SSX (2012 video game)
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SSX is a snowboarding video game in the SSX series of video games from Electronic Arts. It is a reboot of the series. First revealed at the Spike Video Game Awards in 2010 under the working title SSX: Deadly Descents, the game's trailer appeared to show a much darker direction to the series than previous entries, though later footage revealed a return to a lighter tone. SSX includes the use of real locations, rather than the fictional courses of past games.
The game was developed by EA Canada and released in North American on February 28, 2012, in New Zealand, Australia, and Europe on March 1 and 2, and Japan on March 15 on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Upon release, the game received positive reviews from critics who praised for the motivation behind its development. SSX was a commercial success for Electronic Arts.
The World Tour follows biker Zoe Payne who, along with snowboarder Mac Fraser and surfer Tane Mumea, has founded Team SSX (which stands for Snowboarding, Surfing, and Motocross in this game). Gathering a team of nine of the best riders in the world, Team SSX plans to conquer the nine deadliest descents across the world in order to raise funds via livestreaming. However, a former SSX member, Griff Simmons, is seeking to conquer the nine descents himself, leading to a race against time to see who will conquer the world first.
SSX is a snowboarding game which can be controlled via buttons or analogue sticks, although an option for classic controls from earlier entries in the series is available. Throughout the game, players will navigate various snowy levels and performing massive tricks. Players can perform various tricks which earns them boost they can use to travel faster. By filling up the boost meter completely, players enter 'Tricky' mode, which makes a return from SSX Tricky. During this mode, players have unlimited boost and tricks will now become wilder 'Über' tricks. If players perform enough Über tricks whilst in Tricky mode, they will enter 'Super Tricky' mode, allowing for wilder Über tricks and prolonged unlimited boost, which can last longer if the player continuously performs tricks. As players perform tricks, they build up a combo bonus which goes through a multiplier once cashed in, although will be lost if the player bails. If the player makes a mistake, s/he can rewind time to get back on track, although this will cost trick points and opponents and time will continue to run normally.
The main bulk of the game is the World Tour mode, in which Team SSX attempt to conquer the nine deadly descents across the world, including the Himalayas and Antarctica. During each location, players will train a specific rider to tackle the descent via a series of events which generally involve either defeating opponents in a race or obtaining the highest trick score. These culminate in a Deadly Descent stage in which the player is tasked with safely making it to the end of the level with a limited number of rewinds. Each of these descents features a dangerous obstacle, such as trees, avalanches, large drops, low oxygen, freezing areas and darkness. To face up against these threats, the player can equip various gadgets designed to help them. These include body armor to defend against rocks and trees, wingsuits to clear large gaps, pickaxes to aid turning on icy surfaces and flashlights to light up dark areas. Playing through this mode unlocks new areas and characters for use in other modes.
Other modes include Explore Mode, in which players can freely explore the various mountains and take on various challenges, and Global Events, in which players can take on various challenge online, although certain features will require an online pass, either sold with new copies of the game or purchased online. Performing well in any of the modes earns the players SSX Credits which can be used to purchase new boards or gadget upgrades. Players are also able to plant Geotags throughout the various levels, challenging players to try and reach them in order to earn some extra credits.
Original SSX character Elise Riggs was the first to be revealed, on May 27, 2011 via a comic strip along with a short gameplay video. Mackenzie "Mac" Fraser, Kaori Nishidake, Moby Jones, Psymon Stark, Zoe Payne, Griff Simmons and Eddie Wachowski (pre-order bonus from GameStop) also appear in the game. New characters include Tane Mumea, Alex Moreau, and Ty Thorsen. On November 8, it was announced on Conan that Travis Rice would be a playable character in the game. On May 27, 2011, EA Sports released a comic strip on the character Elise, and has continued to release more comics on returning characters based on time or the amount of likes the EA Sports SSX page earns on social networking website Facebook.
The soundtrack features a large amount of tracks spanning different genres. During IGN's live demo, one of the developers revealed that they may include Run–D.M.C.'s "It's Tricky" remixed by Pretty Lights from SSX Tricky to "make the fans happy." "Kusha Las Payas" by Spanish girl group Las Ketchup will be featured in the game, but only for Spain. The game introduces a new remixing technology known as "Harmony" that can dynamically remix any song during gameplay, including custom soundtracks. On February 7, 2012, EA Sports revealed the full soundtrack on their Facebook page. They later commented that Flux Pavilion - I Can't Stop was accidentally excluded from the list.
On April 3, 2012, EA released two more characters to the SSX franchise, Eddie Wachowski and Travis Rice, which were previously only available with pre-orders of the game, and limited Facebook app codes, respectively.
On May 1, 2012, EA released content entitled "Mount Eddie & Classic Characters Pack" to Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. The DLC contains seven characters from SSX Tricky and SSX 3, three songs from the previous games, and a new mountain. The mountain, named "Mount Eddie", contains several elements reminiscent of the previous games, including large jumps, halfpipes, fireworks, billboards, and an overall colorful environment.
On August 7, 2012, EA released a patch update with two new game modes. The first mode, entitled "3-2-1 GO!", added live multiplayer gameplay. This mode allows up to five players to compete simultaneously in a race or trick event. The second mode, called freeride, let players ride down any mountain without any time limits, ghosts or scores.
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IGN gave SSX a score of 9/10 in their review, stating "SSX is the video game this generation has been missing." Reviews praised the new entry for the motivation behind its development; Eurogamer stated that "few series have enjoyed such an assured and enjoyable update in the current generation of consoles", noting it was far from being "a weary evolution", while IGN remarked that "this is what happens when you don't just put the game out every year". However, Edge gave the game a 5/10, stating that SSX "has found a worthy infrastructure to establish an online community, but this same approach has found the brand veering away from some of the fun...of yesteryear, leaving its more seductive silly side out in the cold."
In 2014, VGU said that fans were displeased with the game for its lack of multiplayer.
According to EA's Labels President Frank Gibeau, SSX was a better success than EA's first-person shooter Syndicate which the company was expecting to perform successfully. In May 2012, the game topped #1 on the UK sales charts. SSX was the fifth best selling game in the United States behind Mass Effect 3, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, MLB 12: The Show, NBA 2K12.
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- Top 5 Games That Should Have Sold More Written by Sean Humphreys, September 21st, 2014
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- Mass Effect 3 Tops March US Sales Figures April 13, 2012