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Current SSX series logo (2012-present)
|Platforms||PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, Game Boy Advance, Gizmondo, N-Gage, PlayStation Portable, Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360|
|First release||SSX (2000)
October 26, 2000
|Latest release||SSX (2012)
February 28, 2012
SSX (Snowboard Supercross) is a series of snowboarding and skiing (added in On Tour) videogames published by EA Sports BIG. It is an arcade-style racing game with larger-than-life courses, characters, and tricks. While the general focus of the series is racing and performing tricks on snowboards, the underlying gameplay of each edition alters slightly; for example, while the original SSX relies on a working knowledge of speed and trick boosts, SSX On Tour requires players to complete different "phat" combos and "monster tricks". SSX is intended to be short for "Snowboard Supercross", but the complete title has almost never actually been referred to in any way in the marketing or promotion of the games or within the games themselves. According to 2012's SSX the acronym in Team SSX means: Snowboarding, Surfing, and Motocross.
The franchise has been critically acclaimed, with the first three installments receiving over 90.00% on GameRankings. Initial sales for the game have been kept a secret by publisher EA, but SSX 3 in particular was widely believed to be a commercial success. Most of the games have been released only on Sony and Nintendo consoles, with the first game being released exclusively on the PlayStation 2 and the most recent being released on the Wii. In 1999, EA revealed the series was being developed with the Sega Dreamcast in mind, but once they made the decision not to support the console, it was moved over to the PlayStation 2. The original SSX sold close to three million units in its lifetime, spurring sequel titles SSX Tricky and SSX 3. The first three SSX titles were created as part of EA Canada's Chaos production group, under the leadership of Steve Rechtschaffner (EP), Pauline Moller (Sr.DD) and Larry LaPierre (Producer).
Players may choose any one of a number of snowboarders, each with their own statistics and boarding style. A course is selected and the player is given the option of racing down the course or participating in a competition to do tricks.
Each course is filled with ramps, rails, and other assorted objects. Performing tricks fills up the player's boost meter, which can then be used for additional acceleration, making tricks important even in a race. Players also have the option of practicing or exploring courses in "freeride" mode.
SSX Tricky introduced "Uber Tricks", absurdly unrealistic and exaggerated tricks, often involving detaching the board from the snowboarder's feet. The player gained access to uber tricks during play after filling the adrenaline bar; performing six Uber Tricks earns the player unlimited boost for the rest of the race.
SSX 3 introduced a second, intermediate set of Uber Tricks. Each character has an associated Uber Trick. The unlimited boost system was tweaked to where you simply had to complete 9 Uber Tricks to get the boost bonus, but it now has a time limit, and after that expires, you must redo the second tier to regain unlimited boost. Certain combinations of spins, flips, and Uber Tricks resulted in "Monster Tricks", worth even more points than uber tricks; the catch was that you had to memorize the combination (Triple Backflip Superman, for example), and the combination had to be unlocked through certain goals in the game, such as staying on a rail for 120 meters.
In SSX on Tour "Uber Tricks" are presented as "Monster Tricks", though most of them resemble the more advanced Uber Tricks, and are much easier to perform than the Monster Tricks of SSX3. Where previous SSX titles used the main trick buttons (and the tweak button for later titles) to perform Uber Tricks, the Monster Tricks are performed by combinations of directions entered on the right analog stick.
SSX is a new title in the series announced at the Spike Video Game Awards for 2011. It's Ubers can be tweaked by doing certain things like holding RT and performing the trick and it gets more points. Also as an alternative to getting unlimited boost after completing six Uber tricks you instead unlock the ability to perform "super uber tricks" (as opposed to monster tricks). Super uber tricks are even more intense then regular uber tricks and if you hold down both trigger buttons while performing an uber trick you will perform the characters signature trick which is worth even more points than anything else.
SSX (2000) and SSX Tricky
SSX was released for the PlayStation 2 for its launch in October 2000. SSX was developed by EA Canada, while SSX Tricky was developed by EA Sports. The game was critically acclaimed, but didn't sell well, especially in Japan. As a result, EA decided that the series would go multiplatform, hoping for better sales. SSX Tricky was released November 5, 2001 for the PlayStation 2, GameCube, Game Boy Advance, and Xbox. SSX Tricky was so similar to the original that many considered it an update rather than a sequel. Unfortunately, SSX Tricky suffered the same fate as its predecessor, being cherished by critics but largely a failure commercially.
In SSX and SSX Tricky, winning medals in a variety of events unlocks new courses, characters, and boards, as well as improved the boarder's abilities. New outfits may be earned by completing a character's "trick book", by doing a number of specific tricks during play. Three kinds of boards are available to players: trick-oriented "Freestyle" boards, all-around "BX" boards, and racing-oriented "Alpine" boards, which are not meant to be ridden backwards.
The courses in both games are located around the world, for example: "Tokyo Megaplex" (a course resembling a giant pinball machine) and "Merqury City" (which takes place in the downtown area of a city). The snowboarders also come from around the world, including Japan and Germany, and speak in their primary language.
SSX and SSX Tricky both sold in the 2 - 3 million unit range, which would be eclipsed by the sales of SSX3, which also became the most critically acclaimed game of the franchise. It is believed to have sold around 5 million copies, with 1.38 million sold on the PlayStation 2 according to VG Chartz.
The most obvious changes to the series are the locations, and the graphics. In earlier games, individual tracks were located around the world. In SSX 3, the entire game takes place on one mountain, with three peaks and several individual runs. Runs are designated as "race", "slopestyle", "super pipe", "big air", or "back country" tracks, and are designed accordingly. Tracks are connected; it is possible to board down the entire mountain without stopping. The game also uses a new graphics engine, as the one used in SSX and SSX Tricky had become outdated and was considered "90s".
The reward system is also revamped. Although some rewards are still tied to what medals the player gets, most rewards are bought using money earned in competition or when finding hidden snowflakes. Outfits, stat improvements, "hidden characters" (character models) and game art are all available.
Other changes include the introduction of a second level of "uber tricks", the elimination of freestyle/BX/Alpine boards in favor of a single board type, and the elimination of statistical differences between characters. In general, the game emphasizes customization much more than in previous games; for example, different boards no longer have different effects on how your board handles, allowing the player to choose whatever board they like the most, instead of the "best" board, statistically.
SSX 3 also offered online play; once in a lobby, a player could initiate a 2 player versus match; Slopestyle, halfpipe, or race event. However in early 2006 Electronic Arts closed this option by terminating all servers designated to EA games released during and prior to 2005.
SSX on Tour
SSX on Tour (working title: SSX 4) is the fourth title in the SSX series of video games for the GameCube, PlayStation 2, PSP and Xbox. It was released on October 13, 2005 in North America.
Unlike its predecessor, SSX on Tour has no online play as the main focus was improving the gameplay and maps. There are many new characters, new maps, new tricks and skiers. One main variation from other consoles is the GameCube version since it has Nintendo characters and a special track.
SSX on Tour's main gameplay mode, "The Tour", allows the player to create a character and select one of a number of challenges available at any one point in time. Progressing through challenges (including medal events) earns the player both cash and hype; earning hype advances the player from amateur to pro level and unlocks harder challenges.
SSX on Tour is a departure from the previous incarnations of the series in several ways. Courses are no longer closed; the player will frequently encounter other skiers and snowboarders when freeriding or doing minor challenges. Additionally, stats are no longer tied to the character; the character's board or skis are the sole determining factor in the character's abilities. Finally, for the Gamecube version, Mario, Luigi and Peach from Nintendo are included.
SSX Blur launched February 27, 2007 on Wii. It makes full use of the motion controls for turning and tricks. Uber tricks are performed by drawing shapes on the screen, while flips/spins are performed by simply flicking the Wii remote in certain directions.
Twelve playable characters are in the game (Mac, Elise, Kaori, Zoe, Moby, Psymon, Allegra, Griff, JP, Skye and newcomers Felix and Maya), all of which can use either skis or snowboard. Only four characters are available at the start of the game (Mac, Elise, Kaori and Moby), and players unlock additional characters through completing tasks. In common with SSX 3, the game takes place on one mountain with three peaks, and it is possible to travel non-stop from the top of the highest peak to the bottom of the lowest.
All the race tracks are taken from previous games (SSX3 and SSX On Tour), put together to a new mountain. SSX Blur offers fewer customization options for the characters than previous SSX games, and characters do not talk. The game flopped in the US, selling around 310,000 units. However, it received mostly positive reviews.
SSX was a new title in the series that was first announced at the Spike Video Game Awards in 2010. It features real world environments mapped by NASA satellites. The game's slogan was "Defy Reality. Own the Planet". It was released on February 28, 2012.
Gamers have the ability to upload their own music to SSX to create custom playlists for menu and in-game music. SSX also features a dynamic music remix tool that will automatically remix licensed tracks and custom music based on the player's actions and performance in-game.
The objective of the game is to beat Griff, the bad guy, and conquer all 9 deadly descents. The story takes you across the world with 9 different characters, one for each descent, and it also features 2 special add-on characters.
SSX Out of Bounds
SSX Out of Bounds was released on the N-Gage on January 24, 2005. It is a port of the console installment SSX 3, but downsized for the handheld. The game features multiplayer capability over Bluetooth.
SSX iPhone was originally given a 2009 release date by EA Mobile, later delayed to 2010. As of late 2012, no new information and no screenshots have been released.
|Character||Nationality||SSX (2000)||SSX Tricky||SSX 3||SSX on Tour||SSX Blur||SSX (2012)||Appearances|
|Mackenzie "Mac" Fraser||American||[NTSC only]||6|
|Jean-Paul "JP" Arsenault||French||3|
|Edward "Eddie" Wachowski||American||2|
|Marisol Diez Delgado||Venezuelan||1|
|Broderick "Brodi" Ford||American||1|
|Martin "Marty" Stieber||German-American||[PAL only]||1|
|Griffin "Griff" Simmons||American||3|