Alpine Racer 3 Review

Alpine Racer 3 Review On PS2

Namco's Alpine Racer 3 is a game that you have probably seen in the arcades you will have noticed the very large cabinet and most importantly the skis. Stand on them and Alpine Racer simulates racing down a mountain face on two planks of wood, well plastic. It does everything very well too, but can Alpine Racer 3 challenge SSX Tricky for the winter sports gold medal? Well, not really. Alpine Racer 3 is very loyal to its arcade roots, as are most of Namco's releases such as Ridge Racer. That's the main problem there simply isn't that much to keep you coming back for more.

Alpine Racer 3 contains four modes of play Extreme Winners Cup, Slalom Mode, Cross Race Mode and Time Attack. Extreme Winners Cup is the main mode here and you will race down a series of courses against three computer controlled opponents. Things don't seem to go very smoothly though, if you hit the circle button you can pull of a decent trick, you can also punch your opponents. This is where it all goes wrong, when you hit your opponent they will speed away in to the distance. So I would say that this move is not recommended as it is completely flawed due to the sever punishment you receive in terms of speed. Unfortunately that is not the only bad feature, you will quickly notice that you have very little control over the outcome of the race, winning will be more of a matter of luck rather than skill. As you approach a large drop off a mountain face you would have thought this might be the time to pull off some huge trick combos? No. As you take off the camera spins round to show a side on shot of your skier, then you will see your skier pull off one trick even though you might have pressed the correct buttons to pull off a combo. It is just not possible to do this in Alpine Racer 3, you are limited to one trick per jump and a pretty lame one at that.

Alpine Racer 3 Review  @ www.contactmusic.com
Alpine Racer 3 Review  @ www.contactmusic.com
Alpine Racer 3 Review  @ www.contactmusic.com

The other modes Slalom and Cross Race are basically variations of the Time Attack mode, although cross race consists of four players in total, three AI opponents. Unfortunately Alpine Racer was born in the Arcades and it wasn't meant to come to the consoles in the same state. You have to remember that haring down a hill while stood on two pieces of plastic that resemble skis can not be brought home. The game just doesn't stand up on its own it is really unfortunate that there hasn't been a little more time and effort gone into the game play of home version.

Graphically Alpine Racer 3 does a good job making you feel like your character is hurtling down a mountain on skis or a snow board. Everything looks great the snow sprays convincingly when making turns and the slopes themselves look very good. Sound is pretty good until you hear the commentator he doesn't pay the slightest bit of attention to what you are doing which is very annoying. You can be skiing down the slope as you should be right on course and the commentator will announce that you will hit a glacier, firstly there is nowhere else to go and secondly he repeats himself over and over again. Everything here is pretty much acceptable though, well apart from the commentator. The main problem is with the game play.

With no power ups of any sort and no scrapping Alpine Racer 3 doesn't have the same appeal as SSX Tricky, you get much more for your cash and it is much more fun. If you have SSX and you want a change or you fancy skis instead of snowboards you should consider Alpine Racer 3 but otherwise there isn't really any need to bother, unless you are a total snow freak.

5.0 out of 10

 

Contactmusic