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SSX Review

SSX Review

The world of extreme sports had its major spotlight last generation, offering highly entertaining instalments of sport franchises such as NFL Street, and NBA Street. For winter sports, there was one that took the crown, and has held onto that title with each instalment. SSX proved to be the king of extreme, over-the-top snowboarding. After a 5 year hiatus, EA Canada finally returns with a reboot of the series. We recently asking whether or not SSX still has a place in current times, and if it is still relevant in our world. I am here to tell you that SSX is not only relevant, but it manages to take the genre to relatively new heights – literally.

The story tells the gnarly tale of Team SSX; an extreme sports team dealing with Snowboarding, Surfing and Motocross (SSX) tackling the world’s most dangerous and deadly descents. All’s well until one member – Griff, decides to bail and conquer the feats on his own, leaving your team in the dust. It is up to you to best Griff’s best tricks and times over the course of 9 regions with over 150 drop events! SSX will take you to famous mountainous regions like the Himalayas, Alaska, Siberia, the Rockies, and even all the way down to Antarctica.

Each region sports a certain deadly attribute association. Antarctica, for example, has parts of the map where the sun doesn’t reach, requiring you to equip a solar panelled backpack to recover your health as temperatures plummet in the shadowed areas. Patagonia has incredibly steep chasms, ushering the important use of one of SSX’s newest mechanics – the wing suit. Holding R1 allows you to spread your wings and soar through the airs for short spurts. Well placed uses can inch you ahead of the competition, while even the slightest missteps can have you hurling to your doom. Each race grants you the ability to rewind time should you make a mistake.

There are a wide variety of characters to choose from, most of which will be familiar to fans of the series, including my personal favourite, Psymon. All characters can be levelled up and fitted with different equipment – rare Jackets have different perks associated with them, while the boards all have different balancing for Boost, Speed, and Durability.

The story is quite uninteresting, and is essentially one giant tutorial that helps you become comfortable with the controls, and eases your way into the meat of the game – the online component. Explore is the heart of SSX’s online, allowing players to chase your friend’s records through asynchronous friend vs. friend competition. I like using fancy words, but basically this just means that it’s not your traditional online where you are actually facing people in real time; you are competing against their records and Ghosts. Your own Ghost earns credits every time a friend races against them. A reward system is placed for setting tough records to beat. The second online mode is called Global Events, which are real time competition against the best riders in the world with no lobbies, or scheduling. If you want to play with a friend all you simply have to do is create an event then invite them. Unfortunately, there is no local multiplayer mode, leaving party moments akin to the days of passing the controller around and taking turns.

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