Snowboarding Game #01: Cool Boarders 2
Also known as Cool Boarders 2: Killing Session in Japan
Cool Boarders 2 (or Cool Boarders 2: Killing Session in Japan) is a snowboarding video game developed by UEP Systems (pronounced as oo-WEP or WEP) for the original PlayStation. It was released on August 28, 1997 in Japan, Halloween 1997 in North America, and February 1, 1998 in Europe. The game builds upon its predecessor’s features with the addition of trick competitions, computer-controlled competitors, and support for the PlayStation Link Cable, allowing two-player, non-split screen multiplayer.
Coooooooool… BOARDERS!!! HEREWEGO!
The main aim remains to complete courses in the shortest time (aided this time around by shortcuts), to perform the best-scoring tricks and to rack up huge total scores. There are more unlockables and also the option to customize the snowboard’s graphics. The game offers 7 snowboarders, 18 snowboards and 10 courses to compete on.
- Jin (v.b. Jin Tategami): 21 years old male. He is an all-rounder and has a goofy stance. He is an all-powerful boarder, but has weak points on everything else.
- Irin (v.b. Julie Wilson): 18 years old female. The youngest playable character, she is a pig-tailed freestyler and has a goofy stance. Her balance and quickness are her strong points but power and max speed are her weak points.
- Cindy (v.b. Christy Leichty): 22 years old female. She has an alpine style and has a standard stance. Her technique, max speed and quickness are her strong points, but her weak point is her jumping skills.
- Yaggi (v.b. Sean Owens): 22 years old male. He is a blond-haired freestyler who wears shades and has a standard stance. His technique is almost his strong point, but his jumping, balance, quickness, and power are balanced. His weak point is the maximum speed.
The DJ (v.b. by Mel McMurrin) is an unseen announcer who says things like “Don’t be a wimp!!”, “Uncool!”, and “This race is in the bag!!!”
The game’s predecessor, Cool Boarders, was released for the PlayStation the year prior, in 1996. Despite mixed reviews, Cool Boarders was a sleeper success, and eventually attained a Greatest Hits edition. As snowboarding began to gain in popularity in the West during the late 1990s, so did snowboarding video games. Developer/publisher UEP Systems began work on a sequel to take advantage.
Cool Boarders 2 was unveiled at the April 1997 Tokyo Game Show, where it drew large crowds despite UEP having only a small booth.
Other entries in the genre began trickling in, most notably 1080° Snowboarding. The original developer, UEP Systems, sold the rights to the name of the series in the US. This resulted in three US-based sequels, while in Japan, the series continued with Cool Boarders Burrrn for the Sega Dreamcast under UEP’s guiding force, before “ending” with the PlayStation 2’s Cool Boarders: Code Alien.
In 1999, UEP Systems, the game’s developer which is headquartered in Tokyo, struggled financially in the years that followed with a series of commercially unsuccessful games. In addition, the company filed judicial reorganization proceedings in Tokyo District Court in late November 2000, and the company later went bankrupt in the summer of 2001. Former UEP Systems employees have since moved on to other companies.