Monday, March 5, 2012

SSX Review

SSX returns after a very long hiatus, and it returns with a bang. The long awaited return of one of the most fun franchises on the PS2 returns in a bigger and more refined way. Insane courses that really don't make sense in the world are replaced with actual mountains recreated through NASA data. New modes, new multiplayer, and new features really make this game an awesome and challenging experience.

The SSX franchise has always built itself around having the best and most fun gameplay mechanics. This game builds on that success, and really brings this franchise to the current console generation. Some franchises need to stay in the past, due to the nature of the game, but for SSX, they really took what made the series work on the Ps2, and brought a bunch of current generation flair and it combined to form an awesome game. The game really has 3 major modes: World Tour, Explore, and Global Events. The World Tour mode functions as a story mode, in which each character is introduced and unlocked, and new features/areas to race and trick are unlocked as well. The story focuses on team SSX, a group of extreme snowboarders, as they try to conquer the 9 Deadly Descents of the world. These Deadly Descents are the hardest and most dangerous mountains in the world, each with their own special threat that makes them deadly. The threats include extreme cold, trees, rocks, white outs, ice, and even avalanches. While you race down each of these Deadly Descents, you'll have some type of tool to help you along the way, such as solar panels for the heat or armor for the rocks. To make the story a bit more interesting, Griff, a rival who used to be part of team SSX is trying to conquer the mountains before you can. The story mode is pretty easy, and the comic book style cutscenes are just goofy, but this game really shines through the Explore mode.

Explore mode provides almost 200 different drops, each with its own gold medal to obtain. Some of the gold medals are pretty easy to snag, but most of them are very challenging. The modes include races, trick, and survival. In race, its you against 3 other computer players, each trying to get through the designated course. In trick, you'll be trying to link together the most insane combos of unrealistic tricks ever seen. In survival, you're merely trying to make it down the mountain surviving the most harsh or dangerous conditions, and seeing how far you can get. While playing any mode in the game, you're earning medals in game that aren't related to each course, but are related to the certain feats you perform or milestones that you reach. These earn you SSX credits, which can be used to buy new gear, boards and outfits.

The other mode in which you can play is Global Events. This mode basically provides a certain course and a certain amount of time, and everyone in the world can compete and attempt to set the highest score or the fastest time. Each one of these races provides you with a large reward depending on your place, and functions as a pseudo online mode. These are also race, trick, and survival mode related and as always, earn you experience and SSX credits.

The coolest new feature of SSX is the multiplayer. It's not multiplayer in the traditional sense where each of you would have to be online at the same time in order to race or trick. It actually tracks all of your best times and most points, and tracks everyone on your friends list's times as well. It saves the ghost data for the best runs and that ghost appears in your race, showing the exact path the other player took and what tricks they did. Every single course has this on it, granted your friends have actually participated in that event. You get rewarded for each friends score as its beaten, and even if your friends try to beat your score and fail, you still get points. This type of multiplayer works incredibly well for this game, since restarting early on is probably one of the most frequent things that will happen. Without getting an early good start, its almost crucial to abandon the run and start over. Having a live multiplayer would just be silly, since everyone would want to restart but can't, or would wipe out right at the end and give up a huge lead.

The game as a whole is absolutely amazing. There are so many different features that just work together so well, and complement each other in ways that make the game shine. Even the soundtrack of the game is great, and if you don't like it, you can add your own custom soundtracks that will adapt to the game as you do certain tricks and even when you wipeout. The game is a great addition to the franchise that provides an exhilarating and fun experience.

Story - 8
The Deadly Descents were actually really cool and fun, but overall the story just didn't do much for the game.
Gameplay – 9.5

The game really stays true to the original, while giving it a current generation flair. The mechanics are smooth and everything is challenging, yet fun.
Graphics – 9.5
Each mountain is recreated through NASA topographical data, and looks beautiful. The game rarely loses frame rate, even when the mountain is flying by you in the blink of an eye.
Sound – 9.5
The soundtrack complements the game well with electronica and dubstep galore, and even lets you add your own custom soundtracks. And of course, the tricky song plays in tricky mode!
Replayability - 10
Endless fun can be had in trying to best your friends' scores on each drop, and trying to earn all of the medals in each range is going to be a challenge.

Overall Rating - 9.5


  1. If I can give you some constructive criticism, I think you are too generous on your ratings.

  2. I've thought about that as well. The biggest problem I'd say is that I'm not able to play and review EVERY game, so I only review the games I planned on getting. Its very unlikely I purchase a game I won't like, so its hard to give a game a low score. If I had played Neverdead, or something similar, I'm sure there would be a few bad review scores out there.


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