1080 is Nintendo's other extreme sport game next to Wave Race 64. There had been a few snowboarding games before, but Nintendo showed the world what they could pull off with this game. Like Wave Race's water physics, the notable thing about 1080 is in it's snow textures and how it behaves. But the game wasn't as easy to get a hang of for some, due to a high learning curve.
Don't get thrown off by the unforgiving learning curve. What you have here is a genuine downhill snowboarding game, and when you have game made by part of the Wave Race dev team, you know there's something special about it.
The game was worked on by part of the Wave Race dev team, so there are some similarities. Character models look similar, and of course, since there's no water to demonstrate, the attention is put into snow, and the behavior it has as you ride down the slopes. You get the "swoosh" sound as you steer and guide your boarder down the mountain, and you can see particals of snow get left behind as tracks from your board. Snow behaves as you would expect in real life, and that's the technical achievement 1080 brings to the table. No wonder it was unrivaled until the creation of SSX (which doesn't give me the same feel as 1080 does)
Again, we'll go with presentation. The game has everything strung together very well. One thing I like alot is the character and board selection menu before starting a race. You pretty much get to select all your necessary tools in a ski lodge. You aren't looking at a menu with 2D sprite images of the characters. They're each doing their own thing. Kensuke Kimachi just sits by the fire, Dion Blaster's playing a game of pool, Rob Haywood sits on a bar stool, and Akari Hayami and Ricky Winterborn are up on the second floor just chatting. This is my favorite part in the presentation, and everything else, again, is strung together pretty well.
This is the part where people may tend to be thrown off, and that is the game not going easy on you as you really, I mean REALLY, need to get a good hold of the controls. Steering is easy, but making the right tricks and all the while making sure you land perfectly straight up, is rather tricky, and you'll no doubt make a ton of mistakes and mess ups as you do so. Fortunately, there's a training mode where you can hone your speed down the slope, or your tricks on the half pipe. After words, you can try trick attack or contest if you wanna show off some skills, or you can simply do a match race, time attack, or multiplayer, with only up to two players. The game's got the basics, but compared to today, some gamers may be wanting a bit more (I felt this way too, but that doesn't stop me from playing it)
Like F-Zero X, some of the tracks are compressed, and the soundtrack composes of a mix of techno pop and some metal. Basically, the soundtrack has stuff you would think seems fit for a snowboarder. Some of the tunes you may find to be a bit obnoxious and annoying, while others that are more heavier or rock based, are sure to be awesome, especially the tune that plays on the Mountain Village stage. Intense, and pretty cool, too. In fact, the game kinda does the same as F-Zero X when you first turn on the game. You get a blast of some awesome metal guitar, and some rather muffled vocals, but you may not care enough to actually wonder what the heck the guy's saying.
1080 is the second game in Nintendo's (small) series of games in the extreme sports genre, with Wave Race being one of them. The game's high learning curve is the one slight drawback to the game, but it is easily possible to overcome, and as soon as you got the hang of it, then have fun shredding down the mountains.