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Reviewed: Dark Summit
Author: Michael Ahlf       Date: January 15th 2002
Page: 2

Dark Summit's most obvious competitor is Shaun Palmer's Pro Snowboarder, one of the fast-paced high-action games in Activision's O2 line.  As far as the controls go, Shaun Palmer has a slight edge, but not that much; the only real trouble is switching between the two, because the controls in DS are much slower and deliberate.  Button-mashing just doesn't work, especially since spins and flips need to be controlled and landed much more carefully. 

Meanwhile, Dark Summit goes where Pro Snowboarder fears to, adding in storyline elements and challenges to the game.  The plotline is a bit hackneyed, but understandable; the military has closed off your favorite mountain, and you have to travel over it to get the mountain back.  It's a throwback to the old Skate or Die games from the NES, in that sense.  On the upside, the game requires learning every element, and it's tremendous fun mowing down the skiers and navigating the tight routes down the mountain.

The graphics in Dark Summit are... well, dark.  It's not the clean environment one might expect, with all the radioactive goo and broken equipment around, but then again it's not supposed to be.  Dark Summit is a covert war zone, at night, and the graphics go a long way in setting the game's mood.  The rendering on the character is well done, as are all the environmental effects.  The camera follows excellently, and only gets stuck in severe situations, which is an indication that both the camera setup and level design are merged properly.

The only downside with DS would have to be the sound; when grinding, there's no indication of that except for a blinking word on the screen.  Likewise, the music gets in the way more than it helps, which eventually led to me turning the sound off and throwing a CD in to listen to as I played, pausing only for cutscenes.

As for the number of characters... in the single-player mode, there are just two.  In multiplayer, there are more.  Then again, I found the single-player to be more engaging than the multiplayer because of the game's high learning curve, which makes it hard for new players going against an experienced player to do well enough to not get bored.

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Added:  Tuesday, January 15, 2002
Reviewer:  Michael Ahlf
Page: 2/3

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