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Platform: GC, PS2, XB (and PSP)

Genre: Extreme Sports

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Developer: EA Canada

ETA: October 2005

Related Links:

Review: SSX Tricky (XB)

Review: SSX (PS2)

Review: Tony Hawk's Underground 2 (GC)

 

 

 

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SSX On Tour

 

ssx on tour preview          ssx on tour preview

 

Around about the time the Playstation 2 hit the retail shelves; SSX hit the slopes offering a cartoony and extreme snowboarding experience that won a lot of critical acclaim and general popularity with the unwashed masses.  It was followed-up with SSX Tricky a more sparkly and slick version of the SSX, with the usual extras accounted for.  SSX 3 dropped gamers on one big mountain to conquer, it featured a bigger roster of characters, more unlockables and shortcuts, and a whole lotta fun.  As EA knows the value of a good franchise, SSX will return this Fall with SSX On Tour.

 

Before you peruse the facts below, let me just plant this in your mind:  Tony Hawk’s Underground.  Maybe it doesn’t have anything to do with the facts so maybe you shouldn’t be thinking about THUG.  In fact, don’t think about THUG:

 

Reach breakneck speeds, catch huge air, and become an icon with SSX™ On Tour. Create a rider or skier and build a career as you progress from a slope-side wannabe to a black-diamond-dominating rockstar. Compete for medals or just tear up the massive new mountain, but make sure you look good doing it because your reputation is always on the line. Pull off jaw-dropping monster tricks to out-style your competitors while hurtling down the slopes at supersonic speeds. You create the hype—the hype creates a legend in SSX On Tour.

 

Building on the critically acclaimed gameplay of the SSX franchise, SSX On Tour features all-new player customization that gives you the chance to join The Tour. SSX On Tour is packed with all-new highly detailed tracks, new stylish player customization options, new monster tricks, and multiplayer options.

 

Features:

Develop Your Ego: Create your alter ego and join the world of SSX action. Define your style as a boarder or skier with tons of customizable assets including licensed equipment, hairstyles, and accessories.

 

The Tour: Create a snow-slicing, gravity defying mountain icon and climb the ranks of the circuit to become the ultimate black-diamond rockstar.

 

All-New Shred Challenges: Raise your status on the mountain by dominating off-track races that reinvent the way you face off on the slopes. Once you prove yourself in the shreds you’ll be ready for the first stop of The Tour. 

 

New Tracks: SSX On Tour brings you 12 new tracks to explore day or night. From crowded groomers to 

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untouched powder fields, no detail is too small in this diverse environment as you seamlessly explore all four unique sections of the mountain.

 

Try On Twin Tips: All-new skiing lets you create tricks in a unique way and add another dimension to the racing gameplay.

 

Huge Air and Monster Tricks: Defy gravity and throw down the all-new Monster Tricks with a touch of the right analog stick.

 

The Culture Comes Alive: Experience life on the mountain like never before with fresh art, pumping music, grown-up bosses, and new Monsters of Metal and Style Blaster events.

 

ssx on tour preview          ssx on tour preview

 

Going on the facts provided, SSX On Tour looks like it will be mixing the proven SSX formula with more role-playing and story elements along the lines of Tony Hawk’s Underground series.  However, it fails to mention the return of SSX characters.  While I can applaud EA Canada’s strive to create a new experience, some of what made SSX what it is are the crazy characters.  However, in a follow-up to the latest NBA Street ,for the GameCube version it has been confirmed that Mario, Luigi, and Peach will be playable (even if they probably won’t be customizable).

 

Another new direction for the series is the inclusion of skis.  While it probably won’t shake the gameplay at its core, it’s encouraging progress.  Now, if they would include toboggans…

 

There’s no music line-up announced as of yet, but knowing EA’s track record with licensed soundtracks it’s almost a guarantee that it’ll feature a mix of hip/hop, rock and pop tunes of varying quality.  SSX Tricky seems to be the pinnacle of the franchise’s music line-up, with SSX 3 passable but ultimately forgettable.  I just hope someone at EA realizes we don’t play games for the music alone.

 

SSX On Tour will shred onto retail shelves this October.

 

- Omni

(August 30, 2005)