Friday, November 25

SSX Tricky 20th Anniversary – Where Have All The Snowboard Games Gone?

SSX Tricky was a wonderfully daring game when it came out 20 years ago and it has made us wonder why snowboarding games are not so common anymore.

I’m going to take a chance and say that SSX Tricky was the best entry in the snowboard series. Well I guess it’s not that controversial, especially since it’s the 20th anniversary of SSX Tricky and the game is still so beloved. But to properly speak about this legendary series, I would like to go back to the beginning.

The PS2 launched on November 24, 2000 in Europe, and that winter in the UK the supply of the black blocky console was low. As Christmas approached, some parents were paying hundreds of pounds to get one. But I was lucky. I guess to get into my good books, my mother’s fiancé bought me one for Christmas. The problem was, there weren’t that many games to play. Tekken Tag was pretty good, but I was only able to hit everyone with Hwoarang and Law for so long before wanting something new.

It was then that I saw that PSM2 magazine had given a very high rating to a game called SSX, a snowboarding game. I had no real interest in snowboarding, but hey, my mom’s fiancé was picking up the bill, right? I picked it up, plus wasting another £ 30 for the 8MB memory card, not a small amount in those days. I got home, started my new game, and heard those immortal words for the first time: “EA Sports… BIG!”

A trend of charismatic extreme sports titles began. Snowboarding games led the way and were once considered great apps. Titles such as 1080 Snowboarding were shown on the N64, Cool Boarders on the PS1, and Amped for Xbox, to entice players to their respective platforms. Amped, in particular, was used as a showcase for the impressive graphics capabilities of Xbox. SSX on the PS2, however, seemed to come out of nowhere.

See also  How much does it cost to get the car ready to travel on vacation

It was a revelation. The characters were cheeky, with different personalities. The presentation was superior – fair market values ​​and cinematics looked great. The sound effects were incredibly vivid. The music was brilliantly thought out. There was even an MC as the announcer (who could undoubtedly be annoying after listening to him for the umpteenth time). Everything seemed to ooze personality.

I fondly remember trying to take this rail shortcut at Merqury City Meltdown and take photos of my screen to send to PSM2 to print in the magazine, for their SSX leaderboards. And I can never forget the amazement I felt after completing the final level, Pipedream. Only it wasn’t the final clue, there was another one!

The song, Finished Symphony by Hybrid, as it played on the preview FMV for the newly unlocked level, Untracked, was mixed with the awe I felt as I sped through this snowy wonderland. It was just a mountain of pure white, studded with trees, to explore, to relax, to environment with.

Its sequel raised everything to new heights. The level design just got even more extravagant – the neon Tokyo Megaplex still colors my dreams. The characters got even bolder, there was a guy with a redhead, and there was more of everything: more levels, more snowboard gear, more crazy tricks that resulted in hours and hours of fun. A friend and I spent hours trying to get high scores, chasing those huge colorful snowflake multipliers. Run-DMC put the soundtrack to everything.

I remember those good times. And the vibrations. Oh man, the vibes. But where are all the snowboarding games these days? Where is that luscious powder and the sense of possibility, the unrivaled pleasure of sliding down a magnificently rendered mountain?

See also  Suda51 prepares several double A of new franchises and has had conversations with Marvel

Sure, we have Riders Republic, a richly detailed playground that offers incredible freedom. You can mountain bike, wingsuit, ski and snowboard in that game. And our reviewer has said that snowboarding is the highlight. But having snowboarding as an option on a menu of options cheapens the experience, in my opinion. It just does. One of our other editors thought the same of the open world game Steep: “How much better could Steep have been if he had focused on just one extreme sport?”

I want something dedicated, something pure. Like the SSX 3, it offered the unforgettable opportunity to snowboard an entire massive mountain, which took him 25 minutes or more to complete.

In short, as we approach the snow season (if climate change still allows), I want to vibrate again. Get lost in that pure and fresh air. Driving through SSX’s Untracked or Elysium Alps, couldn’t you feel the crunchiness of it all?

Not many remember (or I want to remember) PS3 and Xbox 360 reboot – SSX of 2012. It was not good. I was so excited to play it, but after an initial buzz, the excitement quickly faded. Sure you could wear a wingsuit, but it wasn’t really necessary. Level designs can be ridiculous and punishing, forcing you to backtrack. Yes, it had a rewind feature, which took you back on course (as your competitors continued), and it destroyed the sense of fluidity that PS2 SSX games excelled at.

Twenty years after the release of SSX Tricky, I’m still waiting for something to bring the magic back. Maybe it’s nostalgia, but I think it points to something else, something bigger than nostalgia. In fact, it’s all about the snow. Just think of the associations: winter, comfort, fresh air, Christmas (for some people), and the beauty of a white blanket descending on a mountain or city. Our editor-in-chief even wrote a full article on how snow is the best aspect of Red Dead Redemption 2. And I have to agree, a little beautifully rendered snow only enriches the games. I can easily see, in my mind, the snowy levels of God of War and Horizon Zero Dawn, the way it creaks and splits when you stomp on its freshness.

See also  Your last chance to try Warframe's Prime Resurgence event is here

But I hope for a game that allows me to work my way through it, down a steep incline, flowing into the majesty of a superbly rendered mountainous landscape, complete with that nice white powder. Tricky, you screwed us up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *