Alpine Racer 3
by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Fancy a high adrenaline racer with a difference? If so then Alpine Racer 3 could be the game you've been looking for. Taking to the piste either using skis or on a snowboard, the game offers an exciting, speed filled challenge. Alpine Racer 3 is one of those titles that's easy to get to grips with but difficult to master.
The game comes with five modes to enjoy. Cross Race, Slalom, 1 on 1 and Time Attack are all one off events and have little depth to them at all. The Extreme Winner's Cup is where you'll be spending most of your time. Choosing one of the initially seven available characters, who all have there own distinctive look and abilities, you'll take on a series of challenges and along the way you'll earn money and will be able to purchase better equipment for your character. Money is awarded to you depending on your time, tricks performed and jumps made. You'll also lose money for falling so it's best to try and stay on your feet. The races can either be raced with a snowboard or skis, the choice is upto you. Should you fail to win one of the races you'll have the chance to pay for a retry. If you decide not to retry, the game can be saved and you'll have to start from scratch. However if you pick the same character again then any money you accumulated will be available to spend on your character.
The biggest disappointment with Alpine Racer 3 is the quality of the graphics. The textures and aliasing (jaggies) are absolutely appalling and the game looks like it's a first generation title rather than one that comes out two years after the PlayStation 2's release. Throughout the game you'll encounter races where avalanches occur and these have been nicely done but on some slopes there are bright lights all over the place and the angular nature of the slopes causes any shadows cast onto the ground to look hideous. As with all racing games a fluid framerate is paramount and Alpine Racer 3 does not disappoint here. There races feel fast, very fast at times which adds to the addictiveness of the game.
There isn't too much verbal content within the game and what it there isn't subtitled. This isn't a problem though as it's just comments from your racer such as when they're in the air, mid-trick as it were, and when they cross the finish line you either get an ecstatic comment if they win or a moan if they don't. There is also some comments from the racers when they are selected prior to a race but again these are only small and have no bearing on the gameplay. All information is shown in text though and therefore the game is fine for deaf gamers.
Alpine Racer 3 is purely an arcade experience and fans of arcade racers will find this one a very addictive title indeed. You just wish that the graphics had been much improved and the game actually looked like it came out recently and not look like it came out two years ago which is what it does. If you liked the arcade version of Alpine Racer then you'll be pleased with this PS2 version.
Overall Game Rating: 7.9/10 If you're looking for a race experience with a difference Alpine Racer 3 could be the game for you.
Deaf Gamers Comment: There are some comments from your character that aren't subtitled but this doesn't harm the gameplay and won't take away from your enjoyment of the game.