Review by Joshua Kodis
I like snowboarding. I also like video games. Every once in a while someone decides to combine the two. Back in the 90’s we were blessed with titles like Cool Boarders, ESPN X-Games Pro Boarder, and the legendary Amped series. Then for some reason, it became difficult to develop a fun snowboarding video game. We ended up wasting money on titles such as SSX and that god awful Shaun White game. Then there was nothing. Silent years where no game developer dared to mix those two ingredients together again. Until now, we were given a new game to slash digital pixel pow pow. Infinite Air: Featuring Mark McMorris hit the store shelves earlier this month, and here is my review.
It sucks. You can save yourself some time and stop reading right now, because that’s all you really need to know before you go and waste your mother’s hard earned cash. However, I will provide my reasons for those of you who need extra convincing. My biggest complaint with Infinite Air is its controls. Gone are the days where you could push a single button and stomp out methods and ridiculous tricks that you would never be able to pull off in the real world. Infinite Air has you pulling trigger buttons, pushing analogs, releasing everything, then pulling triggers and analogs again mid air. Controls flying all over the damn place. I have to think harder about my tricks playing Infinite Air than I do with my actual snowboard tricks. When I stomp a trick playing the game, I don’t even know what the hell I did. Anything cool I do is completely accidental.
If you can make it past the controls, the game lacks any content. I honestly think the game developers built a mountain generator, gave you the tools to place a few jumps and shit, and then decided to call it quits and let you make the damn game yourself. It gets boring really fast, since there really isn’t any purpose to play other than just cruising down the mountain. You can create and share runs with all your sucker friends who were dumb enough to buy this game, but you’ll get frustrated with the strange physics. Placing a jump or a rail is difficult due to not knowing how far you’re going to launch off the feature. You’ll hit the first kicker on your run and fly over everything else you created. They really did mean “Infinite Air.” It’s just ridiculous.
The best thing about this game are its sound effects combined with the one thing Infinite Air does well, and that’s just carving down the face of a mountain. Maybe the developers were soul-carving purists? The sound of the wind and snow as you cut lines was noticeably better than previous games I’ve played. You might — and I do stress might — get a few hours of enjoyment out of this game before you question what else you could have spent your moms money on. My advice is to wait for a price drop, which probably isn’t too far off. Or, wait and see if the next game coming out in December, Steep, is any better.
Until then, maybe skip it and watch some videos instead. Or go snowboarding. It’s winter now!