SSX Tricky (GameCube) Review

By Dave Beasley 25.04.2003

Snowboarding, now there's an expensive sport that unless you earn oodles of cash it's unlikely you'll try soon. That's where EA come in, and not only do they provide the equipment in this, the second instalment in the SSX series, they also provide the tricks. Generous little buggers aren't they?

A good starting point for this game is the fact that snow is cold, however playing this you don't have to be because it's only a video game. You also won't break your legs which again is a good thing however you'll meet no Swedish snow bunnies either. Oh well there's enough thrills in this to make up for any women (nearly!).

It revolves around the player controlling a specific 'boarder from a selection of 12 participants, each with their own unique view on the snowboarding scene and their own allies and enemies. The aim is to race and trick your 'boarder to a gold medal in each of the 8 courses (plus 2 unlockable) thus improving their ranking, stats and board they ride on, and also unlocking other courses and riders. There are two modes, firstly Race, involving finishing first over 3 rounds in a race and secondly Show-off involving attaining certain point milestones that get higher as the courses get harder. This isn't as easy as it sounds though, with shortcuts aplenty and other racers swinging at you from all angles your works going to be cut out. This is where the friend/enemy system comes in. The more you beat on people as you race, the more they hate you and have their own personal vendetta against you therefore trying harder to knock you off while shouting various taunts at you. This can cause quite a problem if you're trying to ride that rail that gives you a massive short cut.

Screenshot for SSX Tricky on GameCube

The course design is fantastic. These is obviously one main route to follow but if your adventurous there are numerous lines that can be taken ranging from the smoothest, slipperiest ice, to the deepest, crispest snow. Ice is very hard to steer on and in the deeper stuff a lot of speed is lost. You have to pick what lines you take carefully because some short cuts aren't always that short. There are two types of shortcut in the game; one will benefit you in a race, the other when you are trying to go 'tricky'. These aren't always obvious are even when they are can be notoriously difficult to navigate, but hey, no pain no gain!

Screenshot for SSX Tricky on GameCube

The trick system in the game is done very well. There is a good tutorial that takes you through the various tricks you can perform, showing you how to do them while having a diagram of the controller on the screen showing what buttons to press and for how long. This also has a special challenge of its own, if you can pull off every trick in your Trick Book in the race's you get the Uber Board. There are two separate control methods that can be used in the game, Default or Pro. In the Pro configuration it is much easier to do big tricks and since this is what the game is about this is mainly the control method you will use. In Pro, once crouched (with A) you cannot turn which means any direction pushed 'winds' you up for a trick. The longer you hold a direction while crouched the more you spin and with the right combination of R, L, Z and B, the more likely you are to do a 'Twisted Squirrel' or even the famous '???'. While in the air there are various bonuses to be picked up in the form of coloured snowflakes that will either double, triple or times your score by five (quintuple?). The further you fly the more chance you have of getting a x5. The more tricks you land, the more you fill up your Tricky Meter, once full you can pull off Uber Tricks. These are special moves that you need BIG air in order to do but rack up the points. Every time one of these is successfully completed you gat a letter of the word Tricky, once tricky is spelt, you have infinite Uber!

Screenshot for SSX Tricky on GameCube

The graphics are pretty good. Sometimes there's a problem if too much scenery is on the screen and they are not vastly improved over the PS2 version but it detracts little from the game. The bright colours and fast paced action more than make up for the less than perfect visuals which only look bad because we know what the Gamecube can really do.
The style fits really well with the EA Big series, cartoony and fun.

Much effort has been put into the sound on this game. Anyone familiar with the older UK Garage scene will know Rahzell, who provides commentary and strange 'beat box' sounds through out the game. Music is provided by a host of lesser known musicians (besides RUM DMC with the title track 'It's Tricky'), the most famous being Mix Master Mike of Beastie Boys fame. All the tracks fit really well with the fast paced action and compliment the game very nicely. There are some great sound effects as you catch the edge really nicely and carve up the snow too.

SXX has a good learning curve. It starts off quite easy but by the last race and show-off course you know you've been put through your paces. With twelve characters and eight courses (with different set ups for Race and Show-off modes) this can take a while. They last few show-off challenges are frustratingly tough as well and not hitting that one rail will really cost you.

Screenshot for SSX Tricky on GameCube

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

This is a great game; once again the EA Big series delivers another slice of pure genius. This is one case that proves it's the gameplay that matters. Anyone can pick it up and play it and it'll be tough getting the pad back!









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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