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Virtual Console Mondays: The Rest of January 2008

1080° Snowboarding

by Michael Flynn - January 31, 2008, 3:16 pm EST

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1080 Snowboarding was, at the time of its release, the best snowboarding game on the planet. It may no longer be as cutting edge as it used to be, but the tight gameplay hasn't aged a bit. Just as Wave Race 64 took jet-ski racing to another level of realism, 1080 is a snowboarding game with realistic physics and sensitive, unforgiving control. While this can be frustrating at first for gamers accustomed to landing every jump, it ultimately leads to a deep, nuanced experience that is different in every run down the mountain. The sense of total control that 1080 gives you remains unequalled by any other snowboarding game. Originally released at a time before SSX made tricks an essential part of all snowboarding games, 1080 is more of a downhill racer with a primitive-but-decent stunt mode tacked on. The courses, though few in number, are perfectly designed. They give the gamer constant variations and decisions to make, with risk/reward shortcuts and surfaces ranging from ice to waist-deep powder.

As with some other N64 VC releases, the analog thumb stick on the classic controller is a little too sensitive. If you have a WaveBird, this is a good game to use it on. Regardless, 1080 Snowboarding is worth every precious block of system memory it takes up.

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