Review by DJ cream

Reviewed: 11/01/03

One of the greatest games to ever include snow!

Welcome to this year’s SSX Competition. This time around, the riders have it easy from traveling to each competition spot with the biggest improvement in the history of the SSX Competitions; it is all one giant mountain! And yes, it did take the builder’s two years to make this mountain one big playground for this year’s riders! This is going to be uber sick!

As two years progress, the characters come and go alone with their personalities. One hugely great example is the way Moby became mellower, yet still as outspoken. In SSX Tricky, he was really annoying and brash. I really hated his guts. Now that me picked up a Brodi-like trait of calmness, I find it interesting to be a trash talking, chill downed, British BMX biker turned snowboarder. Mac is starting to remind me of the old Moby. Then there’s the people that seem to never change like punk chick Zoe and hyper and cute Kaori.

As the years fly by, so does the age requirement to enter the competition. One of the four newcomers is Griff Simons, a very young prodigy. I can’t believe his talent and his courage for traveling down this scary mountain. Nate and Viggo are there as normal characters waiting to make a name for themselves. Finally, we got the new bad girl in the competition waiting to take away Elise’s spotlight, Allegra Sauvagess.

The controls have changed a bit since Tricky. The shoulder buttons are used both on ground to give fellow riders a knuckle sandwich and in the air to bust out some sick trick. The right analog gets thrown into the mix to use as a manual maneuver. Then there’s the Circle button to use when thinking of pulling of a handplant. A great addition is the Uber Grind. When pressing any of the shoulder buttons while in a grind, a cool looking grind move gets executed. Really nice to tweak around with and blow a lot of time adding into your arsenal of tricks.

The gameplay levitates over any other snowboarding game out! Forget the fact that it’s from EA Big and the stuff they pull is next to impossible, it’s still fun as Hell! With the crazy antics ready to be used and cool looking courses, it’s hard not to bust a trick on almost anything. Taking things like a cannon and using it as a launcher hasn’t been any more fun to watch since those old Looney Toons cartoons (Wile E. Coyote comes to mind).

The big mountain where the competition is held actual looks like an actual competition. I see many references to the Honda Element and DNL (or as I call it, 7 up-side down) featured throughout the first peak. Another spectacular spectacle are the Big Air and Superpipe events. The Big Air courses look really short; however, they look uber sweet to rip up. Much2Much alone states what the course is. The massive airtime you get in this place may be a bit too much! Now the peak 3 superpipe is practically an eight wonder of the world. Having a central half pipe and having two suspending half pipes to each side is pure genius! Now it’s transitioning between those things are the only problem.

The sound quality of the game is off the chain! DJ Atomika takes the place of Raziel and proves less annoying. The only time he speaks is during loading screens and when traveling between SSX events. As for song quality, EA Big has done grand things this time. As the majority of music listeners like listening to Hip Hop or Rock, EA Big as taken liberty to primarily put those kind of genres in the games. This means no country, no blue grass, and little heavy metal. On the down side we get a very lame Basement Jaxx track that sounds like a Gap commercial, no J-Pop, and little techno beats.

The replay of this game is insane! Completing all the competition with a Platinum Medal rather than Gold, collecting all the cash icons, purchasing all the stuff and gear, and finally maxing out the rider’s stats call take a month or more. Then we have to do that with nine other riders is an unheard of difficulty in any extreme sports game I’ve ever played.

Multiplayer is really annoying. The fact that there’s a split screen and there are so many things to keep an eye for (place in competition, adrenaline gauge, combo meter, etc…) are all squeezed in all together to the point where one thing has to overlap another thing. Bragging rights can now be accurately measued prior to kicking your friend’s ass in the game. There’s a whole screen made to keep you from winning if you choose so. Normally I’d keep my rights normal.

Okay, I got beef with the online system. As a person who owns a DSL line, I bought the Go-Net internet adapter instead of the official one that costs about $20 more. Now here’s the thing, with everything set up, the game fails to recognize the internet adapter. Now I’m forced to go to my friend’s house just to use his adapter so I can at least have an honest feel of the online play. I’m sure that I would have not acted irate if I had bought the official internet adapter in the first place because in reality, the game plays just as good online.

Should I buy, rent, or pass this game all together? This question is a no-brainer. Of course this game should be purchased! This game will take a lot of hours of your life in the first week and may be hazardous to your social and job-related life. Hopefully one day. I can find out what happens when I get every single thing in the game to that can be collected.

- One huge mountain
- Awesome graphics and soundtrack
- A lot of cool stuff to collect (come on, you collect toys and gear of the riders!)
- More use of the word “Uber”

- Insanely difficult AI competition
- Insanely difficult cash icons to be reached, let alone found
- Really high prices for stuff (any song to download to your play list is 5 grand per song!)
- Online problems

Well, this caps off another great competition of the best snowboards gathered on one big ol’ mountain. It will take a miracle to improve something of this caliber. If EA Big actually creates a sequel better than this, we have got the greatest game to ever involve snow!

Note: I’ve put aside writing this review for a little under 2 weeks and missed a lot of homework in the same time period. Try to spend your time well on this game and don’t over do it.

Rating: 10

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