Upon playing the SSX demo I instantly hit a personal nostalgia trip remembering the days when I used to finish school, go straight over my friends’ house and we would play SSX tricky like it was the only game on earth. Because of that religious training regime we became pretty fond of SSX 3 when that later released, eventually picking favourite riders, of which mine is not present in the SSX reboot, sad-face.
I’ll start with bad points, SSX is a reboot of the franchise attempting to render the old story fake and starting again (that’s the impression I get when someone reboots a franchise anywho). Firstly I hardly found this necessary; the story was fine as it was: A bunch of snowboarders come from all around the world to compete in the SSX tournament, what could be done differently? And I’m not sure where they think they’re taking the game when they tag Mac as “enemy of SSX” whether it’s Bond style or just being a hipster protester or whatever but either way, it’s probably going to get interesting. Secondly the wingsuits seem cool; taunting us with it however, is not. Finally my (possibly) biggest gripe is that the soundtrack defers from the legacy of SSX by being pretty lame. I think the demo only features one song, Foster the People – Houdini, on loop and to be honest go on my nerves pretty early in. It doesn’t have a pace or intensity that you would match screaming down a mountain at a ridiculous speed. The full game allegedly brings a few remixes and some dubstep to the table so we shall see how that fits.
On to the good points: the trademark characters are still in (i.e. Moby, Elise, Psymon…), It’s still got the frantic, “satisfied that you just navigated a forest at 100 mph” feel and tricky, “” feel that the predecessors to this game had. Graphics are, as is the case with most games these days, stunning. The powder effects on the snow look great and the trails now look like the boards and creating the trail through pressing into the snow, not just having a decal repeatedly lay out behind the board. The fact that the trash talk between characters is still in is definitely a good move, it’s a small touch but I like it.
This has the potential to be a great game so I hope not too much has changed in the transition from demo to full game. SSX releases March 2nd.