Amped 3

April 26, 2006 · Print This Article

Amped 3Finally, it has arrived. After two successful installments in the highly prestigious series, Amped 3 has hit shelves for the Xbox 360. Most of the hype generated for the game has been minimal due to Microsoft selling the license of Amped and a couple other of its sports games to 2K Sports, the new force on the field of the sports genre. So the real question now arrives: does Amped 3 repeat the quality of its predecessors?

Although that question will be answered later, there are a couple strange aspects of Amped 3. Namely, one must wonder why it was developed exclusively for the Xbox 360. Despite the fact that, in the past, Amped has been Xbox exclusive due to Microsoft owning the license, now that 2K Sports owns the license, it is truly a strange thing indeed that the game would only appear on Microsoft’s next-gen console.

While that speculation may never be answered, what is known is that this version of Amped was completely reworked. Simply put, Amped 3 is an even better game due to this fact. Amped 2 reflected the fact that the Amped series was getting a little played out in its current form, and Amped 3 having been completely redone breathes new life into the apparently dying series.

Strangely enough, Amped 3 actually has a storyline. Although it’s a bit like a THUG style storyline, meaning it isn’t exactly the most interesting, it is present nonetheless. Basically, your crew’s money was stolen and you are separated from them. You go by yourself to Utah to try and get back the money and, eventually, reunite with your crew. In the meantime, you can enjoy the fresh slopes and pull off some crazy tricks on your snowboard. Although this story can get very crazy and doesn’t always flow, it’s craziness and originality is actually very amusing and it’s surprisingly fun to continue playing just to advance to the next step in the story.

The game’s presentation is equally as unique but strangely refreshing. From the menu to the cut-scenes, the quality varies from a paper machete look to true next-gen graphical prowess. The artistic style is unmatched by any other next-gen game at this time. Comic books, anime, and plenty more inspire the unique artistic style that is presented and successfully executed by the game’s designers.

In game, Amped 3 looks absolutely gorgeous. As expected, the characters are incredibly detailed and beautifully drawn. The animations and tricks are incredibly smooth and look amazing. The environments are also expensive and are filled with trees, rails, jumps, and, of course, plenty of soft snow.

However, this isn’t the best aspect of the visual presentation of the game. That honor goes to how big the maps are, the free roaming ability of it, and how incredibly detailed these maps are. The game allows you to see for apparently miles into the distance and see all of the trees and slopes down there. Even more incredibly, is that these are actual parts of the game that can be visited by simply snowboarding there. It is incredibly how expansive the scope of the game is and how the game was drawn so beautifully even at great distances. This in itself gives the game an unmatched beauty compared to any extreme sports game that came before it.

Similarly to the past two games, the actual snowboarding dynamics aren’t exactly the best. They tend to be solid and well thought out, but there simply aren’t enough tricks and not enough variety, not to mention that it can sometimes be ridiculously difficult to pull off certain things, to actually make the snowboarding itself all that much fun. If there was one problem that should have been fixed with the transfer, it was this. Sadly, it wasn’t.

Amped 3 does have a redeeming factor in solid online play, however. Xbox Live offers a solid experience where gamers who enjoyed the game can go online, hook up with others, and execute some crazy tricks in the presence of others. There are a variety of unique, fun modes that players should enjoy.

Overall, Amped 3 offers a mixed experience. The presentation is extraordinary and really adds to the experience. The storyline is strangely appealing. However, it suffers similar fate to its brethren in that the core gameplay mechanics can be a bit faulty and boring at times. Despite this, Amped 3 is still a fun game that many will be satisfied with.


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