Was the first Launch 360 game that got me sucked in for being... a launch game
Amped did score boards right, in the game, for each challenge.
The humour, despite my awesome summary for it, was left pretty flat at times. There were moments. But not enough.
As far as snowboarding games go, this was not my favorite by any means.
There is a certain point where this game Jumps the Shark. It may have happend at the start up screen.
Achievement hunting in this game sucked. Yes, at the time I played this, I was achievement hunting.
Amped 3 is yet another 360 game that I would never have played if I wasn’t thinking about my gamerscore. I have played most of the SSX series and never really heard much about this edition brought you from the 2K sports imaginations. Needless to say I was pleasantly suprised by this game in terms of overall presentation and humor.
Ironically for a snowboarding game, the actual art of snowboarding takes a backseat to the quirky, insane, and almost hysterical storyline for this sports title. The first scene in the game introduces you as a character wearing a pink bunny outfit, the kind that you might see at a theme park being initiated into a “crew” of snowboarders each with their own unique personalities. This sets the pace for an outright creative and zany storyline as events unfold in just about every format you can think of. One segment might be portrayed in Anime, another segment has toys reinacting the plot point, and even hands and sock puppets with those oogly eyes get cameos into being the narrative to the story. The game even pays ode to old school nes games like Megaman and Sonic with minor cutscenes that are obvious pardody to these series. Needless to say if you can’t wrap your brain around the story then you probably aren’t going to be playing very long.
Amped 3 mixes snowboarding and the humour of Robot Chicken, Homestarruner, and stereotypes into a unique flavor. Booya!
Technically the game plays smoothly. Each mountain slope you ride on loads all in one shot and you can make it from top to bottom without hitting a load screen (about time people!) and the characters are rendered pretty nicely, especially the special outfits you get (like the bunny suit). The snow has advanced texturing to it and can be noticed on open flats nicely. The mountains are set up with tons of paths and runs you can take and each actual resort you go to gets obviously more complex as the game progresses which is also nice. Aside from snowboarding you can also ride sleds, throw snowballs, and even use a snowmobile to get around – really awesome feature if you miss an event challenge area and have to backtrack up the field.
Progressing through the game is pretty straight forward. Scattered across the mountain are different events with different goals – most pertaining to racking up a certain amount of points under time conditions but other variants like collect-a-thons or rider challenges mix it up. Most events you can score bronze, silver, and gold and any event you place in you get
“Respect” points that help unlock other events or areas of the map. The system is really good and leaves a lot for you to do while not feeling locked into “stages” like other games. However, there are a TON of events you can participate (something like 1500 gold medals you obtain in the entire game) so expect a lot of snowboarding to unlock all of your gamer points or if you are a completionist.
One feature I thought was really unique was how the game interacts with Xbox Live. Every single one of the 1500 events ranks you if you get a gold with anyone else who had done the event and scores a gold. It happens instantly and even gives you your percentage and ranking vs everyone on xbox live for each event and overall. It’s pretty cool to see that one some events you place in the top 50 while in others you really have to work to get in the top 1000. However, it also shows that this game can easily be manipulated as a lot of the scores are ridiculous (like the newer Tony Hawk Games) and the actual snowboarding system makes getting high scores a sinch.
The actual gameplay in this game is where all the positives turn into negatives. This game is REALLY easy to combo and in fact at times feels like you can make it through the entire mountain in one big combo (especially on the harder levels where jumps are more requent and help keep your combo alive). Plus the wipeout system is really out of wack with the character animation so very often you land jumps you shouldn’t be or fall when you clearly landed perfectly and can be EXTREMELY annoying on some of the events that both time you and keep you on a strict course. Another gripe I have is that there is absolutely no RACING aspects in this snowboarding game. Everything revolves around combos or passing through rings to extend your time and felt it would have been a cool feature to have racing. Lastly, there is no penatly for repeated moves. So you can in theory keep doing backflips and get the same point value (which is greater than say a 360) so things get stale quickly unless you stop caring about your score.
Just to touch on it the voice acting and music is well placed in this game and adds to the overall environment.
Overall I enjoyed playing this game. The best two parts of this game was the story and how the overall mountains were set up. The humor and openness to the game kept me entertained for quite a while but attempting to do all the missions and events got sour very quickly especially once you learned how to rack up points quickly.