SSX Tricky
System: Playstation 2
Publisher & Developer: Electronic Arts/EA Sports Big
Released: 2001
Genre: Extreme Sports (Snowboarding)
Capabilities: Dual Shock 2 Analog & Feedback Compatible, Memory Card Compatible

Review Written: February 24, 2002

SSX Tricky is a snow boarding game that is the semi-sequel to the original SSX. The original SSX was released on PS2 launch day, and became the surprise hit of the PS2 launch games. The original was also the first of the EA Sports: Big library of “extreme” sports games which grew to include NBA Street, and now, this title.

SSX Tricky is not a true sequel to SSX, because it is much like the original, but with new characters, which are complete with voice acting by holly wood actors and music artists. SSX Tricky has a few new tracks available, but also features many of the same courses from the last game, but some parts of the tracks are altered to be more challenging. There are now new elements in game play as well like Tricky Meters, and the ability to make friends and enemies, which I’ll bring up later. The last major addition to SSX Tricky is the DVD content section, which is basically a special features section you find on any DVD movie on the market. The extras on there are documentaries on all the people that did voice acting for the game, behind the scenes documentaries on the making of the game, and isolated music scores for all the songs in the game.

The graphics for the game are simply mind blowing. The game has a solid presentation with an announcer giving you all the details on the courses before each race. The tracks you race on look amazing. They are complete with loads of snow, ice that has your reflection on it, and lots of obstacles. And even though the levels have that arcade look, it feels like you’re playing on the real thing. The characters in the game look outrageous with zany designs, and colorful outfits. You’ll find snow boarders with humongous fro’s, huge goggles, and just about anything else you can imagine. With this game now being on the much bigger DVD-Rom format, the developers were able to cram in a lot more player animations, and you will notice it when the characters perform their tricky maneuvers. The game moves at a fast frame rate, and I didn’t find much slowdown at all, even when the screen is crammed with lots of boarders at once. The menus also have a much sleeker look to them, and look much better than the ones in the original game.

The game makes great use of Run DMC’s “It’s Tricky” song by making it the main theme song for the game. It also plays during game play whenever you top off your Tricky Meter. The game doesn’t make use of much licensed music other than that track, and a couple others by artists like Bif Naked. Instead, the game uses its own music for background tracks during game play, and it fits perfectly with this type of game play. In the DVD Content section, there is a feature where you can play any song in the game whenever you want. As noted before, another new feature in the game is the use of holly wood actors and music artists as voice actors for the game. Some of the more popular voice actors are the lead singer of Bif Naked, and WCW World Champion, David Arquette. EA made sure their voice acting quality was top notch, and there efforts paid off in the long run. All the voice acting sounds great, and none of it gets too cheesy, and hopefully more games will utilize this in the future.

The game controls are fairly easy. X jumps, the right analog stick punches. The shoulder buttons are what you hold down, or press in order to do stunts when you get big air. The tricky meter is a new feature in this game, and it fills up whenever you do a stunt, and once you top it off, you have the ability to do your Tricky maneuver for a certain amount of time, and if you connect with it, you get a lot of points added to your score. Another new feature is the ability to make friends and enemies. Most other people you race against will make sure not to harm you if you don’t harm them. But if you do knock them off their board (which instantly fills up your tricky meter by the way), then they’ll make sure to return the favor later on. At the end of each race, there’s a screen that shows all the opponents status towards you.

For game modes, it’s pretty much the same as the last game, with a couple of new ones. First there is a great tutorial mode which goes over all the controls for the game, and gets you great at learning how to perform stunts. There is a new showoff mode, where the goal of the mode is to perform your tricky stunt five times before completing three laps, and also to get pass a set high score so you can score yourself a certain medal. There’s a two player mode where either you or a friend can go against each other, or team up against everyone else. The game’s main mode is the World Circuit, where you race on all the tracks for the game, and you advance depending on what you place. There’s also little nice cut scenes with you and another opponent after each race.

The game has a lot to offer to keep you stuck to this game. The two player mode is nice where you can play against a friend, but I was hoping for a four player mode in this game, but no such luck. The new showoff mode is great, and I found myself playing for hours trying to get gold medals on all the courses. And the DVD Content is a welcomed addition with plenty of extras to look at when taking a break from the main game.

The Final Ratings Rundown

Graphics: 9.3
Sound: 9.0
Game play: 9.2
Replay Value: 8.5

Overall: 9.0

Rounded to fit GameFAQs Score: 9


SSX Tricky is another great effort by EA. They improved upon the original a lot, but they could’ve added a few more new courses, and a four player mode would’ve been nice. But other than that the game plays great, and has plenty of new stuff to offer. So if you were a fan of the original, make sure to pick this one up.

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