Platform: GC, PS2, XB

Genre: Extreme Sports

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Developer: EA Canada

ETA: Fall 2003

 

Related Links:

Review: SSX (PS2)

Review: SSX Tricky (XB)

Review: SSX Tricky (GC)

 

 

 

 

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SSX 3

 

ssx 3 preview          ssx 3 preview

 

Pardon the cliché but, if you haven’t heard of the SSX series, welcome back from your journey to the center of the Earth!  Like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series, SSX has its own devoted following of fans.  It started with SSX then proceeded with SSX Tricky (which a few labeled as SSX Redux and not a true sequel).  Turns out SSX 3 is nearly two years into development.  Will it be worth the wait?  Let’s start with the facts:

 

Discover a colossal mountain where gamers will be immersed in a free-roaming snow paradise in an all-new SSX experience, SSX 3 (working title). A unique ascent awaits you, and when you reach the summit the ultimate ride is available: an open mountain to board, explore, and compete on. The mountain presents gamers with a world of open vistas and fresh powder for open exploration, filled with trick venues, rail parks, racecourses, and unbelievable half-pipes with new tricks to master and new competitors to take on.

 

The SSX team has spent almost two years working to improve the core experience by adding loads of new experiences and ways to play. Buckle up your bindings as a returning veteran or keen new rookie. Get ready to take on other riders-and the biggest challenge yet-the Mountain itself.

 

ssx 3 preview          ssx 3 preview

 

Features:

Open Mountain Environment: Get dropped onto the lower peak of the biggest mountain you've ever seen. You'll seamlessly board from one awesome area to the next-entering competitions, taking on Big Challenges, and discovering hidden collectables. Master the Challenges on all three peaks in your quest to conquer the Mountain… and make it your own.

 

Characters: Four new rivals join six returning characters. Mac, Elise, Zoe, Moby, Psymon, and Kaori are back, and they're joined by the crazy Swede Viggo, mountain man Nate, 12 year-old phenom Griff, and the talented and sexy Allegra.

 

Rich, Natural Graphics: SSX3 boasts amazing graphics that show details like incredibly realistic shadows and snow that sparkles, reflects light, and even blows in the wind. These are just some of the rich environmental details created by an OSCAR® nominated Hollywood visual effects designer. The amazing visuals work together to totally immerse the user in the SSX 3 world.

 

More Tricks: The tricks are completely blown out in SSX3. There is a collection of new Uber Tricks where users can combo and hold. Not only will SSX3 have the addition of specific Uber tricks on rails, users will even be able to perform hand plants. With the new board press tricks, gamers can extend a combo string-forever!

 

Soundtrack: An adrenaline charged soundtrack promises to be one of the game industry's best yet, featuring a broad range of music from such artists as the X-Ecutioners, Felix Da Housecat, Queens of the Stone Age, N.E.R.D., and many more.

 

Play How You Want: With SSX 3, users will be able to choose how they play and how they progress. Users will have the option of competing in a variety of events (Race, Big Air, Slope Style, and Super Pipe) or at the last minute opting to take off and freeride.

 

Big Challenges: Take on any number of unique challenges as you explore the mountain world. Grind billboards, board press logs, even hand plant the fence line. There are over 100 challenges to board again and again.

 

Customization and Rewards: SSX 3 has also expanded the character customization and rewards system. You'll earn medals and trophies to fill up your trophy room, level up your riders' abilities through a deeper attribute system, and even rename the peaks as you master them. Along with fully customizable characters (including cheats to equip them with over the top gear and attributes) you can customize your personal play list and much more.  

 

 

It’s good to see that SSX 3 looks to outdo its predecessors with a “Make a Better Sequel” checklist.  Returning characters, check.  New characters, über tricks, more sophisticated graphics, good soundtrack, character upgrades, more regular tricks – check!  What seems most promising though is the more open-ended approach to heading down the slopes along the lines of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4 challenge selection.  This will appease all those that got frustrated by SSX Tricky’s somewhat linear progression.  Being able to do what you want and just explore the mountain has its allure.

 

Of course, I’m all about cynicism because on paper even Communism is supposed to work.  My main concern is that with all the new tricks the button combinations will be overwhelming.  I’ve had a chance to see SSX 3 in motion and it does look sweet, but sweet visuals don’t mean anything without some solid control mechanics behind it.  My concern is somewhat muted by SSX’s previous control scheme.

 

Whatever happens we’ll all get a chance to go über again come Fall 2003.

 

- Omni

(May 24, 2003)