LGR – Snow Wave Avalanche Review [Extreme Wintersports Pt.2]


[typing] Extreme Wintersports… Even though Head Games made a whole bunch of
utter trash over their short time on Planet Earth, this one managed to stand
out as one of the trashiest, largely in terms of its abysmal performance and lack of any compelling gameplay whatsoever. But believe it or not, there’s more to this
dysfunctional family, and here’s the proof: Snow Wave Avalance, once again developed
by Hammer Technologies, but *this* time it’s published by
Intense Racing Into Reality®! At least this 1998 American
release I have right here is! Otherwise, it was released as “Snowboard Racer”
in the UK and various parts of Europe, as “Tignes Snow Wave” in France, and rereleased as “Tech Deck Snowboarding”
in the US in the year 2000. Seeing as some of these came out
*before* Extreme Wintersports, calling this a “sequel” isn’t exactly true. It’s actually the original game that Extreme
Wintersports was based on in the first place, although it may as well be a sequel
for reasons you’ll see soon enough. And, yes, Snow Wave Avalanche here also remains
sealed for the better part of two decades with no signs of tampering. Inside the box, you get
some things – including: A CD in a sleeve, one INTENSE registration card and a technical troubleshooting
supplement page, and the manual, which looks more impressive on the
outside than it is actually on the inside. It’s just a bunch of black-and-white text – more than anyone needs – but I applaud the effort! Starting the game up, and already *this* is
an improvement over Extreme Wintersports. Unlike that, this is installed and starts up perfectly
with no problem on each machine I tried it on! Huh! After a few static logos, you’re provided a
language selection menu and a spinning skateboard that changes patterns to match the flag
of each country chosen. This feature alone is an incredible work of art
compared to the entirety of Extreme Wintersports, and I grow more confused. After this, the game proceeds to play a demo
in the background, and some music off the CD – – and *this* time around, it’s an actual musical
composition, with vocals and everything! [“Nothing in the World” by
Matamala plays; ska music] ♪ I would rather jump from the Empire State /
Like a superman ♪ And the game demo in the background is even
running decently! What the heck is going on?! This is the *earlier* game! How is this so much better than Extreme Dickholesports and we haven’t even gotten to the main game yet? The unexpected quality increase continues with a menu filled with legitimate gameplay options! The options menu is also a
*real* options menu this time, letting you change details, volumes, and even listening to the soundtrack,
featuring music by the band Matamala. It even includes a text file on the CD
so you can read the lyrics while listening! And what nice lyrics in a game rated for all ages… Anyway, once you’ve selected a
gameplay mode, you select a surfer. And even though it contains several of
the same models as Extreme Wintersports, it also gives them names, stats,
additional skins and an animated 3D preview. And WHAAAT?! You can
actually select an opponent, too? Yep! Here you actually have the option
to not only play against the timer, but against your own ghost recording
or a gaggle of AI opponents. Actual competition in a
sports game! Imagine that! Finally, there’s the gameplay itself! Aaaand… it’s alright, I guess… It’s about the same. I mean, it’s still an improvement, seeing
as it no longer runs like month-old butt, but even with the better frame rate and
control response time, it’s still noting special. You race downhill against the timer,
yourself or artificial racers, and along the way, you can perform
stunts and tricks if you want to, which in some modes it’s not
important, but in others it is. The controls are still annoyingly convoluted
for pulling off said stunts and tricks, but at least it’s a bit easier here
with the game running as it should. Heck, I was actually able to make some
neat-looking stuff happen – TWICE – and I didn’t feel absolutely dead inside afterward. Still, it gets repetitious pretty quickly, seeing as there are like
three tracks in the whole game, and even with varying stats, the
snowboarders all feel basically the same. And while the Extreme Tour mode
provides *some* structure to the races, there’s nothing to unlock along
the way, as far as I could tell. And whenever you don’t win a race,
ALL your progress so far is lost and you have to start over. Still, I can’t help but admire
Snow Wave Avalanche because *this* is
downright competent, almost. It’s still not exactly fun, and it still calls you a loser when you fail, but it works, dang it! And like it’s quote-unquote “successor,” it doesn’t glitch out every five seconds and make a slide projector look like
a next-generation gaming powerhouse. Plus, there’s no nonsensical branding
and totally useless pro shop area that does nothing but get in the way. And like I said, it has a soundtrack! It’s not exactly my style of music,
but, I mean, it’s not bad! Pretty much the *only* thing that
Extreme Wintersports has over this is the inclusion of skiing and snowmobiling, but that’s not saying much,
seeing as those were the modes that played the worst
and glitched out the most. The question is how did Head Games take
a mediocre snowboarding game like *this* and somehow manage to make it even worse, and turn into one of the most awful
winter sports games in existence? Well I have a theory. And that is that Head Games was one
of the single worst game companies to have unfortunately ever existed. You see, Snow Wave Avalanche was one of the earlier titles from the
newly formed Hammer Technologies, based out of Madrid, Spain. This was a group of ambitious programmers and artists from Digital Dreams Multimedia and NoriaWorks Entertainment who previously made games like Jurassic War and Speed Haste. With years of experience under their belt, Hammer Technologies
created the DIV Games Studio, a programming language and game creation
system meant to help simplify the process of creating games utilizing the latest
3D graphics and sound capabilities. The first title created to show off what
it could do was Tie Break Tennis ’98 followed up shortly by Snow Wave Avalanche, both of which the developers
were vocally quite proud of and hoped they would help spawn a
resurgence in new game development in their home country of Spain. However… Enter Head Games Publishing, the lowest of low-budget arms of Activision, who at the time was still
pretty new on the scene and were content making
unofficial Quake add-on packs. But then, with games like
Cabela’s Sportsman’s Challenge, Remington Top Shot and Zebco Pro Fishing, they discovered the lucrative world of
sponsored content and branded video games. Combined with a distribution deal
with stores like Walmart and Kmart, these games sold incredibly well due
to the low cost and brand recognition. And even if the gameplay wasn’t
up to snuff, who really cared? Head Games started snapping
up licenses left and right and would cut corners any way they could
in order to get a game out as quickly as possible, sometimes as little as a couple of months. And as fate would have it, there was
the fresh-faced Hammer Technologies vying for distribution deals
for their new Spanish games. So Head Games ended up paying for the
rights to rerelease and rebrand their work turning their tennis game into Extreme Tennis, and their snowboarding game
into Extreme Wintersports. But while Extreme Tennis made the
transition more or less unscathed, Extreme Wintersports, heh, was a total bastardization
of Snow Wave Avalanche. Once Head Games haphazardly
tossed out the original menus and replaced them with worse ones
to include Arctic Cat and K2 branding, and slapped some snowmobile and
skier models on top of the snowboarders, then thew in a bunch of
crappy full motion video to complete the package
and fill out the rest of the CD, what you’re left with is a game that
barely functions and runs like garbage. They took a game that was pretty okay and then, in the least
amount of time possible, restructured it to be an
advertisement for their sponsors. And I’m guessing they got rid of things
like the AI opponents and extra modes because their piece of junk
snowmobilers and skiers didn’t play well together with the rest of it. Which is evidenced by how *broken*
this stuff is in Extreme Wintersports when it comes to collision detection
and overall control over your movement. Man, I already *really* disliked
Head Games before this, but seeing what they did to Snow
Wave Avalanche here is just abysmal. And don’t get me wrong,
I’m not exactly offended or anything, since it wasn’t a particularly
good game to begin with. But the fact that they found a
game that actually kinda worked and yet still managed to take a hammer to it, and smash out *any* remaining
competent design or personality, is just astonishing. What a pile of snowballs! [lumbering orchestral music] And if you enjoyed this episode of LGR, perhaps you’d like to see
mine on Extreme Wintersports. It’s a bunch o’ junk. There’s also plenty of other
videos on the channel, as well as new ones coming
out every Monday and Friday, so stay tuned if you’d like. And as always, thank you very much for watching.

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100 thoughts on “LGR – Snow Wave Avalanche Review [Extreme Wintersports Pt.2]

  1. All these snowboarding games reminds me of this snowboarding game that I played on my dad's old computer. I believe it was on WildTangent.

  2. Hey Clint, if you're looking for more winter snowsport games to review, please consider checking out Supreme Snowboarding (borderzone in the US). Released in 1999 it's an unsung gem of PC gaming with some pretty impressive graphics for its time. Combined with the varied tracks and deep trick system, its one of my favourite winter sports games to date.

  3. Seems like Head Games needed some help making games. If only they had a practice mOde for programming. That or just some beta testing… or effort not to butcher a functional game. Or just not be Head Games.

  4. 5:08

    For a split second there I thought you were going to talk about how NASA made Extreme Wintersports and the economy plummeted because of it.

  5. What a fascinating story! So "Extreme" series weren't just shovelware, they were OK titles turned into sponsorship shovelware. I loved the info about the spanish dev team. Great work LGR!

  6. gearhead garage was pretty good for it's time, of course it's horrendously outdated now and doesn't work on new pcs very well.

  7. Holy crap! Div Games Studio!
    That software taught me to program games back in the day– when I was only 8! =P
    I was later hired on, by a games publisher in Germany, for my platformer games, but that's another story!

  8. Very interesting LGR. I bet there are a ton of stories like this, probably applicable for consoles too like the Wii.

  9. You really need to review that copy of Extreme Paintbrawl. From what I hear, it uses the BUILD engine, albeit in a… not very good way…

  10. Hey LGR did I see a bunch of MechWarrior games around the 31 sec point? I'd love to see a review of those games (pretty big Battletech fan)

  11. very nice, man. I enjoy your reviews, year after year. please, can you review the game of my childhood, very beautiful and atmospheric Lost Eden? is kinda strange that you never mentioned it, it was quite unique dos game. thank you and good luck!

  12. Mr.LGR. Sims 4 vampire game pack is coming out on 24th of january i hope you are also going review that one ps you are a awsome game reviewer:)

  13. I'm not sure why "extreme dickhole sports" made me laugh for two solid minutes and I actually had to go back to listen to it again. But, it did.

  14. I just went back in time to 2009 and saw your Extreme Rock climbing video, whoa boy the quality of videos have shoot through the roof

  15. I want to see a review of Speed Haste based on the name alone. Ditto Jurassic War.

    Those names are like something me and a friend would make up as pretend names for games, or something you'd see in the background of cartoon where they play games.

  16. Hey just wondering, did you ever play the game Secret Agent by Apogee games, as that was the first plat-former that i remember playing and the first episode was shareware just like so many classic dos game

  17. Nice to see you shed some light on these older unappreciated games that would otherwise never see the light of day these days. Even if they suck ass through a straw, it's nice to be reminded that they existed.

  18. Holy shit, I had a CD with Jurassic War and Div Game Studio at the time, I never managed to create anything playable with that thing

  19. 0:35
    Ooooooh, is that Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine! I recently found a copy of that at a Value Village. I remember playing the demo back in…2008-2009 over and over again. I freaking loved that game even though I never had it. I'd love to see you cover it and maybe some other Tomb Raider-likes.

  20. wait this was released as Tech Deck Snowboarding???

    like the little thumb guys?? fuck me I haven't heard of those since I was a kid!!!

  21. Dude, Snow Wave Avalanche was one of those games I owned and played as a kid but had no idea what it was years later. Thanks for helping me figure it out. Shame the CD doesn't work too well anymore.

  22. I am interested in running this game.

    Are you running this in an actual computer of the time or is it an emulated/virtual system?

  23. Every piece of entertainment has it's rip off counterpart: transformers has transmorphers, gran turismo has forza, ssx has snow wave avalanche.

  24. Low I had this game at the time it came out xD friends wher playing cool wintersports games on console, we had pc I got this 😛 remember that white blue box, looked cool at the time. I fondly remember the girls with the g-strings.

  25. Thanks for showing this! I´ve been searching all over for a snowboard game my girlfriend used to play when she was little, and the only clue I had was that a female character came from Alaska.

  26. Hi LGR! What videocard did you use to play SnowWave Avalanche? Can't play it on a Voodoo 3 3000, It' super choppy (like 4fps) and I don't understand what might be the problem! It's a shitty game and everything, but I have a lot of memories of this! Do you have any tip? My specs: Voodoo 3 3000, Athlon XP 2000+, Sound Blaster Live! Platinum, 1GB Ram (vcache fixed). I remember playing it on the same videocard at the time, but I might be wrong. 🙁

  27. I don't get it. They just made a new intro menu for the game, with the shop and all. How the hell did they manage to completely break, destory the game by doing just that?.

  28. TrickStyle review, please? I was surprised to see that it even supported Xbox 360 controllers last time I played it.

  29. I'm almost 3 years late for this but: Div games studio wouldn't allow you to make 3D games outside of the so called "mode 7". Div Games Studio 2 allowed you create Quake-like 3D graphcs (now called mode 8), but none of them allowed you to do polygonal graphics like the ones in the snow games you showed.
    Dive Games Studio game during the time when polygonal graphics were starting to become mainstream, but it was aimed mostly at making 2D games.

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