When I finished Tony Hawk American Wasteland I traded it in for Amped 3. When I got Amped I played though the first level and really liked it, but about a week later I got COD2 and that began to occupy all of my time
Anyway I got stuck on a really hard part in COD2, I spent all day friday and saturday morning just trying to get past this part. I decided to just put it away for a little bit and play some Amped 3.
I popped in the game and played late into saturday night where I finished the story mode, sunday I went back and got golds on all of the challenges for the "Snow God" achievements effectively 100%ing the game
I really enjoyed this game, I found it just as enjoyable as I did PGR3, DOA4 and even COD2. If you've played previous versions of Amped you have no idea what this game is like. This is a completely different game then the past amps... things this game has in common: 1. it's about snowboarding, 2. it's called Amped... that's about it.
On the Xbox there's really only been the Amped and the SSX series for snowboarding games, I've you've played these games you'd know that SSX is really off the wall with things that go beyond video game fantasy into physically impossible. Amped has always been more grounded and sort of positioned itself as more of a snowboarding simulator. Amped 3 fits itself squarely between these two. The characters are a bit cartoony, and the things you can do while not possible in real life are still quite believable. Amped 3 reminds me a bit of the Tony Hawk series. There are also a lot of cut scenes, A LOT of cut scenes, and the game even makes fun of it self for having so many cut scenes. They're not boring though, they all uses different animation styles and are quite entertaining for the most part. The story is pretty lame but it doesn't take itself seriously either.
The graphics are also top notch, it's difficult to see from the screen-shots but EVERYTHING it normal mapped and zooming up on someone you can see every last detail of their clothing, the characters are almost as detailed as what you'd see DOA4 but with a bit more of a cartoony look (bodys aren't proportioned realistically, plastic looking skin etc). The scenery is pretty good, the snow effects are fantastic but the building and trees and other objects are just meh. They're not bad but they're nothing special. It's what I'd expect from a release title.
Once you get the hang of the game it's not very hard, if you can get the hang of adding "style" to your spins and flips (only push the analog mid way in the direction you want to move, and stars will appear next to your score as it sky rockets) you're golden.
I'd recommend this game to anyone who's looking for some quick fun, looking at the timer on the stats page after I 100%ed it I'd only played for a total of about 15 hours. Which would make this a good weekend rental (if your weekend's clear). Also I noticed Best Buy (and probably other stores) now offer it for a mere $40 which I think is a really good price point for this.
I might write a full fledged review if more are interested, in the mean time we can use this as the official help topic for this game:Tips and Tricks:
-The Terrain builder is your friend
. Normally I don't even look at the custom track or park builder in these types of games, and I didn't give this one much thought until I realized that you could place objects anywhere on the mountains. So basically if you need help completing a challenge you can add objects (jumps rails etc) to help you out! This is really an AWESOME feature of the game. For instance I was having trouble getting a high score for a challenge and there was a big dead space. So I added a whole bunch of jumps, the extra jumps let me do more spin tricks which boosted my score so I could get the gold for the challenge. Some other examples of good uses for the terrain park builder: Adding a rail or two before the rail in a "Media call out (Rails)" challenge. This will give you a head start on the score needed for gold. Add a jump on top of a jump for any of the spin, grab, areal, or flip media call outs, this will give you twice as much air and twice as much time to get extra points for gold. Add a rail to a magic circles, kitty clean up, or samurai slalom to help you keep on track. For instance there was a samurai slalom where I kept missing the gate I needed so I put a rail that lead straight through it, I just had to aim for my rail and it carried me right through the gate. These can be a little tricky to place because you can't see the gates or other objects while your in the park builder so you need to guess where they go.
-Use the park builder or snowmobile to get to hard places.
The park builder includes a "start point" flag that will allow you to specify a lift drop spot wherever you like. if you're having trouble reaching the location of a specific challenge while on your board simply go into the park builder and drop a custom start point where you want to be... it's really pretty simple. Similarly if you over shoot a challenge marker and can't get back up the hill simply hop on the snowmobile and ride it back up, it's great in a pinch and faster then the park builder if you simply overshot it.
-use the triggers AND the jump button for Samurai slalom
holding the a Button you'll tuck down for a jump and you'll go faster. Pulling both triggers you'll tuck down further then you do holding A and you'll go even faster then if you were holding A the problem is while holding the triggers you can't turn very well. Also while holding A you power up hills, and that doesn't happen with the triggers. When doing the samurai slalom you need to move as fast as possible but also make some pretty sharp turns. A good trick is to hold both the triggers and the A button while doing them, when you need to make a sharp turn simply let off the trigger opposite the direction of the turn and you'll carve at a faster then normal speed since you were already holding A. Also because you're holding A you'll power up hill instead of relying on momentum. some of these you can get buy just holding A the whole time, but most of these you'll need to use the triggers if you want gold.
-Look for challenges near drop points
The one thing everyone seems to ask in the GameFAQs forum is "I'm missing a challenge I can't find the last challenge I need for the snow god achievement" The creators of this game were evil (they even tell you this in the story mode) they don't include any sort of list of challenges so basically you have 14 different areas with about 20 dots a piece marking challenges and no list or even a % complete per area, Some challenges are extremely close to the drop points so when looking on a map you can't see them, even when zoomed in. you can look at the stats page ("My Stash" on the main menu) and find out how many you have complete out of the 240 something challenges in the whole game. Basically if you find yourself with only one or two left zoom in at every drop point and move around to try to see if there are any near by challenges. I ended up with one left and found it under a drop point in the first mountain. It took me longer to find the bugger then it did to complete the challenge.
-Use the stats page
In the main menu under "My Stash" there's a stats page you can use this to see how much more you need to do for the various merit badge achievements as well as how many challenges are left for the snow god achievements.
-Tilt the game
Scoring over 1million points "tilts" the game and tilting the game at least once is the only way to earn the last two park builder objects (a helicopter and a lighthouse). The best place to do this is on the Gorge drop point on the 3rd mountain (Viva Valle) When you start there's a rail to your right, ride that rail and get some big air, which if you launched straight will land you on another rail for more big air. If you make the most of it you can easily score over 1 mill in just a few tries. I've even heard of some of the better players scoring close to 100mill in this area.
-Know the moves available
If you pause the game, go to "rider info" then "bag of tricks" you can see a list of every move you've unlocked and how to do it. a good piece of advice is the more buttons you have to push the more points the move is worth. A lot of the rail challenges are difficult to score enough points so you might want to memorize some of the 3 and 4 button moves for those. Also if you have enough air use the LB and RB during your spin to do barrel rolls and other types of special spins, combine this with 3 button grabs and some style on the analog stick and you'll earn MASSIVE points. I should note that when performing an air trick you can hold the analog right through when you land, as long as you let go of the grab you wont crash, just make sure you're actually going to land level (this excludes RB and LB spins and flips). Another thing when going for combos is to use the butter move between jumps (like a manual in Tony Hawk), and if you're loosing balance in your butter do quick jump 180s until you get to the next jump or rail. You can also use quick jump 180s while on rails to boost your multiplier, but they're difficult to land, and not really worth it on shorter rails. Finally when you're on a rail be sure to keep the balance indicator in the green, when it's off to the red on either side you're moves will be slower and worth less. Also if you're jumping from rail to rail you can't jump as far if your balance indicator isn't in the green.