October 16, 2001

SSX Tricky - Preview

Release Date Publisher Developer Rating Players Price
23/11/2001Electronic ArtsEA Sports1-2$99.95

Click To Enlarge Image
Tricky includes some massive drops.
Arguably the pick of the launch titles on the Playstation 2 was EA's impressive SSX. While the game wasn't the number one choice for many word soon spread about the title and to this day it's still one of the highest selling titles each month. For a launch title the game had some of the most impressive graphics, and some superb gameplay. Less then a year later and Electronic Arts are developing another SSX game which expands the original game even further with new riders, tricks, tracks and an overall improvement across the board.

As I mentioned in the preview for the original game the biggest difference between SSX and other snowboarding titles is the physical contact. This is contact snowboard racing, boarder cross-style, where speed, tricks, and aggression are essential to staying one step ahead of the game, and the opposition. If that means flattening other boarders to get to the finish line first, so be it. Tricks are also rewarded with extra adrenaline, which gives you an extra speed boost during races.

Click To Enlarge Image
One of the very cool characters.
SSX Tricky includes the six original snowboarders, as well as six new ones for this game. The developers have also re-designed the eight original courses and have also included two totally new tracks. These two tracks are the Gairbaldi and Valdez courses. Garibaldi is located in the heart of British Columbia, Canada, where it's all about "BIG AIR." Valdez features near-vertical sections of snow and huge cliff drops on what promises to be the scariest, "edge-of-your-board" course yet.

SSX Tricky includes 3 Gameplay Modes to keep you occupied for hours on end. It's possible to compete in the World Circuit, go head-to-head in the unique Show-off (trick) versions of nine courses on the World Circuit, or just kick it in Free Ride.

Click To Enlarge Image
Lighting is also improved further.
One of the biggest changes for this game is the shift from CD to DVD media, and Electronic Arts have promised some great special features to accompany the game. Exactly what this entails remains to be seen however some behinds the scenes development material, much like DVD movies is quite possible.

Graphically, Electronic Arts look to have increased the bar even further. The extremely small frame rate problems of the original should be a thing of the past while the game just looks a lot sharper overall. Texturing also looks to have undergone some significant improvements with a lot more detail on the snowboarders as well as the backgrounds.

Click To Enlarge Image
Holding... mouth... shut... now.
The DVD format has allowed for plenty of music to be included with new releases and exclusive mixes from the cutting edge world of electronic breaks and beats by turntable all-stars Mix Master Mike (Beastie Boys), Aphrodite, The Plump DJs and more. As with the original game the music will provide plenty of atmosphere, and a sense of extreme coolness. The other big announcement from EA is the inclusion of some well-known voice talent. Actors including Lucy Liu (Charlie's Angels), Oliver Platt (Lake Placid), Billy Zane (Titanic), Patricia Valazquez (The Mummy Returns), Macy Gray (Singer) and David Arquette (Scream) have provided their voices for the game.

Many people may complain that this game is merely a rehash of last years hit, and they may be right. But with plenty more characters, a re-working of the tracks, and improved visuals and sound this game could still be an essential purchase. Those of you that never owned the original SSX (shame on you!) then this should be at the top of your Christmas list. SSX Tricky is a guaranteed winner.