SSX 3

Games - SSX 3 Review
SSX 3 Review PS2
First there was SSX then there was SSX Tricky which added to the original and now we have SSX 3 which among other things boasts more freedom and an online option. It sounds like the SSX series have come of age with its intense gradients and completely over the top trick system.

SSX 3 has done away with the manufactured courses of old from the original and Tricky and gone for a more free play approach. The game is set on a huge mountain which has a total three increasingly difficult peaks. This is a huge addition to the game with each peak offering unique race ground as well as one back country per peak which offers true off piste action. All the rest of the races are set on pre laid tracks but there are loads of opportunities to fly like a bird and shortcuts to be discovered.

To start with SSX 3 will not offer much in the way of choice as everything is locked until you progress through the game. You must get yourself in the top three to access later events. Each peak has an un-lockable race that will take you right from the top of the mountain all the way down to the bottom. The first race if this kind is on peak one, but the top to bottom peak race will take you a massive 10 minutes to complete. If you think that is one big race, wait until you check out the top to bottom race on peak three, this will take you close to half an hour to finish. If you think things will get boring on these marathon downhill races you have thought wrong. The scenery in SSX 3 is very impressive and the sheer sensation of speed is huge. Don't worry if you think you are going to have to complete one of these marathon courses if you cock things up at the beginning because you can instantly stop the game and restart each race.

There are two main modes races and freestyle. These are basically one in the same, in the race you will aim to get to the bottom of the mountain first and in the freestyle you will aim to score as many points on the way down the hill to finish with the most points. On the way down the mountain in either of these modes you will come across little extras such as icons which will convert to cash and challenge beacons that let you enter mini games where you will have to complete various challenges like jumping through hoops.

The game play itself is very similar to the previous two games, it is the massive courses and freedom of play that is the major addition to the gameplay here. You can duck down to increase your speed and you can also pull off speed checks to slow your pace if needed. Trick wise you can now pull off hand plants and

 
Games - SSX 3 Review PS2
Games - SSX 3 Review
Games - SSX 3 Review
Games - SSX 3 Review

remove your feet from the board to pull of foot plants. While racing you will not need to pull tricks for points but your will need to boost your meter which is done by pulling tricks, the larger the better. One thing that I thought was quite strange in the previous SSX games was the trick system. All the tricks are just as easy as the next to pull off, the main factor between large tricks and average tricks is the height of the jump needed to pull one off. This has not changed in SSX 3, it would have been nice to have seen a few Tony Hawk like tricks thrown in the mix amongst regular SSX trick system.

If you do happen to have a rough landing, getting back up and on with the race is a very quick affair. If you hit the jump button you will be able to get up and carry on racing with minimal lose of time. If you venture where you are not meant to go you will find that the game will stop your progress and drop you back on the course. There is one thing wrong with this, you cant always see where you are not meant to go, some areas look like short cuts (There are loads of short cuts in SSX3) and they are not. This is a shame as it make you think twice about trying a different route.

The PS2 version of SSX 3 has network play, this means you are able to hook up to the internet and play against wide range of people. More than anything this option will increase the replay value of the game. The one real let down with the online option is the number of players you can race against as one time, just one. That's right you can only race against one person online at a time which is a real shame. You have to make your way into the lobby and then challenge someone to a race, or you can press a quick match button that will automatically select someone for you. SSX 3 runs very well online, the controls are slightly sluggish but you shouldn't find any lag so long as you have a decent line. SSX 3 does have support for the USB headset so if you wise to praise or slate you opponent you may do so.

Graphically SSX 3 is stunning producing some of the best snow effects you will ever see. The colours are brilliantly bright and the animations are great. Each peak has its own kind of feel and some of the views are stunning as you are hurtling down near vertical snow faces. SSX 3 sounds great, everything from the sound effects to the voice acting from the snowboarders themselves. Best of all is the music featuring Chemical Brothers and other great stuff. Something very strange yet brilliant happens with the music as you make your progress down the hill. Depending on your progress and what you are actually doing, pulling off a trick or just speeding. If you do pull a big air the music will die down until you hit the ground again when it will kick back it at full volume. You can edit the play list and you also have the option to switch off the DJ, but I quite like him, he isn't obtrusive at all.

If you want a break neck speed racer that provides a real rush unlike any other game SSX3 is just what you want. The whole thing is a fantastic sequel to an already great game and you would be plain silly to miss it.

9.0 out of 10

 
Games - SSX 3 Review
Games - SSX 3 Review
Games - SSX 3 Review
Games - SSX 3 Review
Games - SSX 3 Review
Games - SSX 3 Review
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