Why hello there my dear Dtoid. Before I start my post about this completely awesome and under-appreciated game, do you like my new blog header? It took me all of 30 minutes, which is like, the most time I've spent on anything...other than that one time I beat Burnout Paradise in one sitting. Yeah. I did that. Moving on.
In 2001, around launch time of the PS2, a snowboard racing/trick game came out named SSX. To this day, I still don't know what that stands for. Anyway, you played as one of many awesome snowboarders and raced along awesome courses. What separated SSX from the likes of Coolboarders and Amped was the fact that SSX was completely unrealistic. You careened down hills at 90 degree angles and flew what seemed like hundreds of miles into the air, only to pull of a triple backflip and land as if your bones were made of double aluminum. If you didn't know, double aluminum is like twice as strong as aluminum. It was very well received and did very well sales wise.
The sequel to this game was called SSX Tricky, which was a revamped version of SSX. It housed many of the same courses and riders. This is far from a re-release; all of the re-released tracks were changed, new tracks were present, many new characters were added, along with the new Uber Moves. Uber Moves were the vice of the game, once you chained enough tricks together, you were able to complete a character-specific Uber Trick. In short, an Uber Trick is a trick in which your character flings him or herself off of her board and does something ridiculous, like doing a back flip off of their snowboard, or doing a kickflip. With their snowboard.
These tricks were seamlessly interwoven into the gameplay, and they added just more reason to pull off tricks while racing.
Then in 2003, SSX 3 graced our eyes. This game was not as popular as SSX Tricky, perhaps because the cover did not contain a white dude with an afro.
SSX 3, in my opinion, was definitely the best in the series. Here's why.
In SSX 3, you play as one of 10 boarders. You may be put off by the fact that you can't customize your character. Well you sir, are WRONG AND YOU SHOULD GO DIE. :3 You can customize your pre-determined rider's boots, pants, board, torso, and head. Not only that, but you can put a bunch of whacky accessories on your character like having them hold a squirt gun or have a backpack on. No two characters are alike. Express yourself, yo.
The SSX3 soundtrack, like all soundtracks from EA SPORTS BIG games is highly remixed, and very techno. I am personally not a big fan of techno/electronica, but I can say that the music fit the game perfectly. Also, when you go off a big jump or get enough air, the music is distorted, and once you hit the ground, it flares up again. This effect is used often and is always satisfying. I was bumping to the beats for days, yo.
3) The Courses:
Unlike the previous installments of SSX where you go on singular, independent tracks, SSX3 takes place all on one big mountain, separated by 3 peaks. The first peak has fair weather, powdery courses, and easier venues. The second peak has really rough weather (in one course you need to struggle not to be pushed to the side by the wind) and has more technical, closed courses. Peak 3 is the black sheep of the Peak Family. It features rockslides, crevices, fallen trees, lightning, and all together epicness. The venues of Peak 3 are tough and cinematic; billboards fall in front of you to make rails, crevices open new paths to take, and so on. 2) The Seamless Mountain:
If you're ready to be super controversial, you COULD call SSX3 a free roaming game. You can take a helicopter to the summit of the mountain, all the way to the top of Peak 3. You can ride down the ENTIRE MOUNTAIN (which takes aproximately 30 minutes to do so). You have the choice to ride down the Race Courses, Slope Style Courses (kinda like race tracks, except you're trying to rack up points), Big Air Courses (the name says it all), and Half-Pipe courses. You can choose to take one path and actually DO the races for money, or you can take a separate path and just freeride down the track at your own pace. You can witness the weather/environment changes as you exit and enter a new peak, and you really get to see the full scope of the mountain. Also, the graphics are pretty.
1) The Riders:
All of the riders have their own personalities. For instance, Psymon is basically psycho; he's weird and fun to play. Griff (who I play as) is a 12 year old who is immature and stupid. I love it. Vigo's a Swedish homosexual. Mac is...well...there's nothing exceptionally cool about him. All of the riders are fun to play as, as they taunt each other whilst bombing down the hill. Oh, also, you can punch each other. I forgot about that one.
Ah yes, the glorious special edition upside-down 7up. It was around in '03. It died. It was amazing. And SSX 3 sponsors it. +10 Destructoid Points if you remember/drink it. You can even get a snowboard that had the dnL logo on the back of it. But don't touch it. It's mine.