19th Nov 2003 | 16:51
Microsoft's slippery sequel is the most authentic console snowboarding trip CVG has ever seen, although thankfully the slopes aren't all clogged up by hairy Germans called Helmut dressed in rainbow-coloured romper suits.
Gorgeous mountainsides, snow parks created by world-renowned designers, virtual warehouses stuffed with the latest brands of snowboarding gear, real pros, the newest tricks and even the latest slope-side trend, snowskating. It's all here, and it's all gravy.
Reality Doesn't Bite
Amped 2's only direct competitor is SSX 3, but in terms of attitude and gameplay they're worlds apart. EA's rock 'n' roller hammers you with crazed scenarios, fantasy speed-ups, and superhuman stunts. On the contrary, Xbox's ice-cool boarder trades arcade flamboyancy for true-to-life action. It's not overly outrageous, but Amped 2 still promises to be every bit as addictive and even more rewarding than SSX 3.
As with the last game, the main Career mode sees you go from beginner to pro, and you've got to work your rocks off to get to the top. However, the learning curve is balanced just right, so that the frustration never outweighs the fun and excitement of tackling Amped 2's mountain of challenges.
Cooler Than Arctic Ice
The controls are so much more refined than before, and the new style points system adds a skilful twist to regular stunt-pulling antics. You'll need more than a few boring button combos to become king of the mountain. It's all about timing, grace, style and raw skill.
But the fat cherry on this giant Baked Alaska of fun are the new multiplayer action and online extras. With these, Amped 2 is a dream come true for hardcore boarders looking for the ultimate in finesse riding, steep challenges and social showboating via Xbox Live.