Stoked: Big Air Edition
Stoked was already available for some time in the US but didn’t manage to make much of an impression despite some potential. The publisher then decided to make a better version and release it also on the European market under the name Stoked: Big Air Edition. The differences can be mostly found in improved gameplay elements and the addition of two extra mountains to perform your tricks on.
We’ll skip the question whether or not the original game should have had these things from the start already as developer Destineer clearly put quite some effort in their update. This is a very enjoyable snowboarding game which will keep fans of the genre busy for quite some time.
The first thing I liked were the controls which are tight and not too complicated to learn. You’ll quickly get to work and do your first tricks in the snow. On top of that gamers who like to go deep will find quite some challenge after the first hours of getting used to the game.
There are quite some diverse locations and those who know a bit about snowboarding will no doubt be happy that you can choose for famous names from the sport and buy well-known brands in clothing and boards. Your character constantly improves, you get more experience, unlock new missions and locations and there are sponsors that challenge you with assignments so that you get the feeling of being the “coolest kid on the slope”.
The biggest issue is that you can do some fun boarding, but there’s little exciting going on. The lack of a real story makes that you never get the feeling you need to go somewhere and the variation in activities is relatively limited, even if the Challenges are spread out all over (and very handy: also accessible through the menus).
Usually you have to perform certain tricks or jumps and then these same assignments are repeated on different mountains. The only variation is in the racing but I feel this as beign less worked out. In short, relaxing and free but little exciting or surprising after a few hours.
The presentation is good, with fitting songs and graphics that never get in the way of the experience and deliver a nice feeling of speed during a fast descent. Something we would love to see more in other games is the weather system and the day and night cycle. This way the locations get almost doubled and you get a nice new layer of paint over mountains you’ve seen already before. They also influence the challenges themselves so that there’s finally a bit more variation than meets the eye at first.
Stoked: Big Air Edition is very decent game with solid gameplay which will appeal to fans of the genre. It’s no SSX, though. It’s too limited in its excitement and the challenges aren’t varied or inspired enough. Maybe better to await the reboot of SSX? The low price of this Stoked game, however, does make up for a whole lot.