Dark Summit (Xbox) by THQ

Dark Summit (Xbox) by THQ Box Art

Release Date
November 15, 2001.

Average Overall Score:
7.30 / 10

Overall, this game is a lot of fun to play, period. I started with the normal practice missions, then slowly worked my way to ?trying?"

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Tuesday, October 2, 2001
Friday, May 18, 2001

User Reviews

Score: 73
Overall User Average: 7.12 / 10 (73.0%)
Gameplay User Average: 7.00 / 10
Graphics User Average: 7.50 / 10
Sound User Average: 6.38 / 10
Date reviewed: April 19, 2003.

Overall: Dark Summit's a unique take on the snowboarding genre, and has some great ideas, not to mention some original gameplay. The overall package just lacks a certain depth that keeps this game from really staying with you, and from challenging you, especially as you get farther in the game. There's a lot of hinting and touching on the additional features that would have made this game even more interesting, like character building, more unique equipment, or variable difficulties on goals, but they're never truly implemented into the final product.
Radical's done a great job of thinking outside of the boundaries when it comes to snowboarding games, and hopefully the next installment of the Dark Summit franchise will deliver the layers and depth that can truly make this game shine.

Gameplay: You start on the lower mountain, finding and conquering short goals to gain lift points to get higher and higher on the mountain, discovering the keys to getting your frozen butt to the dark side of Mt. Garrick. At the same time you'll want to pull off tricks as often as possible, as they'll give you experience points that you can use towards getting new boards and new outfits. The mountain is massive, with tons of shortcuts that gain you access to experience point bonuses, new tricks, and the mission booths you'll need to get you precious lift points. While you're not picking and choosing your mission at the start of a level, you can choose which goals to head to on the mountain, and whether or not to use them -- thankfully, Radical Entertainment has also included a Restart Mission command so that you can keep retrying a specific mission without having to board down the entire mountain to find it again.

The game gives you a variety of tasks, from chasing specific characters, racing away from rangers and other no-gooders (that's the closest the game gets to actual racing), to trick and environment based challenges. Can you pull off a 3x, 4x and 5x combo in order, using the terrain park? How about finding the cave that Ranger Rick is hiding out in? Maybe you'd rather just launch the big gun and run away from a huge avalanche... in Dark Summit, it's free form, but still very goal-based. You're never trying to just hit score totals to get to another level -- you're exploring, finding goals, and winning in order to unlock special sections of the game, and ultimately get that O'Leary, and good.

Controls are simpler than most snowboarding games -- Naya adjust to the terrain as she lands, so you just have to focus on getting her upright. She grinds on rails like glue, and you'll be hard pressed to make her fall off them once you've got her locked on. Pulling off tricks is as easy as pie. Tricks are broken down by a grind button, a grab button, and a handplant button that's only used in halfpipes. You can tweak tricks with the triggers, and there's a selection of special tricks at your disposal by doing key combinations. The cool gimmick in Dark Summit, however, is that you only get new tricks by finding them on the mountain, hidden at the end of remote grind rails, or high off of jumps. If you want to do some of the more elaborate tricks in the game, you'll have to do some exploring.

If there's a fault to the game, it's that it hints at a more complex experience, but never really delivers. There are only four boards to unlock, and it's unclear how they affect how your play, other than that they're of a general "better faster more" design. You'll always auto-adjust to face the ground correctly, so while doing tricks is fun, it's a little too easy to feel like a constant challenge. Also, because you're unlocking equipment through totals, not through specific trick bonuses, you're actually rewarded for playing badly and having to repeat the game's missions, as that means you'll be racking up more points as you repeat combos and tricks. The developers have chosen to put the challenge in the individual goals that you uncover rather than structure the whole game around a certain skill level, but it would have been nice to have had a bit of both.

Once you've gotten the hang of the game, you'll find yourself breezing through it faster than you expect -- it's not a short game by any means, but since replay value isn't the same as a racer or a trick-based game (you'll find yourself replaying specific missions, but rarely entire levels), it doesn't have the same limitless appeal of many games of this type.

Graphics: The characters look great in-game, and animations for the tricks are completely unrealistic and fun to watch, fitting in with the mood of the game completely. There's a mixture of natural and manmade environmental design going on in the way that levels are built, making the mountain itself a great place to visit, even if you'd rather not live there among the mines and the atomic -- never mind. Spray painted logos spatter over the ice, and huge pylons and rafters, chunks of cement and destroyed structures pepper the view, most of which you can grind, jump over, or race through. The physics for objects in the game are the most impressive factor. Hit a snowman, and his parts will tumble down the hill alongside you, depending on how hard you've hit them, and the slope of the mountain. Giant signs will explode and scrape down the hill as you bust through them, and electrified fences will smash open as you rush through them -- it's all done very well, with the realistic physics adding an extra gravy sauce over the meaty destruction.

The down side to all of this is that there's some serious draw in going on with major objects, and if you peek up beyond what's directly in front of you, you'll catch buildings popping in piece by piece as you approach, sometimes right over your head. Sadly, as you get faster boards in the game you'll find the draw in becoming more apparent, since you're approaching objects at much faster speeds. There are some framerate issues as well -- while the game generally keeps to 30fps, you'll find that it starts to chunk down, or stutter much too often while you're playing. It's never bad enough to affect gameplay, but it's definitely noticeable, and at times, annoying.

Sound: I'm still impressed with the soundtrack for the game -- while it's not hugely varied, it's filled with enough depth to hook you in. Maybe I'm just a junky for Drum n' Bass, but I loved the music choices for the game, and appreciated how the music would chime in, depending on what you were doing, or the stress of the mission you were on. The electronic touch also lends itself to the trick sounds, which have a keyboard chirp sound that's the ultimate pat on the back for pulling off insane combos. Voices in the game are pretty solid, still in the world of "this rocks, dude!" but not quite cheery enough to get annoying. The talking is kept pretty slim from the main characters, which is welcome, and most voices are passing skiers and rangers, who are actually pretty funny. I never tired of hearing a ranger chide "broken bones never heal!" when I raced by him at high speeds.

Suggestions: Maybe spend more time making the enviornments a bit better like amped's amazing hills. Also try to make the goals a bit more interesting maybe...... AND PLEASE GET BETTER MUSIC IN THERE!

Overall: 80 %
Gameplay: 80 %
Graphics: 80 %
Sound: 80 %

Megaherz *RAGE*
Date reviewed: July 5, 2002.

Overall: Ok i don't played Dark Summit for a while but i am able to say a lot about it. First of all, i am a good reviewer for games and sometimes when i chat with someone, they asked me a question about snowboarding game and its look like that : Hey dude who better between Amped freestyle snowboarding, SSX tricky and Dark Summit. My answer is always Amped, probably because Dark Summit lose his fun in about 4 straight hour. The game in general is too short, but of course we can play with other character. Let talk about the story mode ? What i love in the story mode its that we can snowboard in a really big mountain with chair lift at some part of the mountain. What the story here, in fact you are a girl that was banned for snowboarding in that mountain ( curiously you can see skier but no snowboarder, we call this : discrimination ) and she want a revenge over a army's general but after a couple of hour you found something more suspicious ( you found that the dumb general is contacting aliens ) and through that you must find bomb and accomplish some challenge : some of them are too hard to complete especially the upper trick that was so tough that i was unable to do one of them. In conclusion the story mod is dumb and the challenge with the upper trick are too tough .
Gameplay: We can laugh here because the normal trick are so easy and repetitive and the upper trick are too hard. In my mind it's not a snowboarding game because this type of game must have a lot of trick to do and don't have a stupid story that look like a movie in the B section. Also some of the challenge are so stupid like the one with the turkey, oh my god why i must knock off a good turkey ?
Graphics: What i should say about them ? I couldn't say there was nicely done but there were just ok, not original ( its look like toons ) and not special ( we can see better on gamecube ) but we like them either. I'm already talking about graphic in the game but graphic also take part of the video and for the type of the graphic here the video are one of the best, so perfectly done.
Sound: Sound ? Its too repetitive because its always the same song and for the voices of the character, its is ok but sometimes they have voices that look like children one.
Suggestions: I need a better story or no story because its ruins the game. Also to have better sound, you can use the features of the x-box ( custom soundtrack ) and of course easier upper tricks.

Overall: 60 %
Gameplay: 60 %
Graphics: 50 %
Sound: 60 %

Date reviewed: May 14, 2002.

Overall: Overall this game is pretty good. If you like snowboarding, and like to have missions, this game is for you.
Gameplay: The main appeal of the gameplay is the snowboarding. Instead of a normal just for fun type of snowboarding, you are on a mission to save the world, or at least your mountain. The snowboading is excellent, though.
Graphics: The graphics are pretty incredible. I like it when a game takes advantage of the xbox's abilities. This game does that and more. The frame rates are smooth and fast. All xbox games should push the xbox at least this much.
Sound: The sound isn't as good as I hoped. I have a kickass Dolby 5.1 system and the sound suffers on it. It doesn't push the limits at all and the music is annoying.
Suggestions: Fix the sound and add more levels.

Overall: 90 %
Gameplay: 100 %
Graphics: 100 %
Sound: 50 %

Date reviewed: April 4, 2002.

Overall: This is one of my favioite games for the Xbox. The moves rock and you can get some massive air. I've heard some people complain that it is not realistic enough but, I don't care. I want to be able to pull off the incredible in an impossible world. The story line has a X-Files feel and can make for some fun challenges.
Gameplay: Gameplay is great. It just has a real good feel and balance. You'll be landing some serious tricks like a pro in no time. I can't count how many times I yelled "SWEET!" the the first 15 minutes of practice. Some of the more serious tricks can be a little button intensive, but you don't have to learn them all at once. If you forget a button combo just pause and you can review the moves right in the menu. One more great thing is you never die! You can restart challenges over and over if necessary! Multiplayer is not very nice. The screen is split vertically and you feel like your snowbarding with tunnel vision.
Graphics: I think this is one of the best looking games on the market. It just looks so real. Your character really seem alive on that board.
Sound: Sound effects are good. The music is kind of a funky bumpin' thing, with some spooky undertones. It's cool for a while but, then you wish that the game would use the sondtrack feature of the Xbox. Ah... if only I could be pullin' some phat air to the sound of my own nasty jams!
Suggestions: Equiptment upgrades for the other characters. At least one male character to be able to start the game with. Have a horizontal split option in multiplayer. And I can not say it enough SOUNDTRACK FEATURE!!!

Overall: 90 %
Gameplay: 80 %
Graphics: 90 %
Sound: 70 %

Date reviewed: December 13, 2001.

Overall: It was the first snowboarding game for the Xbox (I love snowboarding games) but that's the main reason why I bought it. The game itself is OK, but it could definatly use more work. If you are looking for a snowboarding game, go get Amped or SSX Tricky.
Gameplay: Like I said, the game is OK when you first play it, but it gets a little repetetive. The controls are pretty easy to figure out, but take a couple days to get down really good. But most important: There's only 2 (two) multiplayer games. C'mon!
Graphics: I give a five for the graphics and the detail they put into everything like the junk laying around on the slope and the shading on the snow. They could have added in some more videos I really only counted about 3 or 4.
Sound: The sounds are pretty cool, like when you push people over and stuff like that. I completely agree with
Stephen on the music because I have a Dolby sound system too, but I just stick my big screen on split and listen to some MTV.
Suggestions: -There is SOOO much you guy's could have done with this game but it seems like it was put out quickly as a snowboarding filler.
-There are so many multiplayer possibilities I don't have room to type 'em.
-Get rid of the goo pits and mines, seriously, the junk and the alien stuff is already too unbelieveable for a ski/snowboarding mountain.
-WHAT THE #&@$ HAPPENED TO THE OTHER AGENT'S GEAR AND SNOWBOARDS!?!? Upgrading is the ONLY reason for trick points, after that there is no reason to do trick except for challenges.
-Why weren't all of the agents available at the beginning? The only reason I can think of is because the other agents don't have gear to earn.

Overall: 60 %
Gameplay: 70 %
Graphics: 90 %
Sound: 70 %

Date reviewed: December 8, 2001.

Overall: I really like the chalenges. The only thinkg that I would change is that the jump codes are a tricky to get a handle on.
Gameplay: Easy to play once you get the hang of it. Its a good game, but it is still not SSX Tricky by EA Sports!
Graphics: The graphics are really good. The big problem here is that when you go out of bounds the game puts you back and a big Dark Summit logo pops on the screen. You cant see where you are going.
Sound: Sounds are good....all the other characters talking all the time can go...we really only need to here the capatian and his cronies and then when we have a challenge our guy.

Overall: 80 %
Gameplay: 60 %
Graphics: 50 %
Sound: 50 %

Date reviewed: November 29, 2001.

Overall: I think this game is pretty cool... It's a little bit unrealistic... But then again if I want realistic snowboarding I'll drive for 30 min and be at Canyons or Snowbird...

The landscapes are cool -- While your racing down a slope you'll go under a bridge or you'll see something up on a cliff -- and you'll be like, "How do I get there?" and if you play for awhile -- You find a way to get there...

The game is a little slow to start -- and if you just go through it looking for a game that you can just wiz through this one is probably not for you -- The game presnets challanges and goals... and you have to go for them or it just wont be any fun...
Gameplay: The game works they way it says it will -- the controls are easy enough to get the hang of and it remains challanging to preform the maximum number of stunts before landing...
Graphics: Awesome -- While it's not DOA3 -- the graphics still rock... The animation is funny at times... and the envirnment looks awesome...
Sound: Sound is good -- But the background voices get old after awhile.... Other than that it's good...
Suggestions: Improve your multiplayer game on the next one. Autosave would be nice -- Just save it at the bottom of the slope every time... Ummm... That's about it...

Overall: 80 %
Gameplay: 80 %
Graphics: 90 %
Sound: 80 %

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