If it's crap ... We'll tell you
I want to talk about this game because I think it's one that is going below a lot of people's radars, and it's so much fun that I feel it should be brought up.
The SSX series has been around since the beginning of the Playstation 2. I liked the games, but didn't really get into them in the way that I've gotten into the latest installment in the series. To be honest, I don't think I've been this into an extreme sports game since the original Tony Hawk. The game is a pretty ambitious project that makes really interesting use of asynchronous multiplayer to keep things interesting and competitive, but more on that in a moment.
For those who don't know, SSX is a snowboarding game in which events are categorized as either race events, which focus on completing a run in the fastest possible time, or trick events which focus on racking up the largest amount of points. The game's single player has you competing against AI opponents in order to earn medals and credits that can be used to earn credits to buy better equipment, more suits, etc. They've made an attempt to create a story out of it, but it's pretty lame. Still, there's a lot of fun to be had here.
The biggest difference between this game and the previous ones (that I played, anyway) is the addition of equipment. The story mode is based around doing "Deadly Drops" where the only objective is to survive to the end. To facilitate this, they have added different equipment like wingsuits, oxygen tanks, and armor to help you make it to the end. This changes the formula up enough to keep it from getting boring.
The multiplayer is where the game really gets fun. One mode, Explore, is a fusion between single player in multiplayer where you compete on a run with AI opponents, but the game also posts your scores to your friends, who can then try and beat your score in order to get credit bonuses and to keep competition going. The other, pure multiplayer mode is called World Events, and is a more tournament based mode where any number of people compete on a time limited event. The more people competing, the larger the pot, and results are ranked into different divisions. When the event ends, everyone who qualified gets a payout based on the division they were placed in.
The game controls pretty well, and there are 153 drops (read courses) on which to compete all over the world. There is a lot of really interesting technology that went into making this game, but I won't get into that. Still, the game has a lot of replay value.
If there are any criticisms I have, it's just that the game takes some time to master, and it doesn't always explain things like the scoring or boost systems and leaves it to you to just kind of intuit it for yourself.
I'll finish this by saying that it's a game that's well worth your time to check out if you're at all interested in this kind of game. There's potential for hours and hours of time, and the game loads quickly enough that you can just pick up and play in short spurts without having to dedicate long periods in order to make it worth it. I'd give this game a full price buy.
I bought the game yesterday and loving it. It's not a game I have to invest too much time into to fully enjoy it. I can just pop it in, do some runs on whatever mountain and get things over with. Unlike games like The Witcher and Mass Effect where you really get into a story and aren't games you can play for like 15 minutes and fill up some time.
Plus I was looking forward to another Snowboard game, been enjoying those since the N64's 1080degrees Snowboarding and the SSX' on the PS2. It also has great graphics and a very enjoyable soundtrack, love me some dubstep.
The tutorial was alot of fun, being dropped from the Heli way up in the air to practice the controls and tricks untill you decide to deploy your wingsuit. I spend quite some time just falling and spinning around doing some tricks and listening to the music.
The game looks great, and I'm glad to see SSX back on the scene, but I don't have any money at the moment. I'll probably pick it up when I have a little extra cash sometime down the line. Good to hear you guys are enjoying it though.