PlayStation 3 Game Review: SSX

This PlayStation 3 game has solid customization features, custom soundtrack, a massive online player playground, one player challenges, and extensive multiplayer options, and impressive and outrageous visual environments utilizing NASA topographical data and EA’s proprietary Mountain Man tool.

 The Hype

“Defy reality. Own the planet.”

SSXTM, one of the most critically-acclaimed videogame properties of all-time, is a stunning reinvention of the classic action snowboarding franchise, SSXTM packs adrenaline into every run with compelling characters and heart-pumping adventures as riders battle the most treacherous and diverse mountain ranges on Earth.

“An entire genre was born from the original SSX a decade ago, and it’s time to reboot one of the most popular franchises of all-time in an unpredictable and unexpected way,” said Peter Moore, President, EA SPORTS. “Fans have been begging for this since the launch of this generation of consoles, and we have an experience that will be worth the wait. This franchise has always been about racing, tricks, characters and fun – SSX will deliver all of that, and more, on a global scale, with rich online experiences, and with the sense of adventure never before imagined on a snowboard.”

Redefining the SSX franchise, SSX will pit riders versus both mountain and man. Players will explore the story of a team who seek to be the first to descend the faces of the most treacherous mountain ranges on the planet. The team will travel the world to face the worst that Mother Nature can throw at them. From the peaks of the Himalayas, where the air is so thin that riders have to descend through the death zone at breakneck speeds to keep from blacking out, to the solid ice ranges of Antarctica, where a sunlit line is the only survival option when temperatures drop 50 degrees centigrade in the shade. And the mountain isn’t the only danger players will face. In SSX the first goal is to survive. The second, in true SSX fashion, is to look good doing it.

The Reality

The snowboarding movements are inspired by the Need For Speed autolog engine and features a character story about the SSX team conquering the nine Deadly Descents (the most dangerous mountains in the world). Each character gets a fun comic book-like background story as the team races to beat Olympic gold medal winner Griff to conquering this considerable challenge. Other characters include Canadian bombshell Elise, familiar U.S. daredevil Mac, former Japanese Olympic hopeful Kaori, Canadian Psymon, British/Trinadadian Moby, American Zoe, Norweigian Ty, “hippie” Fijian Tane and Frenchwoman Alexis (pre-order customers at EB Games and GameStop could also get the eccentric Eddie).

The PlayStation 3 SSX version includes exclusive Mount Fuji environment content and players can also grab add-on/downloadable content (DLC). Installing only takes 500 KB of hard drive space and players first encounter some helpful tutorials initiated after the now standard helicopter jump. Next players can access the Explore (friend challenges) and Global Events (worldwide competition) modes.

SSX offers high-speed snowboarding, a massive online playground, intuitive controls, and unique graphics that add great visual appeal that help you navigate through familiar worldwide courses including the Great Wall of China, Patagonia, Alaska’s pipelines, African mazes, Siberian icelands, and abandoned nuclear reactors.

The high-speed snowboarding features different boards with different properties and some special situations where players must battle environmental obstacles. The new night vision elements (via headlamps) provide even more variety to the gameplay as players race, trick, or survive the environments.

Race, Trick, and Survive down huge open mountains. Racing forces players to find the fastest path while tricks feature gravity defying moves that provide some large appeal. Players can fill their “Tricky” meter relatively easily regardless of their skill level thanks to a helpful control system. Classic controls are available and combination moves really boost player performance. The new “survive it” element incorporates the harsh environmental levels for big challenges where players need oxygen, armor, a warming solar suit, and even a wingsuit to succeed.

The massive online playground has online options in the Explore (race, trick, and survived) and Global Events modes. The Explore mode has a leaderboard, ghost visuals, and friend challenges, which basically replace the traditional two player offline split-screen mode. The Global Events mode lets players compete against anyone (from a maximum 100,000 players) at any drop point in real time. This dynamic status mode gives players the itch to get back into the foray as the world continues when players are away. Players can invite friends to these events, which can extend beyond the standard gaming session length. The player tracking system RiderNet, inspired by the Need For Speed autolog engine, lets players customize, “favorite”, provide feedback, communicate, and interact about their experiences. RiderNet provides special alerts on updates, items, challenges, friend activities, scores and more pertinent player information.

The intuitive controls work well with the fluid analog stick and button combinations. Maximum progress obviously requires considerable skill and well-timed jumps though novices can often stay with the pack thanks to the intuitive control system introduced at the beginning tutorial. Some situations happen so fast that it would be great to have a “slow-mo” option. Players could even use their tricky meter to slow things down fast speed situations…maybe next time.

Game developers use NASA topographical satellite data and a Google-Earth inspired interface for an environmental experience that also includes shortcuts, special tunnels, and hidden helpers. The helicopter pilot also assists with helpful intel from a birds’ eye view. This helpful information helps players strategize and conquer the real enemy in this game – the awe-inspiring yet brutal environments.

The music soundtrack features the The Qemists. Skrillex, Foster the People, Pretty Lights, Noisia, The Naked and Famous, and Dubstep. Players can also load their own music into the game.

Review: SSX

Where to Buy: Amazon and other stores

Price: $59.99

What I Like:  huge multiplayer mode, immense playable environments, intuitive controls, trick system, realistic experience with outlandish, gravity-defying possibilities, customizable music playlist, high replay value

What Needs Improvement: no offline two player mode option, a “slow-mo” option for fast speed situations, more story/character development

Source: Copy provided by publisher

Categories: Gaming, Reviews


1 reply


  1. Two New SSX Downloadable Game Modes…For Free! | Gear Diary