I recently picked up a copy of Sonic Adventure for the Dreamcast. I got home, popped it in and waited to play. And waited...and waited. Apparently I had not looked at the disk before I bought it because it had more scratches than my arms when I try to give my cats a bath. Anyway, to make a long story short, I exchanged it for Rippin Riders. It was the only game that was the same price, $5.00. When I got home, I decided to give it a whirl. Let me tell you, they should have paid me to play that game.
Where do I start? O.K, lets start with the game play. The game does not offer much in the way of alternate paths at all. You pretty much just fly downhill trying to get to the end of the course. This would be fine if they offered a better and more plentiful variety of tricks. But alas, you are limited to your basic three or four jump tricks. This makes the process of going downhill extremely tedious. It's just no fun to snowboard downhill and try to dodge things like sheep, and boulders falling from the sky. Making matters even worse, these "rippin riders" don't seem to respond well to the directions you point them in. You will find yourself constantly twiddling with your analog stick to get them to face in the right direction to avoid careening off of a cliff and thus ending your ride.
The graphics are O.K at best. There is really nothing special about them. The backgrounds (mountains, houses, etc.), are pretty but there is nothing spectacular about them at all.
All of this would be bad enough, but to make matters EVEN WORSE, the game is actually quite unnecessarily difficult. Beating the fist course is damn near impossible because you will never get to the end before the clock runs out. You can get more time by pulling off tricks, but like I said earlier in the review the tricks suck and you find yourself just trying to make it to the end.
As far as sound goes, that is mediocre as well. It's your basic mix of techno, dance, etc. I cannot fault the game for this as many snowboarding games feature this kind of music. I guess it makes the game feel more "extreme".
This game is extreme all right. Extremely boring. The Dreamcast is arguably one of the most underrated systems out there, and perhaps it would have survived to see happier times if not for lame games like Rippin Riders to pollute its library.
Naturally, games like this draw comparisons to games like the SSX series. SSX succeeds where Rippin Riders fails because of the fact that you don't have to beat the courses to enjoy the game. There are so many tricks and maneuvers to pull that you could never get bored with it. Rippin Riders is not like this at all. One or two plays and you will start to wonder when the fun begins.
I would not recommend this game to anyone. Avoid it like you would anthrax. I give Rippin Riders a 2/10.