Wednesday, February 22, 2012

SSX Demo Impressions

Oddly enough I was just complaining about EA, but hey here is an EA game that I like. SSX just came out with a demo on Xbox Live yesterday and a PS3 demo will be coming today, which you may glance at on their demo page. The demo features three tracks, one tutorial level, one racing event and one trick (point focused) event. It gives you several options for controls, some of which are familiar for anyone who used to play the classic games, one that uses the main buttons for tricks (A,Y,X,B on the Xbox) and their is a new option that has you do tricks with a combination of the right joystick and back buttons. Nevertheless you have several options for doing tricks and enough options to make old school SSX fans happy. The controls feel a bit jumpy, less solid than I remember from the old games and every trick feels like it fluidly moves from one trick to another. As a fan of the original games I wish the snowboard felt a little more grounded, but the series has never been the slightest bit realistic and despite this it still feel's pretty good to be back in the snow. The demo also shows off the basic design of the online system and the point system.

This video doesn't show off gameplay too well, but it does show off the impressive graphics and the general speed of gameplay. One of my favorite parts of the last SSX game I played, SSX Tricky, was the wide open courses that represented unexplored mountain sides. If they can add that onto the high speed race modes or point focused trick events then it should be a great mix. The world map in the demo shows off many different locations around the world, only two of which are in the demo, but the full game looks like it will have many different courses. I am glad to say that game isn't very easy and racing other's isn't a cake walk, nor is earning enough points to win a trick event, but this snowboarding game does still require skill and you must build that up overtime to. It is very easy to just mash buttons and throw up random tricks all the time throughout a course, but to actually win events you have to take a more active control.


One of the other things the demo shows off, but doesn't let you modify, is the racers. There are quite a few different characters you can use and they each have their own equipment, equipment that is supposed to be more than just cosmetic. Presumably the points you earn throughout the game will be used to unlock these characters. SSX will be coming out on February 28th on PS3 and Xbox 360, likely for the normal $60 price tag. I'm not sold on the game, but I'm glad to see that they didn't ruin it and that they are offering a good deal of content. I am worried that the game will be online only, since it seems to have you sign into some kind of EA server from the start, just like the ME3 demo does for multiplayer, except SSX has you do it when you start the game. Check out the demo and let me know what you think. Thanks for reading and check out the main website for more information.
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-Written by Sean Cargle


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