I am loving SSX, plain and simple. They upped the awesomeness of this game by adding more characters, multiple locations from all around the world, and competing in different modes such as tricking, racing and the new survival.

The new SSX has taken the snowboarding game industry to a whole new level. I remembered years ago when I was playing Cool Boarders, as I wondered how it could ever get any better. Then I came upon the original SSX and it absolutely blew my mind. The reason for that was because through the design of the game you were able to have the characters do the most ridiculous tricks ever. Dealing with snowboards today you are either strapped in or they have those special step-in ones. This game, though, has it so when you do a jump the character can pop the snowboard off their feet and flip it around as if you were skateboarding. Granted that makes SSX somewhat unrealistic, but I think that one day some crazed bastard will come along and do something like that (seeing that the X-Games aren't what it used to be).

STORYLINE:

For the plot of SSX, they have it so you're playing the game as the female boarder Zoe for the first parts of each mountain you move on to. I'm not sure why they did it this way, but with each map you go to you conquer a mountain. Afterwards you get a special person for that specific mountain that has the proper equipment to deal with rough conditions such as armor for trees, ice picks for ice (DUH!), wing-suits for "gravity," head lamp for "darkness," an oxygen tank for "thin air," and so forth. If you don't have the proper equipment, you'll basically be going nowhere fast. For the story you and the other characters of SSX go up against a deserter of the group called Griff, who broke off from the group. Apparently he was one of the main money contributors, and thought he could make snowboarding better, starting these side-to-side races against SSX for the fans. In the game every mountain you board with have you taking him on either by tricking or racing.

GAMEPLAY:

The game starts off in a really cool way: they drop you out of the helicopter at supposedly 8000 feet. You will notice that your character isn't really going anywhere, as she seems to stay afloat. This does go through the motion, however, to get to know how to do the many tricks they have created. There are what I would like to call levels to the tricks, seeing that you need to build up to a second "TRICKY" level to pull off the bigger tricks by doing the main ones. Once that is up try not to use your boost too much going off ramps (I found my self to lose it easier that way), but upon completing tricks each individual letter will start to fill out. Once you complete the whole word you can bust the serious moves on the snowboard. You also get a cool effect when you land one of those tricks, where the ground warps in the coolest of ways.

SURVIVAL MODE:

I've heard people bitching about Survival Mode more than anything else in SSX. It's not that big of a deal, however, as the complainers need to learn something called "multitasking". The places they are putting you in are dangerous, of course, and they need the equipment to survive so they don't die such as the oxygen mask. Some of these mountains will be in the in low altitude settings, so when you're going downhill you have to keep the oxygen button going once and a while to make sure the screen doesn't go completely black. Another one that is a bit complicated is the solar suit, where the conditions on the mountain are so cold that you need to stay in the sunlight in order to keep the character warm; otherwise you will freeze up and die.

The one I enjoyed the most was the wing-suit. (It's like one of my personal dreams to go skydiving, and then get into a wing-suit and have some fun.) The designs of the wing-suit they have in SSX is pretty awesome beause it's built into a backpack. All they need to do to deploy it is use these rip cords that as the top of it, and they can fly for good distances. However: don't do it too much, because if you go too far you may not have enough speed to get off the next jump to deploy them again. There is one other mode called Rewind, where you can rewind to a safe spot in your gameplay if you find yourself in a terrible condition. When you do the rewind it's in real time, so use it wisely!

MUSIC:

SSX has a great selection of tracks that you can customize to what you like. If you are like me, you can use a custom music list from your Windows Media Player or what you've uploaded onto your Xbox. Here are the artists they have:

  • The Big Pink
  • Camo & Krooked
  • Dels
  • Digitalism
  • DJ Shadow
  • Felguk (feat. Example)
  • Flux Pavilion
  • Foster the People
  • Handsome Furs
  • The Herbaliser
  • The Hives
  • Hyper
  • J Boogie's Dubtronic Science
  • Kid Digital
  • Konrad Old Money
  • Lateef the Truthspeaker
  • The Naked & Famous
  • Nero
  • Noisia
  • Pretty Lights
  • The Prototypes
  • The Qemists
  • Raffertie
  • Skrillex
  • Styrofoam Ones
  • Theophilus London
  • TRS-80
  • Turbowolf
  • Two Door Cinema Club
  • Zion I and the Grouch
  • Wretch 32.

MULTIPLAYER:

The cool thing about the multiplayer they have developed in SSX is you don't have to be online at the same time with your friends in order to race them. It also puts you up against other people you have never met, and you can add them on as friends in the game. They have it set so you're racing the ghost of your friends, which is kind of crazy because it's memorizing all the moves that your friend did. and is mimicing that on the screen next to and hopefully you can surpass them in a race or out do them in tricking. (I have not been able to play this one as much due to that fact that my Xbox 360 hard drive had a serious hiccup.  It's now back, but I had to start from scratch, so this is probably as in-depth as I can get in this review.)

MOUNTAINS:

The above pic is one of the many interesting helicopters that you use in order to get up the mountain. Your chariot awaits for you to bring you up through the craziness of SSX.  The mountain chains you will be snowboarding down will be Alaska, the Rocky Mountains, Patagonia, Antarctica, the Alps, Africa, the Himalayas, Siberia, Japan, and New Zealand.

 

PROS:

  • Phenomenal graphics
  • Great character selection
  • Cool music picks
  • Tons of mountains
  • Optimize button always a plus

CONS:

  • Where's Eddie?!?! (Apparently he is strictly a pre-order character)
  • Half-pipes are missing
  • Hard to tell what medal you got on the map.
  • Survival modes are a bitch (but that's what challenges are for!)

FINAL GRADE: 9.4 (out of ten)

Game: SSX
Developer: EA Canada
Publisher: EA Sports
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3
Genre: Racing
SSX Official Site

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