Review by JET

"SSX is awe-inspiring! EA scores big!"

I can't tell the level of excitement that I had when my hands graced the highly acclaimed disc that is SSX. Snowboard Super Cross actually. It seems Electronic Arts is scoring all over the place when it comes to Playstation 2, making a slew of great games for the system's opening months. EA Sports opened a new extreme sports development expansion with EA Sports Big! SSX could stand for many more beautiful things to come from this great company. Now, to the numbers!

Graphics: 9/10
I was dazzled with SSX as soon as my playing began, and the experience only got better and better as the game progressed. Each new course is more spectacular than the last, with simply incredible texturing and detail levels. The riders themselves are works of art as well, EA very effectively flexed the polygon-pushing muscle of the Playstation 2 with this title. The fireworks that shoot about the screen as you fly through the various tracks in this game are extremely cool and a very nice touch to the visual experience of SSX.

Sound/Music: 10/10
Simply amazing. The sound track fits the game perfectly and I couldn't really imagine any better music that would go with the gameplay. The technique that EA employs on changing the music with your position in the race is very intriguing. The music is a bit softer when you're at the back of the pack, and has an anticipating feel to it. While when you lead the race it is high and adrenaline pumping, pushing you to lead the way to the finish. A new technique also employed in SSX by the developer is fading the music out slowly as you're in midair performing tricks, and blasting it back in with a bang as soon as your board hits the snow, it's extremely effective. The voices in this game are convincing, but are probably the weakest part of this category. A few clips are memorable, such as Mac yelling out ''SICKNESS!'' as you land a killer trick. The announcer is low enough so it isn't extremely annoying, and he reminds you when you've done a trick too much. Music and sound is one of the game's biggest strong points.

Gameplay: 9/10
Yeaaaah! This game scores big! The control scheme is extremely intuitive, instead of a button tapping system like what might be expected, there is a system of holding different combinations of shoulder buttons for different grabs, square button to tweak the grabs for a little extra style, and winding up for the jump and controlling spins with either the digital pad or the analog stick. Building up your character in World Circuit mode is the most rewarding experience in this game, max out a characters stats and you'll know what I mean. The things you can do and the difference between a newbie and master rider are huge. There are four gameplay modes: Warm Up, Race, Showoff, and Free Ride. Warm up is a very well done tutorial to introduce you to the gameplay mechanics of SSX, basically a crash course in video snowboarding. Race is pretty self-explanatory, you race against other riders to earn medals and in turn gain experience. Showoff is a trick exhibition for points. The more points you get, the closer you are to that gold medal and those needed experience points. Free Ride lets you explore the course without time limits so you can take care to find the many shortcuts that lie about. There are different levels for the rider ranging from newbie to master, each new level will score you a newer and better board to take to the slopes. Doing all the tricks in your character's trick book will get you new outfits so you can fly through that powder in style! The courses are extremely well planned, Merqury City Meltdown is so much fun to play its amazing, and is only surpassed by the giant pinball machine that is the Tokyo Megaplex in overall coolness factor. My personal favorite course is the Untracked course you earn by getting a gold medal in Racing in Aloha Icejam, and a gold medal in Showoff in Pipedream. This track is on a huge mountain and has some of the coolest music in the whole game (and some of the craziest airtime ever).

Replay Value: 9/10
You'll keep on coming back for more from this game. New outfits and boards, unlockable characters and courses, tons of shortcuts, and overall gameplay fun will keep you playing this one for weeks and week. Thehard-earned (or not so hard-earned) cash that you shell out for it is well worth it.

Overall: 9/10
This game in my opinion is the best snowboarding title ever made. It combines great graphics, sound, and gameplay into a mix that is hard to resist. I wasn't even interested in games of this type before SSX came along and now I'm totally hooked. Kudos to EA for scoring a new fan to the genre. Go out and pick this game up!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 12/19/00, Updated 12/19/00

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