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