When the Playstation 2 was launched quite a few years ago now, many may have forgotten about how poor its launch titles were. The one bright spot in my book was EA’s very own SSX, which spurred on by far the best snowboarding experience on a game console ever. Now we are moving onto the next wave of consoles and we are looking at the first SSX game of these new consoles, this time not for a Sony product but instead on the Nintendo Wii. The game is SSX Blur and it hopes to thrill your way through the slopes. Does it deserve to be in your living room? Read our full review to find out!
One of the necessary evils for having a console like the Nintendo Wii that is such a novel idea is to try and maneuver your way into being able to create some of most beloved games around its unique controller. The struggle to make SSX Blur a functional and fun game must have been tremendous, because it took some great imagination and foresight into the game.
So let’s get into SSX Blur, which may be the most challenging and complex Nintendo Wii titles yet. Much of the first wave of Wii games have been straight forward adaptations of the Wii technology, not going too far indepth with them, just making them easy enough to for the most part be considered "pick up and play". That is just not the case with SSX Blur for the Wii, as it is one hard game to get down. Luckily for all of us SSX Blur’s massive tutorial mode spanning several different categories does the best it can to try and explain the different controls for the game. Whether its jumping and doing a grab, to trying to pull off a big trick, the game doesn’t make simple buttons or movements the game. In fact, to be successful in SSX Blur you really have to blend the two together, which may not sound too bad, but in the end it actually does prove to be very challenging.
In fact, SSX Blur doesn’t come right to you, even after the tutorials you are still going to find yourself struggling your way into the game, trying to still manage to get through a level in the first place. However you can really learn the rest through the very deep career mode, which has all of the normal offerings with races, trick events and the like that really make for a deep mode. SSX Blur is one of those titles that you don’t get a lot of new content in, as we have seen a lot of what this game has to offer before in previous games. However, combined with what we have seen with the Nintendo Wii, you have a pretty solid product in SSX Blur.
Now let me make a few statements about SSX that really did hold the game back from being such a great SSX title. First off, I will preface that by saying the efforts to make this game as complex and yet compatible with the Wii. However I gave this game hours of my time, I mean hours, I was determined to get all of the controls down and to get good at this game, because heck I have been great at previous SSX games. But there is something about Blur and it’s controls that just don’t manage to put it all together. A lot of times you will do exactly what the on screen guide tells you to do a certain gesture with the remote and the nun chuck, and many times I repeatedly did just that and it didn’t recognize my move. Now whether that is a Wii limitation or developing mishaps I don’t know. What the bottom line comes down to with SSX Blur is the mere fact that the controls are extremely frustrating, and get to a point that just ultimately slows the game down from being a top tier Nintendo Wii title.
The strongest attribute to SSX Blur are the visuals which are by far the best the SSX series has seen since its initial conception. What is most impressive about Blur’s visuals are the use of color, which is just fantastic. The environments are filled with a great amount of detail, and the variety that makes this product feel new throughout. The character models are just as full of life as ever, with the addition of some new characters that give the game a similar feel to what we have seen in the past. All in all this is a great looking game that makes for one of the best looking SSX titles to date.
The biggest issue I had with SSX Blur was the frustration factor that was extremely prevalent throughout the entire experience. From the get go I found myself just mashing the controller, wanting to get the hang of the game and really wanting to be successful. But whether it was my lack of understanding the controls or poor execution on the developers stand point, I just think there is a lot of simplification that needed to be done to this game to tighten it up and make it more playable. The SSX franchise has never been the most in-depth game out there and the fact that they were trying to get so much out of this title, in terms of controls really hurt the overall experience.
It’s a real shame that SSX Blur had to come down to the controls, because the developers did such a fantastic job with the rest of the game. But then again now we are learning that with the Wii, the most important aspect is the control integration ,and for SSX Blur it is functional but it is also extremely frustrating. If you like SSX and have a good deal of patience, then please check out this game. It has the trademark SSX elements that has made the series successful in the past; but sadly let down by the horribly unresponsive controls.
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.