Review of SSX Tricky
Simply speaking, SSX Tricky is really a more advanced version of last years SSX game. The simple question is... How do you make a great game better?
Well, for starters EA has decided to utilize the DVD media. Right off the bat, you will notice a much more advanced 3D front end, as well as plenty of extras like behind the scenes footage of the making of SSX Tricky.
If you played the first SSX you will notice that Tricky has kept some of the original riders as well as some of the courses. They also added quite a bit of new things to the mix. Each rider has a rider profile. Here you can check out their stats, overall achievements, and backgrounds. The newer characters are pretty cool and seem to be more interesting and entertaining. For instance there is this new rider called Luther, he is a big overweight, nasty looking fellow proudly displaying his butt crack. Simon is also a new face; he looks like a punk with spiked hair, nose rings, and tattoos. You will need to earn these riders before you can access them. Starting out, only Eddie, Elise, Moby, and Mac are available. To sum the riders up, there is a much better mix of personalities, genders, and races. The riders are unique, with their own style of sarcasm and arrogance. Best of all, they love taunting each other as well as smacking each other around when the opportunity strikes.
Each rider will also have one board and outfit starting out. Everything else will have to be earned just like the first SSX. Successfully pulling off tricks will earn additional character outfits. Earning a higher rider ranking will win additional boards, winning medals will unlock characters and tracks. There are gold, silver, and bronze medals to be won. The better challenging tracks will require winning a gold medal, no surprise right?
The World circuit mode is the heart and soul of the game. This mode is one hell of an adrenaline-pumping race with the other riders and will allow the player to earn the extras and advance thru gameplay. Here the player will be racing against some friendly riders and a few foes. The foes will do their best to throw a punch at you when close by. A screen comes up while loading and will let the player know who is who.
In the beginning there is only one track available called the Garibaldi. This is a new track for SSX Tricky and the easiest to master. Alaska is also a new track but the hardest to concur with insanely huge cliff drops, this is simply breathtaking. The tracks that are locked will be grayed out until unlocked. A series of 3 races need to be won and the player must place 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. Winning 3 consecutive races in 1st place will win a gold medal. At the point, the player will unlock some goodies. The type of rewards is also dependent on how many tricks you pulled off during the race. The tricks include big air jumps, grabs, rotation tricks, rail riding, and the new UBER TRICKS. Uber tricks are one of the main enhancements of Tricky. There is a Tricky meter displayed on the screen. When the player fills up the adrenaline meter, the Uber disk rotates, the player must hold the X button right before taking off for a jump, once in the air, they can press and hold the L1, L2, R1, or R2 button, and to kick off the adrenaline boost hit the square button. Now its Uber time! The rider will pull off an outrageous acrobatic stunt in the air. The player has to do it quickly though they only have 20 seconds to pull it off. To keep things interesting, each rider has their own style of Uber tricks. This is awesome stuff and really separates Tricky from any other snowboarder game.
There are other modes as well like Showoff mode, Practice mode, and Freeride. Freeride and Practice mode are just for fun. Take your board for a spin with no pressure and no time restraints to worry about. On the flip side, the Showoff mode gives the player additional opportunities to strut their stuff and earn more medals and characters by racking up trick points.
The graphics are real easy on the eye. By comparison SSX Tricky has a brighter and more detailed look to it. Not that SSX had much flaw to begin with but you can definitely see the enhancements. The tracks are very colorful and just plain breathtaking. Picture a huge winter playground with scary vertical drops and sharp turns, woohoo! The player can really get a sense of speed and intensity while playing. I surely did. The draw distance is also impressive. There are snow covered mountains in the backgrounds that seem to leap at you at times and a moon so big you think you can actually jump into it while grabbing BIG AIR. The courses are huge with many surprises and shortcuts. Some of the tracks are like riding thru a big freaking FUN house with tons of obstacles trying to slow your pace. The riders also are improved with better animation. The expressions while they are taunting and the movements are very surreal. The snow is glistening, the ice is sparkling, the snow is spraying, what else could you ask for. Oh yea, jumping thru glass is pretty cool too! With all this intense action going on surprisingly the framerate stays steady and does not miss a beat.
Ok… lets sum things up a bit, gameplay is awesome, the graphics are intense, what about the audio? Well, I saved the best feature for last. SSX Tricky utilizes the 5.1 DTS digital sound capability. Let me tell you, if you don’t have a digital receiver by now, get one! The sounds effects and music of Tricky is incredible. You can hear the other riders coming from behind, coughing and laughing out of one speaker, taunting out of another, and the surround sound of the wind whistling and the board hammering against the track. This really makes you feel like you’re in the game. There is a commentator speaking throughout the race, letting the player know how good or bad they are doing. When you are near the SSX crowd you will hear them cheering. The riders also say some cool things like; out of my way, make way I am coming thru, play nice or get off the playground, and my favorite - girls kick butt!! The music of Tricky is so inspiring and upbeat. I couldn’t help jamming while playing.
The developers put a lot of effort into making Tricky a hit and succeeded with honors.
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'SSX Tricky' 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 15 SSX Tricky in-game screenshot slideshow
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