Getting tricky with the SSX demo


The SSX series has been trying to find itself over the past couple iterations. After Blur brought about mixed feelings regarding the use of motion control, EA decided to go another direction with their new title, taggin on the Deadly Descents tagline to create a more serious tone. After some stark criticism about this change of direction, however, they seem to be bringing the title back to what matters the most: the tricks.

With the SSX demo out, gamers were finally able to get a taste of what to expect come the game’s launch. EA has a slew of unique features for this title, many good, and a few somewhat questionable.

The demo offers two different courses to ride on; Whitehorn Mountain in the Rockies, and Mount Wakefield in New Zealand. The former’s JT2 course is a more traditional race track, where players can perform tricks, build boost, and speed towards the finish line. Whitehorn especially shows off the more open world nature of the game, allowing players to carve their own path in the snow to find the best path. There are even train track debris scattered about, with one part midway down the mountain giving aware riders a huge grind opportunity, which can result in more boost, more speed, and possibly a chance to snag the lead. Just expect to get caught on various obstructions if you go too high or too far off the beaten path, which the rewind function can help to get you out of, at the expense of some points and positioning

Mount Wakefield’s Bulldog course fulfills the Trick It portion of the demo, where players work to get the highest score possible. Coming down the mountain first isn’t as important here, but rather stringing together the craziest stuff you can. As a result, there are loads of pipes and fallen trees to grind on, ramps to fly off, and numerous opportunities for big air and big tricks. It’s even possible to grind on the helicopter that flies over the track for extra points. The darker environment makes this track a bit trickier to navigate through, but flares dotting the ground help to direct you towards trick opportunities. Knowledge of the course layout, as well as knowledge of what trick variations give you the most points, will be your best companions on this track.

The demo also, unfortunately, gives players a glimpse at one thing that may be a deal breaker for many. While the demo does give access to online interactivity, such as the geotag function and posting your high scores for all to see, said features are only accessible to those who have an EA/Origin account. If you don’t have one, then the game will prompt you to create one, or miss out on the online. For some, it’s a minor detail. For the many that have been weary about using EA’s controversial online service, it’s not something you want to be forced into doing. Still, there is always the possibility that such a restriction might not be as bad as it seems, and it’s always possible that the full game may not have such restrictions.

SSX drops on Feb. 28, just next week, and the game itself is looking spectacular so far. However, depending on how things go, you’ll want to think real hard on whether you want to be forced to use Origin or not in order to get the full effect of the game.

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Michael Revis
Michael Revis 219 posts

Michael is a man of many things. Journalist, writer, gamer, professional procrastinator, cosplayer, super hero, whale wrestler, evil mastermind, and robot master. And that's just on the weekends.