At this time of the year winter sports are all the rage, and with the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, we've been able to watch quite a bit of Snowboarding - an event which many consider as not being real sport, but we doubt they'd say that to six-time Winter X Games gold medallist, Shaun Palmer.
Technically Shaun Palmer's Pro Snowboarder is very similar to Tony Hawk's - infact, it's just like a skateboard on snow, using what would appear to be a very similar engine, physics and play modes require you to pull off tricks.
As with other Activision titles such as Tony Hawks, there's a good mix of music, which is well suited to snowboarding, including Alien Ant Farm, Static X and Shootyz Groove along with several other tracks. Graphics are also impressive, with plenty of snow spraying up leaving a trail behind your boarder. Structure also appear solid and very lifelike, and you can get a real feel for speed as you hurtle downhill past ski lift supports and trees.
A number of gameplay modes are included, such as Career, Freestyle, Palmer X, Push and the oddly named Horse, and are playable in both single player and split screen modes.
The biggest downfall with the gameplay is that you start at the top of a big snow covered hill, and, end up at the bottom - might sound fine, and to a point it is, until you miss one of the objectives that you need to pass, and you slide past, and have no way of getting back up the slope. This makes gameplay very annoying, and somewhat of an up-hill (or should that be downhill) struggle.
Once you've learnt the courses and location of the objectives, you'll find that it does become quite an enjoyable and somewhat addictive game. It's just a shame that it's not quite as enjoyable when you've passed a sign or box for the 17th time and want to throw your dualshock pad across the room.
Shaun Palmer's isn't a bad title, and it's a good attempt at snowboarding - indeed it's better than many which have gone before it - but it's not quite up to the likes of SSX Tricky, and the few annoying gameplay issues generally let down the game.
A worthy addition to Activisions 02 range, which will be popular with extreme sports fans, but to everyone else it could seem that snowboarding isn't as much fun as sports in the 02 range such as Tony Hawk's Skateboarding, or Mat Hoffman's BMX.Overall score: 7 out of 10
Recommended Price: £44.99
Available: NowBuy Shaun Palmer's Pro Snowboarder PlayStation 2 from Amazon