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Your rating: None

2 players
Memory Card
Analog Control: Vibration function

ESRB: Everyone

Da Introduction:

It's true what they say. If there's one game you must have for your PS2 this year, it's got to be SSX.
The developers at EA Canada have delved into a genre already made popular by the likes of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, Boarder Zone and Cool Boarders, but rather than going for the same old game styles, they've added enough twists and turns in the originality department to truly amaze you. The graphics are grand, the sound is phat, and the whacked out tracks are so weird and wonderful you'd think you were on glue. Combine this with fast and furious speeds, mix it up with a load of unbelievable death defying air tricks, throw in some attitude and you have SSX. This isn't a typical snowboard simulation my friends; this goes beyond our reality.

Da Graphics:

Aside from the graphics in Tekken Tag Tournament, I have to say the amazing visual detail in SSX is the best you'll find on any of the current PS2 releases. First off the 3D environments are perfectly drawn and rendered, with enough exquisite effects and goodies littered throughout each track to keep you googling at your TV for hours on end. The rock faces are so highly textured you'd think you were looking at a photograph, and the visible distance is vast and complete, with various monoliths such as mountains and buildings on the horizon which are always in view. Yes I said always in view

SSX

 

SSX

ESRB: Everyone - E
Platform: PlayStation 2
Category: Sports
 
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9.5
9.25
 
Author:
2 players Memory Card Analog Control: Vibration function ESRB: Everyone Da Introduction: It's true what they say. If there's one game you must have for your PS2 this year, it's got to be SSX. The developers at EA Canada have delved into a genre already made popular by the likes of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, Boarder Zone and Cool Boarders, but rather than going for the same old game styles, they've added enough twists and turns in the originality department to truly amaze you. The graphics are grand, the sound is phat, and the whacked out tracks are so weird and wonderful you'd think you were on glue. Combine this with fast and furious speeds, mix it up with a load of unbelievable death defying air tricks, throw in some attitude and you have SSX. This isn't a typical snowboard simulation my friends; this goes beyond our reality. Da Graphics: Aside from the graphics in Tekken Tag Tournament, I have to say the amazing visual detail in SSX is the best you'll find on any of the current PS2 releases. First off the 3D environments are perfectly drawn and rendered, with enough exquisite effects and goodies littered throughout each track to keep you googling at your TV for hours on end. The rock faces are so highly textured you'd think you were looking at a photograph, and the visible distance is vast and complete, with various monoliths such as mountains and buildings on the horizon which are always in view. Yes I said always in view—there is no draw in or pop up found anywhere in this game. You can board on so many different surfaces as well, such as groomed snow, deep power, ice, rock or even glass. But sometimes you'll be going so fast, at almost a constant 60fps, that you will miss a lot of the little details and you really need to watch for them. Unfortunately there is some slow down when you round corners or when you come in contact with some highly textured scenery, but it's not enough to worry about and doesn't take too much away from the game. The snow displaces and sprays realistically underneath your board as you grind your ass to the finish line, while fireworks blast near you with furious colored intensity as you rip by certain points on the course. The tracks are also littered with various sparkling powerups, reminiscent of those found in arcade classics like the Mario Brothers' titles, and the overall look of each course is completely different from the last. Combine traditional obstacles like markers, fencing and snow jumps with cars, penguins and colorful moving jump boards on zany laid out tracks and you have some seriously original stuff to work with. Did I mention you could break through glass panes, knock over plastic barrels or slam/ride rails a la Tony Hawk's? Did I mention how immense each course actually is? They're big baby, really big. And the models move very smoothly. Check out the way they animate when you hit a jump and perform a trick or the way they twist and turn with fluid motion down the slopes— there's no delay of any kind. The polygon count is high enough on each of the characters giving them a very well rounded appearance, and there are no joint seams to be found on any of them. You can also switch their colorful clothes if you so desire. Da Sound: Pump up your stereo system, and if you don't have a sound system hooked up to your PS2 then do it, do it now! Mix Master Mike of the Beastie Boys fame delivers loads of inspiring tunes on this one in combination with other artists, and the songs are filled with fast beats very suitable to the look and feel of the game. This is snowboarding after all, which has carried alternative styles with it ever since its arrival, from the days when dudes/dudettes with freaked out hairdos, various facial piercings and body tattoos shook up the slopes and gave conservative skiers something to whine about. Also, at some points in the game the excitement becomes so fast and the adrenaline develops into such a rushed frenzy that the music paces itself right along with the action. Even when you hit a massive jump the music fades into the back ground, adding suspense to the success or failure of your landing. Complementing the perfect music are the superb sound effects, and they have real texture to them, so much so that if sound were a flavor your tastes buds would be sweetly fulfilled. Nothing about the environmental sound effects seem fake. You can almost feel yourself sifting through the snow as you ride it sounds so right, and when you hit ice patches or glass the cluttering and cutting edges of your board on the surface resonates so convincingly you'd think this were real. Combine all of the above with arcade like blasts for trick point and power up grabs, along with the hilarious conversations the various boarders have with each other on the slopes, and the sound scores a perfect 10. Da Gameplay: You can play SSX with two players via a split screen, or by yourself in full screen glory, in either Single Event or World Circuit. These have sub categories of Race, Showoff (where you try to grab as many points as possible before the finish) and Freestyle (take the courses at your leisure to explore them). However you only start out with 4 initial players (in all modes) and your track selection is small to begin with. You will unlock different players and tracks by competing in the World Circuit, which has three rounds that you need to grind through. In other words you need to compete on the same track three times before you can advance and on the third you must come in the top three grabbing a bronze, silver or gold medal. By doing so you are awarded skill points and you can then build up your character's various stats such as edging, speed, stability and tricks. You will eventually max your character out but the large selection of boards you have to choose from can potentially increase your stats even more. What sets this game apart from other games in the genre are the strange and wonderful locations you compete in. The tracks start out as fairly standard somewhat realistic environments, with Snow Dream and Elysium Alps, but as you unlock further courses its starts to get really weird. For instance, Merqury City Meltdown has you shredding through a city filled with skyscrapers and broken roads, while the freaky amusement park/pinball machine setting of Tokyo Megaplex, has you trying your best to avoid strange objects like large cylindrical pads shooting out of the ground. Then there's Aloha Ice Jam, my favorite, where you board down a huge iceberg on a mountain in Hawaii, filled with ice tunnels, cliff jumps over the sea, and neon signs with strange symbols. There are 8 tracks all told, and they're big, fast and filled with so many secret areas to explore you'll be playing them over and over again. What really sets this game apart from others however, is the adrenaline meter. What a great concept this is. The more tricks you perform, the better the trick, the higher your adrenaline meter rises, giving you the power to boost your character's speed down the slope. This forces the competitive player to do as many grand tricks as possible while speeding towards the finish, because the computer players show no mercy and will do anything to win. Trust me, these guys can be pretty frustrating to play against. So, you'll be using your boost as often as you can to increase your speed, and the more boost points you have in your meter, the better the boost. I've played a few different snowboarding and skateboarding titles, and I've never had the same control in those games that I have while playing SSX. The amount of control you have over your character's movements is complete, with the left analog stick guiding his/her turns with smooth and perfect precision. It never feels like the computer takes over and when you do bail you're on your feet pretty fast, there's no delay. Before a jump, you hold down the X key and release it at the lip, then using the D-pad or the L and R keys in combination you can perform a wide assortment of tricks and combos to grab those needed points. The only set back to the default control settings is that by holding the X button down you can no longer move your boarder, but this can be changed. It takes a few tries to get use to, but once you know what the heck you're doing there's no going back. There is a tutorial level for the newbie players so don't worry. Oh yeah, one more thing. When push comes to shove the right analog stick lets you smack, elbow and knock over other boarders who are in your face—use it, use it often. To top it all off there is a camera at your disposal, so you can zoom right out, or right in close while you're ripping, the preference is up to you. Although the closer in you go the harder it can be, because your view is cut down. Da Conclusion: SSX delivers a show stopping visual fiesta, unmatched by any snowboarding game before it. With enough whacked and wild varied tracks, players and secrets, this one will keep you coming back for more time and time again. The ability to boost your speed on the fly and the complete control you have over your boarder's movements furthers to build on an already great game. Trick combos are abundant and the speed is furious— although there is some slight slowdown here and there, it's not enough to hurt the game too much. And crank up that stereo, the sound in SSX certainly delivers the appropriate resilience to the game's theme. The Joystick is way up for SSX Da Ratings: Da Graphics: 9 Da Sound: 10 Da Gameplay 9 Da Tilt: 9.5 SSX for the PS2 was reviewed by DA GAMEBOYZ Drakaland




 
 

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