is a solid update to the original SSX
, and it's being released on all of the next-gen systems, unlike the PS2-only original. For those of you with multiple next-gen consoles, that brings up the question of which to buy. Having only played the XBox version extensively (although I've spent some time with the PS2 incarnation), I can definitely say that the XBox version is very solid. With new tracks, new tricks, more stuff to unlock than most RPGs, and a two-player mode, it's hard to go wrong with SSX Tricky
For the few folks who have never heard of the SSX series, a little introduction is in order. The original SSX was basically the killer app at the PS2's release; while most of the launch titles weren't particularly impressive, SSX took the cake as an over-the-top snowboarding title, with crazy characters and even crazier tricks. Now we have SSX Tricky, an overhaul of the original that offers a lot more of the same and enough new stuff to keep you interested.
Most of the courses in SSX Tricky are reduxes from the original. Don't let that fool you into thinking that they're identical, though; enough things have been tweaked in them to make a thorough re-exploration necessary, as the trademark SSX shortcuts are in different places and require even more precise jumps to land. In addition, there are a couple of new tracks, good to mix up the action and keep it interesting.
Along with new tracks, there are a number of new players. You start with three playable characters, and as you progress in the game you open up new ones to race with. Every character has their own stats and trick book, and as you play with them you open up more and more tracks, characters, and tricks. There's even equipment that they can use, from different boards to groovy outfits. Since every character has a ton of unlockable stuff, and tracks and the like are only unlockable as you progress with the various characters, the completist gamer will find many, many hours of playtime with this game.
The actual races are just as fervet as ever. The jumps are big, the tricks are awesome, and you can knock down your opponents to get an edge and even get the coveted Tricky light blinking. Once you have that, you have a handful of seconds to catch some major air and pull off an Uber Trick, which scores an insane number of points and looks crazy to boot. Each character has a number of Uber Tricks that they can perform, keeping it interesting, along with the tons of other moves that they can do.
If the racing doesn't interest you, you can do Showoff mode, which is basically geared around getting as many points as possible. The World Circuit is where you unlock most of the stuff, but you can also do Single Races to get the hang of the courses, or Practics by your lonesome to go find the many shortcuts. If all of this tires you, you can always participate in two-player action; the best part is that it's not just two people on the course, as the rest of the racers are still there with you.