Platform: Xbox 360
List price: $19.99
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Ubisoft brings you the freedom of the mountains with Shaun White Snowboarding for Xbox 360. Developed in close collaboration with Olympic Gold Medalist Shaun White, Shaun White Snowboarding lets you create your own experience in the game. Whether you choose to compete and do tricks in the terrain park, or carve new paths in the back country, the choice is yours. Get massive air and perform different tricks. View larger. You can shoot videos and upload them for others to see. View larger. Freedom to Ride on Four Different Mountains Gamers have their choice of four mountains -- Alaska, Park City, Europe (Alps), and Japan -- each offering a different kind of terrain and feel, as well as landscapes and views. Alaska, for example, has a lot of peak boarding with features such as avalanches and ice chasms. Park City, the famed resort in Utah, features buildings and layouts from the actual resort. The mountains are huge, with incredible graphics that allow you to see dynamic elements up to 20 miles away. As you ski, objects and locations far away in the distance, such as the base of the mountain, become larger and larger, and the background has the feel of a real, live environment rather than a static image. Within each mountain, there are peak, back country, and park (resort) areas that provide a variety of gameplay. Just as you would expect, there are plenty of trails on each mountain, with each slope rated from green circle (easy) to double black diamond (extremely difficult). Race, Do Tricks, Carve New Paths Shaun White Snowboarding lets you do anything you want at a mountain: you can speed down the fastest slopes, get massive air and do tricks on the half-pipe, and even throw snowballs at other boarders. By using a combination of the right analog stick and left trigger, you can perform a ton of different tricks on the ground, in the air, and on rails. The game was designed with realistic physics, so each trick looks and performs just as you'd expect it to see it in real life. While you go down a mountain, you'll see various challenges scattered along the way, such as grinding on rails or specific tricks on the half-pipe. When you get to the bottom, you can take off your board and hop on a chair or a helicopter to get back to the top and find a new trail. In the single player mode, Shaun White serves as your mentor as you complete different challenges and competitions until you become good enough to put your skills up against Shaun White himself. Share the Mountain with Other Online Players Shaun White Snowboarding also features online multiplayer gameplay. Players can create their own challenges and participate with other online boarders, compete in half-pipe competitions, and even battle it out in straight racing down a trail. With mountains populated by real gamers, you'll feel like you're really out there on the slopes. A standout feature is the video camera that lets you film other boarders doing tricks and upload them for everyone to see. As you win competitions and do challenges, you earn cash that can be used to purchase new apparel, boards, bindings, and more -- all designed to make your character unique and your gaming experience more fun. Perhaps one of the most satisfying things you can do is hurl a snowball at another player and talk a little trash afterwards.