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Dark Summit

Reviewed by KasketDarkfyre In the tradition of video games that allow you to play an extreme sport, and gives you goals in the process, you'd immediately think of the Tony Hawk games before you would really go too much further. In Dark Summit, you're no longer stuck on the same stage to perform the same goals, but rather you're in a down hill shred fest to the finish in which you have to complete goals to open up other parts of the mountain! While Dark Summit isn't exactly the most polished of sporting games, you'll find that the amount of missions that you have to perform and the locations as well as some of the strange story line is well worth taking a look at. However, once you've been through the game once, you'll find that the trip down the massive Mt. Garrett is nothing more that a test in your skills and patience with repeating goals, and less than stellar sound effects as well as a touchy, if not hard to learn control interface. Those of you who are looking for a break from SSX and SSX Tricky would do well to take a look here, but all of those who are true to the SSX style, may want to spend more time on those slopes, and leave this one at the starting line. -The Game Play- The game play is similar to the SSX games in which most of your points are based off of the tricks that you perform and the combinations that you're able to pull off. But, the twist in this game is that you're not just limited to that format and you'll find that the game offers you a different style of playing through the introduction of goals and missions throughout the mountain! These missions may range from performing simple tricks, to chasing down enemies, and even to multiple grinding combinations, all of which will allow you to pick up extra Lift Points in order to open up the next part of the mountain. Sufficed to say, Mt. Garrett is a huge mountain that has plenty of places and elements that make up a good action/sports game hybrid. With over six different parts to the mountain, you'll find that there is plenty of challenging goals that will await you at every turn. Probably the most difficult challenge that you'll find is with the way that the game handles throughout your quest to find bomb pieces that will allow you to take out the military presence on the mountain. Once you've acquired enough pieces, and earned enough money throughout the game to open up other equipment possibilities, you'll find that your journey is made just a little easier and a little more stylish with each passing acquisition! Multiplayer options are also available to those who are looking to play through the game with a friend, but they are limited to simple events such as racing and trick styling. Once you've played through those few events, you'll find that the game really doesn't offer that many draws for the gamer, and there really isn't a need for the multiplayer other than to fill up some disc space! Aside from all of these little options, needless or not, you can play through the game up to five times in order to complete the game with all of the available characters after you've defeated the game once. However, this little extra really isn't necessary simply because the game doesn't change the way that the goals are set out, and you're not allowed to change out your characters outfits and boards once you've reached that point. All in all, the game play here is impressive enough with the goal and mission system, but tends to fall flat on the replaying value. When you've played through the game once, you've found all of the game play options that you're going to find, and there really isn't much sense in playing it again unless you have nothing else to play! Control is probably one of the biggest downfalls that the game has to offer, and that is because the use of the analog sticks is nearly impossible to work with if you've never played a game of this type. The tricks are generally easy to pull off once you've learned what all of the buttons do, but you'll find that if you're just slightly too slow with the way that you're releasing your jump button, you'll wipe out quicker than you can blink! Different tricks and how you perform them is easily explained through the games multiple missions, but you'll find that even once you have these down to a science, the fact that you need to hold a button and then input a button combination in order to perform a special trick borders on ridiculous. This challenge with the control is just something that you can't really sink your teeth into, and if you're looking to get the best equipment early on in the game, you really need to have a good idea on how to use the control interface and get yourself through the game. Veterans to games such as SSX shouldn't have too much of a problem learning all of the inconsistencies with Dark Summit, but beginners and rookies to these slopes will have nothing but a hard time and in the end, a very frustrating ride! -The Visuals- Visually, the game suffers from a bit of grainy textures and in some cases, apparent if not blatant jagged edges. Although the mountain is extremely large and you have several different areas, you'll find yourself asking a single question: Where in the hell did all of this litter come from? When you're speeding down the mountain, you'll find that there is so much stuff in your way, that it seems as though it were put there to really give you an instance of showing just how much garbage could be thrown into a game for eye candy! Throughout the stages, you'll find that there are plenty of things to look at, but once you're two or three hours into the game, you are honestly looking at the same thing over and over depending on what part of the mountain you're on. Add this in with the very few cut scenes, and you'll find that the game doesn't seem to hold that visual appeal that other Game Cube games do. When compared to the other version of the game, this one seems to suffer the most from rushing rather than actual time spent. -The Audio- Audio wise, the game features a pretty dark and moody soundtrack that has some pretty impressive beats thrown in for good measure. This isn't to say that the music is the best I've ever heard, but there are times that the music seems so light in comparison to other portions of the sound, that it seems as though the mute button were hit, or the volume were turned down! The sound effects on the other hand aren't all that well put together, and you'll find that the strange echoing voices you hear throughout the game coming from other characters attempt to put an echo effect as you would hear on a mountain side, but seem to come out just slightly muted and garbled to the point of not being able to understand what it is they are saying. Boiling all of this down, you may find that the audio, much like the visual, is just about average if anything at all! -The Verdict- Dark Summit is a rather interesting game that suffers in all of the categories and comes out as just an average game to put in your Game Cube. While not the most innovative, the introduction of different missions and goals is a refreshing, although brief, break from the SSX games of simply racing down the mountain! With hard to learn control, sub-par visuals and audio that just doesn't seem to match in a Game Cube game, you'll be hard pressed to find any true reason to pick this game up as a purchase. More of a weekend rental for SSX fans, leave this one for the experts and find something a little more user friendly.

Overall: 7 out of 10

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