|Comic Mischief, Mild Violence
| The Good
Nice looking tracks
Great audio/video presentation
Lots of things to unlock
| The Bad
Too much like SSX
Poor collision detection
Wreck recovery takes too long
It's not really surprising when a company finds a formula
that's successful that they want to repackage it as many times
as they can in various formats to get the most return out
of their investment. This seems to be the case with the Playstation
2 version of Sled Storm. At first glance at the tracks
and menus, one might mistake the game for another Big EA title
by the name of SSX Tricky. And,
you wouldn't be too far from the truth.
Using a few characters from SSX Tricky roster (Zoe,
Psymon) and adding a few new ones to the mix, Sled Storm
is a pure arcade racer where you rider "extreme"
snowmobiles through winding and treacherous tracks. Win or
place in the championship mode to unlock new tracks and snowmobiles.
Winning races is often a balance of smart riding and performing
a variety of tracks to gain boost. Also, there are items along
the race track that the rider can smash for more boost points.
Each track has certain goals for trick/boost points that once
acheived will unlock new racers. The action is fast and furious
when you get going. So much so that the player often feels
a little bit out of control during the race. When you're taking
corners in the middle of the pack, snow flies up everywhere
and everything seems to be going on at once.
Visually, Sled Storm is put together well. The tracks
are designed and constructed to look very pretty. Tons of
visual effects are layered to add a nice sparkle to the game.
The tracks themselves are large with lots of secret paths
and multiple ways to get from the beginning to the end. Fans
of the SSX series will instantly recognize the familiar
design of the tracks, including the markers painted on jumps
and turns. In fact, other than a few rough edges here and
there, the game delivers visually. If you liked the look of
SSX, you'll feel right at home here.
As in the graphics department, the audio part is well done.
Both the music and voice-overs are done well and help to give
the game a personality. Unfortunately, the personality is
lifted directly from SSX Tricky with one exception.
The racers don't actually shoot back verbal jabs and commentary
at each other, so when you race, you'll feel like everyone
else has been given a gag order. And, if you don't like Matthew
Lillard (Scream, Thirteen Ghosts), you'll probably
find his additional commentary annoying.
Where the game hits a snag is the lackluster collision detection,
which will lead to numerous wrecks in a course. In fact, you'll
find yourself wrecking often and for the most unconsistent
reasons. You never seem to deflect off of anything and if
you even hit certain snowbanks, you'll find yourself off of
your sled. Even worse is the fact that the wreck recovery
and restarting animation (where the racer will restart his/her
sled before getting back into the race) can often leave you
in last place no matter where you were when you crashed.
To be honest, the lack of originality in design and layout
really takes away from the game. You'll feel like you just
bought another sequel in the SSX series, but one that's
not as structurally polished. Unless you're very patient,
the constant wrecking will quickly remove the fun factor from
this game. I would suggest renting this game before paying
full price for it.