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Platform

Playstation 2

 

Genre

Sports

 

Publisher

Electronic Arts

 

Developer

Electronic Arts

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

Q4 2001

 

 

- Great celebrity voices and a kickin' soundtrack

- Two new courses and the others have been changed

- Trick courses are now different than race courses

- DVD extras are really cool

- Improved trick books

- There's a guy with a red-brown 'fro - what else do you need?

 

 

- Some courses are almost identical

- Don't like that they changed the voice actors of 2 existing characters

 

 

Review: SSX (Playstation 2)

Review: SSX Tricky (Gamecube)

Review: SSX Tricky (XBox)

 

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SSX Tricky

Score: 9.2 / 10

 

There's nothing as viscerally appealing as watching someone (other than yourself) slam into a rock face going 60 miles an hour on a snowboard. Hence the immense popularity of the SSX series. For those who were unconscious or caught in some sort of an extended hostage situation, SSX was the sickly popular snowboarding game where the gamer could take a simulated racer through some of the most jaw-dropping stunts towards the goal of earning points and medals. In this incarnation, 6 of the original 8 racers return to dominate the snowboard circuit against the emergence of 6 new racers all fighting to become top dog. There are now 10 courses, the original 8 plus Garibaldi and Alaska. All of the old courses have been changed to varying degrees. Snowdream, Tokyo Megaplex, and Pipedream are completely different while compared to Elysium Alps and Mesablanca which look pretty much the same.

 

ssx-tricky-ps2-1.jpg (24002 bytes)          ssx-tricky-ps2-2.jpg (17167 bytes)

 

The character design is more involved in this version, and it shows with all of the profile information and inter-race talking (or smack-talking in some cases). The returning characters Mac, Moby, JP, and Kaori are all reprised by their respective voice talent but the remainder and the new characters are now voiced by celebrity talent. The punk gal Zoe is given life through the talents of Canadian singer Bif Naked and Elise is given her cocky strut by Charlie's Angel Lucy Liu. The new breed are voiced as follows: Eddie the wacky hacker by funnyman David Arquette, Latino bomb Marisol by Patricia Valesquez (Nut-san Amun in the Mummy), chanteuse Macy Gray for the groovy Seeiah, Shakespearean actor Oliver Platt for redneck Luther, professional psychopath Jim Rose for the fried Psymon, and spiritualistic Billy Zane for the surfin' Zen master Brodi. The characters really come alive from the voice acting, but I still am not crazy with the fact that Elise's and Zoe's voices were changed - it really bugged me throughout the game. The actors jobs were much expanded though, you almost can't get them to shut up at times. Not only do they talk amongst themselves before races and trick courses and after a good trick/huge bail, but they now talk smack during the race - it's pretty cool.

 

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The game itself has three modes of play: the Free Ride, the Race, and the Showoff Ride. The Free Ride is pretty much as it sounds, you choose the course and you can go wherever you want in what manner you want and as fast as you want. It's a good way to scope out all of the big jumps and shortcuts to unveil to your friends. The Race is a downhill sprint on a course against five other racers - the only thing that matters is your position amongst the finishers, so feel free to cheat and knock down 

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your opponents. (Be careful, in the Circuit people have long memories and if you constantly mess with them, they will go out of their way to screw with you). The final and by far most popular mode is the Showoff Mode. In this mode, the runs are the same but now have extras like rails and additional jumps to trick off of. To compensate for this, you now have to score more points in the Circuit to get the same medals - it gets really difficult on later courses.

 

ssx-tricky-ps2-3.jpg (21579 bytes)          ssx-tricky-ps2-4.jpg (14062 bytes)

 

As you earn gold medals in the circuit, you unlock (racers at the beginning) better boards and earn experience points which you can use to improve your racers in four categories: Edging (the ability to turn tighter and quicker), Speed (duh…), Stability (can withstand abuse from racers and stay on your feet), and Tricks (turn faster, grab faster, fly higher…). As you earn medals and experience, your racer will achieve new levels (rankings within the circuit if you will) and unlock better snowboards. To get the better outfits for your characters, you have to complete chapters in the racer's personal trick book. Each trick book is broken into six chapters which must be completed before you can look at the next one, but now you can look at the trick book during the run by pausing as opposed to having to remember the damn thing. The final trick chapter goes into the "Uber-Tricks" which are the 5-8 binding-release tricks that the characters can perform. To do one, you first have to max out your boost by doing tricks then when you catch big air, go nuts and cut one loose. (If I had a nickel for every time I've heard that! - Omni)

 

All in all, SSX Tricky is a great game that will appeal to all those who love dangerous sports from the comfort of their couches.

 

- Tazman

 

"Oh Lou. You and your frittatas."

- Chief Wiggum

 

(December 20, 2001)

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