Do you remember Coolboarders? Not only did I play that game a ton on my original PlayStation, but I also recall going to timezone and playing it arcade style on a makeshift snowboard. Ever since then, I have never played another snowboarding game… until now. Snowboarding the Next Phase is a new arcade-esque snowboarding game developed by Session Games Inc. featuring ex developers of SSX and Skate, so you could say they know what they are doing! Let’s see how the game stacked up!
You play as a snowboarder with the intention of becoming the greatest boarder of all time! Not a complex story, but that’s not required for this type of game.
First and foremost, let’s talk about the snowboarding mechanics. The game has simple controls, but this is a good thing as it’s not too hard to pull off some sick moves. With the Switch you just use the analog stick to move your character, and if you click A your character will grab onto the board to increase speed and height. Once you reach the jump you can use the left analog stick to do forward flips, back flips etc. Make sure you land it properly though! Otherwise you won’t reap the points you deserve.
Snowboarding the Next Phase features a few modes to choose from. For your main single player experience there is a career mode where you will be snowboarding down mountains in different locations such as Russia and Japan. You goal is to complete three objectives by the time you reach the bottom of the mountain to get rewarded with a nice shiny medal. There a are a few tracks within each location and when you have completed each track you will unlock the next location with the goals becoming increasingly harder. You can also go back to a previous location to go for the higher medals. These objectives include achieving a certain amount of points before completing the level, which means performing tricks, or collecting stars on a track on your way day. Sometimes it also requests that you perform a specific trick successfully a number of times.
You are able to customise your character, snowboard and even the way you travel. As you complete tracks and earn points you will level up your character which provides you with different unlocks to equip to your character. This could be a clothing item such as a jacket or a new snowboard to use which has a sick pattern. You can even unlock a helicopter which pretty much just serves as a background piece to your character.
One of the biggest features brought to this game are the camera jumps, where you go to the edge of a mountain and jump off, the screen then swaps to a pan-camera angle where you will be required to perform some tricks while taking photos with the camera which are then saved as screenshots. It can be hard to land properly after this when it swaps back to the normal view as there’s not a lot of time left before impact at this point!
I was hoping to have a whole mountain to cruise down and perform some bad ass tricks but was a bit disappointed to find that the tracks were actually a bit short.
You can show off your skills to your friends in co-op mode, using the advantage of having the two joy cons. Go head to head and see who is the better snowboarder!
Snowboarding The Next Phase embraces the arcade feel in not only the play style, but also with the style of graphics. The graphics style is actually really nice and a lot of thought has been put into the details which makes the game that much more enjoyable.
Snowboarding the Next Phase is an easy to pick up arcade-like snowboarding game. The game allows ease of access as you can do all your tricks with a few simple clicks on the joy con. There are plenty of courses to do, but as I mentioned these aren’t very long which was disappointing. The difficulty progression and replayability is really good as you can go for the easy medals first and then go back to achieve the higher medals. I would recommend this game to any fans of Coolboarders or anyone wanting a chill game to play either by themselves or with a friend!