Review by Whotookmynick
"EA Sports' first snowboarding game the PS2 fails to impress..."
Decent. That's the best word to descibe it. Getting a bronze medal in the showoff and race events is easy enough. But to get a gold, particularly in the showoff events is maddeningly difficult, mostly because of the control setup(see below). EA attempts to keep the game fresh by giving you a plethora of items to unlock but it quickly becomes annoying only racing the game's measly 8 tracks. Granted, each track is fairly long, but that contributes to the problem. It just takes forever to get onto the next race. Another complaint is the load times which can easily reach 10 or 15 seconds. This is a PS2 game for gosh sakes. Load faster!
Many people rave about SSX's ''intuitive'' control interface and how the shoulder buttons make it ''insanely easy'' to pull off tricks. That's quite true. It is easy to pull off tricks, in fact WAY to easy. The way the default control scheme is setup, you need to hold up to crouch and gain speed. This is fine and all except for the fact that as soon as you go over even the smallest of bumps, the game assumes that you are trying to perform a frontflip and you will wipeout and lose speed. Control is, in my opinion, one of the games biggest flaws. Many tricks require you to hold down 3 of the 4 shoulder buttons, thats not too hard except for the fact that you also must steer and hold down the jump button. I have pretty big hands and it's tough to hold down X, Up, L1, L2, R1, and R2 at the same time while still maintaining a firm grip on the controller. Another gripe is that each character is given a 'Trick Book' in which the goal is to perform every listed trick. You can go over any jump and do the button combination exactly as it is listed and sometimes the trick won't register at all.
Sound FX are nicely done but they are tough to notice because you have to focus on the track so much. But the audio quality is good. When you're flying down the course the music speeds up, when you wipe out it slows down. This category is SSX's strongest point.
Again, Decent. Framerate is smooth throughout most of the game, however noticeable slowdown is present when you're going through turns. Not enough to really hurt gameplay but still annoying. The replay feature is messed up, maybe 1 new camera angle and the advance replay editing is a lesson in frustration as you try again and again in a futile effort to edit out everything but your highlights. The fireworks that go off as you fly down the mountain are miss timed. They go off either in front of you or behind you but they never go off as you're going through them. An okay try for a launch title but I expect more from a next-gen system.
Once you've unlocked everything there is just about ZERO replay value. You could take you maxed out characters down the mountain AGAIN but after all the time you've spent unlocking everything, why would you want to. I assume that there is a 2 player mode since thats what it says on the back of the box but I was unable to find it. Maybe thats because I only have 1 PS2 controller and I was trying to use a PS One controller with it that didn't have any analog controls.
Not that best launch title that everyone is touting it as. Rent it and see if you like it, but dont hold your breath.
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 07/25/01, Updated 07/25/01
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