Review by australianjeremy

Reviewed: 11/04/03

Not bad, but tough to get into if you're new to SSX

First - a disclaimer. This is my first SSX game, and I've only had it a week and a half. I've played a fair amount of Tony Hawk 4 on the PS2, though. So - unlike all the other reviews I've seen - this is a review from someone who *hasn't* played SSX Tricky, and who bought SSX 3 on the great reviews and idea of ''here's a whole mountain; go explore & conquer it!''.

Unfortunately, SSX 3 doesn't quite live up to its billing. The first thing you notice is that it's very easy to hit the edges of the game world, get the ''out of bounds'' message thrown at you and be respawned with your Uber meter depleted. It's not just if you go far from the track; the out of bounds areas are right on the edge of the track! In the days post-GTA I expected that a game about exploring the mountain would actually allow me to EXPLORE the WHOLE mountain.

An aside, whilst we're on the topic of similarities - or lack of - with GTA. SSX 3 (and the new Tony Hawk game) are being reviewed as if they share the freedom to explore featured in the GTA games. I don't know about THUG, but SSX certainly doesn't. Here're a couple of things they could keep in mind for SSX 4:
* If we're going to explore the mountain, give us the WHOLE mountain, all the way around, from top to bottom.
* If we're going to feel like we're in a real place, give us a real day/night cycle, and changing weather.
* If we're going to feel like we're really on the slopes, give us some other NPC skiiers around us (even when we're not actually in a race).

Back to SSX 3. I have to say at this point it controls very differently from the THPS series. I could really have used a tutorial mode to help out with learning it, actually.

Loading times on the PS2 are ridiculous, by the way. Sometimes they're nonexistent - like from the top of Peak 3 to the bottom of the mountain. But then you go to move a step back up the mountain from where you are and have to wait 20 seconds for it to reload, even though it was in memory seconds ago!

Still - given how much those who've had its prequels love this new game, there must be something going for it. Maybe it'll grow on me. But for the moment, a few words of caution: SSX does not give you a full mountain to explore, and it's a little tricky to pick up at first, especially if you're used to games like THPS.

The series could still do with a bit of evolving, too.

Rating: 7

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