Many games have tried to claim King of the snowboarding Hill over the years, most notably the SSX series of PS2/Game Cube games and Microsoft's Amped series for its Xbox console. The latest Amped title, "Amped 2," is a freestyle snowboarding game not unlike all others that came before it. If anything, it's grittier, bigger and more tricked out than ever, featuring fourteen real-life top boarders, including Jeremy Jones, Mikey LeBlanc, Travis Parker, and Janna Meyen.
"Amped 2" is more realistic than similar titles, without as much of an "arcade" style feel as the SSX series. Its levels were designed by real-life snowpark designer Chris "Gunny" Gunnarson, and the game comes with over 300 musical tracks from actual indie bands. Instead of selecting a preset character like in SSX, "Amped 2" allows players to customize their boarders all the way from their brand-name boards and gear to their hairstyles.
Even the game's tricks are fairly close to what you might see the pros do, and not only includes everything you might have done in the original Amped, but a fistful of airborne moves and grabs; rail slides; and the freestyle "Butter" system that links tricks together. Beginning boarders start off low in rank, but can work their way up to #1 with hard work. A career snowboarder will do slick tricks, best the pros, and woo sponsors. New tracks are unlocked as players climb the ranks, but it's not an easy journey.
Going online with "Amped 2" offers a whole new level of play and a chance to race against 8 other people across the world in game modes like Tournament and King of the Mountain. Busting at the seams with cool stuff, the game's realistic touches would make you want to actually snowboard if your couch wasn't so warm and comfy.