I’ve spent the last week or so grinding the slopes in EA’s newest SSX title dubbed Deadly Descents, and I think it has been one of the most enjoyable gaming experiences in my life. I’m not a snowboarder nor do I follow the X-Games athletes, but there’s something about this SSX reboot that has captivated me like no other game has for quite some time. The thrill of pulling off out-of-this-world tricks while boarding down slopes littered with obstacles to jump and grind on is something that should be experienced by all gamers. I’ve also immensely enjoyed the competitive aspect of this game’s challenge feature, which allows you to trump your rivals’ scores even when they aren’t playing online when you’re doing some shredding. Not to mention SSX has one of the raddest techno/dubstep/trance soundtracks that I’ve ever heard in a sports game. If any of these highlights sound interesting to you then head on down and read our full SSX review, because it’s a can’t miss in our books!
SSX Deadly Descents (2012)
EB 9 out of 10 Buddhas
The Awesome: Pick up and play gameplay, Challenge modes, Makes you feel like a bada*s, Soundtrack
The Not so Awesome: Crappy menu system, Going for gold can be extremely challenging (Could be an awesome for some)
Pick up and play gameplay
One of the aspects of the new SSX that I appreciate immensely is the fact that you can pretty much jump right into this game and be semi competitive. SSX could possibly have one of the greatest tutorials of all time, which definitely helps to make it easier for snowboarding noobs like myself. You are dropped out of a chopper from 8,000M high, and then you are given free reign to learn the trick system. It was extremely helpful in introducing the new right stick control scheme that takes over for the old button presses of SSX games past. I also believe that this control scheme is easier for beginners than the traditional button controls, or even the classic SSX controls, because it feels natural. Basically, the right stick becomes the control for which hand and side of the board you will grab while in mid air. It’s very intuitive, and should grow on even the most stubborn of SSX enthusiasts.
You’ll be hitting air like this in no time with the easy to learn controls of SSX
On top of the easy control scheme EA has also made landing tricks much easier. In the older SSX games landing was almost more difficult than pulling off the uber tricks themselves. This is not the case at all in SSX Deadly Descents. All you have to do to look like the Flying Tomato is make sure to release any stick and/or button before you fall back to Earth. If done correctly you’ll have no problem landing some of the more gnarly high-flying tricks in this game. The same can be said for grinding the environment, which can be done with a simple press of the LT button, or if you want to grind a rail all you have to do is carve over top of it. The controls in this game definitely shouldn’t scare newcomers, because EA has done a great job at making them accessible to the masses. Big props for this move!
One of the greatest features of the new SSX is the fact that you don’t need any of your friends online to challenge them. Through its Rivals system SSX will always present a ghost of your friend’s best race time, or trick score for every course you participate in that they have already finished. The game’s Ridernet system makes it very easy to see which of your scores your friends have beaten (if they have cause IM DA BES), and it’ll also allow you to jump straight into a course that your friend has conquered your score in. It’ll also throw screen pop-ups at you if your friend/rival starts competing while you’re both online.
You can always keep tabs on your rivals with their ghost runs
This excellent challenge feature gives SSX a feeling of competitiveness that I haven’t experienced in some time, and it’s all due to the excellent framework that EA setup. There’s something nostalgic about taking down your friend’s score on the leader boards, which makes you feel like a kid again conquering your buddies Super Mario Bros. run, or kicking his/her as* in a Mario-Kart circuit. It definitely gives this game a ton of replay value, because depending on your ego you could have new challenges to beat on a daily basis for many years to come. With its challenge mode SSX has managed to recapture the thrill of competition that most of today’s triple-A games can’t match. You adrenaline junkies will love it I promise!
Makes you feel like a badas*
How else can I describe the feeling of pulling off a gold medal Trick it run? SSX’s over-the-top snowboarding moves really do make you feel like Superman. There’s nothing more superhero-like than pulling off a 3,240 degree front side fakey twister-magoo. The arcade nature and high-flying tricks of SSX should make any gamer who plays it feel like a boss, and sometimes that’s just what we need. If you want to feel special go cut a few Trick it runs, and call us in the morning. The sh*t is gravity defyingly awesome!
Very rarely does an EA sports game have a great soundtrack, but SSX has managed to pull it off. I’m not much of a pop music fan, or into the club scene, but the mix of remixed hits in this game is impressive. I probably couldn’t name half of the artists featured in this game before I started playing it, but now I could probably rattle off some of the current pop stars in the world as if I were a teenage girl. Most of them are fantastically remixed in a dub step style that will literally make you want to jump out of your seat and get down with your bad self. I love the remixed version of ‘Tricky’ that pops off every time you hit full Tricky as well, because it really amps you up to pull off some new tricks.
Yes you’re a badas* listening to some bitchin tunes
This game’s music is perfect for its style, and it almost gives you an increased sense of motivation to pull off a magical run. Let’s just say that this game’s soundtrack is solid enough that I’m seriously considering purchasing it on iTunes.
The Not so Awesome
Crappy menu system
I’m going to be honest with you. There really isn’t much to b*tch about in regards to the new SSX, but if I had to pick on it I have to mention its menu system. It’s not awful by any means, but it gets a little cumbersome the deeper you drill into the various game modes. At some points you’ll literally have to hit the B-button to back out what seems like 100 times before you can get back to the main menu. There’s no quick way to just return home without having to back out of every menu you previously entered, which for impatient people like myself is a major problem.
I would have also liked to have seen a better way to keep up with your rivals. It’s not very clear in the game on how to add rivals, find new ones, or even see what your friends are up to unless you know where the menu is at. It would have been nice to have a ‘Rivals’ entry right on the main menu, but again I’m grasping for a critique of this game, so it’s not like the crappy menus are the end of the world.
Going for gold can be extremely challenging (Could be an awesome for some)
For those of you that like to perfect your games you better be prepared for a long haul in regards to scoring all of the gold medals in SSX. Some of them will be easier than others, while some are so damn hard that my brain can’t even comprehend how EA expects me to conquer them. Now this could be a good problem to have especially if you want to squeeze every penny out of this game, because you will be playing it for a long time to score all of its gold medals.
Sometimes going for the gold will give you a stroke
As if the game’s built in challenges weren’t enough it also features Global Events, which pit you and gamers around the world against a set challenge. Depending on how you score you could earn millions of XP, but you’ll soon find out that there are gamers out there who have either figured out some exploits, or are just that damn good, because some of the diamond level scores are absolutely ridiculous. On one event the overall leader had 133,000,000 points with the next closest being in the 50’s. Not to mention my best score was in the teens, yikes!
This just goes to show you that going for perfection in this game is not for the feint of heart, so if you don’t want to get stressed out over this game then give up your dreams of achieving every gold medal that this game has to offer.
The Final Verdict
This is no bullsh*t folks, I can’t remember the last time I’ve had so much fun playing a new game. The fact that it’s so easy to pick up and play, yet so hard to master makes SSX an addicting game to play that should provide many hours of fun. The thrill of knocking off your friends’ scores is unheralded, and will take you back to the days of gaming’s past. The soundtrack will only help to get you in the mood to pull of some sick tricks and insane air. The menu system and overall challenge may be a pain in the a*s to some, but overall SSX is a must play title. I give it a respectable EB 9 out of 10 Buddhas.
If you haven’t done so already at least check out the game’s demo (PSN users check on your PS3) to see how awesome it is for yourself. I know I’ll be playing this game on occasion for a very long time, and I couldn’t be more happy about that notion. You’ve been needing a break from all of the FPS and Open World games that have taken over the market…
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