is now officially launched! We hope you enjoy our site and find it useful.

Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts

SSX Tricky

I've played two other versions of this title and I have to say, that nothing has changed in between the original release of SSX Tricky for the PlayStation 2 and the two other releases for the Game Cube and now for the XBox. If anything, there is a sort of disapproval for the XBox version of the game, as well as the Game Cube version based on the simple fact that the game play has been slightly altered in the control section based on the limitations of the way that the game is played! Because of the lack of buttons, tricks that you would have found in the Play Station 2 version have mysteriously been cut out of this version (as with the Game Cube) and unless you've played the Play Station 2 version, then you really won't miss them at all. Something that I've found with this version of the game, is that it is relatively hard to play and get some of the higher trick totals simply because the controller is extremely bulky and if you've played other versions of the title, you'll find this out in short order. Aside from all of that, the game play and the overall basis of the game, story, characters and otherwise hasn't changed since the original release and it is one hell of a crazy ride down several different slopes!


Visually, the game is full of eye candy and not as muted as the first one seemed to be. With the new additions to each stage, new paths and shortcuts, new and old, you'll find that SSX Tricky is one cut above the first in this area! With the characters ranging from the cute (Kaori) to the truly psychotic (Psymon) you'll find that SSX Tricky offers more variety in the visuals department than the first one did. All of the stages have simple lighting, but heavy detail in the way that they are all set up.

Even the tricks and the outfits that your character of choice wears looks sleek and well defined, and the Uber Tricks are something that have to be seen to be believed! There is nothing like watching a character in mid air release his board, pick it up, spin it around their neck and then drop it to the snow before they land to really make you appreciate what good programming and testing time does. Plenty of snow boarding game makers can take plenty of lessons from EA Sports, because this one does have the right stuff.


The audio here in SSX Tricky is first rate, with some high profile names doing the voices for the characters. Billy Zane (Sniper, Titanic), Macy Grey, David Arquete, and Jim Rose (Jim Rose's Freak Show) all perform the voices for the characters that you find here as well as other high profile names in the entertainment world. To add into this, the tracks are mostly mixed by the Beastie Boys DJ to create a truly pulse pounding and adrenaline pumping soundtrack that keep the pace of the game at a full clip. The voice acting of the introduction with the selection of boards and outfits as well as the overview parts of each stage really make an impact on the ears and will leave a lasting impression!


The gameplay is all about hot and heavy racing with plenty of flashy tricks thrown in for the hell of it. Most people when they pick up a game of this type, they look to see what kind of tricks they can do from the very beginning. In the original SSX, you had several good looking tricks that you pulled off with some monstrous effects to win either medals or increase your little turbo boost meter to help you through the rest of the stage. In SSX Tricky, it works on the same basis that the better your trick and the faster you spin, the better off your boost total is going to be. Now, where the first one merely enhanced your speed, SSX Tricky offers you a new Tricky meter that allows you to hammer out some Matrix-style tricks that not only catch your eye but add up for high scoring combinations. Through doing special Tricky maneuvers, you'll find that you can light up the word Tricky and therefore give yourself an infinite Super Boost through the rest of the stage!

The game is divided up into two sections in the World Circuit series that allows you to do either a downhill race of the Show Off competition. Both of these allow you to build up your character statistics in order to better their attributes in the form of speed, trick speed, edging and stability. The better the medal that you receive, the better your attribute distribution points are going to be in which you can turn your rider from a fresh meat rookie into an SSX Master! The Race option pits you against five other racers in a three heat race across several stages which encompass all of the original tracks and two new ones (Garabaldi and Alaska). You would probably think that the stages would all be the same, but the tweaking on the game play really shows in which the stages have been redesigned to add more challenge in both the downhill racing and the trick competition! Most of the changes that you'll see is with the overall layout of the game, in which you have to learn to utilize the shortcuts that permeate the stages, both new and old.

The Show Off competition allows you to pull off the various tricks while collecting point multipliers to increase your score into the hundreds of thousands. In Show Off, you'll find that all of the stages with the revamping have really paid off, considering that the stages in Show Off are geared for tricks and tricks alone! Grinds and high flying jumps litter the stages, and the better the trick, the higher your boost until you hit the top of the adrenaline meter and turn it into Tricky Mode. In Tricky Mode, you can then start turning out super tricks that range from BMX moves {Barspins, Superman) to MX moves (Nac Nac) to other various X-Games style maneuvers that are really out of this world. Again, the better you do in the competitions, the better your medal and the better your medal, the better your attribute point distribution will be. In gaining the gold, you can unlock other characters and new boards as well as new stages to compete on, and with enough tricks, you'll unlock new character outfits to wear during your races.

The bulky controller that the XBox offers does plenty to turn the game play challenging with every passing move. To be honest with you, if I had my choice on what it was that I could do with the controller design, then would not be it! With the lack of extra buttons, some of the grabs and otherwise have been taken out of the game due to lack of functioning control set up. If you can actually get the control down to a science, then you may find that there is very little that has been taken out. This essentially cuts down your possibilities on the different tricks and what you can do with your rider, which will catch most SSX fans off guard, simply because of the strange lack of tricks.

However, in order to pull off those insane looking Uber-tricks, you have to hit two of the top triggers along with one of the facial buttons. Something that can be done though, is the change up of different button sets, which can ultimately change the game for you and this will help to get your comfortable with a decent set up. For those of you who have played the PlayStation 2 version of the game, you'll find that the severe change in the way that the game handles and trick buttons are going to take a little getting used to. If you've never played the game before though, then you'll find that the game plays like a dream with just a little practice and a working knowledge of what's going on with each of your riders!

Bottom Line:

Overall, SSX Tricky is the game that SSX was to the Play Station 2. If you've played the original game, then you'll know exactly what I'm talking about, but if you've never played the series before, then you're really in for a good treat. With the amount of character, tricks, options and stage redesign, you're really looking at a game that shows what happens when you do a good sequel. Other than the cheap difficulty at some points, there really isn't much that I can find with the game that is wrong, or even remotely wrong, other than Eddie. There isn't a reason to have hair that big and that orange in any type of game. For the SSX fan, or EA Sports junkie, SSX Tricky is a game for the XBox that will truly test your ability to use the overly large controller and make a master out of you in a couple of short days!

-Drew Guirey