Excerpt: The third game in the very accessible SSX series boasted some radical changes, which resulted in the culling of the fantastic tracks, and in their place was an expansive snow-covered mountain. Large playing environments are what many developers have been looking toward, so it was a natural progression for EA’s excellent series. We liked it, but it lacked the immediacy and soul of previous SSX games.
Excerpt: Electronic Arts’ SSX snowboarding franchise has won respect even from the ginormous publisher’s many detractors. And when the long awaited sequel to the game that started it all, 1080 on the N64, came out, people were forced to admit that it failed to hold a candle to SSX 3 in almost any respect. That was the point at which the franchise transformed from Regent in the absence of 1080, to king of the snowboarding genre in its on right.
Summary: SSX: On Tour is an excellent snowboarding, and now skiing, game and while it is not quite as good as the Amped series it offers a more arcade-style fun and is the best Snowboarding game you'll find on both PlayStation 2 and GameCube. It's a shame that the online mode suffered a premature death but there's always hope that it'll return in the future. On Tour offers an excellent single player experience and plenty of offline multiplayer fun.
Excerpt: SSX on Tour is the fourth game in the series, and the first since 2003's SSX 3. Concentrating on a solid single-player experience, the development team dropped online play, but have succeeded in delivering a game that - while not all that different to previous games in the series - should please existing fans and newcomers to the series. A unique art style and a pumping soundtrack sweeten the overall package.
Conclusion: yet again. I wish that there was some newer substance rather than style, but even so the additions included in this game are worth a look for serious fans. Skis are probably here to stay, but I honestly have to say that I wouldn't be too heart broken if the sketchpad doodles went away. The lack of online play hurts things a bit and the GameCube version is the only one that got some special characters (namely Mario, Luigi and Peach).
Conclusion: There are a handful of minor tweaks to the gameplay - - you no longer improve separate attributes of your characters, but rather speed and power are determined by your board. You can also choose to use skis as opposed to snowboards, but this doesn't really change much, other than adding new trick animations. Taking a hint from Burnout, there are "camera" icons which take a snapshot of whatever crazy maneuvers you pull off.
Conclusion: Dammit, EA, I want my effing SSX game back. This is NOT the direction the series needed to head in, and I'm sure there had to be some dissenting parties in place up in Vancouver. Maybe next time you'll listen to them.
Excerpt: There are 135 challenges, almost 50 medals to be won, and twelve all-new tracks. The action takes place on a single mountain, but it is divided up into many different runs, many of which join together with other runs as you get further down the mountain. One of the bad things about everything happening on a single mountain is that you see a lot of the same stuff over and over, and the levels don't have a very distinct feel to them.
Conclusion: THE VERDICT: The biggest challenge faced when reinventing your brand is to not change so much as to disconnect from your previous customer base. Like Madonna, SSX on Tour seems more concerned about restyling its platinum coif than maintaining the appeal that attracted its fans in the first place. Unfortunately SSX On Tour has been changed and hacked so much that we can hardly recognise it.