isn't building any hype around their mediocre third snowboard title.


10/18/2000 SolidSnake

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