Review of SSX
Although SSX is (in simple terms), just a racing game, EA Sports have made sure that its so crammed full of features, game modes and events, that when you load it up for the first time, you wont know quite where to start... well heres a little advice from your friends at AP2 that will assure you get maximum enjoyment from this great game...
Resist the temptation to dive straight into the races and instead start things off in a Warmup event. This is a good chance to get introduced to the game and learn a few tricks along the way. The Freeride event is also a no pressure course, just relax, check out the scenery and get the feel of controlling the board. You should be aware that one of the only ways to win the tougher events that lie ahead, is to head off the beaten path and find a few shortcuts. So take a little time in these modes to find as many of them as you can, its worth the effort, believe me.
When youre feeling geared up for the challenge check out the race and showoff events in single or World circuit mode, each of which gives you a chance to battle it out with all the characters.
Remember though - take no prisoners - this is ruthless racing.
To keep things interesting, each competitor has totally different abilities and can pull off their own special moves. A personalized trick book will guide you on how they are done, while at the same time keeping track of which ones you complete correctly. When you ace all the tricks in the book, expect an extra-special reward.
You can choose from three different styles of board. Freestyle is the best for doing tricks, Alpine is by far the quickest and BX is a good all-rounder. But you guessed it, you need to work for these too. Triumph in the World Circuit and you will be rewarded.
How about a 7 course meal..?
If your in the mood for Japanese, you can check out the Snow Dream course - Japans highest mountain range with some really quick turns. You can also check out Tokyo Megaplex - only for the brave-hearted, the tracks are tight and curvy, and hey... everything is up-side-down. If you feel like European take a ride on the Elysium Alps, known for being a punishing and exhausting experience. How about taking a ride to the West Coast side - Merqury City Meltdown, get up close and personal with the residents. If you want to head to the desert take a ride on the Mesablanca course. Just remember to watch out for those trees and boulders. My personal favorite is the Aloha ICE Jam. Whip out your sunglasses, slurp down a few sea breezes. Finally, if you want to put your skills and tricks to the test, take a ride on the Pipe Dream... make sure your well rested, this is an intense journey. Oh yeah, theres also a bonus track... but hey, we dont want to spoil the game for you.
The strategy is up to you, the ultimate goal is to WIN.
And guess what…winning has never LOOKED this good before. Right from the start you will be hit with slick looking menus and option interfaces. But lets get real here, you dont play the menu..!
Jumping into the first course, you will be greeted with a glistening snowfall gently blanketing the surroundings. The camera pans and swoops over and about the course, giving you a cool birds eye view of things. Then you begin the race…
The character models in SSX are incredibly well detailed and animated. They feature facial expressions, smooth jointless motions and bright colorful costumes.
What really stands out though are the backgrounds and the courses themselves. Everything is wonderfully detailed with flickering lights, gratuitous fireworks displays, superb snowboard trails and wondering lighting effects.
Unfortunately though all is not perfect. There are points during a race when you are going to experience some slowdown. It normally occurs when you get three or more racers on the screen at once during a very active background scene. It certainly does not effect the gameplay to any disastrous extent, but the frame rate does dip below 60fps and you WILL notice it when it occurs.
Overall though this is definitely one of those games that you are going to want to pull out as an early graphical showcase for the PS2.
This is also one of those rare titles where the music plays an intricate part of the game, with tunes matching up perfectly with the high-flying jumps and daredevil escapades of the racers. The soundtracks are tasty and dished out in nice generous portions and the sound effects are spot on with everything that is going on all around you. Even the menus have great sound effects and ambiance to them.
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'SSX' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by Loretta Mattie © Absolute PlayStation
Click here to view our 45 SSX in-game screenshot slideshow
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