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.