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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2020 9:44 am  Post subject: random thoughts on playing SSX/Tricky/3 again. (LONG READ)  
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Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:30 pm
Rank: Sensei
Hello! Alpinestar back, after about a decade!
I think I last posted here in 2009 or 2010. wow, now it's 2020. so what's up? has it really been that long? man. a lot has happened since then, many things have changed over the years; for me, and for everyone else I'm sure.
especially with the pandemic going on now. I hope everyone is well. (stay inside!)
checked the scoreboard, it's cool to see the new high scores now, and impressive to see some old records are still up!
anyway, I have kind of a lot to say, so I'll get to it. feel like doing a bit of reading? because I feel like doing a bit of writing. HERE WE GO!

BUT FIRST I would just like to say that I was amazed, and pleasantly surprised to find that MerquryCity is still around. (and my old login info still works!) so THANK YOU!!! gondee!!! for keeping this site running for all these years. it's like a museum to the greatest snowboarding game series of all time, and I'm so glad that it's still around. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

so. unfortunately my PlayStation 2 and Gamecube are long gone. but. I've finally gotten PCSX2 working on my PC, and have been playing SSX, SSX Tricky, and SSX 3 again, and have been having a great time! so far I've beaten SSX with Mac, SSX Tricky with Mac (might play Brodi and Moby too later!), and am just starting on SSX 3 with Mac. I thought I'd share a few things I noticed now about these games after not playing them for many years. keep in mind, these are just my opinions. but here we go:

the original. still fun, don't get me wrong. but playing it again in 2020, it feels more like a beta version of SSX Tricky than a standalone game.
the controls are very frustrating compared to Tricky and 3... for tricks you have to spin/flip first, THEN grab, THEN tweak the grab. there's a long delay from when you start spinning, to when the grab activates, to when you can tweak that grab. also, a lot of the tricks in the trick book are very complicated to pull off, which is exacerbated by the frustrating controls. you have to be very precise with your spins, flips, tweaks, switching to a late grab. it's kind of aggravating. and you get outfits for completing the green circle and blue square parts of the trick book, but completing the black diamond tricks doesn't unlock anything but a flashing halo on the character select screen to prove you've done it. yay!.... meh.
besides tricks, the general responsiveness of maneuvering the snowboard down the courses feels very sluggish. the steering feels very loose. and the sense of speed is just not there. I'm doing full boost, with maxed out stats, and I still don't feel like I'm going very fast. Tricky and 3 definitely improved on SSX in regards to the feel of the controls, and the sense of speed.
now onto the levels. the other thing I noticed was that these original versions of the levels don't flow as well as the versions remixed for Tricky. examples: Merqury City, fences right in the middle of the main path! Mesablanca, a rock formation right in the middle of the landing zone for a jump on the main path! Tokyo Megaplex, WAY too many bumpers in the way! no rails in the air like in Tricky to grind over all that stuff! in Tricky, the main path is pretty easy, but isn't the fastest way. taking shortcuts in Tricky puts more obstacles in your path, but rewards you with a quicker time if you can get past the obstacles. but in SSX, the shortcuts feel easier to ride on than the main path! the shortcuts save you so much time on this one, to the point where they are basically MANDATORY if you want to win the gold medal in all the races. because the AI cheats! and it's really hard to shove the AI riders down! you can only shove left or right!
I think the best part of the original SSX is the music. yes, they reused some of the music in Tricky, or remixed certain tracks, but I wish they had carried over ALL the tracks to Tricky. there's some great music in here that didn't make the cut for Tricky.
OVERALL: 7/10, improvements needed. (and WERE MADE, with Tricky!) but not bad for a PlayStation 2 launch title from 2000.

SSX Tricky:
now, HERE is the game that got me hooked, and got me to buy a real game console. before this, I only had a Game Boy to call my own. I had played the original SSX at a friend's house on PS2, and thought it was cool. but when SSX Tricky came out, my friend showed me it, and that was it. I NEED this game. so I bought a Gamecube and this game. later, I realized that the Gamecube version has less grabs! because there was only 3 shoulder buttons compared to the PS2's 4! so eventually I got a PS2 and bought SSX Tricky for a second time! totally worth it!!! but anyway:
I mean, what can I say. this game is so great! now we got UBER TRICKS! and all the tracks from SSX, but IMPROVED! everything flows so much better! simple on the main path, but it gets crazy once you take shortcuts! and new tracks! and the controls have been tightened up! now I can prewind the spin/flip, hold the first grab, jump, tweak it immediately, and then switch to a tweaked late grab right away! no waiting on the delay! and carving down the run feels so responsive! and the sense of speed is there! I feel like I'm going really fast!
and more characters! Brodi was my favorite. by the way, looking over my old posts, I saw I was planning on posting a Brodi Quotes FAQ to Gamefaqs back in the day... I started it, but just never got around to finishing it. sorry if anyone was waiting for that, my apologies. I let you down!
anyway. also better AI! they'll keep up with you, but it doesn't feel like they are cheating, like it could feel sometimes in the original SSX. and the rider relationship system was great. now, you are punished for shoving other riders down during a race. they'll try to take revenge on the next race! also you can shove forwards or backwards as well as left and right, and get a full boost bar for a knockdown. I'd usually try to race clean, but if another rider was between me and winning the gold medal in the race... I'd shove them down with no regrets. muahahaha! and if I was playing Luther, I'd just shove everyone any chance I got. seemed like that would be in character for him. then everyone was mad at me so by the time I got to Alaska, it would just be a total brawl every race which was fun. he was friends with JP though, so I'd leave him alone.
anyway. what else can I say... just, this game is amazing. a HUGE improvement on SSX. the controls are better, the levels flow better, the music is amazing. those dynamic changes in the music based on your position in the race, or if you take a shortcut! and even just the little quality of life things were improved on, like being able to restart races, being able to check the trick book on the pause menu, and being able to select the next event in World Circuit mode, all without having to exit all the way to the main menu. this game is sooo good! I have a really hard time deciding which SSX game is my favorite, between Tricky and 3. but if I could recommend only ONE SSX game to a casual gamer who has never played this series before, I'd have to go with Tricky. I think it's probably the most newbie-friendly.
the bad thing I can say about Tricky is it just seemed too short. once you got all the gold medals in race and show-off, and completed the trick book, the only thing to do was try another character, or try to improve your times and scores. you just wanted more. which leads us, to SSX 3.
OVERALL: 9/10. an almost perfect game. a HUGE improvement on the original SSX. I would recommend this game to any gamer who is completely new to SSX games, this is the best starting point I think.

SSX 3:
it's hard to top the near perfection that was Tricky, but... amazingly SSX 3 managed to do it. SSX 3 is the BEST snowboarding game of ALL TIME. hands down.
even on just controls. the controls improved upon in Tricky, were even further perfected. every trick, every movement is so crisp. and now you sort of auto-level out when you let go of the spin/flip, provided you have enough time before hitting the ground. also you have the addition of the handplant, and the nose/tail presses, which added more opportunity for huge combos.
again, like Tricky, where do I even start.... there's SO MUCH TO DO IN THIS GAME! races! show-offs! challenges! now we got halfpipe and big air in addition to slopestyle! or just free riding down the mountain! you liked Untracked from SSX and Tricky? now we got THREE peaks of that totally fresh powder! so many different paths to explore. the free-roam element was so refreshing. instead of loading the courses from a boring menu, now you just ride on down to the venue's start gate, or take the cable car/helicopter to a peak. and if you do some tricks on the way, or find the snowflake collectibles, you can earn a bit of money!
which brings me to the character customization. it was soo cool to be able to buy accessories for your rider instead of just having some set outfits. you could make your character look however you wanted.
sort of related to character looks, I liked how once you got your UBER meter full, the characters would bend over and undo their bindings to get ready to do the Uber tricks. it was almost like, realistic unrealism. you can't do a kickflip on a snowboard when your feet are stuck to the board, right?! in SSX and Tricky, it's like they just had magic magnets on their boots and their board, no bindings to undo.
should mention the music, it was AMAZING. I loved the addition of the rock and hip-hop tracks, along with keeping the breakbeat/electronic stuff from SSX and Tricky going. and you could customize the soundtrack. and that SSX series signature of the music dynamically changing based on where you were on the course.
the ONLY bad things I can say about SSX 3, is no fully-voiced Brodi (boo!), and that I kind of missed the different Freestyle/BX/Alpine board styles from SSX and Tricky. but that doesn't even matter. this game is the best SSX game. easily.
OVERALL: 10/10. perfect game. this game has not been topped by any other snowboarding game so far. although I'd still recommend Tricky over this for a first SSX game for a complete newbie, but once you get the feel of Tricky, and decide you like SSX, 3 has so much more stuff for you to do. and just freeriding down the mountain. it's so relaxing.

SO. to sort of conclude things.
I think these 3 games, especially Tricky and 3, were the golden age of SSX and I don't know if that peak will ever be reached again by any snowboarding game. the SSX games that came after 3 just didn't really interest me. even the 2012 reboot. it just wasn't the same. EA caught lightning in a bottle in the early 2000's and I don't know if you could ever repeat that.
BUT. here's my PIPEDREAM: (heh, get it, Pipedream? eh?)
IF, big, IF. if EA decides to revisit SSX again, the best case scenario in my opinion would be a HD remaster of SSX, Tricky, and 3. (kind of like what Activision did with the original Spyro the Dragon trilogy, I thought that remake was really well done.)
so have the 3 separate games in one game, with improved graphics. but I think maybe with SSX and Tricky, since a lot of the courses are kind of the same, but with changes for Tricky, what you could do is combine SSX and Tricky into one, but add Hiro and Jurgen into Tricky. and then just add the classic SSX layouts of the courses as an option.
OR, just redo SSX 3, and somehow add the SSX and Tricky courses into the mountain? how sick would that be? well, just brainstorming here.

but even if EA never makes another SSX game, at least we have these 3 amazing games to remember.


P.S. I know the site is kinda dead these days, but if anyone who read this had anything to add, or discuss on what I thought about playing SSX/Tricky/3 again in 2020, please reply! I'll respond! I'd love to talk about these great old games!

You know our choice to choose, and to reject, prevents our seeing simple truth? - Broderick "Brodi" Ford

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 2:17 pm  Post subject: Re: random thoughts on playing SSX/Tricky/3 again. (LONG REA  
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2016 6:36 am
Rank: Sensei
It's good to see another member around, let me possibly be the first to welcome you back :)

You know, I just skimmed through your post, but I would LOVE to play SSX 3 some day, the only problem is that I am still dependent, my parents don't like video games, and the PS2 console is pretty much extinct, so yeah :(

But I at least had the pleasure of playing SSX: On Tour.

However, if not SSX 3, then maybe SSX 2012, what are your thoughts on that? Many people disliked it, but I loved its graphics and well, just the mere fact is continued was enough for me to be happy.

That's all I have to say, I believe there was another post about continuing an SSX styled theme.

Once again, good to see another member around here again, I'm perpetualdusk.

P.S. Is Need for Speed to racing, what SSX is to snowboarding?

PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2020 11:35 am  Post subject: Re: random thoughts on playing SSX/Tricky/3 again. (LONG REA  
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Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2007 11:01 am
Rank: Master
Location: California
PSN: Emu90
SSX 3 on Xbox One X and soon Series X is a must have. 4k resolution, 60 fps, 1sec loading times I cannot recommend it enough.

Mercury City's official Fortune Teller. *

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