When SSX Tricky was first announced it actually went under the moniker SSX: DVD Edition because EA Big was looking into bringing the original to the DVD medium instead of the CD medium. When I first heard this I was very apprehensive about whether to buy the new one or not since I loved the original, but felt like I was paying a $50 upgrade for something I already own. It took some early reviews of SSX Tricky to make me decide whether to buy it or not, but I ended up buying it anyway. In some ways SSX Tricky is an upgrade of the original, but there is enough new and enough upgrades to existing tracks to warrant a purchase. I feel this game is better than the original except in one key case I will expand upon later.


I will be honest; I am not that big of a snowboarding game fan. I took a chance on SSX when I got my PS2 and I have never had as much fun in a snowboarding game as I had in that one. It was easily the biggest surprise at launch for me and actually ended up begin pretty much the best launch game.

The graphics this time around are sharper and move a little more smoothly. The game still slows down when you go into turns, especially when there are other boarders going into the turn with you. The slowdown is not as pronounced as in the original, but it is noticeable. Most of the tracks that make the move to SSX Tricky have been redesigned, with more eye candy on the courses and a lot more jumps and fireworks. As you traverse through the snow the boards wake is much like the original with a little bit of snow kick up behind you.


The graphics this time around are sharper and move a little more smoothly. The game still slows down when you go into turns, especially when there are other boarders going into the turn with you. The slowdown is not as pronounced as in the original, but it is noticeable. Most of the tracks that make the move to SSX Tricky have been redesigned, with more eye candy on the courses and a lot more jumps and fireworks. As you traverse through the snow the boards wake is much like the original with a little bit of snow kick up behind you.


The characters seem to have more detail in them than in the original. All of the boarders except for 2 come back in SSX Tricky and 6 other boarders are brought in, making a total of 12 playable characters. They are not all playable at first, but as you unlock things the more characters you get to choose. There is a bigger selection of boards and outfits in this game than in the original. The menu design in the game is very cool looking. You go around a wheel to pick your character for example and you go into a circular room to choose what course you are going to board at.


Altogether, SSX Tricky is an improvement over the original in the graphics department. The slowdown is still there, but it is not as pronounced. The game moves smoother than before.

This is a very difficult section to rate. SSX Tricky is one of the first games to have DTS in-game sound on PS2 along with NHL 2002. Some games have Dolby Digital 5.1 on them (like the X-Box version of SSX Tricky has in-game), but Dolby Digital is not able to be done in-game on PS2 and can only be done in cutscenes. The only problem with the DTS sound is it is actually matrixed as DTS 4.1. No sound comes out of the center channel, but all the other channels have sound coming from them. The sound is far better in DTS than it is in regular Dolby Surround, which the Gamecube version uses. This is the great part of the sound rating, but there are bad parts as well.


I dislike the music selection in this game and do not find it as great as the original. I find Run DMC’s “Tricky” song to get very old and very tiring after a while. You have a Tricky bar on the right in this game and when you hit the top Run DMC’s “Tricky” song comes up. At first it was cool, now it is annoying. And if you do an Uber-Trick while you are in Tricky mode then the song comes up again…d’oh! I also find the musical selection in this game not as good or varied as the original. I also find EA Big’s preponderance in getting Hollywood talent to voice some of the characters in this game to be a big no-no. The original voices on the original characters were just fine, why pay more for a big name? This is what drops the sound rating down. Other than the music, the sound is top notch…especially in DTS on PS2 and Dolby Digital on the X-Box.

SSX Tricky is based around the original in how you play the game. However, some things have changed: you now have uber-tricks, the trick book is more readily available to you, you can see how a trick is done and try it yourself and the Tricky bar are just some of the changes. The game feels so natural on the Playstation 2 controller, but that is probably because I played hours upon hours of the first game. I have played both the GameCube and X-Box versions of this game and each has their own separate weaknesses, but they do share one weakness in that the control does not seem as smooth.

Everything is pretty much the same in this game as the original. The Tricky bar is a difference though. You do tricks to fill up the Tricky bar, once you hit the top Run DMC’s song comes up and you are now able to do your uber-tricks. Each uber-trick you hit one letter in Tricky gets highlighted. If you get all 6 letters highlighted you have unlimited turbo for the rest of the race. It is very cool but can be very difficult to pull off depending on what track you are on.


The greatest addition is that you can now see how a trick is accomplished in your trick book and you can actually try it for yourself. There is a picture of the controller in the upper-left corner of the screen and it actually highlights what you have to hit in succession. This was invaluable to me for those difficult tricks for some of the playable characters.


Another interesting extra in SSX Tricky is the DVD extras. There are a lot of behind-the-scene extras in this game. This makes it feel much like a DVD movie with the variety of extras. It gives you a good look into how a game is created and produced.

The game is well worth it as you will get hours of enjoyment from it.

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