As the gaming world continues to evolve, and the game systems continue to have more and more functionality, the world comes closer and closer to no longer needing anything more than excellent hand dexterity to replace any physical activity whatsoever. Case in point – Amped 3 for the Xbox 360. Taking their latest releases of the Amped series to a whole new level, the latest installment of this snowboarding masterpiece has convinced me that I no longer need to even consider buying a snowboard and slide down even the smallest hill. No… I can do it and have lots more fun doing it from the comfort of my couch.
Amped 3 brings in a new twist from that of it’s predecessors. Where the previous games took a long time to learn and were very cumbersome and frustrating until you learned all the nuances of the controls (if you did… I never did master Amped 2), Amped 3 is much more friendly and seems geared at the average gamer instead of the expert. Many of the tricks that took so long to learn in previous editions come with much more simplistic combinations on the controllers, which is good for the average joe. As far as playability goes, you literally can turn it on, push some buttons and be going. This is a far cry from the past where you could spend hours learning some of the more basic tricks the game had.
As far as the storyline, it’s a bit different as well. Basically, you are part of a team trying to go on a trip, but are accused of losing the money to get there. It’s up to you to become a master shredder, win the money back, and get your team on their trip while at the same time getting back into their good graces. The plot is pretty fun, and full of a lot of vignettes that are mixed in with the actual gameplay. A lot of it is funny, but at times it does seem to break up the playability of each task as you work toward gaining the respect of your crew. There are several hundred challenges to tackle in Amped 3, and it’s interesting how in this version you don’t simply have to complete one to move on to the next. Instead, you can skip around a little by simply taking a snowmobile ride from task to task. This is a good feature, although it does leave the game a bit disfuctional for those that have always enjoyed the “start-middle-end” tasking of their gameplay. Through seven mountains, insults, crashes, killer looking new moves and stunts galore, Amped 3 takes you through the entire snowboarder experience.
Any way you look at it, Amped 3 is an exciting, fun gaming experience. Every aspect of it’s game play, from designing your shredder’s physical characteristics right down to the actual speed and grit of each challenge, is enjoyable. They lose a few points because the graphics are only mildly better than what we previously experienced with Xbox 1, but that’s really being picky in the grander scope of things. The bottom line here is that if you like snowboarder type games with both playability and attitude, then Amped 3 is as good as it gets.
Amped 3 is a rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for Crude Humor, Mild Violence, Suggestive Themes.
(**** out of *****)