Review by ILOVEDYNASTYWARRIORS

Reviewed: 01/26/04

This is the ultimate snow boarding paradise!

EA Sports BIG! You have done it again. You have made a game that has everything that's good about snow boarding. There's no denying that the SSX series is the best snow boarding game ever to be released on the Play Station 2(And Game cube and Xbox too). It's the most complete of the SSX series and with its superb graphics, amazing game play and mind blowing sound track, it's sure to catch the eyes of those mad about this sport. Now, in this sequel, there is only one mountain to board on but is this mountain HUGE! It would take you about half an hour to board the whole mountain from top to bottom and the ride will be so fun that you won't notice the whole 30 minutes. Ok! Enough said! Now the review starts.
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Graphics: 10
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Oh boy! Are the graphics good! Just the graphics are enough to keep you coming back for more. The character models are so realistic that it will simply blow you away. The board moves are more fluid and as everything runs at 60 frames per second, there's no chance that the game will slow down. The mountain textures, weather effects and snow trails are all as detailed as it possibly can be. Seriously! There no other game of this genre that can compete with SSX's graphics. Even the snow shines in the sunlight. No match in this department, I tell ya!
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Audio: 9
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The sound track in SSX 3 is pretty good. There are over 30 songs sung by famous artists and I'm sure that if you play this game, you'll find many tracks that you like. You can even erase songs out of your song list so that if a song is irritating you, you can turn it off. Now this wasn't available in the previous addition, was it? EA Sports BIG has also replaced the celebrity voice-overs with a brand new squad of actors. The radio commentator has also been changed. The job of the commentator is to comment on the songs and the player's character e.g. It's always fun to hear him praising your character. Overall, excellent!
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Game play: 10
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The game play! This part is the most important than any other. If a game's game play is good but the graphics are below average, people will still come back to play this game. It can either make or break a game (Like the Fifa and Pro Evolution series, eh?)
There are many modes after you put the disc in your console. You can play Conquer the Mountain(Explained later) or single events. In this event you can race in tracks that you have unlocked.
Now there is one mountain as I said earlier but it's split into 3 peaks, each more difficult than the one before it. Initially, only the first peak would be open. You can open the other peaks by getting a peak pass and to get that you need to win races. The peaks are separated into the Backcountry area and the race and freestyle zones. The Backcountry zones are the natural areas with more trees and less jumping action. The race and freestyle zones are the zones where you can reach insane speeds and huge jumps. The races are all about going fast and finishing the race first before the other racers do it but don't forget to land some tricks as tricks earn you boost and boost makes you go faster, jump higher and execute 'Uber tricks'.
These Uber tricks are glorious insane and are very mouth-watering to look at. There are three levels of Uber tricks. The first level are your regular tricks, only a little flashier. After busting 4 of these tricks, you get to the level 2 Ubers. These are a little bit harder to land and require more time. And the level 3 Ubers! Oh Boy! Let me tell you people. Don't try these if you go snow boarding. These moves literally have your boarder flipping, diving, kicking, throwing and spinning at insanely high speeds and they also take the longest to land. But that shouldn't be too much of a problem really as landing in this game is as easy as taking candy from a baby. Just stop flipping and spinning and as long as the board touches the ground first, you'll land safely. Even if you goof up, you can recover from it no matter how high the fall was. But this feature also takes out the thrill and nervousness the game. If you bail in a race, you won't be injured or taken out of the race on a stretcher, instead all you have to do is rapidly press the square button and your player will get up. He or she will continue boarding normally as if nothing has happened. You can also buy new Uber tricks and use them while playing although they are rather expensive at first.
Board manuals have also made their way into this game so now it's very easy to rack up points from combos. E.g. you execute an Uber trick and do some flips after that. Then when you land, you can pull up the right analog stick to do a manual. This way the combo will go on and by the end of it you will have gathered about half a million points.

In order to unlock goodies and to improve a character's attributes, you will have to play the Conquer the Mountain mode. As I said earlier, there are 3 peaks. Each peak has about 4 to 6 races and some freestyle events. You will have to complete all of the races on the first peak to gain access to the second peak. There are many things here that you can do. You can choose to race or compete in a freestyle event by going over there on a cable car or your personal plane or by yourself. Otherwise you can just explore the peaks to find collectables like the snowflakes. These snowflakes give you money so you should get them whenever you find them. You can also play the BIG challenges. These are challenges are smaller and require you to do stuff like jumping through hoops or boarding the whole perimeter of a cave.

The characters in SSX 3 are very comical and they add life to the game. You can change their accessories like shirts and mitts provided that you have the money. Each character is unique and has his or her own boarding style. EA Sports BIG, you have done a great job in this department. Two thumbs up!
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Controls: 10
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The controls are as easy as easy can get. The shoulder buttons are used for doing tricks, the directional pad and analog stick for moving the character and the rest of them are for jumping and boosting. After 15 to 30 minutes of playing, the controls will become second nature to you. No problems here.
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Replay value: 10
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There are 10 characters so you will have to play Conquer the Mountain 10 times to get all of them customized so about 60-70 hours of game play. It may seem much but this game is so fun to play that even playing the Conquer the Mountain mode 10 times won't get you bored.
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Buy or rent?
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This game is a definite buy. Even those gamers who have never played a snow boarding game should check it out. I assure you, you will love this beauty. It's your ticket to a mountain full of joy and fun!

Rating: 10

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