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The blending of two
great tastes takes the blending of two great
reviewers. Find out what happens as we tackle
"You got your action-adventure
game mixed up with my snowboarding game!" "You
got your snowboarding game mixed up with
my action-adventure game!"
What do you get when you add
the extreme snowboarding action of SSX and
combine it with the mission oriented game
play of an action adventure game? Well you
get THQ's Dark Summit (developed by Radical
Entertainment). With its unique mix of different
play styles is it enough to stand out among
the snowboarding crowd?
Dark Summit joins SSX Tricky and Amped as the
snowboarding trio on the Xbox (TransWorld Snowboarding
isn't getting released until early next year).
Yes, Dark Summit has elements of the Tony Hawk
Pro Skating trick based gameplay and yes, it
also has elements of a racing game. What sets
it apart from other snowboarding titles is
the mission based gameplay. Basically it's
a platformer along the lines of a Sonic or
Super Mario, but instead of walking on 2 feet
to get to the end of the level you use a snowboard.
"The further up the mountain you go, the more sinister the environment becomes
letting you know something is wrong."
the game as Naya, who decided to snowboard
where she wasn't wanted. The games villain
Chief O'Leary is hiding something mysterious
on the backside of the mountain. The story
is told in CG cut scenes, as well as through
some of the missions you undertake. It's
pretty much standard stuff and while the
story comes across as cliché it
does its job well.
the game attempting to satisfy goals, these
give you lift points which then allows
traveling further up the mountain. One
of the best parts of the game is that you
can choose which order you want to attempt
the goals in. These missions will award
points, and more of the mountain opens
up with certain amounts of mission points.
The further up the mountain you go, the
more sinister the environment becomes,
letting you know something is wrong.
new snowboards and new outfits you want
to attempt as many tricks as possible.
Trick points are different from mission
points, and are awarded cumulatively with
each trick you perform. There is plenty
of time not only in between mission, but
during them as well to perform tricks Each
track is large and it can take several
minutes to go from the beginning to the
controls very smoothly, and if you're a
Tony Hawk or SSX vet, you should be right
at home - using the three buttons (in various
combinations) to execute tricks. You will
be able to grind, grab and handplant with
the best of them after only a short time
playing the game, although you have to
make sure she lands upright. If not, faceplant
city, and points as well as mission objectives
won't get met. In order to unlock some
of the more elaborate tricks in the game
your going to need to explore the level
very carefully. There are trick icons throughout
the game that will need to be gathered
in order for Naya to "learn" these new
wise Dark Summit holds its own compared
to SSX and Amped, but we expected more
on the Xbox. Everything is very pretty
and some of environmental elements on the
mountains are visually impressive to look
at. The characters look great and the trick
animations are excellent as well. Another
impressive aspect in the game is the amount
(and execution) of objects that litter
the mountainside. For example if you crash
into a barrel it will go flying down the
mountain, and unless something stops it,
it will roll on down to the base.
stays at a steady 30fps 90% of the time.
But usually it's only at the beginning
or when you perform some extensive aerial
tricks the rate drops. It doesn't ruin
the game but it is noticeable.
is definitely a weakness with Dark Summit,
and hurts the replayability quite a bit.
There are three multiplayer games: a race
to the finish line, who can destroy more
objects before time runs out, and who can
score the highest trick point total before
time runs out. Unfortunately, you can't
pick where you start from. Since the locations
really are varied in their paths, this
would have been a great feature here. The
lack of 4 player support is also an oversight
that should not have taken place.
that Dark Summit uses is a mixture of retro
and techno music that really doesn't stand
out one way or the other. Being able to
use a soundtrack from the hard drive would
have been very beneficial here, as hearing
the same type of tuneless ditty after a
while got boring.
Regan and Daniel "monk" Pelfrey
World Heavyweight Tag Team Review Champs.
Overall, Dark Summit offers a enjoyable experience despite
its shortcomings - especially in the multiplayer department.
The single player game is still worth paying a visit
to. The mission-based gameplay goes very well with the
trick based gameplay. For those who are looking for something
different than your typical Snowboarding game Dark Summit
does the trick.