When I first purchased my PS2 (after waiting in line for hours), I purchased two games to go along with it, those being Madden 2001 and SSX. SSX was one of those games that really got me hooked right from the beginning; it was fun and had extremely solid gameplay that really made for a keeper. EA scored big with this one so they made a sequel to the game last year with SSX: Tricky that was released for all three major consoles. Now EA is back on the slopes with SSX 3, where the fun is all there and the gameplay is better then ever.
When a game such as SSX 3 comes out on to the market, it’s quite hard to review a game like this. There has been so much hype surrounding the release of the game it’s hard not get excited for it. With that being said one great thing about SSX 3 is that it lives up to all the hype, and in some areas goes above and beyond what we had expected.
SSX 3 for the Cube may not have some of the extra features that the other two versions have, but the majority of the game is still in this Cube version of SSX 3. The basic idea behind SSX 3 is to have the fastest, flashiest, craziest character possible to go down the mountain. As you can probably already tell the team of EA developers stuck with basically the same system as in previous versions, but have upgraded, modified, and tweaked things up to make it even better then before.
The game modes of SSX 3 are pretty straightforward you have your Single Event, Conquer the Mountain, and Multiplay. Although it doesn’t seem like a whole lot of modes, each mode is much deeper then the title, and for the most part SSX 3 has really an unlimited amount of replay value.
The Conquer the Mountain mode would be the main mode of the game; in this you will be taking part in both the freestyle and racing portions of the game. The game starts off with One Peak and its few courses, and once you start placing in those tracks you will start to uncover new ones. Before you can start the mode you must first select a character. Many of the original characters are still present in SSX 3 and there are also some new faces. The great thing about all of these characters is that they are all very different from each other, and that they all have there own comedic side that really give SSX 3 that extra little jolt to keep it a float.
On Peak 1 of SSX 3 you will find that the courses resemble those found in the first two SSX games, but once you make it to the 2nd and 3rd peaks you will find that this is where the developers started doing some new things. You will find that the mountain will start crumbling below your feet as you play through the levels (with avalanches, earthquakes, and several other problems). That will surely play a huge role in your effort to get down the mountain.
The gameplay itself still feels like the other two games, just cleaner. You will find that there have been a lot more tricks added to the list, and there has been some tweaks made to make things feel even more solid then it did before. The one big difference you will notice about SSX 3 from the previous two games is the length of the courses, which has been increased by quite a bit. There are now more courses, and they are longer, and if you ask me that is a win-win situation. The courses also have more going on (like discussed earlier), which just adds even more depth to the gameplay.
Riding down the slopes is still pretty self-explanatory. During the races you can do tricks to help gain boost; while you can also knock your opponents off there boards and gain boost that way as well. Once your boost meter is full you are then able to pull off an "uber trick", which is basically like a special move, in which gains you a lot of points. Another thing that was added to the game was the ability to hand plant, which once again adds another piece to puzzle to try and rack up points on your way down the track. Everything newly added to the game is really appreciated, they are all worthy additions, and further enhance a game that is already a great one.
Controls of SSX 3 are solid, and very easy to get the hang of. I had been used to the PS2 controls before playing SSX 3 on the Cube and found the transition quite easy. The controls are very nicely mapped out on the Cube’s control, which makes it quite easy to get into the game right away.
Looking back at both SSX and SSX Tricky they both were very good looking games that really have pushed the bar up a few notches for the genre, but don’t be surprised because SSX 3 pushes the bar up another few notches with a lot of improvements over the previous versions.
Earlier in the review I mentioned that the game is even more "fluid" then before, and that also implies to the graphic portion as well. In SSX and SSX Tricky there were a few hiccups when doing tricks and landing them, but now those are gone and are replaced with some of the most fluid extreme sports graphics of all time. Everything on screen just looks so graceful and precise, and is really a pleasure just to sit back and watch.
Along with the fluid animation comes some great detail placed on both the characters and the environments. The characters are very unique, and not any two of them really look alike. Each character’s looks match their personalities and quirks perfectly. The characters are highly detailed and all look very crisp, they are basically as good as they can get. The environments have had a big improvement from previous versions in the series. The snow looks a lot smoother, and the mountains are even more detailed then they were. With all the things going on, on the screen you might expect some slow down, but instead the game runs smoothly throughout and consistently looks quite good.
Overall the graphics of SSX 3 have been improved from years past, and they remain to look a good distance above average. This is really a pretty looking game, and it has a lot of things going well for it to make it one of the best looking games on the Cube.
The SSX series has always been known for being one of the most fun games to play on any console. The multiplayer (although with no online options) is quite a blast to play, with a lot of different options, and just makes for a lot of fun to play with a group of friends. The game itself is just a blast. There is nothing like sitting down and playing a game of SSX 3 - it is just a very enjoyable experience, something that very few games can match.
SSX 3 goes above and beyond what I thought it was going to end up doing, and in fact there is so much good stuff going on in this game that it is hard to find anything wrong. The game is just a blast to play, and like mentioned earlier, has unlimited replay value. If you are looking for a new game for your Cube then look no further then SSX 3, because it’s sure to make everyone happy.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.