Review by ADSLMikey

Reviewed: 10/28/03

SSX is back and more polished than ever!

Before I start this review i have to tell you one thing, BUY THIS GAME, if you like snowboarding then this game is a must. Even if you dont like boarding, this is a must. Even if you hate every game on earth except Tetris... THIS GAME IS A MUST!

From the boot up screen your greeted with an adrenaline charged intro, leading on to a cool (no pun intended) snowflake screen with the ubiquitous 'PRESS START' underneath, once into the menu screen you can choose to ride a single event or you can go for Challenge The Mountain mode, where you are dropped off at the top of a huge mountain and you take on each event on your decent down the peak, to save a lot of unwanted boarding about there is a transport option to call a ski cab to come and drop you off at your required location, once you have picked an event then the game drops into the real meat of the action.

The in-game engine for SSX3 is a HUGE improvement over SSX Tricky, it has the most natural and well detailed tracks I have ever seen in a boarding game, even Tony Hawks 4 doesnt compare to the level of detail in this game, and to think all this detail comes from a lump of rock with white stuff all over it (stop smirking)! There's a real feeling
for each type of ice, and you can certainly feel how slick the controls go when you hit black ice, and how sluggy they are when you thump into deep snow, I would say the surface feel is on a par with Colin Mcrae 4, it's that noticeable. On top of a great engine is an even better range of items and upgrades and equipment for your boarder, everything from goggles to low cut tops and bunny ears are included for your purchasing pleasure, admittedly they don't aid your performance, but who wouldn't want to earn Elise's low cut top??

The normal SSX purchases are there, like stats upgrades and the like, and I am pleased that the developers finally moved away from having two different kinds of boards 'RACE' and 'FREESTYLE' as it got annoying in the previous two games to have to keep swapping boards, and mistakenly entering a level with the wrong board. Also i love the little touches like the planes flying overhead, the trains zooming across the track on 'Metro City' (formerly Merqury City), the graphics have a level of polish that ive never seen in any boarding game before, from the way the lighting is perfectly worked out, like the bleeding light sources in Metro City. Theres a lot more characters this time round too, with all the favourites there including a few more, and it's good to see they didn't get rid of Eddy as he was one of my faves in SSX Tricky.

Now about the tracks, like I said earlier, they do look a lot more detailed and natural than before, however I didn't mention how much HARDER they were than in SSX Tricky, with broken pipes, ruts and huge cracks in the ground to skim over, not to mention the fact that one of the peaks is set in the middle of a snowstorm and includes a huge avalanche for your boarder to outrun... impressed? If you think that's impressive wait till you get to the final peak, but i don't want to spoil the surprise! Definately the hardest in the SSX series.

The music is another story, a lot of people knock the soundtrack of SSX3, and yes in fact they have taken out the main theme of SSX, but they have stuck in a ton of awesome boarding tracks to cut powder to, such as Chemical Brothers, Overseer and more. I was not let down by the
soundtrack one bit, in fact i prefer this versions music to the other two SSX's, they are all high adrenaline beats that you just can't help rocking along to as you flip and grind.

Overall SSX3 is definately the ultimate snowboarding game for any system, Coolboarder's died a long time ago and this just shows you how many technical advances the team at EA Big keep making, everything from

the engine being faster to the lighting being better and the tracks looking almost photo realistic, there is no reason why you should not go out and buy this game, and whats more, it works online too! However those with both an X-Box, GC, and PS2 should read around a bit to find out which is the definitive version for you, but whatever console you get the game for, im sure that you wont be dissapointed. I will be playing this game for weeks to come, and im sure you will be to.

Rating: 10

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