Summary: The beloved SSX games of the last generation are still among the extreme sports genre's best, even today. So why has it taken this long for a true return to form? Back when EA's reboot of SSX was first unveiled as SSX: Deadly Descents , the reaction from fans wasn't particularly warm. I'm still not entirely sure how much of this was a perception issue, but regardless of how the finished game came to be, it's certainly an extension of what made past installments so great.
Excerpt: After a relatively long absence (not counting a Wii pit stop), the SSX series is back and brings with it a sense of evolution for snowboarding games. The 32-bit ones were all about attempting to execute the concept with limited technology, while the last-gen ones started as executing the concept and making it look good before evolving into a glitzy affair. Then the genre just kind of died off. There was Amped 3 at the 360’s launch, but that was six years ago.
Excerpt: During our first couple of hours with it, our relationship with SSX was as much of a rollercoaster as the frozen rails – manmade and not – upon which we rode. We say “rollercoaster,” but that’s not strictly accurate. It was actually the emotional equivalent of trying to navigate a boulder-filled minefield on rocket-skates, before eventually remembering that we’re one part Spider-Man, one part Jesus, and we happen to be able to fly.
Pros: When it all comes together, it's exhilarating in a way no other series is, Between the two main game modes, SSX is vast, 100% completion will be a meaty challenge
Cons: Lacks previous games' free-flowing exploration, The first hour or so will kick your ass, It's occasionally hard for the wrong reasons
Summary: SSX is another one of those reminders to publishers that it is OK to take a break from a franchise every now and then. A new generation of consoles, fresh gameplay additions and the most addictive trick system in snowboarding provide plenty of incentive to shred some virtual powder.
Pros: There is one, Sprawling environments with great draw distance, Smooth frame-rate, Fun and fitting soundtrack, Fluid and intuitive, Tricking It mode is the game’s main strength, RiderNet is fun and competitive and offers a great sense of community, Tons of tracks and Global Events will keep you playing forever
Cons: We don’t need it, Both character and environmental models lack detail, Sparse sound effects, Deadly Descents offer too much trial-and-error gameplay, Not all tracks are well thought-out, No head-to-head multiplayer competition, The game’s sudden deaths are a bit of a killjoy
Summary: SSX is the pure, unadulterated fun of snowboarding on steroids. The result is a wacky, insane, adrenaline-fuelled ride around some of the world's breathtaking snow-capped mountain ranges to savour a gem of a sporting game.
Pros: Insane stunts, Diverse, beautiful mountain tracks, Excellent soundtrack, Tons of fun, High replay value
Excerpt: SSX is worth playing, but there are warts to avoid. I hope that we get another entry in the series and that EA realizes it is the core mechanics and addition of asynchronous multiplayer that make it fun, not the hokey equipment-based events and rewind mechanics designed to make everything feel more dangerous. As it was released, SSX is good, but with a little editing, it could have been great.
Pros: Great sense of speed, RiderNet is fun here just like it was in
Cons: Deadly descents distract from the real fun of the title, equipment-based events are not fun
Excerpt: SSX is a franchise that first hit the powder when extreme sports were just coming into their own. The X-Games were all the rage and Tony Hawk had his name on one of the most successful video game franchises in existence. Those days have come and gone. Tony Hawk has given way to younger names, extreme sports games have become niche titles, and we had a winter nearly devoid of real snow.
Excerpt: xI'm staring out the helicopter's door, the wind is whistling and the snow blisters my face. The pilot gives me the heads up and I push off, free-falling in whirlwind. Before I can even collect myself, my board hits the ground, as other racers begin to whizz past me and it's on again.
Summary: A reinvention of the classic action snowboarding franchise, SSX packs adrenaline into every run with compelling characters and heart-pumping adventures as riders battle the most treacherous and diverse mountain ranges on Earth.