Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Game Review SSX 2012


 I got 2 hours of playtime in last night, here are my initial impressions:
Wow the game speed is FAST and FURIOUS!
In this new SSX the controls are totally, completely different from the original SSX and SSX3... thank god for the World Tour Mode (Extended Training Mode). The classic SSX controls are available but I recommend suffering through a couple hours of learning the new control scheme, the game was built around them not the old school controls.
Remember lil Griff Simmons from SSX3? He's a dick in this game,  Elise doesn't seem to be the Blonde Bombshell she was back in the day, and Zoe (you start with her) seems toned down as well.
It was awesome hearing DJ Atomika in the intro of the game! Regrettably he is only in the World tour mode, speaking of which, World Tour Mode and the Deadly Decents (single player mode) is absolutely stupid and a colossal failure, the Deadly Decents may have seemed like a really great idea to add something fresh and new to the game but the execution is such a dramatic departure from  SSX game play it feels like a totally different game.    
There seems to be much less emphasis on the tricks and more on survival gear and speed. As I stated above I think the whole survival aspect sounded interesting but there's far too much emphasis on it and not enough on the crazy cool customizable tricks from SSX3 and Tricky.  
And the characters don't have that special individuality that each character had in SSX, Tricky and SSX3. In this game they seem very muted and not at all the over the top, BIG celb status characters we know and love.
The soundtrack, which in past games has been so good I bought the sound track, is good but I still prefer the SSX3 soundtrack, one cool option is this SSX supports custom soundtracks so you could simply play the SSX3 soundtrack!

The environments really give the feeling your carving up the powder on a real mountain...so cudos to EA's Mountain Man software. I do have a few issues with the environment though, when Batty said this SSX wouldn't have invisible walls and we would be able to ride "anywhere" I was psyched but the games physics seem too lenient  and far too many times I flew off a cliff, and instead of rewinding I tried saving myself by using the wingsuit to only smack against a sheer vertical cliff side and begin riding it into the abyss...O.o. And I am no fan of the rewind option at all, I'd rather have invisible walls or at least make the tracks a little less prone to cliff side suicides. I appreciate the level of realism to all the drops but I wish they had included the yellow/orange/red snowflakes, billboards, fireworks and the stadium stands. As it is the drops are impressively realistic but very bleak and lacking in the "uber fun" department.
My other issue which I'm sure will become a non issue once I feel more comfortable with the controls is the prewind before a jump, I've read a few complaints over at Merqurycity.com regarding this same issue. 
Unlike previous SSX installments the core of the game experience is online between Explore mode and Global Events. Explore Mode is as close to Free Ride as you get in this game, you can access most drops on the planet free of charge and just ride but your friends can ride against your ghost and post a better time and if they beat your time they can earn XP and SSX creds just like in Global Events. So you can earn some creds if you post a really good time on a run and your friends attempt to beat it but fail. Another way to earn credits is by placing Geo Tags during your run in really "tricky" locations....so say you get some serious air off a hidden route just rewind to the apex point and place that geo tag....there is a maturity time on them if they're not claimed which will net you max creds, so it pays to put em in hard to reach locations.
Now Global Events are similar to Explore Mode but you're racing/tricking/surviving against anyone else who joins the event. Events can be, as mentioned, racing, tricks or survival and certain conditions can be set such as equipment level/equipment requirements/ buy in (some events cost to join) and character level etc.
And depending how well you do is how much of the of the pot you'll take. Some global events pots have exceeded 1 million creds! so getting that coveted Diamond placing nets you a 1 to 1 payout! 
Like Explore mode you don't actually race in real time against other players you race against players ghosts...this is a double edged sword....you don't get the thrill of real time competition but you do get the convienence of being able to "compete" against others at your convenience.

In conclusion, SSX 2012 is close to what die hard fans have been looking for since SSX3, 
The World Tour story and the 9 Deadly Descents is awful, take your ice ax's and wing suits and shove em up your ass!
The music isn't as memorable as SSX3...thank goodness for custom soundtracks!
DJ Atomika needs more "air" time versus the chopper pilots.  
The drops are varied and beautifully realistic (kudos to Mountain Man) but need more color ie: fireworks/ billboards 
The SSX crew seems less fun....too dam serious.
I miss the customizable Ubers and Super Ubers! 
I miss the fun customizable outfits....Griffs Space suit??Elises Bunny ears???SSX 3000 board, 
Biggest offense= No Allegra!!! WHAAAAT????
No real time vs racing...
Thanks for including classic controls but regrettably they don't work well in this game :/
Rewinds=Meh
Cliffs= Bah!
Community-centric focus for the online aspect is great!
Ridernet is cool!  

7/10 multiplayer
2/10 single player (World Tour Mode)