Review by KasketDarkfyre
"Cool Boarders has nothin' on this game."
Snowboarding games have come a long way from the days of simple visuals and half-way decent soundtracks to a real masterpiece such as this. In a long tradition of down-hill shredding, SSX brings to life all of the tricks, tracks and speed like a snowboarding game should be. Placing you in a tournament style setting, you have several racers to choose from, boards to open, racers to unlock and tricks to complete.
Where Cool Boarders ends, SSX begins. From the start, you'll see that alot of detail is put into the game, from the amount of board styles to the way the racers look right down to the massive amount of tricks your rider can perform. Putting that aside, each stage is well detailed, with fireworks, amazing jumps and a snow effect such as powder flying up around your rider and the shred marks in the snow as you chase to catch up to the leader of the race.
A fast paced soundtrack gives you a rocking music track, with a dance/rock hybrid that keeps you moving through each and every stage. Sound effects include the swish of the snow beneath your board, and the sickening thump of your rider when they bail into the hard packed snow. Include the quips of your rider, weither it be positive or negative, and the insults of fellow riders when you knock them over and you have a solid audio section that is unrivaled in any snow boarding game.
Easy to use once you've learned what buttons to what tricks, the learning curve is a steadily increasing ramp ranging from the simple tricks, to the amazingly difficult flips and grabs that will have your competition staring in awe. Trick combinations are performed with the top shoulder buttons along with the press and release of the jumping button. At first, the tricks seem daunting, but with a little timing and practice, you'll be busting off triple backflips with a tailgrab mute.
SSX gives you straight forward racing in a downhill format. You have a boosting meter to the right of your screen that allows you to speed up your racer during the race and can speed up the spin of your flipping tricks. Each stage gets harder to complete with sharp curves, huge jumps and some intense racing with a near perfect computer intelligence. In order to advance your racer, you must place in the top three to unlock more boards, more outfits and better racers. Through trial and error, you'll find that you can increase the attributes of your rider and unlock more tricks.
Multi-player games include one on one racing, trick modes and open riding in which you can unlock tricks in the rider trick books. 50 tricks in all for each rider, you have the opportunity to open up a total of eight riders, and eight tracks, each with a special set of tricks and jumps. The replay value goes on and on.
Possibly one of the best launch games for the Playstation 2, SSX give you what Cool Boarders couldn't in terms of speed, visuals, control, audio, the amount of tricks, precise control and overall fun value. It could take a few weeks just to unlock the tracks, as the computer puts your skill to the test, and the amount of racing situations and perfecting your racer could take longer than that. A must have for any X-Games fan, SSX is one game that will be well played, and well worth the money spent.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 05/04/01, Updated 05/04/01
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