Snowboarding is one of the many methods fate has used in her never-ending quest to ultimately murder me. Given such a checkered history between the two of us, I was forced to get my lust for frostbite and blinding amounts of the color white out of my system through alternate, less hazardous means. Ten-Eighty Snowboarding is my go-to cure for when the desire to hurdle myself down a mountain strikes, which is only slightly less frequently than when the desire to throw other people down a mountain strikes.
It’s a wonderfully realistic game in that landing wrong causes your damage meter to go up, indicating grievous bodily harm, until you can’t take any more and it’s game over. What happens after that is purely speculation, but I like to think that your body becomes so damaged that the only way to save your life is to amputate everything below the neck, forcing your snowboarder to live out the rest of his or her days as an eight-pound paperweight. Don’t tell me that it’s impossible.
If I had one complaint about this game, it would be that there aren’t enough courses. Counting secret characters, I seem to remember there being more riders than courses. That’s just wrong, considering this is a snowboarding game and not a “make friends in a snowboarding lounge” game. That would be a pretty amazing game if it existed, though. All of the snowboarders could have social phobias coupled with crippling insecurities, and the point of the game could be to sneak out of the lounge without anyone noticing.
Your speed is measured in kilometers per hour and displayed in the corner of the screen, but I believe that there are better times to check the rate of speed you’re currently traveling at than when you’re careening off the face of a mountain. Either way, you probably won’t notice since the only non-mountain things relevant to winning are your damage meter and the mini-map.
You can do a large number of tricks, though many require quick movement of the Nintendo 64’s plastic joystick of death. Long story short, expect bruises if you plan on doing a bunch of tricks, because the evil overlords at Nintendo failed to take into consideration the fact that playing with an unpadded joystick is essentially the thumb equivalent of blunt-force trauma.
For every game, there’s a singular moment that encapsulates the entire experience and defines it. I won’t ruin it with specifics, but there’s a certain map where the quickest way down the mountain is to jump a guardrail, briefly sliding down rocks before falling to what would be a hilariously Darwin-esque death were this not a video game. That moment was what defined this game for me, and why I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for jagged rocks. Also, Ten-Eighty Snowboarding.
Here’s what you should do: