Making a molehill out of a mountain. Review

Whiteout Info

genre

  • Sports

players

  • 1 - 2

Publisher

  • Konami

Developer

  • Konami

Release Date

  • 01/01/1970
  • Out Now

Platform

  • PS2

rating

Making a molehill out of a mountain.

When I was about 8 years old, my mom put me on a soccer team. Unfortunately, she

put me on the 9 year-olds’ team, because I was on the cusp and she probably figured

I’d learn something from the older kids. The result was that everybody was bigger

and stronger than me, knew each other a year longer and had that much more training

than me, as I had never kicked a soccer ball in my life.

For

this reason I can almost sympathize with Konami’s Whiteout for the PS2.

It is an ill-conceived game placed in an arena full of power-players like SSX

Tricky
and Freekstyle. Underdeveloped by Vicarious

Visions, Whiteout‘s inadequacies are accentuated by the fact that it

tries so hard to bite the styles of EA Big’s bad ass games, particularly Freekstyle.

Thus, not only does Whiteout lack the power or creativity behind it to

realistically compete, but it has no identity of its own. This game is a flawed

clone.

And what’s with the name? Whoever named this game Whiteout (which is

also the name of the world’s most famous correction

fluid
) had a sick sense of masochistic humor. No wonder Vicarious Visions’

logo isn’t to be found on the box, but only in the very back of the instruction

booklet, because only a sucker would want to own up to releasing this stinker.

A snowmobile racer at heart, Whiteout‘s basic play mechanics are solid,

at least. You press accelerate, you go. You press turn, you turn. So far, so

good. You go over a hill, and your guy even sort of jumps, and, while in the

air, you can do tricks! And then you crash, because the hill was too small and

you were ballsy enough to try and execute a Can-Can. The main problem with the

gameplay is that there isn’t anything particularly snowmobile-ish to it. The

secondary problem with the gameplay is that there isn’t anything unique to it

at all.

For example: tricks and turbo. In Freekstyle, the two were related,

creating a fascinating play dynamic that led to a Freekout, which could be strategically

timed to simply kick ass on a course. The idea was great, but there is nothing

like that here. You just race and trick and crash and burn.

There

are four game modes: Career, Arcade, Time-trial and 2-player. Thrilling. In

Career mode, you race for cash against other players. More cash buys better

‘mobiles, ‘better’ being a very subjective word. Turbo boosts and cash bonuses

are scattered throughout the courses, giving the game a more arcadey look than

those games it attempts to emulate.

Arcade mode is a little more interesting in that you have to meet certain objectives to advance, like jumping a ditch or getting a certain trick score. What’s so cool about having these requirements separate from Career mode is that you don’t have to deal with them if you want to just race.

Graphically, Whiteout is mediocre. The game’s name (other than admitting

that this game is a mistake and needs to be erased) is apparently based on the

plethora of snow storms which nearly white-out the screen. They don’t look half-bad,

though they don’t do the framerate any favors. The character animations are

plain, the crashes are plain, and the flaming hoops you jump through are straight

out of Freekstyle.

Aurally, the game features two announcers who repeat themselves constantly, a ‘hardcore’ soundtrack, and annoying buzzing sounds meant to invoke the whine of a snowmobile’s motor. The worst feature here is undoubtedly the soundtrack, yet strangely the most fitting. For example, in better games it’s a shame to be rocking out to such crappy music, whereas here…I dunno, it almost works.

Whiteout is a classic example of an underachieving video game. It is

not unique or special in any way, shamelessly biting the style of other, more

polished titles. Erasing this game from your memory is probably a good idea.





REVOLUTION REPORT CARD

0.5
Rating
Playable
Totally unoriginal
Sketchy appearance
Bland modes
Boring gameplay