Visual Impact (GBA)
Exient Entertainment (Gizmondo)
|Publisher(s)||EA Sports Big|
|Release date(s)||GameCube, PlayStation 2 & Xbox
NA October 20, 2003
NA October 21, 2003 (PS2)
EU October 31, 2003
JP December 12, 2003 (GC)
JP December 18, 2003 (PS2)
Game Boy Advance
EU August 31, 2005
NA October 22, 2005
|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.
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.
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; 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, such as grabs, grinds, flips and spins. 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" that grant more points than regular tricks. Performing "Übers" increases the level of the "Adrenaline meter", which leads to progressively more advanced "Übers" called "Super Übers" and faster "Adrenaline" boosts. Different tricks can be performed together to increase the amount of points gained, and performing multiple tricks back to back 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. Landing tricks poorly or hitting an object in mid air will cause the snowboarder to "wipe out", or fall over. The player can recover their snowboarder quickly by repeatedly pressing the "Wipeout recovery" button, or alternatively reset the snowboarder back to the course if they get stuck in an area. 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. 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. Completing each "peak goal" unlocks a trophy for the player.
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. "Race" courses contain multiple routes and shortcuts, which can give the player an advantage over opponents. Players can also use melee combat to cause other snowboarders to "wipe out", slowing them down and providing the player with "Adrenaline". "Race" events have three heats, 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, which consists of a one on one race against the rival. Winning the "Backcountry race" unlocks a "Peak race", where the player aims to beat their rival's best time from the top of the peak to the bottom of the mountain. Both "Backcountry races" and "Peak races" have only one heat. Completing the "Peak race" unlocks the next peak.
The "Freestyle" events are "Slopestyle", "Big air" and "Super pipe". Their objectives are to get as many points as possible. The differences in the events are how the courses are designed; "Slopestyle" courses are similar to "Race" courses, as they are downhill and have multiple paths that can be taken by the player. However, "Slopestyle" courses present more opportunities for players to perform tricks, and thus gain points. "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 half-pipes that the player can repeatedly perform tricks on. "Super pipe" events have time limits, as the player could technically stay on the half pipe forever and easily beat the other opponents. Like "Race" events, each of these three events have three heats and require the player to come third place or above in each heat to progress. However, they are played without other snowboarder NPCs simultaneously. Completing all of the "Freestyle" events on a peak unlocks a "Backcountry jam" against your snowboarding rival, which is a one on one event where players must perform tricks to keep their score above the NPC rival's before getting to the finish line. Completing the "Backcountry jam" event unlocks a "Peak jam" event, which consists of beating your rival's high score from the top of the peak through both "Backcountry" and "Slopestyle" courses. Only Peak 3 goes from the top of the peak to the bottom of the mountain, as opposed to all of the "Peak races". Completing the "Peak jam" unlocks the next peak.
Outside of events, players can take part in "Big challenges". 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 30% of "Crystals" and completing 30% of "Big challenges" on a peak unlocks the next peak. In addition to "Peak goals", SSX 3 contains smaller challenges called "Career Highlights". Like "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. 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. In station areas, the narrator of the game, "DJ Atomika" (voiced by Mark Hildreth), 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.
The game was initially confirmed through a trailer in the game NBA Street Vol. 2 in 2003 with the working title SSX 3, which later became the official title. The game was available to play by journalists before release at the July 2003 Camp EA event and E3 2003.
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". 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. EA Canada hired an Oscar nominated Visual Effects Designer to assist with the game's graphics. The game contains 30 different types of snow, all ranging in consistency, and the developers created its graphics using shading techniques, reflections and realistic lighting effects. Improvements to graphics over the previous game, SSX Tricky, also include better models and shadows overall.
The game's development began in 2001, 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, on 21 October 2003 for PlayStation 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.
|SSX 3 the Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by Various Artists|
|Released||September 30, 2003|
|1.||"Don't Let the Man Get You Down"||Fatboy Slim||3:16|
|3.||"Poor Leno" (Silicone Soul Remix)||Röyksopp||3:29|
|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|
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.
SSX 3 received universal acclaim upon its release. The PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube versions hold overall scores of 93, 92, and 92 respectively on aggregate website Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating in the 0-100 range. It is EA Sports Big's second-highest rated game on Metacritic, behind the first title in the series, SSX. On aggregate website GameRankings, the game holds 92.28% for PS2, 89.93% for Xbox, and 92.00% for GameCube. It won the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences' Console Action Sports Game of the Year and Outstanding Achievement in Licensed Soundtrack awards. GameSpot gave it a 9.0 out of 10, stating that "SSX 3 delivers a rush like few racing games or action sports games have ever achieved."IGN gave the game a 9.5 out of 10, saying that "this is the best snowboarding game I have ever played." and "It's arcade-centric, trick heavy, and on the third peak, it's brutal, but in the end, nothing comes close to SSX 3."
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