In my local gamestore, aside from EB and the likes, lays gamepower, small, not noticed, but over all one of the better stores for me to lay down my purchases, this is exactly what SSX was to me.
Although loved by many, I never got into the game, never played it, never cared to, but while at GamePower, while picking up SOCOM 3, I made a impulse buy, what compelled me, was it the fact that Tony Hawk games just bore me, and I need a new extreme game, perhaps.
Right from the get go this game struck me, with the tune of Run for the Hills playing, I'm watching a sketched unicorn rock out, nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, can top a rocking Unicorn, unless there was a midget in full medieval armor on top. Midgets aside, the menue is rather basic, offering you career and a few other, non special modes to hop into, so naturally I chose career, expecting to choose a rider and go onto a couple hills. I liked how I got to creat a custom rider, and choose his clothing from a large list, as well as choose his preferance towards skis or boards. After trying both out, I can safely say there is zero, and I mean zero difference. As it would seem, something hyped up, turns out to be nothing more than a skin,even skiing backwards plays the same as a board, left is still moving left, despite going backwards and all, it would have been nice to add the backwards controls and give a little more points for added difficulty.
Controls are smooth and easy, priming your rotations and executing tricks while rotating around is nice, but it lacks a certain realism when off of an average jump I can perform a 900 backside rodeo stalefish to late seatbelt air, it makes the larger jumps hardly worth running after when those big air times consist of just more random grabs, a couple monster tricks, and a huge spin combined, give me tricks that are near impossible, not just combos, that's what made Tony Hawk's signature moves so grand, the fact you had to get good air to pull off the majority of them.
However there is no lack of big air in this game, my favourite mode being freeride, allows me to choose a point of the mountain and fly down through all the linked stages, and there is no absence of cliffs to hurl my body off of to face the mercy of gravity.
Aside from free ride, career mode is where the rest of my time is spent, where you play shred competitions and events to get ranks on a leaderboard, which consist of a large number of people, it's nice to see more depth to a extreme sports game than collect skate, next level impress a judge, than collect skate again. The shred competitions vary, one time you can collect objects, while another can be a race, trick competition, or simply collect this many seconds of air/grind time before the timer runs out, overall it's enough to keep me playing
Graphics look superb, while flying down a 40 foot drop you feel the sense of speed, while rushing through a snow covered city you see windows and lights, and while on the slopes you see packs of other boarders in your way all in vivid detail. (Am I the only one who aimed for all the inner-tubbing kids.please tell me that's a normal thing to do)
Also, the soundtrack I find is enjoyable, a nice feature is that you can choose multiple mix tapes, have one hip hop, one rock, and one mix, or just pick and choose and turn whatever one on you want, some tracks seem out of place, but for the most part the music is on the dot.