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PS2 Reviews: SSX 3


SSX 3  screenshots


The Final Say!


 -  reviewed by Tory Favro
Review Score 9.3/10 
(not based on an average)
Distributed By: Electronic Arts

Dust off the snowboards and strap on the boots as SSX 3 is now out and about at your favourite games stores!

For those who have been buried alive and have just dug their way out after two years of intravenous drip feeding, SSX is the premier snowboarding title to grace any console and in my humble opinion is best on the PS2.

Why? Mix insane mountains, ridiculously cool moves and the simple fact that this is simply the best game in this fabulous series, should make you (almost) turn off your PC and fork over the cash to have this in your PS2 pronto. This quite frankly isn't just a rehash or overhaul of a game, to me this seems to be a completely new kettle of fish with just enough familiarity to not lose old skool players and enough new stuff to make vets and newcomers alike gasp out aloud.

Want to ride the mountain from the very top to the bottom? What's stopping you? Nothing, that's what. New open level design means that you can shred this mountain from top to bottom if you choose and leave the beaten track if that's what turns you on as well. No invisible walls holding you in check and within the confines of the title, go nuts and explore if you will. It might mean that the game takes that little bit longer to get through but it's certainly worth it just to do the title justice.

Another new part of the game that really impressed me was the ability to travel to any peak instantly by utilising a fictional personal digital assistant (PDA). A couple of button presses and you are there in a jiffy. Working to have access to those peaks is another matter, but once you have them then the whole mountain is your playground to use and abuse.

A constant source of wonderment for me was also the size of the game. Huge doesn't really do it any justice. Everything is just so big that even races can be timed in minutes before you see the end of even the starting peaks. Draw distances are massive and the visual effects employed are to be seen in order to be believed. The screenshots that EA have provided are not doctored for the sake of the review, the game looks that sweet in reality!

New characters are also the rule of the day for this release although fan favourite from past versions are also here to strut their stuff. These electronic entities are vain little folk and you can kit them out in a variety of clothing. Specially recorded samples accommodate each one and they all have their own special form of smack talk when shooting down the slopes. It's surprising that although the samples used are varied, you do get a bit of repetition which unless clever can get annoying fast. 

Tricks are the name of the game in SSX and building up your trick metre is paramount to having some success. The more that you do, the higher the metre goes until you can do uber tricks that involve absolutely insane stunts. If you want to just use your metre to allow for greater speed to win races then feel free to waste it that way as well. The tricks however have to be seen to be believed and some will have you gasping in astonishment.

I think one of the tricks that make this so popular is the simple fact that the animations would be amongst the smoothest that I have seen in a video game involving sports. You can clearly see how they are twisting and turning to get into these ridiculous trick positions and that in a world where boots unclip and gravity is defied, it would be more than possible. Framerate is a constant in this title and I didn't have to deal with any lag that I could notice in any way. I was just thoroughly impressed the entire time as you might have guessed from this writeup. However.... as with any title, I've got to try to find fault and there is really only two that I could find.

Players are still getting stuck in small areas like behind guard rails and fences. You simply wedge in there until the game times you out and you get teleported back onto the track. The wait time seems to be less now and the areas in which it happens are also lessened, so it's more of an observation than  a real complaint. Next and last is could EA Big put some signs on the mountain to stop me from flying over the edge to my doom? Much appreciated folks, I want to shred the entire thing and love the big drops, but not down ravines!

Music to make you nod your head is a plenty in this title and you can expect tracks from artists such as Fatboy Slim, The X-Ecutioners, Red Hot Chili Peppers to name but a very few of the quality performers featured. In addition the game also has its own soundtrack to keep pulses pounding as you rip the slopes up.

In summary, get your wallet and get the damn game already. You know the cash is burning a hole in your pocket and this title is worth the spend. Add to this the chance to compete against other players online and communicate with the USB headset and this is a must have title. Go Get It!

- Tory Favro

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