Being the avid snowboarder that I am, I jumped at the chance to play the PC's first snowboarding game, Snow Wave Avalanche. After playing such titles as 1080 Snowboarding and CoolBoarders 3, I was hoping for more of the same quality action, but with beautiful 3dfx graphics. Unfortunately my standards were too high, and after playing the game, I was let down. You control four or so male/female snowboarders and compete in such events as bordercross and x-treme jump mode.
-Graphics: Graphically this game isn't all that bad, but it could be a whole lot better. My initial impression was; this game looks pretty slick on my 3dfx card. However, as I played more I began to notice the flaws in the textures and the poor modeling of the snowboarders. One annoyance was a constant lens flare that never let up in any level. The individual snowboarders and their boards have little to no detail to them and don't look to realistic. The best aspect of the graphics is the actual courses. Some of them have good surrounding detail.
-Control & Sound: Unfortunately the control is so simplistic it leaves no room for fancy tricks. Hell, I couldn't even figure out how to jump. Occasionally I did jump but I couldn't reproduce another. Another annoyance is the lack of tricks, maybe there are tricks but I sure as hell couldn't do any. Ah the sound... you would think it wouldn't be to hard to produce good sound effects in a snowboarding game, but the creators of Snowboard Avalanche managed to completely botch it. As I started the game, the first thing I heard was a horrible crackling in my speakers. Then as I bumped into walls I heard snapping and popping noises like the gunshots in Rainbow Six. I opted just to play with my speakers turned off, that's how bad the sound is.
-Gameplay and Fun Factor: The gameplay is basic...just too basic. I expected to see a long list of tricks I could do off jumps, halfpipes, etc. Sadly I couldn't find any tricks to do, or boardparks to do tricks in. Unfortunately the best aspect of this game is boardercross, which consists of maneuvering through flags and getting down the hill first. There are also two jump modes which let you go off jumps. However, when you go off the jump your only option is to wobble your arms back and forth. The only person I could see having fun with this game is a six year old kid who is easily amused by simplistic games. When I want to play a good snowboarding game I will turn right back to my PSX, not to my PC.
-Multiplayer: All connection types are supported, I tested TCP/IP. The game was so unbelievably lagged it was pathetic. I didn't enjoy my self because the game itself is bad, so playing against a human isn't necessarily going to improve it.
-Overall Impressions: Admittedly this review is very short and basic, but I cannot write an in-depth review on a game where the developers put zero effort into it. I cannot recommend this game to anyone, even snowboarding fans. In the future I hope to see snowboarding games that have a trick system like Coolboarders 3 and nice crisp 3dfx graphics on my PC.