SSX Blur Review
Posted by Paul Catlin
Snowboarding; Literally one of the coolest sports on the planet. Can EA transfer the experience onto the Wii?
Electronic Arts' SSX series has been around for a while. Starting on the Playstation 2 with plain old "SSX" it has spanned console platforms with varying success. Four sequels and 6 years later, EA release SSX Blur for the Wii.
This time you will be snowboarding or skiing using the Wii Remote and Nunchuck controls. While of the ground, the nunchuck is your steering wheel: twist the nunchuck to the left and right to turn, or for sharper turns press the analogue stick. To jump, flick up the nunchuck. While airbourne, the Remote controls spins and flips. Advanced Ubertricks are 'drawn' in the air with the remote, and later, remote and nunchuck controllers. These do not need to be pointed at the screen to work, but they do take some practise to pull off!
The controls are a mixed bag, sometimes when controlling your player, it feels perfect, you mean for everything to happen, and all is well in the world. Some maneuvers are hard to pull off, especially Ubertricks and quick turning (slalom events) Don't expect to instantly pick up the controls, it will take time to get used to the game but overall the controls are very rewarding when you put the time in, just like real snowboarding.
The career mode involves you working your way up the leaderboard and then up the mountain to peak 2 and 3, where more tracks live. The levels are unfortunately recycled from previous SSX games, especially SSX3, where many tracks were first used. There are varying level types to play: races, slopestyle (score based race), slalom (where you must weave around posts for a quick time) Big air (where you must get a high score in a short part of a course), Half-Pipe (score based level) It's even possible to just freeride down the mountain by going around the start gates, just to explore the course and pick up collectibles scattered around the mountain.
Like the previous SSX games the music is a big part. This time around the game doesnt use individual songs in its soundtrack, the music reacts to how you are doing in the game. When you just land an awesome flip, spin, grab the music pumps up and becomes more exciting. This also works the other way when you stack. The music slows to nothing (as if on vinyl) and then restarts when you pick yourself out of the powder! JunkieXL mixed the soundtrack to the game, it works well, but I do miss the odd big tune. (...It's Tricky, Tricky!)
There are multiplayer modes too, with 2 player split-screen or hotseat play for up to four players. Good stuff, as split-screen play seems to be dying out recently!
SSX Blur is a exciting, fun game, that when played well makes you feel great! Sadly, the ubertrick controls let down the otherwise slick controller layout.