EA Sports have released their fifth installment in the SSX franchise and it pulls off the biggest trick yet, a solid improvement over previous entries on the PS2 which had only a handful of riders, less than 15 slopes and got on with novelty alone. Now we have SSX in full maturity, with those original riders developed and over 100 tracks to race or trick to your heart’s content.
SSX was never known for realism and with every version the realism has only been included where it makes the game more fun. It feels great to pull off such incredible moves, while still being reminded of your limits by the mountain.
Story mode in the game is the first thing introduced right off the bat to get you used to the controls and give provide a nemesis to compete against. Having an antagonist gives a lot of purpose to pursue the career mode giving a reason to tackle every mountain. Offline play gets your characters built up and ready for online play, so give it a good few hours before going straight online, which is a natural evolution from single player.
One thing lacking in the multiplayer aspect is there isn’t any local split screen, which was probably the most played feature on my version of the original SSX for having mates over; it’s sorely missed this time round.
Every turn, twist, jump, grab or shout has obviously been finely tuned for this version of an old favourite. EA Sports have been known to release an updated version of each franchise every year, but SSX is a great example of why giving a few years between each title can equal greatness. [James Noonan]