posted 11/20/2003 by Matt Mirkovich
other articles by Matt Mirkovich
One Page Platforms: PS2
This time around the events are not simply limited to a freestyle event and a race event on each mountain. Instead each mountain has four events, which fall under the two categories of race and freestyle. With race it’s still the same three-heat system, make top three in each race and advance to the next round. As for freestyle it’s simply a matter of posting the top score and taking home the gold, or the platinum if you’re really good. Freestyle covers three events, first you’ve got Big Air, and you can guess where I am going with this. Then there is the Super Pipe events, giant and I mean giant half pipes that would make any rider quiver in fear and joy at the same time. Lastly you’ve got the Slope style event which is very close to the original SSX Freestyle formula, you’re given a track that is loaded with stuff to trick off of and you’ve got a limited time to make it down to the bottom of the course, make it count. Once you clear all the events for freestyle and race on each mountain you will get a challenge from the peak boss who will take you to the mountain’s back country for some one on one action. Of course earning a gold in every event is not enough to conquer the whole mountain, you’ve also got a ton of free riding to do and challenges to find while doing that.

The trick system is still the same as previous SSX games with a notable exception, the nose and tail press. Think of this move as a manual, with the right analog stick you swing your board around while balancing yourself on either the nose or tail, simple stuff. You will be using this move a lot thanks to the new combo system that has been implemented. So long as you keep that combo meter going, half the score you receive from tricks will be added what can become a giant bonus. But be careful, if you wipe out in the middle of a combo you can kiss that bonus good bye, and I have done that on a number of occasions, which taught me to let go of a combo and not to be too greedy.

The Uber Tricks that made SSX Tricky an absolute blast are back and this time on varying degrees. First off you’ve got two levels, Super, and Uber, Uber is the first meter that will be filled, moves that fall in Uber Zone 1 are simple tricks, like removing a foot from the board’s binding. In Uber Zone 2 you can do Super Uber tricks and something new called Monster Tricks. Super Uber moves are like what was seen in SSX Tricky, they also made a few new moves, which are really slick looking. Monster Tricks are hidden moves that you learn from meeting specific goals, which you can check in the menus when you reach the lodge.

The lodge also serves as a hub where you can purchase new stuff for your rider, whether it be stats, new clothes, boards, art from comic artist Adam Warren, trading cards, hidden characters and more just be sure to check the lodge on each peak because there is different stuff to get on each one. Or you can use the lodge to view all the things you’ve accomplished over your SSX career, or you can use it to warp around the mountain with the greatest of ease.

In what has to be a sheer stroke of genius, EA Big made the whole mountain immediately accessible. If you want to go to an event on the mountain you can either be picked up and dropped off there or if you’re higher up on the mountain you can ride down at your leisure, bypass an event and pick up some collectible snowflakes which garner some cash for your cause along the way. There are over 400 of these snowflakes hidden for you to find, and you’ll need a good number of them to get a gold in the exploration aspect of the mountain peaks.

In addition to the collectible snowflakes you also have a large number of challenges outside of the events called BIG Challenges. These mostly consist of doing special tasks, like riding down a mountain with as little air time as possible, or scoring a certain amount of points on a track without falling down. Suffice to say a lot of these challenges are tough but are a great way to earn cash outside of events.
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