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Amped was one of the early Xbox games that I remember the most, it had some excellent graphics, some great gameplay and an all round exceptional soundtrack. Finally, 2 years down the line we have Amped 2, more of the same, but this time Xbox Live! support has been added for some multiplayer goodness. Here is a feature list:
Amped 2 is the ultimate freestyle snowboarding experience, offering the largest, most varied trick library of any snowboarding game.
Explore vast areas of wide-open, spectacularly rendered real mountains packed with terrain parks designed by world-famous snow park architect, Chris Gunnarson. Play head-to-head with friends in the various multiplayer modes. When you're ready to take it to the next level, connect to Xbox Live to check rankings and challenge the world's best virtual riders.
Feel what it's like to live the life of a real professional snowboarder. Travel the globe, and pull sick tricks in front of sponsors, photographers, and fans. Build your fame, and get photos and demo reels in the latest snowboard magazine or video. Climb to the top ranks of the sport, and become a media superstar … all to the sounds of more than 300 killer indie tracks.
Not a great deal has changed since Amped. Once you start the game you get to design the look of your snowboarder from picking a face down to the clothes he wears and board he uses.
The first thing you should know is that Amped 2 is still not the easiest game to get to grips with, some of the controls are hard, to say the least. Your boarder is controlled with the left thumbstick, tricks (while in the air) are performed by using the right thumbstick and (if you want to perform the harder ones) by pressing a combination of the left and right trigger button along with the right thumbstick again. This time round though, there is an excellent tutorial mode which lets you get used to the different moves and controls, it works well.
There are a lot of different trick types from Tail pokes to Rocket Stalefish. There are a lot of tricks you can perform, but early on it is best just to start learning the controls, otherwise there is little chance of you moving up the rankings in the future. You begin the game at 125th in the world, the more level challenges you complete, the higher up the rankings board you go, with the main goal of reaching number one being miles away. There has been a slight increase in the amount of tricks that can be performed here in Amped 2, subtle increases only though, but a new linking style of trick is a good addition.
During the game you get the chance to do special tricks in front of the media, doing this not only gets you more attention, but it can also lead to you gaining various media rewards for your scrapbook in the game. To perform in front of a camera man, you first must note where a red camera appears on the slops, then when close enough to it, you can perform as good a trick as possible in front of them. Rack up enough points and you will complete the media challenge.
So as you may have gathered, the main parts early on are to complete the high score challenges, gain media attention and then to try to impress the sponsors so you can get hold of new gear to wear and better boards to ride. When you get the chance to perform in front of a sponsor you must make sure that you carry out the kind of tricks that the particular sponsor likes to see, otherwise he/she will mark you down.
The main change to Amped 2 is all of the multiplayer options though. Via split-screen, LAN, or Xbox Live, Amped 2 offers a ton of multiplayer challenges, both individual and team-based. Go head-to-head with a buddy. Challenge as many as seven other people in a game of Horse, or play a game of 4-vs.-4 King of the Mountain, where each team tries to pull the sickest tricks on different rails and ramps on a run.
On Xbox Live! Amped 2 runs like a dream, with no slow down that I have noticed, the leader boards are well done and it is a lot of fun to take to the slopes against other Amped 2 players.
Graphics & Sound
Amped was already quite a good looking Xbox title, Amped 2 does improve on it slightly though. There are better characters, improved snow effect and more bump mapping across the slopes. Lighting has improved slightly, but the cosmetic touches are not as improved as they could be.
The sound is very similar to the last game too, obviously the soundtrack has all new artists on it, but the general feel is identical, and once again the groups who have been chosen to appear on the DVD are pretty good.
Once again I have to say that I really enjoyed playing Amped 2, its just as good as the last one and the extra tricks really add something extra. The multiplayer side of the game is probably as good as snow boarding can be