previews\ May 15, 2003 at 8:00 pm

Amped 2 - XB - Preview

E3 2003 – First Look


There’s nothing like grabbing a few friends, cruising up to a local ski resort and boarding down the mountain exploring every nook and cranny.  Unfortunately, summer puts a huge damper on that option.  This summer, thanks to Amped 2 from XSN Sports, the heated months won’t restrain these snowbound soirees. 


Amped 2 contains 7 new mountains, all bigger with longer runs.  Each mountain is based on a real resort from around the world and the entire mountain is mapped.  Some runs will concentrate on tricking, some on downhill, and others on free-riding through powder.  Two new trick families have been introduced to the repertoire.  Butters (leaning on one end of the board causing the other end to lift up) and lip tricks like stalls and handplants on edges of objects.  In addition, tricks can be landed for style points.  As developer Ben Arndt noted, “Snowboarders don’t just try and land insane twists or flips, they want to look good doing it.”  Thus a smoothly performed 360 may score more than a rusty 720. 


Last year’s Amped included media tricks which could earn big points when performed in front of one of several cameras on the slopes.  The tricks would be photographed, and a flipbook of photographs would save to the Xbox hard drive for viewing later.  This year, video media tricks have been added so boarders could send their tricks in full motion to their friends.  It’s a clever way of playing ‘anything you can do I can do better’ and should be a huge hit in this year’s version. 


Another aspect of the game sure to impress gamers is the Xbox Live capability.  In the Xbox Live portion, 8 riders can simultaneously ride a mountain and play games of Tag, King of the Mountain, or the peace-loving freeride.  Flying via helicopter up to the beginning of a course shows a full scale of the mountain, and even includes the on-line boarders on the mountain.  After dropping off of the chopper, the ride seamlessly begins.  Amped 2 will also offer XSN support for boarders who like a little competition. 


Amped 2 shreds the shelves this holiday season.

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