I welcome you all to my first post in my series of posts regarding my top ten favorite video games for the Nintendo Gamecube! I plan for this to a be a really great time for anyone who plans to comment and discuss, or for anyone who just plans to read what I have to say. Remember, each game that makes its way onto my Top Ten List of Favorite Gamecube Games will receive its own post and a detailed description/review. So without further ado, I present to you the game that has found itself in the number ten spot on my Top Ten List of Favorite Gamecube Games.
10) 1080: Avalanche
...and to think that I am trying to prove how qualified I am...
A snowboarding game? A snowboarding racing game making my top ten list? Not to mention the fact that that snowboarding racing game is NOT SSX Tricky....
I know what you all must be thinking...what is this game?
1080: Avalanche is Nintendo's sequel to 1080 Snowboarding originally on the Nintendo 64. The franchise debuted on the Nintendo 64 in 1998, and after Avalanche, the franchise never saw another game. This game is a snowboarding racing game which involves you ripping down the sides of mountains and through towns in order to cross the finish line before your opponent does. Seems simple enough. Maybe a little too simple...
To be honest, the concept really is quite simple. Anyone who is old enough to read this post is old enough to know how a race works. The concept of this game is absolutely classic, so what makes it Top-Ten-Worthy? The answer to that is equally as simple: The controls.
I mean, yeah, of course you use the control stick to steer, A is to jump, and holding backwards is to break, but Nintendo really utilized the capability of the controller to its full extent with this game. While boarding, holding the L button allows you to crouch. Crouching increases your speed while inhibiting your ability to turn. R allows you to rotate 180 degrees on your board. Holding the A button alone does not make you jump. Holding A actually initiates a short timer. If you hold A until the timer runs out, then releasing A will do nothing but waste your time. Jumping is all about timing. The idea behind this short timer is to release A right before the timer expires. This will result in your character jumping as high as he/she possibly can. Once you're in the air, you can perform various different tricks taken straight out of the real list of snowboarding tricks. As you land, the announcer will never say "you did a spin", rather the short monologue will include phrases such as "360", "540 Tailgrab", or even "180 Japan Air". The announcer is not annoying, and is actually quite cool sounding which is a good thing because he announces every trick you land. Landing enough tricks successfully will increase the power in the gauge in the top corner of the screen. Once this gauge is full, your character will glow silver, and petty obstacles such as windows and barrels will no longer affect your speed should you slam into them. I must admit, it is really nice to spend an entire city race being knocked over by people only to be able to plow into them immediately after grinding down a nice long rail.
I mentioned the sound of the announcer before. He is fantastic, but he is not the climax of the aural
experience that this game has to provide. I don't mean to accidentally go off into a musical tangent, but my god the music in this game is SO good, and is undoubtedly one of my favorite parts of 1080: Avalanche. The soundtrack of this game includes multiple songs by Seether, Finger Eleven, and of course Canadian pop punk band Cauterize, in addition to many more popular bands. Cauterize's fast paced music and catchy riffs provide not only the perfect feel to conquer steep slopes, but to be the games theme song! Cauterize's "Choke" and numerous variations of the song are played during the game's opening sequence, title menu, character select, game mode select, and stage select. The song so perfectly compliments the light-hearted yet face-melting feel of this game, that even though it plays during every single menu of the game, I don't mind listening to it during the levels at all! In fact, this game's music select screen IS the loading screen. Being able to choose the song you want to listen to during the next level WHILE that level LOADS is simply a future I admire like no other.
Various game modes such as Time Trial, Career Mode, and Trick Attack synchronize with the 15(including those exclusive to Trick Attack) different levels (more than SSX Tricky) beautifully in a game that involves you utilizing large collections of different unlockable boards in order to blast down mountains, carve slopes, and grind rails in a race to the finish in either single player modes or with up to 3 other friends. This winter-wonder of a game will be every reason to stick your eyes to the TV, instead of sticking your head in the yellow snow.