STAFF REVIEW of SSX Tricky (Xbox)

Monday, December 31, 2001.

SSX Tricky Box art Ok, so I went into buying this game with a little hesitation. I knew it was a port from the PS2 so I knew the graphics might not be as good as a game made for the Xbox from the ground up. I also knew there was another snowboarding game, Amped Freestyle Snowboarding, that a bunch of people recommended it, but a bunch of people also said it has technical problems like slow menus. But I was also itching to play a snowboarding game because I have been hooked on them since Cool Boarders for the PSX. After many long hours of playing this game, I have decided it is one of the best games for the Xbox at this moment. It has enough action for anyone to handle, and is very fun. It looks a lot better than I expected it to, the characters are clean and it seems like every aspect of the game is better than I thought it would be. I never played SSX Tricky for the PS2, but I hear the one for the XBox isn?t enough of an upgrade to purchase it. If you remember last year playing the first SSX at the PS2 kiosks, this game looks much better and is a must own for anyone who is into sports games. If you don?t like snowboarding or games like the THPS series or even a game like Project Gotham Racing, then I don?t know if you would like SSX Tricky. However, it still deserves a look over as a rental!

As far as gameplay goes, SSX Tricky isn?t all that hard to master. Although some tricks are, well tricky to do, SSX Tricky adds a wonderful tutorial mode where you can practice the trick. An Xbox controller will show up on the screen and show you what buttons to press and when to press them. Now that will help you master the trick in a few tries, but something even nicer is letting the computer take over and show you how to do it, so then you can get your fingers on the buttons and figure out when the best time to press them is. This will allow you to see what tricks you might not be able to do yet, and helps you get ready for another mode to unlock them in your trick book. There are many gameplay modes, such as Freestyle where you just pick a course and try to unlock tricks or try to figure out shortcuts. It isn?t timed so you can do whatever you please. There is also a race mode and a time attack mode. Those are pretty self-explanatory. I like world circuit and multiplayer the mode. It is fun to knockdown your friends and of course be the king on the world circuit. But you are basically forced to play world circuit anyway if you want to unlock other characters and courses. Outfits for your characters are unlocked by finishing each chapter in your trick book. SSX Tricky can be compared to THPS2x and PGR. It is trick based (like kudos for PGR) and you still have to finish across the finish line first. It seems a little odd because the AI seems to be good, but it seems like you can?t ever really break away from them or they cant break away from you. It seems odd when you find a really neat shortcut they don't know about and then you wipeout once and you are back trying to pass them again. It?s still a good game nonetheless.

The courses are simply amazing. So are the characters. The tricks also look superb. Uber tricks, when you get to do them, are amazing. They are something any snowboarder wish he or she could do. There is a cinematic showing you the course and information about it before you race, and it looks stunning! Everything on this game looks like it was polished very well being that it was a port. It still it interesting to think that even though the game looks so good, it doesn?t show the power of a game build on the Xbox from the ground up, so the next on the SSX series seems to be like it will be even better. Sticking with SSX Tricky though, if you worried about maybe less superior PS2 graphics, don't worry any longer. With the Xboxes powerful nVivdia graphics, you are getting great looking
Objects, as well as characters. Did I mention how wonderful the courses look? The visial qualities of a game alone doesn?t sell the game, but you don't need to worry a bit about graphics on this wonderful game.

Sound is important in any game. As far as effects go, this game delivers. The boards on ice and snow sound authentic, as well as falls and wipeouts. But something that is really important is good voice acting. I?m happy to say that this game also delivers when it comes to voice acting. You wont get much repetition unless you play for days at a time. You wont have to deal with the same line in one race though. And with the many characters, you might not hear the same line ever again, but if you are partial to one character, you will most likely hear the same thing a few times. But this shouldn?t bother you a bit. The lines are funny, and they really are "authentic" It sounds like the character would actually say it like that. If you win a race, you know your character will be happy so the voice actors deliver a great job when they sound enthusiastic and when they are mad. Now to my surprise, the actors sounded a little familiar so I wandered into the bonus DVD content to find out who they were. I didn?t know a sports game like this could sign so much greats to play in a game such as Oliver Platt, Lucy Lui, David Arquette, Macy Gray, Bif Naked, Billy Zane and more notables I just cant remember. Now there are more parts to sound, like the music. This game is very solid here as well. Some people might find the title sing by Run DMC, "It's Tricky" a little annoying, but I like it. It plays this at the main menu, because its the first track and it plays whenever you fill up your "tricky bar" which lets you boost or do an Uber Trick. Some of the artists on the soundtrack include, Run DMC, Hybird, Rasmus, The Forth, Bif Naked, Aphrodite, MisMaster Mike (Bestie Boys DJ) and so on. The songs are pretty good, and all in all, this game is strong in a category which games that are good graphic wise, usually aren?t so strong in sound. Luckily, this isn?t one of those games.

You guys already have a super-solid game on your hands, but more wont hurt. More courses, characters and tricks will be needed for the nest SSX game, but you really did make a nice game and I think its EA's best game for the Xbox yet.

Overall: 10.0 / 10
Gameplay: 10.0 / 10
Visuals: 10.0 / 10
Sound: 10.0 / 10


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