I've been a fan of extreme sports games since Skate or Die on my NES, and while there have been a number of really great skateboarding games on the App Store, the available snowboarding titles have left something to be desired. X2 Snowboarding is the first snowboarding game I've played on my iPhone that does a great job of combining all the vital components of a good extreme sports game.
Most immediately noticeable in X2 Snowboarding is the cool cell shaded graphics that encapsulate the entire game. All of the different snowboarders you can choose from look really cool, and both the snow and weather effects are well done. When you're doing good in game, multi-colored snowflakes explode from your character and when you wipe out you often kick up a huge puff of snow. Even with all this visual flair, X2 Snowboarding runs at a really high framerate on my iPhone 3GS, although because of the limitations of preview builds I wasn't able to test performance on previous-generation devices.
The game is controlled with a mixture of tilting to steer and using a number of different on-screen buttons. When you're airborne, or on a rail the buttons disappear and a trick interface shows up as an on-screen snowboard with different tricks you can perform depending where you touch. For instance, nose or tail grabs are executed by jumping off a ramp then touching the top or the bottom of the snowboard.
Doing tricks fills up your "joost meter" at the bottom of the screen, and using this stored up joost you can go in to a slow motion adrenaline mode for a brief period of time, rewind back before a wipe out, or even boost to fly off ramps. The system works really well, and any mistakes you make are easily undone thanks to the rewind function.
X2 Snowboarding is a really in-depth game with many different mountains with different courses, hidden coins to find on each course, and snowboards you can buy with those coins. Each of the riders have different statistics, there's a replay system, and much like other extreme sports games you can string together massive combos for huge point totals. X2 Snowboarding has already been submitted to Apple and is expected to be released very soon. We'll take an in-depth look at the game as soon as its available.