One of the few Playstation 2 launch titles worth owning was SSX. The snowboarding game combined tricks and racing in a way we hadn't seen before and did it with smooth visuals and sound. But the world of SSX has been shaken up and now the similar tracks promote much more of the trickstyle that worked so well in the first game.
There's been a lot of controversy about calling SSX TRICKY a true sequel to the original SSX. There are only two new tracks in the game. But if you look at the other tracks, they've all been reworked to the point of almost being new. There are plenty of other additions like new characters, tricks and such. I'd say its closer to being a sequel than a rehash, but it's up to the players to determine that for themselves.
SSX is not realistic in anyway. It comes from the EA BIG label, which is best described as the fun arcade sports division (NBA STREET being the other big EA BIG game). Everything is exaggerated so that you get the most fun out of the game.
The key to racing in SSX TRICKY is stunts. By performing stunts you get turbo, by using turbo you get more speed, by getting more speed you get to the finish line faster than your opponents, by getting to the finish line faster than opponents you win races. O.K., you probably knew all that, but it validates my point: tricks are the way to go. While there are some rails, getting air is the best way to rack up the points.
While racing there are some really cool dynamics thrown in. You have opponents who are friendly or neutral, as well as some that are your enemies. If you act aggressively on the course, you can provoke aggression back towards you by that same rider. It's definitely one of the cooler features and a nice way to simulate actual anger towards someone.
Just like the first SSX, TRICKY is still the bright, colorful and showy game that the original was. You can see way in front of your character and the courses are filled with lots of little details. Character animation is top-notch and each of the special tricks is incredible. The biggest improvement though comes in the form of the framerate. In the first game, the framerate had a tendency to slow down quite a bit when things got busy on screen. TRICKY has fixed a lot of this, even though it does have some moments where things slow down.
The sound is awesome in TRICKY. Like the first game, the mix of the music depends on how well you're doing on the track. This is one thing that games are starting to do now (REZ for example) and it really brings you more into the game than before. The songs are even made to represent the courses; awesome stuff and along with the visuals the overall package works well. There are also celebrity voices for the characters which work O.K. but are nothing special.
SSX TRICKY is a fine sequel to SSX. It's definitely the better of the two games and a blast to play.
Platform: Playstation 2
ESBR Rating: Teen
Genre: Extreme Sports
Developer: EA Big
Suggested Retail Price: $49.99
Fun Factor: A
Reviewer's Wild Card: A