Published on March 4th, 2012 | by Charlie


Review: SSX

Review: SSX Charlie
Replay Value

Summary: Charlie takes a look at SSX, is it any good? read the review to find out!


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These past few years, all that seemed to come out of the games industry was been shooters, shooters and… oh more shooters. Sure, we’ve had some other genres like Skyrim, Assassin’s Creed and Portal 2, but nothing had seemed to come out and blow everybody away. But what’s this? A snowboarding game that’s set to come back after a good 5 years since it’s last iteration? Surely it’s not better than those many shooters… is it? Well to be honest with you, yes. Yes it is better than a lot of shooters. But of course SSX is not a shooter so let’s stick to the genre it really is. As somebody who’s never played an SSX game before, and as somebody where the only snow video game I’ve played was the horrendous “Winter Sports”, SSX was a jump in the deep end for me. Little did I know I was in for some big surprises and some massive leaps through the air. SSX comes with three modes. Firstly there’s “World Tour”, where the story goes that Griff Simmons decides to leave the ever so popular SSX (Snowboard Super Cross). He decides to go solo and it’s not long before SSX is challenged by Griff, where the team have to conquer all 9 “Deadly Descents” before he does. Why are they so deadly? Each descent has something unique about them, which will, of course, kill you if you are not careful. Some descents are such as “Rock”, “Trees”, “Thin Air”, “Avalanche” and “Ice”. The first descents you do are rather easy, but as you get further into the campaign, there’s no doubt you’ll be focusing your mind on your television so hard that you might squeeze your eye balls out. SSX’s campaign is hard as you progress since there are other drops between these descents. There’s no denying it’s difficulty. But the challenge is welcomed in my eyes, as some racing games nowadays seem all too easy. The other two modes are “Explore” and “Global Events”. Explore allows you to try out any of the 159 drops. This is the place you’ll want to go and beat your friends’ times and scores. Global Events is like Explore, except here you try to get as high up on the leaderboards as you can to win as many credits as you can. And trust me, the payouts are sweet. Throughout all of these modes, you’ll be trying to master 3 types of drops in which you try to obtain either a Bronze, Silver, or Gold medal for. There’s “Race It”, which is kind of an obvious event, where you have to reach the end of a drop whilst trying to get the best time. Then there’s “Trick It” where you have to do all these mind blowing snowboarding moves and combos to try and get the best score. The more tricks you do, the more your “boost” bar fills up. If you fill up that bar, you go into “Tricky”, and if you turn your “Tricky” orange, you’ll enter “Super Tricky”, where you get unlimited boost until your Super Tricky runs out of steam (keeping up with me?). Rails and long distance jumps help you get high trick scores, so use them to the best of your ability. Finally there’s “Survive It”, in which you have to survive deadly descents whilst trying to go as far as you can. Once you reach the bottom of a descent, you’re taken back to the top and you’ll keep doing this until you die (pleasant eh?). All of this is enough to occupy you for hours on end and you’ll rarely get bored if you’re competing against your friends. Speaking of which, competing against friends has never been more fun, and unlike most games, you actually get rewarded for being better than them. When choosing your rider and gear, there’s plenty of choice. If you complete the campaign, you’ll be looking at around 10 riders to choose from (11 with the limited edition). You can unlock these riders by either buying them or unlocking them one by one in the campaign. Each rider has their special attribute, for example Psymon is better suited to wearing armor, whilst Kaori is better suited using Oxygen tanks; their special attribute/gear relates to their drop in the campaign (so for example, Kaori uses oxygen tanks in the “Thin Air” descent). If that wasn’t enough, you can choose your own boards, where each one comes with their own stats and style. Depending on what drop you’re doing, you need to look out for the board’s speed, boost and trick stats. And (again) if that wasn’t enough, as you level up your character, you can unlock mods, which help your character push themselves a little further, whether it’s trick wise, speed wise, or even if you just want to add that little extra power to your gear. And (once more) if that wasn’t enough, there are even more ways to earn experience and credits by placing “Geotags”. These are little hologram balls, in which you place anywhere on a map and hope that nobody manages to pass through it. The longer it remains on the map, the more credits you get. If you pick up somebody’s Geotag, you will have that Geotag added to your Geotag collection and you’ll also earn credits and experience for it (get me?). Credits help you buy all of what I’ve just told you, including boards, mods, and even cool and colourful outfits for your character of choice. But wait, there’s more. To add even more of a challenge, the game has thrown in medals, which you have to do something special to obtain, such as “Boost for more than 2 hours total” or “Use a Rewind a total of 10 times”. Rewinds allow you to go back on mistakes you made on a drop, and as helpful as they can be, they come with a price. In survival drops, you only get 3 rewinds to use, whilst in anything else, you have unlimited rewinds, except you’ll lose points the longer you rewind, and depending on what mode your in, whilst you’re rewinding back, your opponents might be speeding ahead of you. To top everything off, EA have also put together a solid soundtrack to ride to, whilst also allowing you to create your own soundtracks, whether it be your own songs, or a compilation of the game’s licensed songs. Now SSX does come with some hiccups. Whilst battling against a friend’s ghost is fun in itself, it would have been great if there was “proper” multiplayer action, where you could literally have 1v1 matches of you and a friend live. There are also moments where your character jumps too far in the air, and slams so hard into a wall that they actually get stuck inside it. And there are also these little comic strips in the campaign that explain a characters past, which as interesting as they can be, the dialogue flies by so fast that you don’t even get a chance to read what they’re saying (since the dialogue isn’t read out loud). And sometimes button mash ups don’t always quite do as you would hoped if you use the buttons (there’s the standard controls, plus the classic controls for those SSX veterans). The sense of direction with controls can also be a little naff to use, but with enough practice, getting out of those gnarly situations will be a piece of cake. SSX is pure fun and has many adrenaline filled drops. Snowboarding games are extremely rare in the video game market, and EA have proven that there is still life to this magnificent franchise. I personally look forward to seeing where SSX goes next.

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About the Author

Some say I should be a video game journalist, others say a video game designer. Shame you can't be both.

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