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1080 Snowboarding (Wii U) Review Mini

by James Charlton - January 18, 2016, 6:15 am EST
Total comments: 3


All 64 bits of snowboarding, now on your GamePad!

When was the last time you played a snowboarding game? For me the last one was on GameCube, well over a decade ago at this point, and even further back since I played 1080 Snowboarding on the Nintendo 64. Yet despite all that, I find going back to this 1998 class incredibly charming and rewarding. This game is from an era with little to no tutorials or handholding, in fact if you jump straight into a Match Race you may be surprised at just how hard it is to win the first race. As a veteran the controls came back to me like muscle memory, but newcomers might want to play around with the training modes to learn how to control your snowboarder correctly. The stunt modes such as the halfpipe and Event mode are great for getting to grips with the controls, and how you need to balance speed with skillful manoeuvring. Balance, speed, and momentum are incredibly important in this game and are all backed up with a very realistic physics model. This even extends to the way the snow realistically moves, and sounds.

However above all that this game has style, from the clothing, the branding, and the overall look for the characters and menus. It almost acts as a companion piece to Splatoon as a part of Nintendo’s history of being (or at least trying to be) cool. It’s perhaps most prevalent in the music which is a mix of rap and techno, with an ample supply of 90s-era voice samples. I had a lot of fun with 1080 Snowboarding both back in the day and now on Wii U, however I’m wary that some players might not appreciate the brutal difficulty straight out the gate. If you want to pretend like you’re learning how to balance on a snowboard from the comfort of your living room, like a challenge, and can deal with Nintendo 64 low resolution textures, then I say go for it.


  • No handholding at all
  • Somehow still cool
  • Still handles great
  • Difficulty may frustrate


ForgottenPearlJanuary 18, 2016

Funny, I just played Snowboard Kids a couple days ago and intend to finish it yet again.  I'm not sure if I'd be into a more realistic snowboard game or not, though.

Ian SaneJanuary 18, 2016

On the N64 "kiddy" was the dirty word.  But a game like this didn't come across as being specifically for kids.  I don't see anything objectionable to children but it wasn't a cutesy looking game designed to appeal to kids.  It was snowboarding done in a way that depicts the activity in a very literal way.  If there was a specifically targetted audience it would just be people interested in snowboarding.  Nintendo talks a lot about "everyone" games.  This was an everyone game along with Wave Race 64.  Nothing inappropriate for kids and nothing particularly kid-focused to turn off teenagers or adults.

Today I figure they would make Mario Snowboarding.  Nintendo tends to use the cutesy Mario style for most of their games these days.  Splatoon tries to be cool only in the way that would appeal to children.  It certainly isn't trying to be cool for teenagers or adults.  I'm not saying it's kiddy in that adults can't enjoy it but that's never been what "kiddy" was assigned to.  Hamtaro is truly kiddy.  Most Nintendo games can be enjoyed by all but have a style that turns off superficial teenagers and young adults and that's always what the kiddy label applied to.

But the N64 actually had a fair amount of first party games that weren't blatantly kiddy: Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, Wave Race, 1080, NBA Courtside, Killer Instinct, Blast Corps, Excitebike, Conker and games like F-Zero and Zelda were borderline.  These games still feel like Nintendo games and they're as good as typical Nintendo games but don't have Mario/Kirby/Pokémon style trappings that turn some people off.  So Nintendo can make games outside the cutesy style they just don't do it that often.  But why can't they?  They have the kids market locked down and have tons of properties of that style to go around and they don't seem to care about attracting third party support and so have the responsibility to provide variety on their own and yet they rarely do so.  They can do it because they did with games like 1080!  EAD made that!

StratosJanuary 18, 2016

I wish they would put up 1080 Avalanche. I never played the sequel and I always heard it played like the original but with much better graphics.

Pity they stopped making these games. 1080 and Waverace would be great supplemental games on the Wii U.

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Genre Sports
Developer Nintendo
Players1 - 2

Worldwide Releases

na: 1080° Snowboarding
Release Dec 31, 2015
jpn: 1080° Snowboarding
Release Jan 20, 2016
RatingAll Ages
eu: 1080° Snowboarding
Release Dec 31, 2015

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