SSX Tricky
Game Info
Platform(s)
PS2, GC, Xbox
Publisher
Electronic Arts
Developer
EA Sports
Genre
Extreme Sports
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Comic Mischief, Mild Violence
 
Grade
The Good

• Totally redesigned courses are a blast to race
• Huge amounts of tricks to pull
• Improved loading time
• Addictingly fun

The Bad

• Minor collision problems
• Water isn't up to par with the rest of the tracks

 
Grade
A

SSX Tricky originally started off as a DVD-upgrade of the successful original, but once EA started going, it seemed like nothing except a full blown sequel would do. Adding new tracks and racers and redesigning the remaining tracks, SSX Tricky is everything that SSX was but better. The gist behind SSX is a full-blown arcade-style snowboarding game where the player must finish tracks while pulling off extreme stunts to gain boost.

Graphics:
While the previous version looked fairly excellent, this version seems to look just a little better. Lighting effects are impressive and the inclusion of fog on certain areas is well done. While everything does seem to have a arcade-like gloss to it, both the course and character designs are well done. In fact, the redesigned courses look and run better than the originals. EA has managed to keep the locales familiar but changed the trip down to make this sequel challenging while at the same time enjoyable. With the game now being on DVD, loading times are vastly improved, so much so that loading a new track takes between 5 and 7 seconds, a far cry better from SSX's more lengthy 10-20 seconds.

Audio:
Top notch, period. The inclusion of celebrity voices (David Arquette, Jim Rose, Lucy Liu, Oliver Platt, etc.) has really added a level to this game. Before and after races, there are segments where the racers talk to each other, which goes hand in hand with the Aggression system, where friends will help you out and enemies will try to knock you down. The music is your usual techno/drum and bass/trip hop. The feel and speed really comes across in the soundtrack, but those who may not like the music will have the option to turn it off just so they can listen to the quips and comments as the racers bark at each other.

Gameplay:
SSX Tricky
takes the solid gameplay of the original and beefs it up. On top of the numerous regular tricks, the player can try "Uber Tricks" when their boost meter maxes out (either by performing a number of tricks or knocking down opponents). Each of these "Uber Tricks" are over-the-top, only surpassed by the "Signature Move", which can be pulled off after spelling TRICKY (through pulling off 6 "Uber Tricks"). Within the game are single runs, Showoff Mode and a competitive season-like mode, where the gamer can build up stats of his/her favorite racer, all the while unlocking courses and new racers. As with it's predecessor, SSX Tricky is easy to pick up but challenging to master. There's a lot of fun to be had and once you learn where to take a short-cut, you'll be doing great in the races.

The Bad:
Sore spots are few and far between. First - when racing on tracks with water, the water effects just don't look to be on par with the rest of the track. On the track Mesablanca, the waterfall looks plastic and rivers look more like colored jelly than water. Second - there is some MINOR collision detection problems. Once in a while, you'll be racing down the course and just hit something invisible in the snow, blowing any lead or momentum you had. Also, when coming out from a reset (where the racer has left the playable part of the race), you will almost always land face-first onto the course, from which you'll have to pick yourself up to get going.

Sore spots aside (which are really just being nit-picky), SSX Tricky is everything SSX was, but better. Loading times are better, voice-acting improved, more tricks, new racers, improved tracks... I could go on, but it would be overkill. If you love SSX and want more, get it. If you don't have the first one, get this one instead. It's worth the investment.

- - Kinderfeld

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