Review: SSX (PlayStation 3)

By Wayne Webb

SSX was a flagship title for the PlayStation 2 and the company that made it EA Sports. It was one of my favourite games when it first game out and it got years of replay value back then.

Fast-forward to the age of the PS3 and the classic SSX has been rebranded and buffed to a shine for the next gen console. Immediately you notice the huge improvement in graphics and design. These mountains, valleys and craggy outcroppings look almost real and have none of the plastic look and feel of the older version. Straight away you get a massive sense of realism on the slopes. Add to this the sheer speed and danger of the courses (there’s no guarantee you finish any run alive) and the difference between SSX classic and SSX for the PS3 is almost like the difference between the PS 1 and PS 3.

Each mountain is steeped in the real world, featuring high slopes and drops from around the world. The South Pacific gets a look in with New Zealand’s Mt Cook Aorangi getting featured as one of the world’s most deadly slopes. You can follow the career mode and take each country and slope in turn and play the varying modes in order. Alternately you can hit the world in a manual selection and pick whatever takes your fancy and start snowboarding for your life.

Game play hasn’t changed much; there are racing, tricking and survival modes. There are power ups to reach to boost your tricks and anything fancy will fill your boost meter with extra speed to be used at will. Beyond this is a realistic and incredibly hard game to play and requires you to get to grips with your board, have lightning reflexes, and good planning as you attack the slopes. In order to conquer a slope you pretty much need to practice, practice, practice to get anywhere as your opponents are not light in the skill department. The first tricky event I did I was happy to pull off a 70k string of tricks only to find my computer opponent had racked up 300k in the same space and time.

There are a bunch of extras and equipment you can get online to help you and take you to more places and score better, but they seem like exercises in spending rather than improving your skills. A financial system in a sports-based games may be close to reality but does little to help me learn new tricks and be better without the fancy equipment. It’s a shame there’s no local multiplayer option, as this is one of the features of the old version sorely missing in the new.

Pros: Amazing real world graphics, fast paced and exciting, loads of modes and online components.
Cons: Seems too hard in places, steep learning curve on every slope, extras seem designed to make you spend

4 Shacks Out of 5

 

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