At first I did not like Amped3 but I quickly warmed up to it. I owe Amped and Amped2 so I naturally expected to jump into Amped3 with some free riding. But that didn’t happen. Here’s my story.
My copy of Amped3 arrived a week before my Xbox 360 arrived. Since I couldn’t play the game I read the booklet. “Wow! This is going to be the best Amped yet,” I first thought. Not only can you ride the mountains but you can jump on a sled, ride snowmobiles, and even throw snowballs.
As soon as my Xbox 360 was setup and running the first game I planned was Amped3. After you setup your player you are immediately placed in the story. I found the beginning annoying because I wanted to ride the slopes but every couple of minutes I had to watch a silly movie.
You start off in a pink bunny suit and you get to do a quick, short run. I guess this part gives new players of Amped3 a chance to learn the controls. You see movies that introduce you to your crew and you meet a wacky woman. After playing Amped3, or should I say watching the wacky movies, I turned off the game and spent time with my wife. I told her I was now thinking this is probably the worse Amped game. A huge difference from a week earlier.
I started playing again a few days later only to find I was wrong. Amped3 was in fact fun and is a great game. The story mode became more interesting (and wacky) and as you progress through the story you unlock new mountains areas and new mountains. Once unlocked you can spend as much time as you like free riding, exploring, hitting the park, sledding, snowmobile riding, and even build your own park. I was finally getting into the game.
The story mode is wacky but will hold your attention for the 6 or 7 hours needed to complete it (that is, after you get pass the initial start of the story). Once you have finished the story all the mountains are unlocked and you are free to explore and complete the many, many, MANY remaining challenges. Although you can finish the story mode in a day, it will definitely take much more time to finish all aspects of the game.
My favorite feature of Amped3 is the leaderboard. When you win a gold medal on a challenge, you are ranked on the leaderboard which is posted on Xbox Live. This allows you to see how you rank with other Amped3 players throughout the world. It’s a whole new level of competation. I often find that if I don’t place well on the leaderboard for a particular challenge I will re-play that challenge over and over until I’m happy with my ranking. And I’m stoked everytime I place in the top 10 on a leaderboard.
Another new feature of Amped3 I really like are the player stats. I love stats and I review them all the time. With Amped3 you can see how much time you have spent playing the game, the number of tricks thrown down, and the number of crashes you’ve had. You can see other stats as well like how many miles covered on a snowmobile, high scores, and number of leaderboards you are on. And there are many, many stats available too.
Game play is similar to previous Amped games but the controls are easier. I imagine the game developers decided to do this to appeal to more causual gamers and/or to attact the SSX crowd. You still get awarded more points for style but jibbing is much, much easier. You don’t have to press B to start a jib. In Amped3 just land on the object, or snowboard right up to it, and you’re jibbing. Grabs, tricks and so on are determined by pressing XYBA button combinations (XYB for jibs, A will ollie when jibbing).
One feature I dislike is the awesomeness graphics. These annoying graphics are displayed around your character when you reach a level of awesomeness. I find it annonying and luckily the game designers were smart enough to provide a way to disabel the awesomeness graphics. Go to the ride customization menu and select Awesomeness. From the menu you can select the awesomeness graphics to display or you can select “None”. I prefer “None”.
My biggest disappointment with Amped3 is the lack of multiplayer support. I really expected offline, split screen multiplayer support, and I miss the online multiplayer games found in Amped2. It’s a real shame that Amped3 does not have multiplayer ability given the new features like sledding, snowmobile riding, and having snowball fights. These new features could make for hours of multiplayer fun.
By the way, there is a stupid sled game that you can play on some mountains that is multiplayer but it’s a really stupid game. You and a buddy are on sleds that are attached by a rope. The goal of the game is to get the most bodily damage. I don’t know why the game designers put this in there. It makes me think maybe, just maybe the plan was to have multiplayer support in Amped3 but got rushed since it is a launch title game. Personally I would have rather waited another 6 months for Amped3 just to have multiplayer support.
If you enjoyed Amped and Amped2 then you will really like Amped3. Just get pass the first 30 minutes and you will start enjoying the game. I also recommend playing out the story mode as quickly as possible. Afterwards you can focus on all the other challenges, building your own park - yes, I forgot to mention that. In Amped3 you can design your own park! Way cool - and exploring the mountains. The leaderboards on Xbox Live is a great new feature, but the lack of multiplayer support does suck. Still, it’s a great game and a must buy for those who loved Amped and Amped2.
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