Throughout the lifespan of the ESPN series, they’ve made quite a few games spotlighting many different sports. ESPN is pretty well known for it’s sports games, but they're not something to be proud of. Most of the ESPN games feel choppy, rushed, and above all, just aren’t up to par with other games in their respective genres. Strangely, Konami keeps dishing out more and more of their games. New to their lineup is the first licensed snocross game. Interestingly enough, this very minute genre, as far as video games go, will have two games for it released next year. One, is this, a simulation from ESPN titled Winter X Games Snocross, while the other is an over-the-top arcade game by EA BIG (makers of SSX, SSX: Tricky, and NBA Street) -- Sled Storm 2.
A positive that has always come out of ESPN games, regardless of their gameplay, is the ability to interpret TV broadcasts so well. Since they have the ESPN license, they can do so much more, as far as looks and presentation are concerned, that no other developer out there can. Konami states that the look and camera angles will give us the feel of an actual TV broadcast of the sport (Snocross) on ESPN.
You can choose from six pro riders, one of them being last years X Games gold medallist, Tucker Hibbert. Additionally, there are two gameplay modes selectable. The first is an X Games type simulation while the other is an arcade mode which lets you rip your best tricks and stunts. In addition, some elements in the tracks are destructible. As of now, we do not know how many tracks will be in the final version. Another fine sounding feature is the ability to upgrade your snow cross as you progress through the X Games mode. Similar to SSX: Tricky, X Games Snocross will feature shortcuts that might just decide those neck-to-neck finishes..
This 2 player game seems to have some promise, but we’ll just have to find out. ESPN X Games Snocross is currently slated for a January 17, 2002 release.
12/11/2001 Joseph Comunale