begin SSX by choosing a mountain range from an in-game globe. Nine
ranges are available, from the Rockies in the western United States to the
Himalayas in China, and after selecting a range players choose from the handful
of real-world mountains in each. It’s hard to believe that the courses on each
mountain would be even vaguely possible in the real world, but selecting ranges
from the globe does give players a sense of the geographical locations.
Monologues before each range in the campaign mode give some details on the
conditions in each area.
Creativity & Imagination
By the Player:
course is filled with plenty of options. Many feature blatantly branching
paths, but even in more linear courses there are always rails to grind and
jumps to choose between that will all influence the resulting run. The focus of
the game is to perform as well as possible - finishing quickly in races and
doing as many tricks as possible in trick competitions - and at a high level
this involves learning the intricacies of each stage. Players could experiment
for hours on any one of the game’s dozens of mountains, even studying their
friends’ ghosts to improve their own performances. Hiding Geotags on the
mountains offers another way to play around, and hiding tags more creatively
will eventually lead to greater payouts.
also have some room to customize their characters, though generally this comes
down to choosing the pieces of equipment with the best stats. There is
occasionally some room for debate, though, and players are welcome to choose
boards and suits based on their aesthetic values instead.
By the Developer:
most obvious improvement in this new SSX is that there is more of
everything. There are dozens of mountains, each filled with crazy new stages.
The new survival courses are the biggest mechanical addition; the high scores
here are earned by surviving as long as possible. They are a considerable
departure from the standard race and trick runs, but usually an enjoyable one,
especially as the game’s basic mechanics and sense of speed are stronger than
also contains some significant online innovations. The eccentric collection
of multiplayer ideas - money-generating Geotags scattered about the courses,
constant worldwide tournaments, and a focus on high-score ghosts over real-time
multiplayer - are sure to be spotted in more games down the line. There is also a fun paced soundtrack to listen
to and players can use “Harmony” to remix any song while playing.
collect credits, which are used to unlock various courses, purchase new pieces
of equipment and enter tournaments. There are dozens of pieces of equipment to
choose from, and they are randomly generated before each course, which encourages
players to constantly pick up better items as they become available.
most basic way for players to earn credits is by completing races, which
rewards players based on their performances. Colorful snowflakes are hidden
throughout each range, and they offer bonus credits. The spherical Geotags work
in the same way, except they are placed by other players. They can be purchased
before a race, and they reward the player who hides them with credits based on
how long they manage to stay hidden.
also earn credits for competing with their friends. Beating a friend’s ghost
awards credits based on how long the ghost has gone unchallenged, and players
earn credits while the game is off if their ghosts stand up to their friends’
most efficient way to earn credits is eventually to enter tournaments. These
often have high entry fees that prevent new players from entering, but
eventually the payouts they offer become the best way to make money by far.
Players have a limited time frame to make the best run they can, and then are
sorted into payout brackets based on the performances of other competitors.
is a major element of the game, but is handled in a number of unusual ways.
Players never race head-to-head; instead, ghosts of every player’s best runs on
every course in the game are uploaded, and any of that player’s friends will
see that ghost as they play. A constantly-updating news feed alerts players any
time a friend breaks one of their records, and icons of a player’s biggest
rival in each mountain range loom over the globe. Players can also hide Geotags
on any course, which earn money if they go uncollected and offer a cash reward
to players who uncover them.
is about speed when it gets going, and players will have to make rapid
decisions all the way down any given mountain. On a small level players need to
make sure they don’t fall, and any given thumbstick-twitch can send a boarder
smoothly over a jump or crashing into a tree. While making these
millisecond-decisions players will also likely have an overall plan in mind, a
way to maneuver the course to hit all the best jumps (in a trick run) or get to
the bottom as quickly as possible (in a race). Players need to multitask,
pathfinding on two different levels at once, especially when they’re on a
course they’re unfamiliar with. This is true of any racing game, but SSX’s
open tracks put extra emphasis on it.
other area that problem solving comes into play is with equipment, though it
mostly boils down to buying an item that has better stats when it pops up and
then forgetting about it for awhile. Some equipment will be better on certain
types of races or on certain courses, and some of those choices can be
extremely important, but usually it’s pretty easy to figure out the best way to
approach any situation.
is a highly unrealistic snowboarding game, though many basic ideas about
physics can be found. The survival runs are interesting as they require players
to select equipment that a snowboarder might actually need to pack in order to
survive (oxygen tanks allow characters to breath on high-altitude tracks, for
example). These are offset somewhat by more outlandish pieces of equipment -
flight-enabling wingsuits, for example - and the fact that the courses found in
the game would be nothing short of ludicrous to any real-world athlete.
has received mostly positive reviews. Critics praised the game’s basic
mechanics, wealth of courses and innovative multiplayer features. The part of
the game that focuses on purchasing dozens of pieces of equipment was
criticized by some publications, alongside an occasionally jagged difficulty
Controls & Options
can choose to play with a different control scheme based on that of previous
games in the series. Other standard audio and visual options are available.
Players can create their own music playlists on their consoles or networked
computers and stream them to SSX, which shuffles and remixes the tracks
rated Everyone by the ESRB with descriptors for Mild Lyrics and Mild Violence.