That's basically the only reason I didn't/wouldn't buy this game.... no split-screen. Online mode for a game pretty much dies after 6-8 months unless it's COD. But I need a fool-around game to play at home with my brother now and then that we wouldn't care to turn off mid-game.
SSX is a terrific evolution of the series that delivers extreme snowboarding thrills like no game before it.
- Vast, varied environments with numerous viable routes
- Impressive visual detail and sense of speed
- Intuitive control system for tricks
- Adaptive music provides a terrific accompaniment to your actions
- Great multiplayer features pit you against thousands of other players.
- Monetization of credits feels like a cash grab
- No traditional simultaneous multiplayer option.
"Go big or go home!" Elise Riggs of SSX shouts this from the skies as she catches big air off of some of the tallest mountains in the world. It's a fitting credo, both for Elise and for SSX itself, and presented with those two alternatives, the SSX series has most definitely gone big. From its inception, it has been about snowboard racing and tricking on a superhuman level. Appropriately, the 2000 original was the first game released under the EA Sports BIG brand, and its two direct sequels were each bigger and better games than the last. But this SSX sets a new standard for the series, with a varied and dangerous world, a more incredible sense of speed, and competition on a massive scale. This is the SSX game fans of the series have been longing for, and the heart-pounding thrills to be had in conquering these mountains are sure to turn many newcomers into fans as well.
Whether you're playing the single-player World Tour mode or competing against other players, most of your time in SSX is spent racing or tricking your way down snowy mountain courses. Those courses are set in Alaska, Siberia, the Alps, and 7 other regions, and although they're much more rooted in reality than those seen in many SSX games, these real-world locations have been given the extreme treatment. You won't leap over congested freeways or speed down the slope of an oversized pinball machine as in previous games, but you will trick off of your helicopter and grind on rails that snake through the cavernous heart of Kilimanjaro. The PS3 version includes the exclusive Mount Fuji of Japan, which you get when you redeem the online pass that's enclosed with new copies of the game and can be purchased separately from the online store. Mount Fuji is one of the more tranquil environments in the game, and the only one that doesn't have a deadly descent associated with it.
The environments are vast and majestic. Details like sunlight sparkling on the surface or swirling flurries of snow capture the natural beauty, as well as the harsh conditions, of these locales so effectively that you can almost feel the bracing air enter your lungs. These details become all the more impressive when you fly past them; the smooth frame rate and immersive environments come together to create a truly impressive and exhilarating sense of speed. During a good run, the way you flow seamlessly from one thing to the next--from boosting down a slope to grinding along a rail to tricking wildly through the air--can make you feel like a superstar.
Tricks are central to SSX even during race events because pulling tricks off is how you fill your boost meter. The controls for tricking are intuitive and feel great, and they allow you to use either the right thumbstick or the face buttons. If you want to grab the left side of your board with your left hand, you simply press the thumbstick left or hit square. If you want to grab the front of your board with your right hand, you quickly tap right or circle to indicate your right hand and then up or triangle to indicate the front of the board. All the while, you can use the left thumbstick to spin and flip effortlessly. The simplicity of the controls makes doing what you want to do a snap. If you prefer something that more closely resembles the controls of the early SSX games, there's a "classic" control option as well.
It's the risk-versus-reward element of tricking that makes it so exciting. When you catch big air, you want to trick as long as you can to maximize your boost (and your points, if it's a trick event), but if you hold it for just an instant too long, you wipe out when you hit the ground, and all your tricking was for naught. Do you do simple ground tricks to maintain your combo and keep building up your score multiplier? Or do you play it safe and stop tricking to cash in the combo with your current multiplier? It's a balance you constantly need to maintain to get the best times and highest scores, and it's so rewarding to stick the landing after pulling off an especially risky trick combination.
The thrill of such moments is enhanced by the great sound design. The eclectic soundtrack includes shimmering pop, funky R&B, and pulsating electronica, and when you leap from a mountain to catch big air, the music fades, as if it emanates from the surface down below. When you hit the ground, it kicks back in at full strength. If you've tricked enough to fill up your boost meter, the music gets remixed into Run-DMC's "It's Tricky," which reprises its significant role from SSX Tricky in this game. Being in the "tricky" state also means you have unlimited boost while it lasts, and you can do ubertricks, which are worth more points. Score enough points in this mode and you get access to even wilder super ubertricks. The relationship between the game's adapting music and your actions gives your landings a satisfying sonic impact that complements the physical one.
Satellite surveys of the real-world mountain regions in SSX were used in forming the terrain, but clearly the hands of humankind have molded these environments to make them not only traversable but also conducive to high speeds and big trick opportunities. The end results are exceptional; numerous viable routes and intertwining pathways make the environments feel organic, which makes you feel like you're pioneering your own way down these slopes. Your helicopter pilot surveys the terrain from overhead and sometimes provides warnings about upcoming hazards or suggestions about which route to take, not entirely unlike a co-driver in a rally racing game informing you of upcoming turns. These tips can be quite helpful--particularly until you've done a run enough times to learn its ins and outs for yourself--but if you find the pilot's chatter distracting, you can always turn it off.
Earlier SSX games never needed anything like this guidance because there was rarely much danger. There was little sense that you were competing against the environment itself, but the new SSX is different. It's much more challenging; the environments are more treacherous; and in the single-player World Tour mode, your AI opponents are tough enough to put your skills to the test. There may be many viable routes through these courses, but there are also numerous pitfalls, and if you fall into a chasm (you will), the game won't just reset you back on the course. Instead, you must use the rewind feature (similar to the one seen in many auto racing games of late) to roll time backward and find a suitable spot to resume your run from, but this is not without its penalty. In race events, other riders continue on unaffected, and there's a particular sting to seeing an opponent fly forward past you while you are moving yourself backward out of disaster. In trick events, where the winner is the one who scores the most points, rewinding carries with it a point penalty.
Simultaneous multiplayer would take this game to the next level. It's great, but that would make it awesome!
I liked it through and through despite its flaws. But for the next game we need local and/or online multiplayer. Give us more things to buy and give back to the toons, dont make them so 1 dimensional
I see a lot op people saying SSX is frustrating. Have they ever played trial&error games? because SSX has trial&error game-play. I grew up with trial&error games like stuntman and even recent games like dark souls and split/second fit that categorie. I must say that it's difficult, even though the reviewer from gametrailers is saying that it's very easy. The new SSX is like dark souls in snowboard style :P don't know another way to describe it. Sorry if my english writing sucks, i'm dutch (not deutsch).
Absolutely glowing video review. Score 8.5?! Don't get me wrong 8.5 is a good score but I thought the score would be above 9 while listening to Carolyn speak so highly of it.
is there any decent games that are not made by EA... if so, i wish to support them... I HATE EA recently.
I actualy hate winter sports, but I LOVE SSX :D I used to play SSX 3 on my old PS2 when I was 12 I think and I actually loved it. And now after I've been playing the SSX demo on my PS3, i get a wonderful, nostalgic feeling. I was going to save my money for Street Fighter X Tekken but since the multiplayer is free on that game I wanna have it as a birthday present instead and buy SSX :)
"No traditional simultaneous multiplayer option." This just killed the game for me. I remember all the best times with this series was playing with a friend beside you. Oh well...
Any EA game nowaday is a cash graber... It's their business model, they don't hide it. We should be used to it by now! And don't even hope that they'll give you a little DLC...
SSX is not iOS or Android where games have In-App Purchases that require "Real $$$". SSX or any console game doesnt have In-Game Purchases. Get your facts straight.
@ Stophocles You don't get charged anything. Just cause the game uses real $$$ for credits doesn't mean it's a bad game. You have no idea what the hell your talking bout. BlackOps used real $$$ for its credits are u saying that's a bad game too because of it?
I've also never played an SSX game before, nor have I ever done snowboarding, but this has piqued my interest. I'm definitely considering it.
So nice to hear another worthwhile SSX game after years since the PS2. It is sad to know that the simultaneous multiplayer feature is not available and much merits could have been lost for a great score but on this subject, its still nice to know we have otherwise. I am happy what else is on offer..
Great review. I have never played an SSX game but had been thinking about this one - I now want to get it immediately :lol: