SSX 3

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SSX 3
SSX 3 Coverart.png
NTSC Box art
Developer(s) EA Canada
Visual Impact (GBA)
Exient Entertainment (Gizmondo)
Publisher(s) EA Sports Big
Series SSX
Platform(s) GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Game Boy Advance, Gizmondo
Release date(s) GameCube, PlayStation 2 & Xbox
NA October 20, 2003[1]
NA October 21, 2003 (PS2)[2]
EU 20031031October 31, 2003
JP December 12, 2003 (GC)
JP December 18, 2003 (PS2)
Game Boy Advance
  • NA November 11, 2003[3]
  • EU November 21, 2003
Gizmondo
EU 20050831August 31, 2005
NA October 22, 2005[4]
Genre(s) Racing
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Distribution Nintendo optical disc, DVD, cartridge

SSX 3 (Snowboard Super Cross 3) is an extreme snowboard racing game developed by EA Canada and published by EA Sports Big. The game was initially released on October 20, 2003 for the GameCube and Xbox, and on October 21, 2003 for the PlayStation 2. It was later ported to the Game Boy Advance by Visual Impact on November 11, 2003 and to the Gizmondo by Exient Entertainment on August 31, 2005 as a launch title. It is the third installment in the SSX series, and is THX approved.[5]

Set on a fictional mountain, the single-player mode follows snowboarders competing in the SSX Championship. Players choose from a variety of characters and take part in various events in different locations, earning points and money by performing tricks, winning races, completing goals and finding collectables. Money can be used to upgrade character attributes, buy new clothes and boards, and unlock music and extras. Multiple players can play against each other in local multiplayer modes, and an online multiplayer mode also allowed players to connect to games and play against each other online, but has since been discontinued.

The game was initially confirmed through a trailer in the game NBA Street Vol. 2 in 2003,[6] and was critically acclaimed, with many praising the game's open world, trick system, presentation and soundtrack.

Gameplay[edit]

SSX 3 is an extreme snowboarding game played from a third person perspective. Players control one of various snowboarders and compete in events set across individual courses in peaks on a mountain. Unlike previous games in the series, which contain unconnected courses, a freeride mode also allows players to freely roam the open world consisting of all the courses in the game;[7] it is possible for the player to ride from the top of the mountain to the bottom without stopping or reloading each course. New areas are progressively unlocked throughout the game.

Players can gain points by performing tricks,[8] such as grabs, grinds, flips and spins.[9] A predominant feature of SSX 3 and other games in the series is the "Adrenaline meter", which gains "Adrenaline" when the player executes tricks. It can be used to provide a speed boost or, once it becomes full, perform advanced tricks called "Übers"[10] that grant more points than regular tricks. Performing "Übers" increases the level of the "Adrenaline meter", which leads to progressively more advanced "Super Über" tricks and faster "Adrenaline" boosts.[11]Performing multiple tricks of different kinds increases the amount of points gained,and creates a combo, which causes the points gained from tricks to double. However, repeating the same trick causes the amount of points it earns to drop.[8] Landing tricks poorly or hitting an object in mid air will cause the snowboarder to "wipe out", falling over. The player has the ability to recover their snowboarder more quickly, or alternatively reset the snowboarder back to the course if they get stuck in an area.[12] Both "wiping out" and resetting result in a loss of "Adrenaline" and the ability to perform "Übers" until the "Adrenaline Meter" is filled again.

The game features 10 main characters, 6 of which feature in previous SSX games, and 4 of which are debut characters.[13] In addition to these characters, there are unlockable "cheat characters", most of whom do not have unique animations, voice acting or equipable accessories. Cheat characters include past characters from the SSX series and bizarre fantasy snowboarders, such as a snowman or a beaver.

Players complete "peak goals"—set objectives—to progress through the single-player mode and unlock all three peaks of the mountain. "Peak goals" are achieved by completing events, earning money or completing "Big Challenges" and finding collectables, both during freeride mode, which can be accessed outside of events. The player only has to complete one of these goals to progress to the next peak.[7] Completing each "peak goal" unlocks a trophy for the player.

A screenshot from a race event in SSX 3

Each course in the game has a designated event that players can compete in. Events fall under two categories: Race and freestyle. Coming first in an event provides the player a gold medal, coming second provides the player a silver medal, and coming third provides the player a bronze medal. It is also possible to obtain a platinum medal by beating certain times or getting a high enough score. The race event objective is to get to the end of the course as quickly as possible. Players race against other snowboarder NPCs on the same course.[14] Races contain multiple routes and shortcuts, which can give the player an advantage over opponents. Players can also use melee combat to knock other snowboarders over, slowing them down and providing the player with "Adrenaline". Race events have three heats,[7] and the player must come third place or above in each heat to progress. Once all race events are completed on a peak, the player's snowboarder is challenged to a "Backcountry race" by their rival snowboarder. Winning unlocks a "Peak race", where the player aims to beat their rival's best time from the peak to the bottom of the mountain. Both races have only one heat. Completing the races unlocks the next peak.[14]

The freestyle events include Slopestyle, Big Air and Super Pipe. Their objectives are to get as many points as possible. Slopestyle courses are similar to race courses, as players must ride through a downhill track with multiple paths. However, the goal of slopestyle courses is for the player to gain points by performing tricks. Big Air courses are short, with one or two ramps that are designed to allow the player to perform large jumps and many tricks in a small amount of time. Super Pipe courses are time-limited half-pipe courses that the player can repeatedly perform tricks on. Freestyle events are structured similarly to race events, each having three heats[7] with the player being invited to "Backcountry jams" and "Peak jams", where points are scored through performing tricks. Completing the freestyle events unlocks the next peak.[14]

Outside of events, players can take part in "Big challenges".[7] The objectives of the challenges include jumping through hoops and collecting items, among many others. Collectable items called "Crystals" can also be found on every course, and can be collected in any event and in freeride. Obtaining enough "Crystals" and completing enough "Big challenges" on a peak unlocks the next peak.[7] In addition to "Peak goals", SSX 3 contains smaller challenges called "Career Highlights". Similar to "Big challenges", objectives can vary, and include holding a handplant for five seconds or doing a certain number of "Übers" in one event. In freeride, players can travel to any courses they have unlocked and can also go to stations; These areas contain "Lodges", which allow the player to save their game, edit music playlists, buy attributes to improve their snowboarder, purchase new "Übers", and buy or equip gear and boards to change the aesthetics of the snowboarder. Money can also be used to buy extras, such as videos, cheat characters and game art.[7] Money can be earned in game by performing tricks in freeride, completing "Big challenges" and events, and collecting "Crystals". Earning enough money on a peak will unlock the next peak.[7] In station areas, the narrator of the game, "DJ Atomika" (voiced by Mark Hildreth[15]), talks to you via "EA Radio Big", a fictional radio station. He gives the player information about events and weather, as well as other miscellaneous information. While the player is on a course, the soundtrack of the game is played through "EA Radio Big". Depending on how well the player is performing, the music becomes quieter and louder. The player can change what music is allowed to play at "Lodges" and in the in-game options menu.

Development[edit]

The game was initially confirmed through a trailer in the game NBA Street Vol. 2 in 2003 with the working title SSX 3,[16] which later became the official title. The game was available to play by journalists before release at the July 2003 Camp EA event[17] and E3 2003.[18]

The game was developed by EA Canada and published under the EA Sports Big brand. Developers stated that it was designed so "just about anyone can pick up and play".[19] The open ended nature of the game was influenced by Battlefield 1942 and NBA Street Vol. 2, both EA titles, as developers enjoyed features from the games that allowed players to choose the way they wanted to play.[16] EA Canada hired an Oscar nominated Visual Effects Designer to assist with the game's graphics.[20] The game contains 30 different types of snow, all ranging in consistency,[18] and the developers created its graphics using various shading techniques, reflections and lighting effects.[16] Improvements to graphics over the previous game, SSX Tricky, also include better models and shadows.[20]

The game's development began in 2001,[16] after the release of the previous title in the series, SSX Tricky. It was released on 20 October 2003 in North America for Xbox and Gamecube,[1] on 21 October 2003 for PlayStation 2,[2] and was released in Europe on 31 October 2003. It was also released in Japan on 12 December 2003 for Gamecube and 18 October 2003 for PlayStation 2.

Soundtrack[edit]

SSX 3 the Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by Various Artists
Released September 30, 2003 (2003-09-30)
Length 54:45
Label Astralwerks
No. Title Artist Length
1. "Don't Let the Man Get You Down"   Fatboy Slim 3:16
2. "Mas"   Kinky 4:18
3. "Poor Leno" (Silicone Soul Remix) Röyksopp 3:29
4. "Freeze"   k-os 3:52
5. "All Night"   Swollen Members 3:36
6. "We Don't Care" (Edit) Audio Bullys 3:30
7. "Leave Home"   The Chemical Brothers 4:45
8. "Like This"   The X-Ecutioners 3:22
9. "Rock Star" (Nevins Club Blaster Edit) N.E.R.D 7:42
10. "Glass Danse" (Paul Oakenfold Remix) The Faint 5:39
11. "Do Your Thing" (Jaxx Club Remix) Basement Jaxx 6:35
12. "The Bitter End" (Junior Sanchez Output Remix) Placebo 4:41
13. "Jerk It Out"   Caesars 3:16
14. "Ride"   Deepsky 6:34
Total length:
54:45

Songs from Andy Hunter, Alpine Stars, Aphrodite, Autopilot Off, The Black Eyed Peas, Dilated Peoples, Felix da Housecat, Finger Eleven, Fischerspooner, Ima Robot, Junkie XL, MxPx, Overseer, Queens of the Stone Age/UNKLE, Thrice, and Yellowcard also appeared in the game.

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 92.28% (PS2)[21]
92.00% (GC)[22]
89.93% (Xbox)[23]
57.08% (GBA)[24]
Metacritic 93/100 (PS2)[25]
92/100 (GC)[26]
92/100 (Xbox)[27]
63/100 (GBA)[28]
Review scores
Publication Score
Eurogamer 9/10 (PS2)[33]
9/10 (Xbox)[34]
Game Revolution A− (PS2, GC, Xbox)[38]
GameSpot 9.0/10 (PS2)[29]
9.0/10 (GC)[30]
9.0/10 (Xbox)[31]
8.1/10 (GBA)[32]
IGN 9.5/10 (PS2)[35]
9.3/10 (GC)[36]
9.4/10 (Xbox)[5]
4.5/10 (GBA)[37]
TeamXbox 9.4 (Xbox)[39]

SSX 3 received universal acclaim upon its release. Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating in the 0-100 range, calculated an average score of 93 out of 100 for the PlayStation 2 version based on 41 reviews,[25] and 92 out of 100 for the Xbox and GameCube versions, both based on 27 reviews.[27][26] All scores indicate "universal acclaim". It is EA Sports Big's second-highest rated game on Metacritic before the first title in the series, SSX.[40] On aggregate website GameRankings, the game holds 92.28% for PS2 based on 60 reviews,[21] 89.93% for Xbox based on 41 reviews,[23] and 92.00% for GameCube based on 38 reviews.[22] Reviewers liked the addition of an open world,[29][35] the presentation[34][38] and trick system,[35][34] while finding issues with the difficulty of the controls[41] and customization options.[35][38] It won the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences' Console Action Sports Game of the Year and Outstanding Achievement in Licensed Soundtrack awards.[42] The reviewer for IGN called it "the best snowboarding game" they had "ever played",[35] and GameSpot stated that it "delivers a rush like few racing games or action sports games have ever achieved."[29]

Reviewers particularly praised SSX 3's technical advancements, with Game Revolution calling the game's snow effects "unrivaled" while also recognising it's "consistently high" frame rate.[38] Eurogamer directed it's praise at the game's draw distances, "seamless" animation and "colourful environments",[34] and GameSpy commended the game's "lighting" and "particle effects".[41] Reviewers also recognised SSX 3's open world as "innovative",[38] with GameSpy finding the loading times allow players to ride across long distances "without having to wait a single second for the environments to load into memory."[41] However, in a slightly less positive review, GamesTM stated that "given the constraints of the sport", the game does "a great job of" of staying "as open as possible."[25]

The trick system was also well received; Eurogamer called the new "super-uber" tricks "astonishingly cool" and stated that they were "pleased" that the game introduced "a much more clear-cut combo system".[34] IGN said that the addition of board presses "make playing SSX 3 an entirely new game", adding that "pulling off these moves is a pleasure on the PS2 and Xbox", but criticised the GameCube's controls, citing that "the controller just doesn't provide enough buttons to do it justice."[35] GameSpot also noted that "the PS2 pad" was "especially well suited for the game".[29]

SSX 3's sound and voice acting were heavily praised, with Game Revolution commending the "varied soundtrack and great effects", stating that they make the game "sound terrific".[38] IGN noted that "SSX 3 is a legitimate THX endorsed game, ensuring high-quality sound clarity."[35] GameSpy thought highly of the voice acting, which it considered "clear, simple, and not annoying in the slightest." They also considered the "DJ commentary" to be "slick and unobtrusive."[41] GameSpot praised the soundtrack, calling it "one of the highlights of the experience", and gave recognition to "the way" it "layers in with the racing", saying that "it contributes heavily to the intensity and excitement of playing SSX 3."[29]

The Game Boy Advance version of SSX 3 was more poorly received, gaining a score of 63 out of 100 based on 14 reviews on Metacritic,[28] indicating "Mixed or average reviews." On GameRankings, it received a score of 57.08% based on 12 reviews.[24] Computer and Video Games called the game "slow" and "sluggish", and it's controls "unresponsive".[28] IGN said that the graphics engine has difficulty "keeping up with all that the designers throw at it."[28] In a more positive review, GameSpot claimed that it "duplicates many of the same features found in the console versions", stating that the game's 3D graphics engine is "unrivaled by anything else currently available for the system."[28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "SSX 3 - Xbox - IGN". IGN. Retrieved 2014-10-29. 
  2. ^ a b "SSX 3 - PlayStation 2 - IGN". IGN. Retrieved 2014-10-29. 
  3. ^ "SSX 3 - Game Boy Advance - IGN". IGN. Retrieved 2014-10-29. 
  4. ^ "SSX 3 releases". Giant Bomb. Retrieved 2012-03-23. 
  5. ^ a b Perry, Douglass (2003-11-18). "SSX 3 Xbox review". IGN. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  6. ^ Varanini, Giancarlo (April 21, 2003). "SSX 3 in development". GameSpot. GameSpot. Retrieved October 29, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h SSX 3 Instruction Manual. EA Sports Big. 2003. p. 10. 
  8. ^ a b SSX 3 Instruction Manual. EA Sports Big. 2003. p. 6. 
  9. ^ SSX 3 Instruction Manual. EA Sports Big. 2003. pp. 7, 8. 
  10. ^ SSX 3 Instruction Manual. EA Sports Big. 2003. p. 7. 
  11. ^ SSX 3 Instruction Manual. EA Sports Big. 2003. pp. 8, 9. 
  12. ^ SSX 3 Instruction Manual. EA Sports Big. 2003. p. 4. 
  13. ^ "SSX 3 overview". Giant Bomb. Retrieved 2012-04-03. 
  14. ^ a b c SSX 3 Instruction Manual. EA Sports Big. 2003. p. 11. 
  15. ^ "SSX 3 - Credits - allgame". allgame. allgame. Retrieved 3 November 2014. 
  16. ^ a b c d "SSX 3 - IGN". IGN. IGN. Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  17. ^ Reed, Kristan. "SSX 3 • Eurogamer.net". Eurogamer. Eurogamer. Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  18. ^ a b Hwang, Kaiser. "E3 2003: SSX 3 Impressions". IGN. IGN. Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  19. ^ Park, Andrew. "SSX 3 Impressions - GameSpot". GameSpot. GameSpot. Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  20. ^ a b Hwang, Kaiser. "E3 2003: SSX 3 - IGN". IGN. IGN. Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  21. ^ a b "SSX 3 PS2". GameRankings. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  22. ^ a b "SSX 3 GC". GameRankings. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  23. ^ a b "SSX 3 X360". GameRankings. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  24. ^ a b "SSX 3 GBA". GameRankings. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  25. ^ a b c "SSX 3 PS2". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  26. ^ a b "SSX 3 GC". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  27. ^ a b "SSX 3 Xbox". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  28. ^ a b c d e "SSX 3 GBA". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  29. ^ a b c d e Kasavin, Greg (2003-11-21). "SSX 3 PS2 Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  30. ^ Kasavin, Greg (2003-11-21). "SSX 3 GC Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  31. ^ Kasavin, Greg (2003-11-21). "SSX 3 Xbox Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  32. ^ Provo, Frank (2003-12-12). "SSX 3 GBA Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  33. ^ Bramwell, Tom (2003-11-03). "SSX 3 PS2 review". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  34. ^ a b c d e Bramwell, Tom (2003-10-27). "SSX 3 Xbox review". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  35. ^ a b c d e f g Perry, Douglass (2003-11-17). "SSX 3 PS2 review". IGN. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  36. ^ Perry, Douglass (2003-11-18). "SSX 3 GC review". IGN. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  37. ^ Harris, Craigh (2003-12-25). "SSX 3 GBA review". IGN. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  38. ^ a b c d e f Silverman, Ben (2003-11-01). "SSX 3 review". Game Revolution. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  39. ^ "SSX 3 review (Xbox)". TeamXbox. 2003-11-04. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  40. ^ "EA Sports Big's Profile - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  41. ^ a b c d Williams, Bryn. "GameSpy: SSX 3 - Page 1". GameSpy. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved 27 January 2015. 
  42. ^ "D.I.C.E Awards By Video Game Details". Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  • Smith, Shaun (2003). Prima's Official Strategy Guide: SSX 3. USA: Random House. 

External links[edit]