Project Powder Review: Be Like a Pro
By Vincent Haoson (Vincenthaoson), OnRPG Journalist
One of the best things in today’s games is that you can become whoever you want to be. If you can’t play real guitars yet you itch to be a musician just for a few minutes you have rhythm games such as Guitar Hero or Rock Band. Sports are no exception. You have online basketball, baseball and even soccer games out on the market. Now there’s Project Powder.
Be a Pro even if you’re scared
Project Powder is an Online snowboard MMO from Outspark. The game puts you in the boots of four snowboarders that are out to prove themselves in various challenges set in different maps that you have you racing and doing as many tricks as you can.
Nothing else but the next race
Like most sports games, Project Powder is a racing game that really has a flimsy storyline. However, games like these really don’t have to concern themselves as much in this area because it’s always about the next race. Project Powder is all about the tricks, the challenges, the race and the looks. You really don’t bother or even care about anything but those three things, the game practically sucks you in once you start playing.
Project Powder’s default characters do not have special skills or any advantages on one area over the other in terms of skill or stats. It’s all about who you think looks cool. There is no in-depth customization in Project Powder and the only thing you can change is your board and the clothes your character wears.
Clothes Make the Man
The lack of player customization is usually a problem in MMOs, however that’s an exception for sports-themed MMOs such as Project Powder. You wouldn’t really bother with the customizations except to look better than the other guy or girl.
Clothes and accessories
The clothes you wear in Project Powder serve you in two ways. One is to make you look good, and the other to boost your stats. This is the usual procedure in any sports MMO and is an expected system in Project Powder. To start you have a limited number of choices in terms of the clothes you character can wear in the game. However, they are still enough to let you mix and match and create a cute or cool character of your own. There are also accessories that you can equip your character with. However, there are only two accessory choices at the moment so I do not think that they offer anything good fashion wise.
Project Powder Discount Store
Project Powder tries to incorporate the whole boarder concept even in the tiniest details. It does this by bringing in a board shop where you can buy your character a new board. The boards not only look good they also offer different stat bonuses that help in the various maps you race in. However, at the moment the choices you have are limited. You get to only choose from about five different boards as of this writing and that wouldn’t be really suitable for those who want variety in their board choices.
The items you purchase in the shops in Project Powder are time locked. This wouldn’t really bode well if you’re the type who wants something permanent on your character. However, the time-lock is understandable in the distributor’s point of view. It is kind of a pain to keep on checking on your characters clothes, accessories and boards, the only solution for that is go for the four weeks options, though they can really hurt your pockets.
What I liked about Project Powder is that it’s a balanced game. The things you buy from the shop do have stat bonuses but it doesn’t really matter in actual races. There are times that even starting characters get to plow the more dressed up players just because he or she has the skills. As of now, with the items still limited, Project Powder is a skill-based game. It’s all about how you take the tracks and how you handle your opponents rather than who has the most expensive clothes and boards.
The game balance keeps the game enjoyable for new players and prevents veterans from slacking off. This setup is good for a very competitive gaming experience in the sense that players can grow in every race they play.
The maps in Project Powder are varied. There’s a ranking system where certain maps are inaccessible for lower leveled characters, which I find suitable so that players have a “goal” in racing other than being the champion. As you’d expect, majority of the maps in Project Powder are in heavily snowy areas. However, they did add one map where it’s sand, and not snow that you race on. I find this addition a good move because it really gets boring if you just keep on playing on stages full on snow. I liked the varying challenges each map presents in Project Powder, there are maps where you love to play in one race type and you would hate to play in another. The varying challenges keep you on your toes which adds to the overall fun factor of the game.
In terms of re-playability, I can say that Project Powder does have a decent ground to keep you coming back. One reason is that aside from getting to make your characters look good, the game has a trick license system where you have to reach certain levels to unlock a board trick. You don’t get all the tricks at the get go and that’s just fine in my book.
Another reason is that, as I’ve mentioned, there is a lot of room for a player in Project Powder to improve and grow. The game encourages you to try out everything it has and with that you keep on playing the game. You cannot just breeze through Project Powder in one sitting and say you’re satisfied. You keep on playing just to see what else you can do. Project Powder has a lot of little quirks too that make it a game you’d like to keep on playing. You can horse around in the waiting room while waiting for the last person to join in the game. It’s the little things mixed with the overall game system that makes you keep on playing for hours on end.
In as much as I like Project Powder, there are some things that I really find problematic for the game. The first thing would be the player population of the game, and the other would be the difficulty of leveling. For a sports game that thrives on people, Project Powder has a lack of anyone playing. As I venture in the various channels there’s only about one to three games going on and if you’re someone who wants to challenge everyone and anyone then you’d find yourself wanting for a bigger population.
Racing against other players
Meanwhile, leveling in Project Powder can really be such a chore, even at the lower levels you’d find that you’d have to go through numerous races just to level up, even if you finish first in every race you participate in.
Project Powder is a good racing game. Even with the problems I mentioned, it is as a whole a decent game to keep on playing. The game has a lot to offer and it would be nice to see what they throw at the players in the months ahead. The game practically plays like a console snowboarding game and even if the choices of clothes and boards were limited the constant updates would ensure you’re in for more.
– Plays like a console snowboarding game
– The game encourages you to keep on playing.
– Hard to level
– Limited choices in terms of clothes, accessories and boards
– Not enough player population.