SSX Demo Impressions
SSX Demo Impressions
After a long vacation, the beloved SSX franchise makes a return on the Xbox 360 and PS3. SSX 3 was the last time players got a proper installment and that was way back in 2003. The trailers for SSX first showed up at the VGA’s at the end of 2010, and since then the trailers have slowly been getting better and better. It seemed that EA Sports might of captured what made the SSX titles so memorable and fun, but gamers have finally been able to get their hands on the title and see for themselves.
The demo gives players two different tracks to choose from. The first is a racing course, while the other is a trick course. The racing course is meant to be focused on a combination of speed and tricks, and the trick course focus is getting the highest score possible. This is not new to SSX players, and it’s nice to see that the formula hasn’t been changed. Racing was always my weak point in SSX. I always found myself more interested in the trick courses due to the insane amount of spins that could be performed.
The racing in SSX is crazy fast, and the sense of speed has been ramped up quite a bit from the predecessors. Boosting is more of a necessity then I remember, and getting your tricky meter full to have infinite boost is the goal. I never really felt like boosting had much of difference in speed in SSX 3 unless I was going up a half pipe, but in SSX it feels like my snowboard is equipped with a turbo charger. When trying to get to pass other racers I found myself having issues keeping control of my board, but after some practice I was able to boost and carve with precision. That feeling of hitting turns and carving that perfect line has returned and it feels better than ever.
The controls for tricks have been slightly changed, but with some practice I can say it is for the better. With what seems like every single EA Sports title, the right analog stick is now your main focus to perform tricks. Simply hold the stick in one direction to perform a basic trick, or push the stick in a certain combination to perform slightly more advanced tricks. (you can also use the buttons to perform tricks if you are not liking the analog controls) Tweaking and Signature tricks are mapped to the triggers, and spins are performed simply by the left stick.
Overall the controls feel really tight. At first I found myself trying to hold the D-pad to lock in some tricks, and to be honest at first I did not like having to break my habit. Once I got over the D-pad being useless, I found the dual stick method much more natural. I wasn’t constantly moving my hands all over the controller, and I could perform tricks with more ease.
With the new sense of speed performing tricks faster is very important. Hitting complex tricks on smaller jumps is very important if you want to take the gold, and you can’t just count on massive air tricks to take you to the top. You will need to perfect your entire arsenal of tricks, from the small 360 flips, to the gravity defying Signature tricks that have your player spinning in ways that doesn’t seem physically possible.
Visually I was impressed as well. The game looks like a next-gen SSX. When we first saw trailers I was worried EA was going to remove the life of SSX, but I can safely say that is not the case. Riders have a realistic yet cartoony look, and the mountains looks larger than life. Music has always been something that the SSX franchise has been known for, and once again EA has nailed it. The songs featured in the demo just fit it perfectly, and you will find yourself singing most of them once you have turned off your console.
Once I was done with the demo I had a smile on my face. This is the game I have wanted for many years, but instead we were given SSX On Tour and SSX Blur. Thankfully the release is next week, and if you have been waiting for a good SSX game do not hesitate to purchase this.