Extreme sports games are a dead genre.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 should have been great, but it turned into a disaster. I’ve been hunting for a decent snowboarding/skateboarding title for the last few months, and until now, other than True Skate, my search has come up empty.
This is where Gatineau, Québec based developer Ratrod Studio’s horribly named Snowboard Party 2 comes into play. If you’re able to ignore the shovelware title, you’ll discover a game that has a lot in common with classic snowboarding games like 1080° on the Nintendo 64 and Amped for the original Xbox.
Snowboard Party 2 features five different modes: freestyle, halfpipe, big air, time-attack and online multiplayer. Freestyle is my favourite mode in the game since it most closely replicates the gameplay present in older snowboarding titles. Players snowboard down a rail and jump filled mountain and perform various tricks in an effort to build up their score.
The higher your score is, the more experience you earn at the end of a run. That experience can then be used to unlock new characters and levels. Alternatively these parts of the game can be unlocked with real-world money, although Snowboard Party 2’s microtransactions aren’t necessary.
The game’s online multiplayer mode that pits players against one another in a high score competition, is also surprisingly solid and reminiscent of 1080’s head-to-head downhill racing.
Also, while its touchscreen controls are usually accurate, the grab, jump and grind buttons located on the right side of the screen are placed closely together, resulting in me sometimes pressing the wrong button. Balancing your snowboarder when grinding is also more difficult than it should be, resulting in my character frequently falling off rails.
Even with these issues, Snowboard Party 2 is the best snowboarding title and possibly even extreme sports game released in the last few years. If someone told me this was a port of an early Xbox 360 snowboarding game I’d probably believe them.