Evolving the Genre: Part Two (Mania.com)

By:Troy Roberts
Date: Friday, February 21, 2003

Yesterday we began coverage on Konami's newest extreme sports titles, EVOLUTION SKATEBOARDING, and today we're continuing that coverage with EVOLUTION SNOWBOARDING.

"EVOLUTION SNOWBOARDING is a little bit different," says Justin Kubiak, Product Manager for Konami of America. "I think that we do incorporate the idea of action games, but it is done a little bit differently. EVOLUTION SNOWBOARDING is where we're taking the games to a new level, and it's kind of like ROAD RASH but on snowboards; it's a full combat sequence where you'll be punching, kicking, grabbing, and throwing the enemies in an attempt to get through a number of missions."

Unlike most extreme sports titles, EVOLUTION SNOWBOARDING also has a storyline to go along with it. The backstory is basically you're trying to save the mountains from having been taken over by the "Boardroids". "You go through 8 different levels and you'll be accomplishing, say, getting to the mountain in a certain amount of times or collecting items or knocking out a certain number of enemies along the way," says Kubiak. "You also have full gear and real snowboards. There are boss missions in this one as well, where you're doing real head to head combat with a tougher character than the ones you run into during the levels. It's a fairly dark looking game, and you're not going to be snowboarding through some open, sunny mountains; it has very unique level designs. You'll be snowboarding through a Chinese mountain village or down through a castle. In some ways, you may not even be snowboarding through snow...it might be a rocky street."


Kubiak goes on to say that EVOLUTION SNOWBOARDING is probably most like DARK SUMMIT from THQ. "I'd think you'd have to look at a game like DARK SUMMIT, just because it's a darker, more combat oriented snowboarding game," says Kubiak. "But I think with EVOLUTION SNOWBOARDING that the game is a lot faster paced, a lot more frantic; you're doing a lot of things at once, you're controlling a lot of things at once, so you don't have much time to think. You know what you need to do; you know you need to knock out a certain number of enemies. You're going to be doing tricks, jumps and grinds, but there are a lot more things you'll need to be doing as well, and it's a pretty unique experience to other snowboarding games."

Kubiak also mentions that the games were designed with gamers in mind, and says that newcomers to the extreme sports genre will have no trouble jumping in and playing.

"Both games are very easy to control," Kubiak says. "EVOLUTION SNOWBOARDING was designed for simplicity of controls so that you don't need to know numerous button configurations to just to get down the mountain. Punching and kicking are just two different buttons, and the control is very intuitive, very similar to other snowboarding and skateboarding games. For EVOLUTION SKATEBOARDING, there are standards in the skateboarding genre and this game adheres to it, so there is not going to be a whole lot of difficulty for people to pick these up and start playing right away, if not for the fact that they're familiar with other controls, but that they're fairly easy to just pick up and go."


Konami hopes that both games will be a hit because of the uniqueness that both games bring to the table.

"With EVOLUTION SKATEBOARDING you're going to recognize a lot of the experiences that you're used to from previous extreme sports games, but yet you're going to be challenged and introduced to new stuff that has never really been done before in these games. And for EVOLUTION SNOWBOARDING, it's a very unique experience that is pulled off very well, as it is snowboarding and yet there is this combat element that is added to it."

The Playstation 2 version can be found on store shelves now while the GameCube version will be released at the end of the month.