If there’s one series that has yet to bore me throughout the course of my long, ever-treacherous but usually satisfying gaming career, it would without a doubt be SSX. EA Sports Big’s snowboarding juggernauts of the early 2000s weren’t just a sports games, and really, neither were any of the late great development studio’s releases. EA Big knew how to put fun first, rules of the road second, and general convention and laws of physics dead last, and the results weren’t just a rollicking good time with each and every release, but uncommonly high praise from game critics ‘round the globe. When you consider how sports games tend to be received nowadays, this comes off as doubly impressive.
The recent SSX revival back in February of 2012 was a big deal for me, and though a vocal minority of die-hard “fans” on the web criticized the game for not remaining true enough to 2001’s SSX Tricky, I actually found the new game to be a gleaming achievement from EA Canada. Not only did it respect the series roots and absolutely nail the feel that spiritual predecessor SSX 3 was aiming for, but it actually managed to engineer gameplay that was a logical extension from where that game left off. SSX 3 was bigger, better, and more realistic (if slightly less zany) that SSX Tricky, and 2012’s SSX expanded upon that growth even further. I’ve been playing the game since its release and writing about it for almost as long, and I still take it for a spin at least once a week. Depending on my schedule, it’s often once a day. To me, it’s that good.
Thanks to the extremely robust and ever-addicting online component of the game, labeled RiderNet and located under the Global Events subcategory in the game’s main menu, SSX provides new surprises and experiences almost every time I sign on. With this piece, I want to relay those experiences and the emotions they trigger, and hopefully tie them into current events, the gaming landscape, or even interactive entertainment as a whole to the best of my ability. In other words, I’m going full tricky mode.
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