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July 21, 2003
SSX3 - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
27/10/2003EA Sports BIGEA Canada1-2 $99.95

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Grinding along the rail.
Love them or hate them you have to admit that Electronic Arts have a talent for producing solid games. Rarely will you see a game with the EA logo that doesn't result in a game with much to offer. Occasionally they manage to come up with something quite brilliant. SSX is one of those games. Despite being a launch title the game still holds up quite well today. The sequel, SSX Tricky, released a year later in 2001 is simply stunning. Blending some smooth graphics and teriffic sound, and especially the music, this game has remained a firm favourite among gamers. Many people have been waiting for this third title and after two years the wait is almost over. Oh yar, Electronic Arts have totally re-worked the game into something much, much bigger - and much, much better.

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Getting some monster air.
One of the biggest changes to SSX3 is that the action now takes place on one single mountain. Before you groan this thing is huge. The larger-than-life mountain is your playground, your racetrack and your launch pad. Three massive peaks offer thrilling new opportunities for exploration, competition, and good old-fashioned showboating. Beat all three peaks and you’re in for an epic half-hour ride down the face of the entire mountain. In an interesting twist Electronic Arts have been making the point that there are no menus and no restrictions, if you see a path you can go down it, see a cliff, jump off it. Best of all there will be no load times down the entire mountain.

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Oh lovely lens flares.
Of course hitting the slopes won't be your normal holiday at the snow. The developers have plenty of surprises in store including massive cliffs as well as avalanches to avoid. If that's not enough the game will include fierce lightning storms. The mountain will also be loaded with trick areas, rail parks, racecourses and half-pipes. This is going to be one wild ride.

Gamers will have access to a massive arsenal of new Uber Tricks and special moves—from handplants to board presses. A new three-tiered Uber Trick system now includes one-footed Ubers, rail-based tricks and signature moves for each character. A new combo system allows for nearly endless combos that can run the length of the entire mountain. Four new characters join six returning favorites. Mac, Elise, Zoe, Moby, Psymon, and Kaori are back, and they’re joined by the crazy Swede Viggo, mountain man Nate, 12 year-old phenom Griff, and the talented and sexy Allegra. Finally the game will include hundreds of extras by way of unlockable collectables, secrets and shortcuts which will either enhance your characters abilities, their looks or just give you some fun extras to play with.

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Nice board...
Graphically, SSX3 looks wonderful. With the assistance of an OSCAR nominated visual effects artist the developers have created one of the most visually striking snow based games ever. The animations look sensational, as are the stunning tricks. The lighting, including lens flare, is always spectacular and although not yet seen I desperately hope that night time snowboarding is also included in the game. Unbelievably Electronic Arts are apparently including around 30 different types of snow for the game.

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Over the edge.
Once again the music and soudn will play a crucial role in the game. An adrenaline-charged soundtrack delivers bleeding-edge tracks and tomorrow’s hits from artists including the X-Ecutioners, Felix Da Housecat, Queens of the Stone Age, N.E.R.D., and many more.

With almost two years in development this is going to be a sensational game upon release. If Electronic Arts deliver all that is promised, and they almost certainly do, then this will be yet another terrific game in the series. Get that snow gear ready and prepare to hit the slopes this October in SSX3.