|System: Xbox 360, PS3*|
|Dev: EA Canada|
|Pub: EA Sports|
|Release: February 28, 2012|
|Players: 1 (2+ Online)|
|Screen Resolution: 480p – 1080i|
Simply put, the environments of SSX contain the best-looking snow ever seen in a game. It glistens and gleans in sunlight, and the powder effects make nearly every impact against the snow rewarding. Blending exaggerated features and realism into the characters was a good move as well.
With this better blend of character models, it is easier for players to sit back and enjoy the over-the-top absurdity of the tricks. The simplistic controls make this all possible. Utilizing either the right stick (as later games in the series did) or the face buttons (as many refer to as the classic controls), you won't feel encumbered by the control scheme. This setup allows players of differing skill levels to actually be able to compete with one another. In fact, even my six-year-old son could come close to beating my own scores at times.
Of course, EA has never shied away from making a good soundtrack. This one comes across as near perfect. It just feels like any of these songs could be playing on an actual snowboarder's iPod while they are coasting down the mountainside. While the music selection is great, the voice acting is hit-and-miss. There's nothing too horrible here, but some of the characters can come off as extremely annoying at times. The snide and crass remarks, however, I extremely enjoy, and want more of them; they help SSX remain fun even when your frustration has been pushed to the limit.
SSX has so many great things wrapped into it that I could hardly be happier. Aside from the way the Deadly Descents "storyline" plays out and the occasional character getting stuck between two rocks, SSX brings back the joy of playing all hours of the night trying to outdo your previous score. In this case, though, it'll be trying to outdo the scores of the last fifty players who bested you in Global Events. If you've ever played any of the SSX games, this is the game you have been waiting to play for a long time. If you are a fan of SSX Tricky, all I can say is that the wait is finally over for a true replacement.
Date: February 28, 2012