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Game Reviews

Game Review: SSX (2012)

ssx_01bDeveloper/Publisher – EA Canada / EA Sports
Year – 2012
Genre – Sports – Snowboarding
Formats – PS3(tested), Xbox 360
Players – 1
SSX © EA Sports
Review copy was courtesy of EA Sports

Five years have passed since gamers had a chance to board downhill with team SSX (Snowboard Supercross), but now they’re back to show the world just want they’re capable of with today’s HD consoles, but should you hit these powdered slopes?

World Tour presents the only true thing resembling a story mode in the game, starting with Griff Simmons deciding to go out on his own on a capture the world’s most deadliest descents, with team SXX head on the heels to conquer the nine most perilous mountains. Kilt together by brief comic book intermissions, the story is inconsequential to the rest of the game, giving just barely enough excuse as to why these guys are going for glory.

World Tour will set you off on a series of linear missions to complete, consisting of the standard races and trick runs against the computer, unlocking characters along the way. Upon the completion of these test course, you will be granted you access to that region’s deadly descent, Whether it be the Rockies Mount Robson or the tallest Mountain on Earth, Mount Everest. Survive that and you’ll be given access to the next series of mountains to choose from. Until you’ve completed all nine descents.

Explore Mode offers up a series of over a hundred challenges to perform over the various mountains, which range from score attacks and times to challenge. Global Events, is the main multiplayer component of the game, offering up a series of changing challenges for players to stop along and compete in. However even the most direct multiplayer modes in the game pit you against ghosts of other players, effectively removing the ability to smash into them and mess up their game, which was. at least an option against the computer in World Tour. There’s also no local play whatsoever.

The game’s uses EA’s autolog functionality (even if it never mentions it as such calling it Ridernet instead), which allows for players to be notified as to where and when friends beat their best times and scores, and gives the option to go to said course to reclaim your mountain.

SSX_02The game utilizes a dual analogue system, with the left stick controlling the board, the right controls holds and the shoulder buttons function as action modifiers. SSX purists will be glad that there’s also the option to play with the traditional SSX setup.

Pressing down L1 will reverse time in a manner similar to that of games like GRID or Shift, allowing you to realign yourself for that jump or redo that perfect trick. The difference is that reversing time doesn’t effect other racers on the track, and, in score-based modes, will deduct points base on how far back you go. The deadly descends limit how many times you can reverse time altogether. In essence, this is to stop you from abusing the feature, but in single play it offer seems as if it would be easier to just restart the level from stratch.

Using data from NASA’s Aster Global Digital Elevation Map technology, SSX gives you a selection of twenty-eight real-world mountains to conquer, from Kilimanjaro Mount Fuji and even Everest. With multiple courses on the majority, the number of in-game tracks is closer to the 150 mark, though you be repeated the lower sections as they meet up. That said the team has included its own embellishments to each mountain, including additional tunnels and ramps, not to mention copious amounts of rails to grind on.

SSX has always given the player the ability to perform an absurd amount of gravity – and reality – defying tricks and this entry is no exception. Finding ramps, jumps, and grind rails to careen off of builds your turbo meter, which allows you a temporality boost in speed that allows you to pull of more daring tricks. You can also grind of rails – and facsimiles – that someone has mysteriously put there that rider gravitate toward without any fear of falling off of.

SSX_03Build up your meter completely and you’ll enter Tricky mode, which will give you unlimited boost,  from which to pull of even more insane trick combos that grant more tricky time, build up the tricky meter and you’ll enter Super Tricky mode, and be able to pull of uber-tricks unique to each character.

Performing duplicate tricks will reduce the intrinsic worth, limiting you meter growth as well as your score. Chained tricks also won’t bank until you stop performing them for a few seconds, with each new trick acting as a multiplier for the final score. Wiping out however with cost you everything that you haven’t banked, creating tension as to whether you should go for that next trick or play it safe and cash in.

Certain courses will require you to equip certain gear in order to safety descent, such as a wingsuit to get across wide chasms, or ice-picks needed to navigate ice (without which you just go in the direction that you first hit said ice). Adding various needs to the game, in Antarctica, you’ll need to wear thermal equipment which stays charged in the sunlight, giving you need to plan your route accordingly.

With its stylized, comic book looks, SSX looks greats, and it runs smoothly, the mountains give off the power they process and the animation for the insane aerobatics looks almost believable. EA’s licensed music selection runs the gamebit, from R&B to electronica, and alternates and interacts with the player’s actions.

While the lack of direct multiplayer is a bit of a disappointment, they is still plenty to do on this tour of the most dangerous mountains of the world. Fans of the series and newcomers alike should find the experience on theses slopes to be worth their while.

8

The game ultilises EA  Online Pass, but its merely limits players to not receiving credits for online performances and doesn’t effect actual gameplay

Originally published in March 2012, on Gamingtilldisconnected.com
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