Review by El Greco

"One of the great sports games for PS2"

SSX was one of the first games released for the PS2, it was released at the time the PS2 was launched so people who were caught up in the PS2 frenzy could immediately get their hands on a game, one of the few that were available at the time. It came in my package for the PS2 when I got it so I didn’t necessarily buy this game because I wanted too, I was kind of forced into it. But that isn’t a bad thing at all since the game is great.

When I first started playing SSX I was not impressed too much, to me it was an average racing game. Now that I have played it more I realize that this game is one of the best racing games I have ever played. The game is all around a great game, graphics, gameplay, sound, the whole shebang.

At first you may be turned off by the controls of the game or how it handles, I have seen many of my friends fail to go about 50 feet (in-game distance) before falling, crashing into something, or riding off the trail into the woods or stands. Once you get the hang of the controls and gameplay you will have no trouble completing this game. You will need to get accustomed to the speeds, combos, gain stability, get to know the best type of boards for each level and many other things. Once you do gain this whole wealth of knowledge then you will become a master at this game, pulling off almost every trick in your character’s trick book to unlock more costumes for him or her, which I suppose isn’t a very tempting prize, but then again there is a certain sense of accomplishment once you do get it. And also, it is always a hoot when you are trying to get that last impossible, black-rated trick in the book, falling and slamming your controller through your television set.

SSX takes you through 6 fabulous and outrageous levels where you can race, showoff your tricks, or just free ride the slopes. With only 6 levels it may seem that this game will get old pretty fast, but never worry EA has included a few bonus levels where you can just ride around exploring, working on your skills. Also, the levels are HUGE, well, except for one level, so there are always more and more ways in which you can pass other racers, find more ramps, shortcuts, and fun. When you add in the three different game modes it is almost like having 18 different levels since each mode requires a completely new strategy.

The game has three different modes, racing, show-off, and free ride; you will go through all six of the levels on each one trying to be the best on each. For free ride there is no specific objective, just that you can explore the trails and find the shortcuts that you can use in the races, or the jumps you can use in the show-off mode. In racing mode you will…guess…you will race against 1-5 computer controlled racers, trying to finish as number one. In show off mode you will be by yourself in a park trying to pull of insane tricks in hopes of achieving a high score so that you can advance to the next level.

The games graphics are pretty good, they aren’t the best you have ever seen or will see on the PS2 but they are still quite impressive. I could compare this to a slightly lower level of graphic capabilities than Gran Tourismo: A-Spec since they really are quite good and will probably not fail to impress many people.

The game’s music is somewhat repetitive but it is up beat and fits the game perfectly so I won’t complain. The game has the typical snowboarding music, rock, which doesn’t necessarily appeal to me, but once it is played in the game it is enjoyable.

The only negative aspect of the game that I can think of is that the loading times are somewhat long, the controls are somewhat difficult to get a hold of, and certain objectives are near impossible to accomplish, which may discourage some beginning players.

To not like this game you must either be a person who hates video games, despises racing games, or has a hard time in the beginning of the game. If you don’t fall under any of those categories then you will most likely love this game and play it until the disc wears out on you.

All in all, this game is wonderful. If you have a PS2 then this is a must buy for you. Now this statement is coming from a person that usually doesn’t enjoy racing games at all. Buy this game, it is well worth your time and money, and you will get quite a kick out of it.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 10/14/03

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