Ski-doo Snow X Racing review


Because snowmobiles are about so much more than just destroying the pristine beauty of our remaining wilderness and killing rednecks, Ski-Doo Snow X Racing has come down the mountain to rock our proverbial world. But don’t let that X in the title fool you - the game involves absolutely no algebra, nor does it imply an arcade-style assault on the slopes on par with something like SSX. (There’s that X again! You can see how we could get confused?)

It’s a fairly competent racing game at heart, but also more akin to a snowmobile racing sim. You vehicle reacts to every bump on the slope, and distributing your weight and placing front skis properly is crucial to pole position, as is keeping your chosen caricature atop his gas guzzling steed. In addition to selecting your rider, you can customize your snowmobile’s parts to enhance performance and design the look if you’re the type who can’t abide a ride that isn’t sufficiently pimped.

There's also a handful of tricks to pull off via the shoulder buttons, but Snow X Racing doesn’t really emphasize that aspect - hell, it doesn’t even keep score. The sole purpose for showing off is to charge the wonderfully disgusting boost meter: a rapidly beating human heart. Unfortunately you can’t activate the turbo yourself - it unleashes all by itself when it ripens. Not good on a hairpin turn. And since the boost also gets charged by collisions, this means a rival can side swipe your tail and send you rocketing in the wrong direction. Rare, but it happens.

It all looks nice enough, as long as you’ve come to terms with the PS2’s declining interest in wowing you visually. There are plenty of racing locations scattered about the globe, but if you can tell the difference between the snow in Russia and the powder in Sweden you either have a promising career in meteorology or were raised by Yetis. Plus the solid white motif makes seeing upcoming turns hard to see. Expect to careen off course, and often.

Another thing keeping this from being the snowmobile sim the masses have been clamoring for is the floaty nature of your vehicle. Constantly jostled by every little thing on the track, it feels more like a 10 pound hovercraft than an impressive feat of alpine ingenuity overflowing with horsepower. Having never ridden a racing-class snowmobile, we can’t tell if it’s remarkably true to life, or absurdly difficult. It won’t kill you, just don’t expect to live your own Mountain Dew commercial with this budget title.

More Info

Release date: May 23 2007 - PS2 (US)
Available Platforms: PS2
Genre: Racing
Published by: Valcon
Developed by: Coldwood Interactive
ESRB Rating:

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