SSX – Deadly Descents Of Frustration

by Yo Snyder

As a skier who decided to switch to snowboarding after
playing the original SSX (true story),
I was truly excited when EA announced they were reviving the series. I spent many hours honing my multi-trick
skills on the PS2 and couldn’t wait to dust off my thumbs for some high-flying,
insanely acrobatic tricks for this generation’s version. So does SSX
live up to the hype and excitement of its predecessor? In short, yes and no.

SSX brings back
many of the riders from the past games and the tricks are amazing to
behold. I absolutely love hitting up the
different mountains and trying to crush the top scores. I also love the leveling system for the
riders. Each course offers points for
completing tasks and busting high scores. You can use said points to purchase new boards, outfits and the newly
added gear to survive certain tracks…and that’s where the frustration comes
in. With this installment of SSX comes a “story mode” called “Deadly
Descents”. A rider named Griff who has
left the SSX team is trying to topple 9 deadly mountains and team SSX has to
beat him to it. These tracks bring a
complexity to the normal racing and trick tracks and honestly adds nothing more
than frustration. Some are high altitude
tracks where an oxygen tank is required or tracks that are “freezing” and you
have to stay in the sun or you will freeze to death. Most of them feel like random luck when you
finally beat them and the frustration mounts much quicker than the feeling of
accomplishment when you do finally pass them. I did enjoy a couple of the Descents but overall it felt like an
unnecessary addition. I’m just thankful
I finally learned that throwing controllers don’t really help anything or I
probably would be on my 3rd or 4th PS3 controller.

There is still plenty of enjoyment to get out of SSX apart from the descent tracks. The soundtrack is absolutely amazing and the
look of this game is beautiful. I had a
blast with a lot of the different mountains’ beginning tracks where gear wasn’t
mandatory and it brought back great memories of the original. Unfortunately, in order to progress in SSX you have to ride plenty of tracks
where gear is mandatory and random holes/freezing points/avalanches/snipers
abound…ok I made that last one up, but you get the point. Overall I still enjoyed SSX enough to put some serious time into it and topple all nine
descents. If you loved the older titles
and can keep your controller in your hand when you accidentally launch yourself
into a pit of lava (on a snowy mountain) then I recommend picking it up.

Score: 5/7