Amped 3

It has taken a few tries, but I think I’ve finally found a launch title that provides enjoyable, easily replayable, long lasting game play. While I’ve been critical of the previous Amped titles, I’m pretty much undeniably happy with Amped 3. Combine the strange comedy and animation wackiness of the Adult Swim features on Cartoon Network with a healthy mix of a snowboarding action, and you’ve got a really nice title.

This game isn’t what I’d call very traditional for a snowboarding game, but in this case, that’s a good thing. With a number of different gameplay options, you can slalom, race a snowmobile, perform some massive tricks, and even play crash crash boom boom on a sled. Well, not quite the boom boom, but you do get to crash your sled and see exactly how big of a hospital bill you can rack up. That’s awesome, really really awesome.

Amped 3 controls relatively well, but the style tricking system is actually pretty hard to work with. To make a trick look really good, you’ve got to press only half way in the direction you’re spinning to get into the ‘zone’, and when you do, your character doesn’t perform any special move, the game just slows down time. Cool, but I was hoping for a little more of the unrealism from games like SSX.

Graphically, this is a real Xbox 360 title. Although there’s a lot of white here, it is immediately obvious that this game has a level of detail that a previous generation game system just can’t handle.

Bolstering the actual game graphics are the cutscenes, which can be anything from stop-motion action figure comedy to hand drawn art, mixed with some really weird music and a good dash of both psychedelic design art and spirte based video game graphics. Although it may seem really strange, it works as the game ends up being really strange as a unifying principle.

In the end, the best thing that I can say about Amped 3 is that it’s fun, and simply has enough to do to keep you entertained for a good long time. I’m a big fan of snowboarding titles, so I’ve got a weakness here, but this game is just fun to play for several hours at a stretch. Add in Xbox Live ranking systems, co-op play, and other multiplayer options, and this game is just a natural fit.