Retro Review: Cool Boarders

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Andrew Yoon
December 9, 2006 12:01 AM
Retro Review: Cool Boarders

File Size: 282MB
Price: $5.99
Developed By: UEP Systems
Published By: Sony Computer Entertainment of America
Original Release Date: December 31, 1996

Short Review
Not Recommended. The snowboarding genre has evolved so much over the years, that even nostalgia can't cover the incredible flaws of this game. With only five levels, and poor gameplay, this is one to avoid at all costs.

Full Review
Cool Boarders may bring back fond memories for many. Nearly a decade ago, UEP developed what is commonly referred to as the first snowboarding game on a console. However, in the intervening years since then, the genre has progressed quite a lot, making Cool Boarders an antiquated piece of software that should be avoided in the PlayStation Store's initial offerings.

The game is almost frustratingly simple. You race down one of five courses (three initially available), judged solely on two factors: how many points you earn from "tricks" and how fast you can go down the slope. However, with finicky digital controls that simply don't respond the way you expect them to, expect simply going down the mountain to become much more of a challenge than it should be. Saying this game has a "trick system" would be unfair to games like SSX that actually have a deal of variety in the stunts.

The physics, once praised, can no longer be admired in modern times. Your player bounces like a pinball off rocks, trees, and invisible walls. Add to that a general lack of speed, and you have a pretty uninspired game. The graphics themselves haven't aged too well, on par with a relatively bad DS game.

There are a few noteworthy aspects to praise. The framerate is rock solid, surprising for such an old game. Also, the music and voice acting is surprisingly decent. The announcer may get on your nerves with his generic boarder voice, but his insults will come at you with a surprising amount of clarity. The ability to save ghosts is a nice touch, and the decent selection of characters and boards will please the basic needs of a player. However, the snowboarding genre has evolved so much over the years, that even nostalgia can't cover the incredible flaws of this game. With only five levels, and poor gameplay, this is one to avoid at all costs.

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