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SSX Tricky is a snowboarding video game, the second game in the SSX series published under the EA Sports BIG label and developed by EA Canada. The game is a sequel to SSX. The game was released in 2001 for PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube and Xbox and was later ported to the Game Boy Advance in October 2002.

Gameplay

Gameplay continues the same basic method introduced in SSX, with the main tracks being 'remixed' from the previous games and two new tracks, Garibaldi and Alaska. The important new feature added to the series are the Uber moves. If players are able to fill their boost bar to the maximum, they will be able to perform Uber moves which involve characters taking their feet off their board and doing over the top moves. If a player successfully lands an Uber move, they are given a short amount of time for infinite boost, which can be topped off by performing more Uber moves. Each player can perform five Uber moves, including a personal move if the character is using a board that matches their style. If a player successfully performs six Uber moves, spelling out 'tricky' on the boost bar, they will have infinite boost for the remainder of the level.

Also introduced in the game is a rivalry system in the World Circuit mode. If the player is friendly with another AI character, they will treat the player favourably. However, if the player ends up annoying other AI characters, generally by attacking them during the race in order to fill the adrenaline bar, they will become hostile towards players in future events.

Modes

There are four modes of gameplay.

Freeride
The Freeride mode of gameplay does not allow players to unlock characters or boards. It enables players to play with either one or two players, as well as allowing you to get to know the course. It does, however, allow you to unlock outfits by completing a trick chapter.
Practice
Practice Mode is a great place for beginners to get the opportunity to get used to snowboarding. As in Freeride, players have the ability to do what they wish, and to practice tricks.
World Circuit
In the World Circuit mode, players have the ability to unlock characters, boards and outfits by racing and competing in events. There are two main categories of events; Race and Show-off. In race, the player must compete in the Quarter- and Semi-finals, and then in the Finals and get within the top three places to "win" that track; the medals are Bronze, Silver, and Gold.
There are eight tracks to complete. When racing, players must attempt to stay in the lead of their five opponents. In show-off, players are required to perform as many fancy tricks as they can and obtain as many points as they can.
If this mode is completed in Race, the extra track "Untracked" is unlocked for Freeplay. Similar to Showoff is Pipedream.
Single Event
Single Event takes, as its name suggests, one of the events over a single heat from World Circuit mode. Medals are awarded at the end of the track, and a second human player can be added.

Development

During development, SSX Tricky was referred to using various names, such as SSX 1.5 and SSX CD.[1]

Reception

The PlayStation 2 version received "universal acclaim", and the GameCube and Xbox versions received "favorable" reviews, while the Game Boy Advance version received "average" reviews according to video game review aggregator Metacritic.

Most reviews hesitated before calling the game a "true sequel" since it shared a large amount of content with the original SSX (all but two of the courses appear in the original). Reviews did compliment the added features, such as "Uber tricks" and "Rivalry" with other boarders. Some reviewers thought that the improvements over the original were so good that SSX Tricky was billed as the best snowboarding game to date. The voice acting was highly praised by many reviewers, noting that the use of celebrities such as Lucy Liu helped bring the outrageous characters to life. The music system received much acclaim as it was able to adapt to suit the situation. Each course had specific songs paired with it to match the mood and when riders reached maximum boost or were knocked down, the music reacts. The size of the environments, the detail of the graphics and the trick system also received plenty of recognition from reviewers. In Japan, Famitsu gave it a score of 32 out of 40 for the GameCube version, and three sevens and one eight (29/40) for the Xbox version.[2]

In predicting the sales for the game, PSX Extreme said "It's quite unfortunate if I do say so myself, because a AAA title like SSX Tricky won't be getting the sales it really deserves."[3] IGN called it the 95th best PlayStation 2 game. The staff cited its improvements over its predecessor (which includes "flashier Uber moves").[4]

References

  1. http://www.ign.com/articles/2003/10/18/ssx-3-4
  2. http://www.ign.com/articles/2002/03/29/japan-week-in-review-2
  3. http://www.psxextreme.com/ps2-reviews/101.html
  4. http://www.ign.com/top/ps2-games/95

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