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Cool Boarders
Platform:  Neo Geo
# of Players:  1
Developer:  Uep Systems
Publisher:  SNK
Features:  
Ratings:  Everyone
Memory Req.:  
Info:  http://www.uepsys.com
Visualize Paperboy, backwards, on snow, with no papers. That's Cool Boarders Pocket. The diagonal angle and the way your character doesn't stop moving seem to have come directly from the NES classic, with a little bit of Skate Or Die thrown in a far as jumping over obstacles is concerned. There are two different modes available when you start the game, and two different characters. It doesn't really matter which character you pick, because the look and act exactly the same during gameplay. The first mode allows you to pick one of about 30 set courses, with many more that you can unlock by finishing the ones that you get initially The courses start out hard soon become next to impossible. You can't steer when you're crouching, you have to crouch in order to jump, and you don't have enough time to decide if you want to crouch and run into a tree or stand up and fall down a hole.

All that aside, the game has some redeemable qualities. The graphics are decent, the colors are nice, and the second mode (Survival Mode) has lots of replay value. Every time you play, the layout of the level is different. Obstacles include falling trees, wolves, seals, firepits, rivers, cliffs to fall off of, boulders that fall on your head and crush you, boulders that roll down the hill and crush you from behind, and giant teddy bears that appear to be wearing clown suits. The games could have been much better if the giant blocks of ice weren't included, because they're impossible to avoid in some cases, and when you run into one, you get stuck bouncing off of it, and it often kills you. The different surfaces that you board goes over adds to the game, with ice speeding you up and dirt slowing you down.

Overall, I would give the game a mixed review. I didn't like it at first, and it had some annoying problems, but the Survival Mode grew on me, and in the end, I enjoyed playing the game.


Jesse Labrocca

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