| EA Canada
| Electronic Arts
| NUMBER OF PLAYERS
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Helping to fill out the GameCube’s (rather empty) sports portfolio is SSX Tricky. SSX Tricky is a follow-up to the previously released SSX for the PS2. This version of Tricky includes the following features:
- New "Uber" Tricks
- Six new riders
- Three different racing modes
- Celebrity voice talent
- Exclusive DVD content
This new and improved version of Tricky not only includes revamped versions of the original tracks but two brand new courses as well. Course changes include new routes, jumps, obstacles and other surprises.
The GameCube version of Tricky compares favorably to its popular PS2 counterpart. That said, textures seem slightly more washed out -– but not nearly enough to be outwardly noticeable. Also, in some cases, there is slight draw in on the horizon when playing with two players. Other than that, the visuals in Tricky are very balanced and get the job done. One thing this game does get across is the enormous scale of the courses. There is nothing like catching big air off of a jump and seeing a fish-eye view of the scenery floating by smoothly within your field of view. The larger your television is, the more you’ll be able to appreciate this breathtaking aspect of Tricky.
Character models in Tricky are fairly detailed and exhibit lifelike motions. Clothes blow in the wind, Afro’s jiggle with the boarder’s motions and bodies crumple appropriately at the end of a bad jump. Courses in Tricky are modeled aptly as well as sporting moderate amounts of obstacles and other geometry.
SSX Tricky also boasts a very slick menu interface. It is truly next-generation and shows you what can be accomplished when utilizing the right media on a capable system.
Tricky’s music soundtrack, while adequate, didn’t quite live up to my expectations. However, your mileage may vary. The quality of the music was average to above average but the variety of music was disappointing. Not to mention that the infamous theme song, originally recorded by Run D.M.C., never plays in it’s entirety but only momentarily. EA went out of their way to nab famous voice talent for this game but it hardly did anything to make the game experience any better. The exception, of course, being Rahzel -– a guy who can give Michael Winslow (of Police Academy fame) a run for his money.
On a more positive note (pun intended), the sound effects in tricky suit the game perfectly and get the job done.
What can I say? This game is the equivalent of digital crack. It is highly addictive and has a high replay value -– which sports games often do. The brilliance of Tricky is exemplified in its trick system. Using a combination of nearly all of the buttons on the GameCube controller, one can pull off a massive array of impressive snowboarding tricks ranging from simple board grabs to a “Superman.” The general layout of the keypad is as follows:
Analog Stick: Turn left/right
D-Pad: Speed Up/Slow Down
C-Stick: Shove Opponent
A Button: Crouch/Jump
B Button: Adrenaline Boost
Y Button: Reset Boarder After Crash
X Button: Tweak a Trick
Left/Right/Z Buttons: Board Grabs and Uber-Tricks
There are three game modes from which to choose: Race Mode, Showoff Mode and Time Challenge Mode. It takes a bit to get used to the moves, but after a little practice time, you’ll be pulling off tricks like a pro. Each boarder has a set of Uber-Tricks that can earn you major points if done correctly, and they don’t look half bad either! Hence, the essence of Tricky. Sure, one could take the lamer route and race their opponent to the bottom of the slope as quickly as possible; but, the depth of Tricky lies within its intricate, yet straight forward, trick system. It is here where the player’s goal is simple: to get “big air” and perform as many tricks as possible just in time for a smooth landing. My biggest gripe was the position of the reset button. It’s very easy to hit this thing by mistake when you are in the midst of pulling of a trick, which can lead to some frustrating moments.
The multiplayer game in tricky can be very rewarding –- if you are the winner, of course. The added pressure of playing against another human being always adds more fun to an experience; and this game is no different. Tricky may be played with 1 or 2 players via a vertical split screen. When both players are on the same screen you may encounter a slight drop in frame rate but it hardly detracts from gameplay.
SSX Tricky is a rewarding experience and a highly recommended purchase. The game, while seemingly rushed for an early GameCube release, seems fairly polished and does not contain any major fallacies. Fans of the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series should be able to appreciate Tricky as it is a different take on a similar genre. Casual gamers will also welcome the immediate playability of this game as well.
For future releases in this series, it’d be nice if there were more customization options and musical selections but those are minor gripes to what was, generally, a favorable experience.