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  Winter Olympics will be held in Beijing in 2022, less than a year away. With covid still raging on, even with vaccination being available, it’s likely that not a lot of us will be able to enjoy it in person, and even if we can we still have to wait another ten months. So what can we do, while we wait? We can play some of the classic winter sports video games. Those are as following.

1080º Snowboarding (1998)

Little exploited, the genre of snowboarding has at least the chance to be worthily represented by 1080 ° Snowboarding, a title which has made the joy of all Nintendo 64 owners. Today, its graphics are logically very dated, but to at the time, they impressed a lot of people. The competitions offered the challenge of keeping the right direction and mastering your snowboard, which were all particularly successful elements. However, we will especially remember the frenzied games with four players thanks to the split-screen mode of which the Nintendo 64 had the secret.

Cool Boarders

The early days of Cool Boarders were very interesting. The game was realistic, the races fascinating, and the gameplay simple, yet fun. He laid the foundations for many extreme sports games and gave birth to a real saga that became a reference in the world of snowboard simulations. The second and third opus are more or less at the level of the first episode with some improvements but also surprising regressions. Over time, the franchise has lost its appeal and the Cool Boarders 4, released in 1999, is the latest attempt to relaunch by the studio Idol Minds.

NHL Hockey

Better known simply as NHL, the EA Sports ice hockey franchise began in 1991 with NHL Hockey. Subsequently, the titles will take a format that will be taken up by the majority of publishers: the name of the franchise to which is appended a number evoking the year or the current sporting season. A year before the release of the first PlayStation and Saturn versions, NHL 96 introduced the representation of matches in true 3D on PC. Note that unlike FIFA or NBA Live, the franchise has never attempted axonometric representation. With the release of NHL 2004, EA Sports redesigned the franchise by introducing Dynasty Mode while gameplay benefits from a much better management of the puck and its rebounds. For its part, NHL 09 is distinguished above all by the fact that it is the last version to be released on PC. Similarly, NHL 11 is noted for introducing Hut mode, which added an element of fantasy sports in the game. It allowed players to buy and sell players using hut 21 coins and create fantasy teams to compete against each other. NHL 16 introduces a particularly impressive new graphics engine – Ignite -. Finally, NHL 19 is sometimes considered the best of the series thanks to more nervous, more responsive controls.

SSX

Prior to the release of Steep at Ubisoft, SSX was considered one of the best references in the world of video game snowboarding, alongside Cool Boarders and 1080 ° snowboarding. For many fans, she even remains a model that the years of absence are not enough to eclipse. Launched in 2000 with SSX, the franchise quickly gained a small success, but it was not until three years and the arrival of SSX 3 that we can truly speak of a phenomenon. We praised the technical achievement and the thrills that the descents provided. Of course, it was not really a question of simulation, but whatever the bottle, as long as we have drunkenness! With SSX version 2012, the developers looked at the plots using satellite photos borrowed from NASA, just that. The game has revived the franchise, but obviously not enough since no other sequel has yet been announced.

Steep (2016)

Developed by Ubisoft Annecy, Steep is an “extreme” sports simulation taking place in the French Alps, recreated for the occasion by the studio. The player moves around freely, as in a classic open world, using the various means at his disposal. Skiing, snowboarding, paragliding, and wing suiting are his tools to discover the alpine massif and perform from simple descent to the most daunting of treks. Helped by real professionals in each discipline (athletes or equipment manufacturers) and by a freestyle team for motion capture tricks, Steep provides very precise sensations without making things too complex to master.

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