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Snowboarding with Mozart

Snowboarding with Mozart

By November 15, 2014 Tabletop & Video Games No Comments

What makes a game great?

Games can be fun, thrilling, and even beautiful… but to me, a great game has a gripping story line, unforgettable characters, and a stellar soundtrack (though not necessarily in that order).We’ve got games like Kirby Triple Deluxe where the game is fun and the soundtrack is AMAZING, but the characters have very little depth. That said, I would still call Kirby Triple Deluxe a great game and a must-have for the 3DS. Deciding precisely which games are good and which games are great is a road paved with subjectivity.

But, in all honesty, deciding doesn’t have to be difficult. You can make the call. If you really like Mortal Kombat, I’ll listen. It’s not my favorite game in the world, but if you give me some solid reasoning as to why you think Mortal Kombat is the best thing since the creation of chocolate, I’ll listen. You may not change my mind, but that’s okay. Gaming is such a personal thing.

Now, I’m here to change your mind about something.

The Nintendo 64 didn’t exactly have the largest game library ever. Sure, it had timeless classics like Ocarina of Time and Paper Mario, but there are only a few games outside of those well-known classics. There’s ONE game that is continually, criminally overlooked. It may not be Super Mario 64, but it’s still one of my favorite games for the N64.

It’s called Snowboard Kids 2. A generic name, I know, but hear me out –and afterward, you can tell me about how much you love Mortal Kombat.

Snowboard Kids 2 is an incredible game. It’s a racing game, but it’s very unconventional. These sort-of caricaturized children grab snowboards and race down mountains, through towns and all over the place. And as if snowboarding wasn’t fun enough, they’ve added battle items — so these kids are snowboarding while throwing bombs at each other. Real safe.

I know, I know. This sounds like one of those throwaway games you’LL see in the $5 bin at GameStop. But stick with me. Snowboard Kids 2 isn’t the most innovative, the most beautiful, or even the most enjoyable game in the world. But there is a reason why I play it and still play it to this day: Snowboard Kids 2 has the best soundtrack in the world.

Okay, maybe it’s not as good as Chrono Trigger’s soundtrack, but it’s still ridiculously good. So while you and your buddies are snowboarding down sidewalks and jungles (yeah, it’s as weird as it sounds), you will be blown away by the music. Why would a game like Snowboard Kids 2 have a soundtrack like this? I honestly don’t know. But I DO know that it’s fun enough to keep me happy while the synth is melting my face. Snowboard Kids 1 isn’t NEARLY as awesome. There’s something about 1 that reminds me of a garbage dump — it’s probably the graphics. Snowboard Kids 2 is the perfect answer.

The graphics are adequate. And when I say adequate, I mean that I can play the game without feeling physical pain, unlike Snowboard Kids 1. Yuck. But the graphics are fine in Snowboard Kids 2, and it’s fun. The storyline gets pretty hard to follow near the end of the game, but you wouldn’t play, say, MarioKart for the story. And yes. Snowboard Kids 2 has a storyline. You probably shouldn’t ask.

While you’re chewing on the graphics and wondering what the hell is going on with the story, you’ll find that the redeeming factor is the soundtrack. Sure, snowboarding is fun and all that. And throwing bombs at your friends is always fun. Obviously. There’s just something special about playing a game because of the music, though.

Wait until your snowboard kid hits a big jump, and right when you land your front flip, the musical climax delivers the punchline. And everything seems okay. Maybe you procrastinated on your homework. Maybe you forgot to pay the bills. Maybe just got fired from your CEO position at Burger King’s corporate headquarters. It doesn’t matter. The Snowboard Kids 2 soundtrack is something out of a fairy tale. Everything just… starts to make sense. You start to enjoy the quirks of the characters; you discover you have a go-to trick when you hit the big jump. The game just gets more fun.

Snowboard Kids 2 is a fantastic game. It’s clever, nostalgic, and even a little bit fun. I personally play it because the music actually affects my mood. When the climax of Sunny Mountain hits me, I’m in a state of refined euphoria. I’ll take that and run with it.

So what are you waiting for? Doesn’t your Nintendo 64 library need a new addition? Dust off your old system, pray that your joysticks aren’t completely busted, and play a game that deserves some attention.

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