Marcello is the founder, creator and editor-in-chief of GamersXtreme. His dedication and passion shows as he keeps gamers informed with daily news articles and provides truthful, honest opinions on all gaming related news. Having experience with video game design, as well as over 20 years of gaming under his belt, Marcello has always had a massive interest in the gaming society. Originally, he created GamersXtreme in the style of a magazine back in middle school. Today, he has taken what was created as a basic premise and has evolved it into the site it is today.

Nintendo Switch is Releasing with Something for Everyone

The Nintendo Switch is exactly one week from launch, and initially, many were complaining of the lack of day one release titles. Naturally as we narrow down the time until launch, more titles have been revealed to be releasing alongside the console. Here is the full list of games releasing day one for the Nintendo Switch, both retail and digitally (as well as their price):

Retail and Digital:

  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild ($59.99)
  • 1-2 Switch ($49.99)
  • Super Bomberman R ($49.99)
  • Skylanders Imaginators ($59.99)
  • Just Dance 2017 ($59.99)

eShop Exclusives:

  • FAST RMX ($19.99)
  • Shovel Knight Treasure Trove ($24.99)
  • Snipperclips – Cut it out, together! ($19.99)
  • I Am Setsuna ($39.99)

Now nine titles may still seem like a small amount for day one releases, but think of this from a different perspective: Nintendo is launching the system with a variety of game types. Those looking for a massive open-world adventure experience have The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Those looking for a game that not only captures the casual crowd, but also takes advantage of the tech the Joy-cons contain have 1-2 Switch. Then you have Super Bomberman R, a classic revisited series for solo and multiplayer. Activision’s Skylanders Imaginators is coming to provide family-friendly, co-op action, which while the least sold installment, is still a big franchise for the publisher. And if you’re looking for a game to get you active and burn a sweat, there’s Just Dance 2017. These alone are the retail available games with each offering a different game genre.

Now from the eShop perspective, there’s Fast RMX, an insanely fast-paced racing experience and visual showcase. Old-school platforming fans have the awesomeness of Shovel Knight to enjoy. Looking to test that noggin’ of yours? Then Snipperclips will test you and your partner’s thinking skills (and also provides for communication skills). Lastly, JRPG fans have I Am Setsuna, a spiritual successor to Crono Trigger (which many considered to be one of the best RPGs of all-time). Thinking of it now, the main three genres missing are sports, fighters, and shooters for day one…but that’s about it.

The main thing to consider is that there is something available for virtually anyone getting a Switch day one. If sports, fighters and shooters are your thing…well, those games are coming to fill in the gap. FIFA 18 and NBA 2K18 are releasing later this year (September/October), Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers will be “shor-yu-ken” play that this Spring (that was an absolutely terrible pun…), and Splatoon 2 will fill the shooter void (and will be a flagship online title for the console).

There’s no question that there’s virtually something for everyone here investing in a Switch on launch day. If we look back at the Nintendo 64, that console released with a mere two games launch day: Super Mario 64 and Pilotwings 64. Granted, Super Mario 64 reimagined 3D gaming as we know it, but Zelda BotW is shaping up to provide launch day buyers with the most refreshing direction the series has seen since Ocarina of Time.

That being said, what are your most anticipated games for the Switch’s launch window? Sound off in the comments below!

FAST RMX and Shovel Knight Join the Switch Launch Day

Yesterday, more information was confirmed by two indie developers, Yacht Club Games and Shin’en. Yacht Club Game had confirmed that Shovel Knight Specter of Torment, as well as Shovel Knight Treasure Trove, will be available on March 3rd, 2017. Shovel Knight Treasure Trove will cost $24.99 and include the Shovel of Hope (original campaign), Plague of Shadows, and Specter of Torment campaigns. Shovel Knight has been released on virtually every platform this generation and for good reason. This game is a sublime 2D platforming experience that nails the feels of 8-bit games like Ninja Gaiden, Mega Man 2, and Ducktales. If for some reason you’ve still missed this game, the Switch sounds like another great way to experience it.

Shin’en has also been able to grace their upcoming title, FAST RMX, to the Nintendo Switch for March 3rd, 2017 as well. While the price is still unknown, their previous version released on the Wii U was $14.99. However, FAST RMX has almost double the tracks, more vehicles and visual upgrades, it’s not too hard to guess that this may go for about $19.99 possibly. That being said, this writer here absolutely loved FAST Racing Neo for the Wii U and with enhancements and additions coming to FAST RMX, this is no doubt one launch title everyone needs to give a look. Nintendo still hasn’t put out a new F-Zero game since F-Zero GX (which was the best installment in the series), so this game will certainly fill that insane speed racing void. Maybe Shin’en will be approached by Nintendo to handle a new F-Zero seeing the talent this studio has…

 

Snipperclips Releasing Day 1 with Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch hype is real, and with only 7 days to go until launch, information is finally set and stone with more game launches. Nintendo’s co-op eShop title called “Snipperclips – Cut it out, together!” has been confirmed to launch on March 3rd, 2017 for $19.99. This title has players working together to solve puzzles by clipping each other into specific shapes and objects. While the game is being touted as a co-op game, you will be able to play the game solo as well.

There are three game modes in the full version: World mode, Party mode, and Blitz mode. World mode will be the core campaign mode for the game, that’s for both single and co-op play. Party mode and Blitz mode are for two to four players, with Party mode being more the puzzle-solving focus, and Blitz mode being a more frenetic approach.

On release day, there will also be a demo available to download from the Nintendo eShop. This exclusive Switch title certainly looks creative and we certainly can’t wait to get our hands on it. Check out the video from the Nintendo Treehouse NYC event last month below to see this creative game in action.

[Source – Nintendo Press Release]

Aqua Moto Racing Utopia Review (PS4/PC) – “Refreshing Ride”

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Extreme sports racing games are a dime a dozen nowadays, but there are some developers trying to rekindle relatable experiences, while also aiming for a new market. Swedish developer Zordix has been establishing themselves with a series that started on the iOS/Android called Aqua Moto Racing. In years to come, they brought their series to the 3DS, and now, they’re bringing the series to home consoles for the first time ever. Aqua Moto Racing Utopia is the latest installment in the series, available on Steam and PS4 (with a Wii U release in the near future). Is this worth braving the waves of the ocean, or is it stuck in open-waters?

Aqua Moto Racing Utopia is essentially a racing game that most closely resembles Nintendo’s “Wave Race” series. You will race through a series of championship events, each with different CC engine speeds, as well as jet-ski types (sit-down and stand-up models). The sit-down jet-skis are much more speed-focused, whereas the stand-up ones excel in stunt flexibility. Before hitting the waters though, you will start off by creating your own character. This is a nice way to kick things off by giving the player a bit of customization. There are a decent amount of options to tinker with to ensure not everyone looks similar out on the waters.

Aqua Moto Racing Utopia_20161221142521

Races rely on racing alongside the buoys in place on each track. You’ll be bobbing-and-weaving your way on the water to ensure you’re on the right side of the buoy you need to pass. If you miss three of these in a race, you’re disqualified. As you progress, you will earn cash based on your placement (as well as some to earn out on the track). This can be used to purchase newer and better jet-skis, with multiple attributes that are affected. Each jet-ski can be customized with a variety of colors, whether it’s the body or decals.

Each environment has a distinct feel, with multiple variation tracks to tackle throughout the game’s championship mode. Whether it’s the lush jungles, a water filled town in China, the open-ocean around tanker ships and oil rigs, or tropical paradises (to name a few), all of these locales are as fun to ride as they are unique. Another cool aspect is the option to race in first-person mode. The way the camera handles in this really adds to the immersion, whether you’re whipping around turns or doing flips in the air.

Aqua Moto Racing Utopia_20161221142318

Any game revolving around water is reliant on its physics, and honestly, the physics in place are quite good. The jet-skis handle more or less like they should on both calm and intense waves, with an arcade-style feel to it. It may be a little less interactive than Wave Race’s water physics, but what’s in place here works great. When going off of jumps and high waves, you’ll be able to pull off tricks as well. Doing so will allow you to gain boost. You can also pull off specific tricks while on water. The tricks are fairly simple to pull off, with some more advanced ones that take some time to master. There were some instances though (more evident during trick events) when the trick inputs didn’t respond, or the trick name was displayed but the animation kicked in after releasing the buttons. It worked well enough for the most part, but this particular instance is something that could be patched.

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There are plenty of modes to explore as well. Aside from the game’s core championship mode, there are time trial and free roam modes. Time trial is standard fare, except you’re provided times to beat to go for a gold medal in each track (aside from beating your own times). Free roam has you go around any of the game’s environments, but with a twist. There are “Z Balls” to collect in each environment, as well as a hidden collectible to find. Also, there are interactive events that can be triggered in each area, which is a great little feature to incorporate here. Then there’s the multiplayer modes. The game supports both local and online multiplayer. Local multiplayer has 4-player split-screen action, whether you’re racing against each other or tackling the party games together. The party games are a blast, whether it be Aqua Moto Hockey, King of the Hill, Capture the Flag, or our personal favorite here, Duckling Mama (think Super Rub-a-Dub from the PS3 launch days…if you ever played that). The online multiplayer strangely only consists of racing against others, with no party games to be found. While the party games are tailored more for the couch multiplayer, it would be nice to get friends together online to do this as well. That being said though, we were able to test out the online amongst staff members here and can say it ran quite smooth. Oh, and there’s a fairly attainable Platinum trophy to be found in this game as well.

I think we're going to need a bigger jet-ski...

I think we’re going to need a bigger jet-ski…

Visually, Aqua Moto Racing Utopia is an incredibly clean and vibrant looking game. Environments look great, with some nice texture work and immensely inviting water. The objects and jet-skis are also well-detailed and appropriately scaled. Characters on the other hand are a bit lacking detail-wise, and have some stilted animations. There’s one odd animation too when landing from a trick. If you’re not fully complete with the trick, the animation doesn’t finish and goes right to the rider and his jet-ski being perfectly leveled with the water. Is it immersion-breaking? Not entirely, but it’s noticeable. On the flip-side, the game runs at a smooth 60 frames-per-second, which is a huge feat. The audio in AMRU is also right-on. Each environment has music that matches the locale very well, and the audio effects do a good job capturing the arcade-style feel to the game. The announcer on the other hand sounds mundane and unnecessary. Honestly, just going to the options and shutting him off makes it better.

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All-in-all, Aqua Moto Racing Utopia is a great game that can easily be recommended to fans of arcade-style racers, and more so, fans of Nintendo’s Wave Race series (since Nintendo still has yet to return to the series within the past 15 years). Zordix has really evolved this series since its conception on iOS, and continues to get better each time. While the $30 price tag may be a bit steep for those on the fence, it’s certainly a worthy game to add to your collection. Between its vibrant visuals, addictive gameplay, and strong local party games, Aqua Moto Racing Utopia is one wave you’ll want to ride.

Overall Score: 8.0 out of 10

A special thank you to the publisher for providing us a review copy for Aqua Moto Racing Utopia! Copy reviewed on PS4.

Enjoy our review? Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter: @GamersXTREME for the latest in gaming news and reviews.

Curious to how our review system works? Check out the About section.

Interview with Zordix’s Matti Larsson: Aqua Moto Racing Utopia, Nintendo Switch, Exclusive New Game Announcement


We just had the pleasure of interviewing Matti Larsson of Zordix about their team’s latest release, Aqua Moto Racing Utopia. In it, we discuss some details about their new game, their thoughts on the Nintendo Switch, and what new games they are working on.

Marcello: First off, thank you for taking the time to answer some questions on your studio’s latest game, Aqua Moto Racing Utopia. Why don’t you start by talking a bit about the game itself?

Matti: Hi Marcello, nice to meet up with you. Aqua Moto Racing Utopia is a really challenging and modern looking water jet ski racing game for TV consoles. It combines extreme speed, stunts and state-of-the art water simulation into fun gameplay.

Marcello: Now this is a series that started on the mobile platforms (iOS, Android), then jumped forward to the 3DS and now onto the PS4, Wii U and Steam. How does it feel seeing this series evolve over the years?

Matti: It is extremely satisfying that we’re finally up in size and quality for all the major TV consoles. Featuring three main single player Championship campaigns, 4-player Multiplayer, 8-player Online, and lots of additional game modes. Utopia provides the biggest high-quality aquatic racing experience of its kind in our time!

Marcello: Roughly how long did it take to develop AMR Utopia?

Matti: I would say between two to three years, with a long polish phase.

Marcello: In the past, tricks were pulled off using touch-screens, but this installment was designed with consoles specifically in mind. How did you guys come up with implementing a trick system in AMR Utopia?

Matti: We wanted to make a game where you really use the controls of the modern consoles. Extreme equilibristic use of controls has to pay off. Even if a game like this should be easy to get into, there is nothing like being rewarded for your skill.

Marcello: So there is local and online multiplayer for the game. For local, we noticed there is a mode called Party Games that is absent from online multiplayer. Any chance that will be available in the near future? I mean, who doesn’t want to head online doing some Duckling Mama matches?!

Matti: Yes, indeed, I would love online Duckling Mama matches. The Party games can actually be developed further as we will add more online features to the game. It depends a lot on the community around the game what will be most wanted.

Marcello: How did you guys come up with the Party Games idea?

Matti: I like the playfulness of Party game modes and think it is important for the evolution of new fun gameplay. Aqua Moto Hockey comes as a natural idea for Hockey fanatic Swedes. But for Duckling Mama, there was this guy in our test lab that showed his all time favorite game with ducklings in a bath tub and we just snapped at the idea of doing something similar. We tried a lot of different ideas, and the party game modes still in the game were the most fun.

Marcello: Visually, the game is incredibly vibrant and inviting. More importantly, you guys were able to hit 60 frames-per-second on the PS4. Was that a difficult task at all? Were any sacrifices made from initial development to get a smooth framerate in place?

Matti: It was really hard, since we got great artists that want everything to look its best. We had to chose the right level of graphical detail and look into everything that may affect performance.

Marcello: Now the PS4 and Steam versions are currently available, with the Wii U version still in progress. Any time frame for that version’s release? Also, will there be any Wii U-specific functionality?

Matti: We started off the project working on a Wii U version only. Then it became apparent that we needed more funding and also that PS4 was the best seller. It will be hard to do Wii U specific features like 5 local players and keep the same look. We’ll try to give the Wii U version a special feeling, since we can do some more tuning of the game and tweek things in the gameplay even further.

Marcello: Now I have to ask, with the Nintendo Switch releasing in a few months, what are your thoughts on the console? Are you guys going to be (or are currently) developing for it?

Matti: Now we’re aiming to combine our back-to-the Wii U work with preparations for a Switch version. We’re always trying to target new consoles like Switch with interesting games, a bit like a mini Ubisoft.

Marcello: Any chance we will be seeing AMR Utopia releasing on the Nintendo Switch? This way we could be riding the waves anywhere at any time.

Matti: I’m inviting investors and/or publishing partners to come along for that. There are so many things we’d like to do and it would make sense to get what we feel is a great game out to an audience that is so good for it. It has been a tradition for us from the start to support the Nintendo platforms.

Marcello: AMR Utopia has an Easter Egg in Sunshine City’s “Leisure” mode that I won’t ruin for those who care to explore (that of which I found by joking around). Are there Easter Eggs in every level or only that particular one?

Matti: Yes, in every venue there is at least one red Z ball you can jump and grab that will trigger a unique experience. Sometimes things to play around with are dropped from the sky, sometimes a fun joke is made in an interactive scene. Playfulness is again something I think is important; even if this game is serious fun racing to begin with it opens up for a free exploration water world experience.

Marcello: Are there any new projects in the pipeline for you guys at the moment?

Matti: We got a very exciting new game in the pipeline. Snow Moto Racing FREEDOM. A unique snowmobile game where you can race in large open snowy landscapes choosing your own path, of course filled with breath taking stunts, Snow Cross arena competition and lots more. Snowmobiles are huge here in Sweden, and in the north of the U.S. and Canada, and there hasn’t been a snowmobile TV console game for ages.

Marcello: Is there anything you’d like to add as to why all the readers should give Aqua Moto Racing Utopia a look?

Matti: It’s well-tuned with increasing difficulty, and if you like racing games and/or stunting skill games this is certainly a good pick. A lot of content and game modes makes it perfect for parties, and both hardcore and casual players alike.

It’s really easy to pick up and play – and have fun with – and a lifetime to master for the experts!

Marcello: Lastly, is there any exclusive info you can share with us and the readers here on Gamers Xtreme?

Matti: Yes, we’re working on a new online space action in VR game idea that will appear on Kickstarter. I hope enough people will like it, in that case that will be a lot of fun too. 😉

Marcello: Thank you so much again for your time, Matti! We look forward to seeing more from the team at Zordix.

Matti: Thank you so much. Always a pleasure.

Stay tuned for our review for Aqua Moto Racing Utopia in the very near future.

Exile’s End Review (PS4/Vita): “Average Jameson”

There’s no question that while gaming technology advances, there’s still a soft-spot for old-school style games. Enter Exile’s End: a 16-bit, 2D Metroidvania game where players take controls of Jameson. Add in the fact that Keiji Yamagishi (the famous composer known for his work on the Ninja Gaiden and Tecmo Bowl soundtracks during the NES era) is on board to compose this game’s soundtrack and we’ve got a sure fire bet, right? Well, let’s see how this indie fares.

As mentioned, players assume the control of Jameson, an older, yet much more experienced worker of a mining crew. Contact was lost with a crew set out at a planet and a new crew is sent in to discover their whereabouts. However, things go wrong really quickly, leaving Jameson trying to find any survivors from his crew, as well as the ones already missing. Upon landing, Jameson’s equipment is damaged and will need to find comparable equipment to go about his search. As you explore, you start to uncover a conspiracy that was occurring at the installation on the planet, and things tend to develop more. It’s a standard fare storyline that’s ultimately forgettable, but still passable.

Now, Metroidvania style gameplay is a great start to the idea of the game. But here is where things are not as great as it sounds. Exile’s End does its best to replicate games of its stature, whether it be Metroid, Flashback, Another World, etc. The problem is the game’s slow-pacing. Upon starting the game, Jameson has no weapon other than rocks. Unfortunately, just throwing these to take out worms on the planet is a chore. You have to guestimate the distance Jameson throws the rock, and seems to have a much more overarching throw than expected. Later on, you finally acquire a handgun. However, the gun controls feel really stiff. As a matter of fact, the combat in general is just plain dull and uninspired.

The game is a bit punishing on difficulty as well, and for the wrong reason. The game constantly saves your progress every time you enter a room or area. So should you enter an area with the slightest sliver of health and then die, you will continue the game from the beginning of that room, with that exact health amount. Even ammo or any items all remain exactly as is. While I’m all for a good challenge, this issue could’ve been rectified by just having save rooms so that you’re not forced to stick with your current status in case you screwed up. Also, enemy placements will leave you firing off the screen constantly to ensure they don’t fire at you first.

Throughout the game’s 3-5 hour story, you will explore a variety of environments. Exile’s End does a great job utilizing its old-school presentation and conveying a really great atmospheric feel. Backdrops and foregrounds look really good, where some nice attention is indicated from planet life showcasing in the backgrounds. Whether you’re in the jungle, a research facility or caves, they each have very moody tones to them. Animations are a little on the stiff-end, but completely serviceable. Cutscene art looks quite good though, having a bit of a Ninja Gaiden look to them.

The game does really push atmosphere, and composer Keiji Yamagishi does a superb job lending to a dark soundtrack. No matter the location, the soundtrack really nails each area. It’s great to see such an iconic composer return and still produce some amazing stuff. It’s honestly the strongest aspect the game has going for it. Even if the tunes get a little repetitive due the game’s pacing, they’re still very memorable. Sound effects are also well done. Firearms, creatures’ audio cues, and ambiance, are all appropriate and sounds like a 16-bit era game.

Exile’s End is a solid effort at tackling the Metroidvania concept. The thing is that it’s not all that engaging to keep sticking with. Outside of the great art style and soundtrack, the gameplay itself is just serviceable at best. Die-hard Metroidvania fans may be interested in giving it a go, and fans of Yamagishi-san’s soundtrack will want to experience his work, but players will have to endure the slow-pacing and odd design choices.

Overall Score: 6.0 out of 10

A special thank you to the publisher for providing us a review copy for Exile’s End! Copy reviewed on PS4.

Enjoy our review? Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter: @GamersXTREME for the latest in gaming news and reviews.

Curious to how our review system works? Check out the About section.

Mark McMorris Infinite Air Review (PS4/X1/PC): “Shreddin'”

Snowboarding games in the past decade have been very few and far in-between. Yes, we’ve seen EA reboot SSX (yet still no mention of a new one this generation), and we’ve also seen Ubisoft attempt it with its mediocre Shaun White’s Snowboarding. Developer HB Studios, known for their golf simulator title, The Golf Club, is giving the much needed snowboarding genre a try with their latest title, Mark McMorris’ Infinite Air. Is this the definitive snowboarding simulator?

Gameplay: 4/5

Infinite Air is not your SSX-style snowboarding game, so let’s clear that up right away. Instead, HB Studios aimed to make a physics-based snowboard simulation game. Essentially, it’s the “Skate” of snowboarding games…and that’s a good thing. Infinite Air has players immediately start with a tutorial to get a feel of the control scheme. It starts simple and gets more advanced as that progresses, from simply learning how to turn, to how to do flips. It is a necessary tutorial to have since the controls are all physics-based. Now you may see some comparisons to Skate being made with this game, and again, that’s because this legitimately aims to set that precedent…but with snowboarding. Controlling the boarder feels responsive and fairly smooth, giving a weight and feel that’s authentic to snowboarding.

Infinite Air has you partake in Circuits as the main campaign mode. This consists of four varied events across six tiers. Each event has five objectives that can be completed, whether it be to score a set number of points, pulling off a specific trick, placing 1st in an event, earning a certain grade during a competition, etc. It keeps each event fresh and will test your skills in a variety of areas. Naturally, as you progress up to each tier, the challenges will increase in difficulty. There are different style events as well, whether it be slopestyle, big air, backcountry, etc. Each event style does change up the flow and really lends to keeping things fresh and varied. The final event of each tier has you going up against another famed snowboarder, those of whom can be unlocked.

There are several big name snowboarders to be found here. However, if none of the characters are to your liking, you can create your own character. While the customization isn’t enormously in-depth, there’s plenty of clothing types and accessories to choose from. Not all of these customization items are unlocked from the beginning. You unlock more by completing more challenges in the Circuit mode.

The controls will certainly take time to get a feel for. For example, jumping in this game won’t be a simple button-press. You will have to emulate the jump using the right-analog stick by holding down and then pushing up, or vice-versa (depending if you want to ollie or nollie). Granted, you can also hold down both L2 & R2 simultaneously and release to jump. Timing is important too, because you can’t pre-wind your jump early or too late if you want to get the most air. You can control spins using the L2 & R2 buttons (or LT/RT on X1) and like jumping, you’ll need to time your pre-wind just right to get the most spin. You’ll control the direction of the flips and spins, as well as where to grab the board with both analog sticks. Grabbing the board utilizes the L2/R2 buttons as well. Grinding rails occurs naturally and automatically, dependent on how you land on the rail itself. Is this sounding like Skate’s trick system at all? Again, not to say it’s copying directly from it, but rather incorporating it in similar fashion. After all, it’s an entirely physics-based game, as Skate was. Landing tricks will net you various statuses as well: Buttcheck, Sloppy, Ok, and Clean. Honestly, the trick system is very challenging to grasp at first and will take a solid amount of time. However, stick with it for a while and you’ll start pulling off some sick tricks. There’s an immensely gratifying feeling pulling off a 2160 roast beef flip (that’s a legit trick name apparently) while getting some crazy air. 

Now one of the biggest features that sets Mark McMorris Infinite Air apart from its competition this year (Snow and Steep) is the World Editor mode. This lets you create an entire mountain to your liking. This where things get really impressive. There are roughly 100 set pieces to place on the mountain. You’ll fly the chopper around the mountain, finding spots to tweak to your liking. You can sculpt the snow, whether you want to just smooth it out or grade it. There are a variety of ramps, rails/jibs, buildings, nature and other objects you can utilize. You can scale objects, adjust the height and tilt of them, snap them to the mountain (or have them float above ground if you’d like), and rotate them to any degree. You can even use a ruler tool that gives you an in-depth breakdown of distance, angle degree, width, etc. It has an intricate degree of depth for sure, and one that sets a standard in this genre. Furthermore, you can create your own runs on the mountain for others to try out. This is truly a fully fleshed-out mode. Publishing a mountain gives players an entire mountain of your creation to explore, as well as runs to tackle. There’s even leaderboards for your runs, adding some competition and activity to your mountain. It’s easy to lose hours upon hours creating a mountain that lives up to your imagination.

The World Editor mode is so simple to use and incredibly intuitive.

Additionally, the game does have a traditional multiplayer mode known as Live Ride. This has you inviting your friends onto the mountain to shred together. Unfortunately, during the time of our review, we were not able to test this feature out properly. There is also no split-screen multiplayer support.

The game does have a few issues that slightly takes away from the gameplay experience. First off, when you bail and “get up”, the screen refreshes with you getting back on your board. As opposed to getting you back on track, it literally respawns you right where you bailed. The issue with this is if you collided with the wrong side of a ramp or in between two objects, you will find yourself struggling to get out of that spot. The other issue is a few times I found myself facing the uphill direction when respawning. When this happens, it can be pretty frustrating. However, it doesn’t heavily hurt the overall gameplay experience, and is something that can honestly be patched.


Graphics:
3/5

Infinite Air’s visuals are quite nice and crisp. Environments have a clean, sharp look to them, with nice looking textures. Lighting effects here are solid, but there are some jagged-looking shadow effects on the snow at times. The snow looks great overall, with backcountry snow deforming as you shred through it and snow park graded snow being more compact. Riders animate smoothly as well, providing very believable animations whether carving, spinning, grabbing, or bailing. Since the environment generates, you will notice trees in the far distance popping up. The game does run at 30 fps, but there were a few instances where it dropped to the low 20s. It didn’t impact the control input much, but did take away from visual presentation a bit when that occurred. Interestingly, the developer allowed players to tweak visual settings such as draw distance effect, texture quality, etc. Although, even switching all the settings either to off or low didn’t seem to boost game performance. Despite some technical performance hiccups, Infinite Air is still a nice looking game without question.


Sound:
4/5

The audio presentation is certainly strong in Infinite Air. The sound of the wind as you speed down the mountain, the snow being carved, the board landing after getting some big air…it all sounds like you’re on the mountain yourself. When you get air, the music becomes more subtle to give a more dynamic feel. Even bailing has the music take a subtlety with an airy tone. The soundtrack definitely does a great job keeping you in the experience. Consisting of a mix of rock and techno music, it’s a very adequate selection of tunes that nails the game’s pacing. All-in-all, the audio department is very well done and keeps you drawn into the experience.


Replay Value:
4/5

Infinite Air’s title has the word “infinite” in there to convey the sense of seeing endless things on the mountain. Whether it be your creations, other’s creations or just seeing what the game procedurally generates before editing a mountain. While the game’s online mode seems to rely on inviting a friend to your mountain, and no public matchmaking, this limits you a bit in this aspect. Despite that though, between the game’s Circuit mode, browsing runs others make, tackling Daily Challenges, or creating sweet mountains, there is plenty here to keep you coming back for quite some time.

Overall Score: 7.5 out of 10

Mark McMorris Infinite Air clearly aims to be the Skate of snowboarding games, and certainly does a great job achieving that. What’s here is a snowboarding simulator that is very skill-based and challenging, but incredibly engaging to keep coming back to. Despite a few technical qualms, this is a much needed snowboarding game this generation. Snowboarding fanatics, as well as fans of Skate, will definitely want to give this a go. With the great amount of content, challenging yet gratifying trick system, and amazing World Editor, this is certainly a mountain worth shredding on. Hands-down, this is snowboarding’s answer to Skate.

PROs:

+ Skill-based, realistic trick system
+ Plenty of variety
+ Appealing visuals
+ Strong audio
+ World Editor is sublime

CONs:

– Occasional framerate dips
– Respawning is wonky
– Multiplayer doesn’t have public matchmaking

A special thank you to the publisher for providing us a review copy for Mark McMorris Infinite Air! Copy reviewed on PS4.

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