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Snowboard Supercross SSX (PS2)
Member Name: D1A1
Snowboard Supercross SSX (PS2)
Date: 26/04/01, updated on 21/06/01 (171 review reads)
Advantages: Look in the op! It's fresh, like snow, but I want the sequel!
Welcome to SSX (to SSX, to SSX), and as the start up sounds off you already get the feeling that the PlayStation 2 is going to perform some pretty impressive sound effects over time – already so soon, SSX demonstrates the superb sound quality that the PlayStation 2 really does posses – you should know by now that the ‘Dolby Digital’ sign on the PlayStation 2 does actually stand for something. In this brief paragraph, should you wish to skip the rest of the opinion, I’ll let you know that SSX is a good game, and probably is the best PlayStation 2 title out at present. It’s not perfect though, and if you want to know a little bit more about the game then read on!
The most horrible aspect of the game, other than the difficulty (as I will explain later) is the lack of a 60hz mode, and thus the game’s jerkiness and frame rate are a let down. The game would really benefit from such a feature, which is ever-present among the majority of the Sega Dreamcast games. Don’t worry too much though, although SSX won’t play as fast as the Japanese 60hz version, future PS2 games should include the option of 50hz/60hz (older Televisions may not cope with 60hz, but all new ones do!). SSX is still the best Electronic Arts game I have ever played, and is a darn sight more fun to play than the relatively pathetic Fifa 2001 on the format.
Graphically SSX is one of freshest games on the PlayStation 2 – with very much an arcade style graphical appearance in general, and with some brilliant lighting effects, but it would have been so much better with that 60hz option! Anyway, it isn’t quite as impressive as I had been previously told, but still I don’t see any better snowboarding game on the Dreamcast! I won’t attempt to compare this to the Supreme Snowboarding on the PC as the two games are very different, and well, it’d take too long! The snow effects are decent enough, and the characters
look about right. But I don’t want to judge a game purely on its visuals, as the best part of SSX is the brilliant, although slightly flawed, gameplay.
SSX in many respects could be labelled ‘Tony Hawk’s on ice’, as it the main ideas are very similar although in the latter game, scoring trick points is basically the only target, whereas in SSX you can also race! Don’t be dismayed when you first play – it can be very frustrating when those forward flips don’t work to begin with, and forget about coming in 6th (last) place every race – the joy to SSX is progressing and becoming better at it, scoring better points and starting to look as though you’re an SSX pro! I’ll tell you something though, you will become addicted to this one – despite it’s flaws and imperfections, the game is the most played on my console, although I haven’t played it for a while – I guess it’s still in the machine seeing as it isn’t in the game box! Anyway, the more you play, the more you learn, the better the tricks and the more points you’ll get. Definitely a case of practice leads to improvement!
The number of modes SSX do not at first seem all that great, with only the World Circuit and Single Event appearing on the menu screen (after the welcoming sound of ‘welcome to SSX, which echoes out very well in my opinion!), but do not worry as there are four great events. In the world circuit mode you have to complete the entire season against the game’s best snowboarders, and in the world circuit (one player mode only) you’ll be able to perform in the Show off, Race and warm up! I strongly advise you practice a lot before taking on this mode, as it is very challenging! I’ve not completed it yet, and I don’t really think I can for the time being (work pressures forbid PlayStation 2 time), but the races involve three rounds – the first (easy), se
mi final (slightly harder) and the final round. You have to finish in the top 3 for each in order to progress to the next round! Finishing top 3 in the final will unlock the next course for you to try your hand at. Single event is for one or two players – giving you that split screen debacle and the feeling that your television isn’t quite big enough! Single events include the aforementioned 3 events, with the additional free-ride option.
The Venues: There’re 8 tracks in total, with seven main slopes and the bonus track, and all have been designed with you the gamer in mind. They haven’t made it easy, oh no – not by a long way, but you’ll start off with the easiest track: Snow Dream, which should take you around 2 minutes 30seconds. Elysium Alps, Merqury City Meltdown and the rest, which I shan’t tell you because there doesn’t seem to be any point! Names mean nothing really if you haven’t played the game – but needless to say, all the courses have been meticulously designed so that you go uphill, can perform the occasional ‘Forward flip with the tail fish with the 1080’ and so forth. Each track will be accompanied by commentary and an excellent soundtrack ‘I didn’t know backs could bend that way!’ is just one of the comments the computer will be screaming at you! Again, here’s an excellent example of the crisp ’n’ clear sound features from the PS2. Very good indeed!
The control system may take a bit of time getting used to but it’s very similar to Activision’s popular skateboarding game in some respects. There aren’t as many tricks to perform in SSX as in Tony Hawk’s, but try out some different techniques if you’re getting stuck – oh and holding down for longer will help! X is jump by the way. I recommend the advice event – where you get taught how to perfect and perform various tricks in a very nice
indoor ongoing snow slope. They’re 6 characters in all, and each has his or her unique characteristics with some ‘witty’ chat back comments whenever you pick them ‘Whatever!’ ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah’ and alike! It’s a fun game, with character and charm but with some pretty diabolical, although bearable loading times!
The difficulty is very high, and there’s no way to adjust the level of difficulty in the world circuit mode – so don’t give up, it’s hard at first but you’ll get there in the end! It’s got it’s faults like when you’re snowboarder gets stuck just before the check point and you’re on the best score you’ve ever had in the show off mode, and you can’t get out! It’s just a flaw in the game – some blind spots where you simply can’t move. Anyway, the fireworks lighting effects are good and there’s a really fun feeling about the game – it’s the best EA title I know, and I would recommend it to my friends, enemies and relations.
I’d like to see a 4player version, a few more modes and some more tricks in the next game which should be out next year – there is a directors cut coming out soon, but if you have this one then wait for the proper sequel – let’s hope it lives up to more than the Fifa sequels!
Massive respect for EA Big!