Look at the size of those things! (By which we mean the noses, of course.)Snowboard Kids
is an action racing series produced by Atlus
and Racjin debuting in 1997 on the Nintendo 64. While it didn't make much of a splash compared to similar first-party titles
, the cute atmosphere and unique character designs were part of what helped it gain enough recognition to spawn two sequels - Snowboard Kids 2
and Snowboard Kids Plus
(the latter released only in Japan
for the Playstation).
Years of inactivity passed until 2005, when SBK: Snowboard Kids
was announced out of the blue for the Nintendo DS. Unfortunately, this attempt at re-imagining the series to appeal to teenagers
did poorly with both critics and the fanbase. Despite this, Atlus claims they haven't given up on the series yet, but only time will tell...
The series consists of the following games:
- Snobow Kids (1997, N64)
- Snowboard Kids (1998, N64)
- Snobow Kids Plus (1999, PSX): Japan only, essentially a Mission Pack Sequel of the previous game.
- Chō Snobow Kids (1999, N64)
- Snowboard Kids 2 (1999, N64)
- SBK: Snowboard Kids (2005, NDS)
- Snowboard Kids Party (2005, NDS): Released in Japan a few days after the US version.
- Bizarrchitecture: The houses on Snowboard Street in 2 are shaped like the people who live in them, including Damien's. ...Wait, Damien lives in Snow Town?
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Good lord, where do we start...the first game gets ridiculous by the last few courses due to unfair AI advantages and Shinobin. This is toned down in the second game, but Expert Mode brings back the omniscient AI just to taunt you.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: Linda wants Nicole to eat peanuts with her eyes. Nicole wants Linda to eat spaghetti through her nose. Pamela tries to get them to do both in her ending.
- By the way, Linda is the only one who actually goes through with it. Yuck.
- Cutting Off The Branches: Plus takes place only a short time after 1, and makes it clear that Linda was the winner.
- Drop the Washtub: The Pan item, which flattens everyone save for the user. The DS game uses a 1000-ton weight instead, minus the squishing.
- Dummied Out: Digging through the announcer's voice data in both language versions of DS reveals that each course has one or two unused names, which may also indicate that the Alps course was originally meant to be playable outside of Trick Match mode.
- Also, there's a couple of unused stills from Ruby's ending in Plus.
- Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: Very much so.
- Everything's Better with Penguins: Unless they're an obstacle. Or you're racing against one.
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink: 2 introduces a veritable one, compared to the more mundane settings of the other games.
- Five-Man Band - with odd parallels to Alvin and the Chipmunks
- Free-Range Children
- Here We Go Again: The ending of 2. Damien will never stop, will he?
- Honest Axe: Spoofed in one of the second game's Yonkoma. A hooded stranger approaches Linda and asks if the pan she dropped just then was gold or silver. She gleefully admits the former in hopes of having it returned; unfortunately for her, the stranger turns out to be a disgruntled Slash.
- Implied Love Interest: In Snowboard Kids 2 the implied couples are Slash and Linda, Jam and Wendy, and Tommy and Nancy.
- Incredible Shrinking Man: The basis behind the "Wendy's House" level in Snowboard Kids 2, as the eponymous character built a course in her own home.
- Interface Screw: A projectile item, staple to the series, turns any opponents it hits into a snowman, preventing him or her from steering for several seconds.
- Invisible Parents: Aside from brief mentions of Linda and Nicole's family members, we never actually get to see any parental figures. Except Slash's mother.
- Invisible Wall
- Let's Play: One was done by CrazyCommentaries, which tried adding the interpretation that Tommy (the guy with the bandaged nose) was actually Tommy Pickles from Rugrats and Nancy (the blonde-haired girl) was actually Angelica.
- Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!: The animal characters are a minority compared to the humans, but it still counts.
- Nintendo Hard
- No Export for You: While Plus was considered for an English release, it eventually got quietly canned.
- Random Events Plot: While the other games in the series involved a tournament, 2 has this instead. The only thing tying everything together is Damien.
- Recycled In Space: Mario Kart ON SNOWBOARDS!
- Remember the New Guy: The new characters in Plus, though 3/4 have an explanation for their absence - Nicole is from a different town, Pamela was working on a film at the time, and Ruby simply didn't take notice since no prize money was involved.
- Rubber Band A.I.
- Stillborn Franchise: Sadly so. What really makes this surprising is that the first game sold a million copies, an impressive feat for a third party game on the N64. It even ended up being included in Nintendo's Player's Choice games.
- Snowlems: In 2 and DS, both Version III. (They're bosses, after all.)
- Wacky Racing: Most of the racetracks? They have no snow.
- Video Game Settings:
- Wacky Homeroom: In Plus, where most of the cutscenes take place.
- Yonkoma: The instruction manuals for the first and second games featured these, showing off all the items.
- Younger than They Look: At least in Plus, where it's lampshaded in Ruby's bio.