Memory Lane: SSX Tricky

By Lauren Alessandra on April 11, 2012, 4:29PM EDT

There are a bunch of Snowboarding titles that have tried to make the 'boarding' experience as fun as the real thing, but not many of the succeeded. That was, until SSX came on the scene and because arguably the best series for the snowboarding genre, with SSX Tricky being the pinnacle of crazy snowboarding fun.

First, you have the characters. With SSX there's plenty of personalities to choose from. So whether you're a more traditional Mackenzie Fraser, or an over confident afro-wearing Eddie Wachowski, there's bound to be a boarder just for you. Unlike a lot of other snowboarding games, these characters have a bit of personality which made it more fun to try them out.

Next, there's World Circuit which is where you unlock all of your characters, outfits, boards, and tracks. The World Circuit challenges your racing skills as well as your show-off skills. Get Bronze, Silver, or Gold in these challenges and you'll be able to continue forward, however, it does get harder to obtain these as the game goes on.

Let's start with Racing, which is what I started with when I first played. Since I thoroughly enjoyed playing Road Rash 3-D on the PlayStation growing up, I was pretty accustomed to knocking people over while racing, but that still didn't stop me from raging at some points during SSX when certain characters would unexpectedly lay a punch on me. The thing I did love about this, is that depending on what character you play as, you will already have 'enemies' and 'friends'. Enemies obviously will not think twice about smashing your face into snow, while Friends will look to stay out of your way, that is unless if you accidentally knock them over once. When that happens, you can pretty much kiss your friendship goodbye. Making enemies makes for some pretty silly cutscenes though, I will admit.

Racing objectives were pretty simple; get to the finish line first and/or try to challenge your self by getting better times. Since the tracks are all pretty crazy design wise, blasting through these racing levels is more fun than anything else.

Showing Off is one of the coolest things you can do on SSX Tricky and, believe me when I say, I showed off a ton. It's hard not to love it when the moves each character has to select from are all so unique and awesome. Basically, you have your regular "tricks" that everyone can do depending on their board's stats, but then there are "Uber Tricks" which can only be used when your Tricky Bar is filled and some of these are pretty sweet. Eddie, for example, has a move called the "The Worm" where he literally does the worm on his snowboard. Kaori was another character I used a ton and one of her "Uber Tricks" is called the "Pirouette Grind" which she spins around like a ballerina while her board spins around with her until finally she jumps for joy landing with perfect boarding posture. Unlike a lot of the other SSX's, it seemed like this game the developers really tried to have as much fun with the tricks as possible. But with that being said, none of these tricks are humanly possible so try not to do them yourself.

This was the mode that made SSX Tricky really shine for me. There was nothing more pleasing than landing an insane move with tons of flips and spins off the first hill at Garibaldi or grinding a ridiculously long pole from start to finish on a track like Tokyo Megaplex.

Also worth noting is the soundtrack. When you have a song like "Tricky" as your main theme, you know you have to have a good soundtrack to back it up and boy does this game deliver. I have no problem listening to songs like "Smartbomb" by BT or "Song for Dot" by the Space Raiders while leaping through the air and knocking people over. Even songs like "Shake What Yo' Mama Gave You" by Skank would get stuck in my head while playing.

Still to this day, SSX Tricky is one of the only snowboarding, maybe even the only sports-related title, that I would want to have in my collection. Though there has been better snowboarding games graphically since SSX Tricky was first out, nothing can match the amount of fun I had playing it.

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