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Extreme Sports



Electronic Arts



EA Canada



E +10 (Everyone)



Q4 2005



- Sharp in-game graphics combine with beautiful “graffiti-style” Keith-Haring-like loading screen visuals
- Open-path “on tour” gameplay gives you the choice on which trail to the top of the boarding ranks you take
- Breakneck downhill speeds a cold blast of exhilaration



- Controls that require a combination of both thumbsticks and the directional pad to pull off tricks are sometimes unwieldy
- Not much of an innovative upgrade from SSX 3
- No online play



Review: SSX Tricky (XB)

Review: SSX Tricky (GC)

Review: Transworld Snowboarding (XB)

Review: Tony Hawk's Underground 2 (XB)

Action Figure Review: Psymon (SSX Tricky)



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SSX On Tour

Score: 8.4 / 10


ssx on tour           ssx on tour


It’s Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater that created the definitive skating game and helped shape the extreme sports gaming genre. But just as innovative in its own extreme sports category is the SSX snowboarding franchise. Just like the current Tony Hawk title, Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland, the newest SSX, SSX On Tour, doesn’t flash and thrash much new innovation these days. But with open-path, story-driven “on tour” gameplay, new tracks to blaze an icy cool trail through, frosty-fast, snow-melting speed, and another strong visual and audio presentation, old fans and new will give SSX On Tour its props as the top snowboarding game.

Keeping the gameplay snow from melting away into a puddle of boredom is the great variety of objectives the “on tour” mode provides. Objectives range from races, trick competitions, even games of tag. Along the way, there are bonus icons to help increase your earnings. By winning and completing objectives, you’ll earn




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cash, enabling you to purchase new equipment, helping you perform better on the slopes and increasing your ability to easily move up the rankings of the tour.

The open-path gameplay, which allows you to take on the game’s objectives in the order that you want to, was around in SSX 3. But SSX On Tour takes that open-ended boarding in a new story-driven direction as you take on the “tour” as a


lowly amateur, prove your snow-shredding skills worthy of a tour spot and climb up the ranks to the top of the snow-capped mountain as the best around. It’s not a quantum leap in gameplay from SSX 3, but enough of a jump to consider it somewhat more refreshing than previous single-player SSX offerings. And single-player gameplay is what SSX On Tour primarily offers, although there is a two-player multiplayer option. It is missing online play however, after having it available in the PS2 version of SSX 3. With potentially amazing Xbox Live online support readily available, it’s a disappointment that SSX On Tour is at most only a two-player game.

One facet of SSX On Tour that definitely won’t disappoint is the whole audio-visual presentation. The game features a fine selection of good music that’s perfect for an extreme sports title. Graphically, SSX On Tour goes on down the same road of other EA Big games, most notably the two street titles, NFL Street 2 and NBA Street Vol. 3. The latest versions of those two games are highlighted by stylish, unique character models and very good environmental details, and SSX On Tour borrows those same high-level character and environmental visual qualities. Another interesting aspect of the SSX On Tour visuals is the loading and selection screens that have a simplistic-yet-artistically-complex and beautiful Keith Haring-like urban art attribute.


ssx on tour          ssx on tour

An element that presents some letdown issues is SSX On Tour’s controls. They’re hard to acclimate to, because they stray from the standard controller button manipulation that helps Tony Hawk games control so naturally well and responsive. Instead, SSX On Tour uses a combination directional pad and thumbstick arrangement that is much more difficult to adjust to. To pull a big-point aerial trick, you have to move your character with the right thumbstick and switch to using a combo of the directional pad and left thumbstick to perform a crowd-and-judge-pleasing trick. The simple task of controlling your boarder down the snowy levels isn’t completely easy, because there’s a sense of not being totally in control of your movements, almost like you’re careening down the hills of San Francisco’s city streets in a car with its power steering out of commission. At least that out-of-control desperation provides breakneck, cold-blast-of-exhilaration downhill speeds. When you finally do get the hang of SSX On Tour’s controls, rising up the snowy route to the top of the boarding rankings is a lot easier to accomplish.

You won’t see too much unseen innovation in SSX On Tour, the controls leave a lot to be desired, and there’s disappointingly no online play available, but a good open-ended “on tour” story mode, a rush of adrenaline-raising speed on the slopes and a familiar-yet-fresh visual style crown SSX On Tour the king of the snowboarding gaming hill.

- Lee Cieniawa

(December 2, 2005)


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