SSX is one of the PlayStation 2 launch titles that truly excels in every single category a game can be rated on, to the point that even video game fans who aren't into snowboarding games have to sit up and take notice.
SSX is one of the PlayStation 2 launch titles that truly excels in every single category a game can be rated on, to the point that even video game fans who aren't into snowboarding games have to sit up and take notice. For those of you who are fans of games like Cool Boarders 2 and X-Games Pro Boarder, SSX is reason enough on its own to pick up a PlayStation 2 this October.
SSX is a snowboard racing game in which you compete against other boarders from around the world. One of the major differences between SSX and previous snowboarding games is how well SSX balances racing for position and performing tricks. The game awards points and an adrenaline boost for the tricks you do. The adrenaline boost is used as a turbo of sorts, which helps you race down the courses faster then you could on your own. This allows the game to be heavy on tricks while still keeping a fast-paced racing game edge. From the game's outset, you can select from four different characters, each of which has a different persona and boarding style. Progressing through the game by finishing in the top three of every course in the preliminary, semifinal, and final events unlocks more tracks, boarders, special boards, and character outfits. In all, the game features eight courses and eight characters. Each boarder has multiple boards and outfits to unlock, and those boards and outfits enhance your boarder's attributes and drastically change the way he or she performs on the snow throughout the game.
One of the best things about SSX is how unbelievably large and diverse the eight courses are. The first two tracks are fairly standard, which gives you a chance to get a feel for the game in a familiar setting. After those two tracks, though, the designers let their imaginations run wild, creating tracks that range from a run though a snow-covered city at night, to a desert, to an indoor course styled after a giant pinball machine, to a course that runs down an iceberg sitting in a Hawaiian harbor. While some of these tracks may sound completely absurd, they are in fact some of the most exciting, innovative, and unbelievably fun courses ever created for a snowboarding game. Plus they are incredibly expansive - on some tracks you can literally spend close to ten minutes boarding down one run at top speed. What's even more impressive is the freedom the game gives you to explore the vast levels, which is impressive since the rule of thumb is anywhere there's snow, you can go. Even if it's past the course boundaries, or even behind the grandstands, if you can see a way to get there, you usually can. You may occasionally run into an invisible boundary or two, but it happens so rarely that you forget they're even there. This freedom to explore is much more than just an impressive technological feature, as exploring the levels is how you find the hidden shortcuts that are almost necessary in order to finish in first place.