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SSX Tricky

Developer: EA Sports Big | Publisher: Electronic Arts
Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 11/01/01 | Genre: Sports

SSX Tricky was part of my GameCube combo when I ordered it shortly before Christmas. I knew nothing about the game or its predecessor, SSX. Since then, it has been a constant stable on the GameCube diet for me and my friends. Many an hour has been spent on the slopes of the Garibaldi or Tokyo Megaplex in SSX Tricky.

The designers of the game have gone to great lengths to create an excellent graphics environment. This creates an obvious good first impression of the game. Just grabbing the controller and jumping in a 2 player (without reading the directions of course) game with a friend; I was immediately impressed by the smooth graphics, sharp detail, and beautiful backgrounds. As a snowboarder passes, they even leave realistic tracks in the snow.

The worlds created by EA Sports are unique. There is your typical mountain slope, such as the Elysium Alps to more wild courses like Alaska. Voice-overs are unique to each character (I think Oliver Platt did the voice for Luther). The background music is even provided from the old Run DMC song "Tricky". In general, the game creates a very believable and enjoyable environment.

The game features many unique characters with their own style of boarding, tricks and specialties. Over the course of the game (in World Circuit Mode), the player has an opportunity to develop each character, improving their board, outfit, edging, speed, stability and trick ability. You might find your friends clinging to one particular character.

The snowboarding action is typically pretty quick, so it can be tough to play on a smaller TV. This can especially be a problem in 2 player games when the screen is divided vertically. The game is simple enough to learn on the first time out with enough depth for the advanced player. This is especially the game in developing the character's 'trick book'. This is a series of tricks (optional) the player can complete to get new outfits, and obtain the final 'uberboard'.

The game really runs in two modes, race and showoff. Racing is pretty straight forward; you and 5 other characters race 3 circuits on a particular course. Showoff is a bit fancier and certainly can be more difficult. This is when players use tricks to earn showoff points before the audience. They receive points based on the difficulty of the trick. It can be a challenge, as the last course needs an impressive 500,000 points for the gold.

There are a variety of hidden features. For instance, the player has multiple practice courses to work out tricks with several non-competing levels to just good-off in. Once a character is developed, we find ourselves moving onto to new characters. I am actually tempted to reset the memory card and do it all over again. In conclusion, the game was certainly worth the money. The replay value on the game is incredible, and people I know with now interest in sports even enjoy it. This game is not to be missed.

By Jay Waschak - 01/20/02
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Screenshots for SSX Tricky

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