Publisher: EA Sports
Developer: EA Canada
Release Date: February 28, 2012
The SSX franchise is finally back on the slopes after five long years. The Wii exclusive, SSX Blur, was the last we saw of the series and the future looked bleak for SSX. Fortunately, EA has brought the series back from near death and the newest installment does not disappoint.
Still Tricky The SSX franchise has always been known for its arcade feel and complete disregard for the laws of physics, and SSX is no exception. In fact, this game is even crazier than the previous installments. The tricks are still as impossible as the speed and air you get to do them. Although the game has an arcade feel, the world feels more alive than in any other installment in the series. The characters are all unique and all have very different feels to them. Even the mountains seem to come alive, which is something the previous games could not seem to perfect. Little things like helping the rider land tricks are a great addition and add to the flow of the game. SSX also adds Deadly Descents to its list of craziness. These descents have you avoiding trees, rocks, and avalanches as well as surviving the cold and trying not to black out in high elevation. They are a great addition to the series and are a lot of fun to play over and over again. When it comes to the gameplay, SSX is the best the franchise has to offer.
NASA Made Those Graphics!? None
of the excellent gameplay would be possible without the visual stimulation this game provides. SSX
looks amazing, and yes, EA used NASA technology to map the mountain ranges in the game. The actual track is obviously fictitious, but when looking at the mountain from the menus it is 100% real. And although the gameplay is arcade at its core, these graphics provide a sense of realism that makes you think all you see just might be possible.
Defy Reality, Own the Planet SSX
only offers three game modes: World Tour, Explore, and Global Events. World Tour, as stated by EA, is basically a glorified tutorial for the rest of the game. Having said that however, it is still worth playing for many reasons. It gives you experience for what is to come in Explore mode. Even if your like me and have been playing SSX forever, this game has a bit of a different feel from its predecessors and World Tour shows you what SSX
has to offer. It also gives you a chance to level up your characters and earn in-game money for later spending. You can complete it in four hours or less, but it will have been four hours well spent.
From Everest to Kilimanjaro
Explore mode is the real meat of this game offering 153 drops for you to complete. Along with giving you medal targets to beat, Explore also allows you to compete with your friends for the best time or score on any given run. This is where “RiderNet” comes in. “RiderNet” acts as a leader-board for you and your friends offering real-time updates even when your not on. This is a great feature that adds almost infinite replay value as you try to keep the top spot. However, you might need a few runs to even beat the gold medal targets. The targets to beat are not impossible, but if your not perfect, the game can sometimes border “stupid hard” and be quite frustrating. If your up for a challenge then you will not be disappointed.
Global Events are SSX
‘s version of matchmaking. However, there are no lobbies and no one races at the same time. It’s kind of like the multiplayer featured in Explore mode, except with random people instead of your friends. Global Events are ongoing tournaments with a pot of credits for the top riders. The more people competing in the event, the bigger the pot. Some runs even have drop costs that add to the payout. Global Events do not hurt the game, but its something you’ll probably be doing only once in a while and then heading back to explore mode.
You Can Never Look Too Good
Actually, in SSX
, you can. The credits you earn can be used to buy different outfits, boards, and gear for your character. The clothes in the game are not individual pieces of clothing, but simply the same outfit with different color schemes. The gear you purchase is for the different Deadly Descents and have no real aesthetic value. The boards have the most value because they all look different and provide different stats that can help your character on certain drops. It seems EA has taken a step back in customization; which is a shame because it was very satisfying to completely customize your character in SSX 3
and make them look nothing like the default layout. It does not hurt the gameplay side of things, but it would have been nice to see more creativity in the clothing department.
Going For the Gold Overall, SSX should be in your library of games. If you have been a fan forever than you already have it, but for those who are on the fence, jump to the side with snow and ice. A few minor setbacks are no excuse for you not to get this game. Grab your friends and get ready to ride because SSX is back!