SSX Tricky Review
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SSX Tricky
Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts
December 2001
Xbox Live:

SSX Tricky is a totally different snowboarding game then the rest. It lacks big time in the realistic department. If you are looking for a game that best captures how real snowboarding is this is not the game for you. Instead, SSX Tricky makes up for this in its extremely fun and humors game play. This game is packed with all kinds of characters, that will allow you to pull off some insane stunts, like flipping the board around your neck, or even doing the worm in mid air. By the time you get into this game you won't care how unrealistic it is, you will just be trying to perform some of the wackiest tricks over some of the craziest mountains.

In the actual gameplay there are two main types of way you can soar down the mountains. Either in a race against five others or go solo and attempt to gain as many points as possible. No matter which one you go with you will find the controls are very easy to use and work with.

Competing in the races are loads of fun and can get to be quite challenging as you advance. The race starts out with you and five others at a starting gate. When the clock reaches zero your off and the first one down the mountain wins. Meanwhile the more tricks you perform the better. The more insane the tricks the better. After each trick you will be awarded a few bars on your tricky meter. While racing it is wisest to use this points for boosting. This will get you to the front of the pack faster, or going fast enough to get enough air on the next jump. There are a total of ten different mountains to race on as well as three difficulty settings if you feel the races are too easy to succeed in.

Aside from the racing, you can choose to go into a game type where you can ride solo down the mountain. This part of the game is called "Show Off", where you have to show off your skills on the mountain and gain as many points as possible. There is a set number of points you must earn on each mountain to obtain a bronze, silver, or gold metal. There are hundreds of totally unique tricks you can perform in the air. There are a number of different holds and flips that can be combined together to make something insane. The tricky meter in this part of the game is mainly used to perform the crazy and fun flying dance moves that everyone seems to love.

A new feature in this game is the tricky meter. This meter consist of a few bars that indicate how much of it you have. You are able to gain more bars on your tricky meter by performing and landing stunts. The crazier the stunt, the more points you will get. Once your tricky meter is full a buzzer will sounds and an exciting song will play. This lets you know that something crazy is about to happen. On the next jump you can use your tricky to perform some insane aerial stunts, which are more like dance moves than snowboard tricks. If you are able to land one of these stunts you will gain tons of points and you will even be able to attempt another one on the next few jumps. This element of the game is probably what makes this game so fun, but really bummed out when you fall on your face and lose all your tricky points.

As you progress through either the racing or the show off you will unlock more mountains and will also unlock boards and even new players.

The gameplay overall can take some time to get used to, especially the insane tricks and flips. Don't worry though, if you end up in the back or the pack or get ran over by another boarding your character will to all of the trash talking for you. Along with this you can even make enemies by pushing and shoving one another. Pushing and shoving and opponent down will seem funny at first but could come back to haunt you when they purposely come back the next few rounds and do it to you.

The graphics in these game is overall well done, especially in the animation of the characters and the tricks. Each of the characters have there own set of unique reactions to certain events that fit their character. The animations on the stunts are truly amazing, especially when you go crazy on the controller or when you are performing a tricky stunt. The animations are smooth and look great.

Aside from the animations the objects on the level and the overall mountain look awesome. Each mountain does not only have a few ramps and rails, they are jam packed with there own unique landforms and objects such as underground tunnels, air tubes that will send you air-bourn for at least a minutes, and even annoy moving posts to screw you up.

The character models are extremely detailed as well as the boards they ride on. If you ever get the chance while doing a flip, you will see that the designs on the back on the snowboard are very neat and detailed.

The music in this game fits the crazy and insane style of the game. Another great aspect of the sound in this game is the characters voices. Each character has their own voice that matches their character perfectly. EA was able to get many well know celebrities to record parts for the different characters. Some of these celebrities include, Lucy Liu ("Charlie's Angels" and television's "Ally McBeal"), Billy Zane ("Titanic"), Oliver Platt ("Bulworth"), David Arquette ("Scream") and Patricia Velazquez ("The Mummy Returns"), Grammy winner Macy Gray, performance artist Jim Rose (The Jim Rose Circus), as well as alternative recording artist Bif Naked.

One of the very few down sides of this game is that is does not allow you to use your own soundtracks in the gameplay. It would have been a nice feature to have but the actual music included in the game is stylish enough.

Overall the greatest part of this game has to be its gameplay. Although it is very unrealistic, who cares when you going 50 + mph down a mountain performing stylish dance moves in mid air? The gameplay contrary to most other snowboarding games is very fun and even humorous. The graphics are very nice and smooth and the animations are fantastic. The music is stylish and matches the style of the game well. If you are not the snowboarding type this game will surprise you because it is so different from the rest. Overall one of the best snowboarding games available.

Saturday, June 12, 2004 

Overall Score

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