By Charles Longer, Leisure Ninja
You know you're in for a treat when you
fire up a game for the first time and get a THX sound check before
the opening trailer. If you have ANY sort of home theater system
(and you've got your surround speakers set up correctly), this is
one of the sweetest sounds you'll ever come across. And if you've
actually taken the time to use the digital audio output on the back
of the PS2, well...yeah. It's a surreal moment I can only describe
as being bathed in sound.
But I digress.
SSX 3 carries on where Tricky left off with
exceptional game play, improved character
animation, stunning backdrops, easy player control, and the
aforementioned superb audio. The most notable improvement from
previous versions of the game is track setup. Like all racing
games, you unlock new features/tracks in SSX 3 as you win races.
Unlike the older versions where courses are located in different
parts of the world, SSX 3 is all based on the same mountain. Once
you have all the courses unlocked, you get to participate in a 30+
minute uber-race down the entire mountain. Needless to say, it
makes for a GOOD time.
I wasn't able to really get into the
trick-intensive "Show-off Mode" because I don't have the patience to
rack up millions of points on a half-pipe. Don't get me wrong--I
tried for a little while. Like the newer versions of Tony Hawk,
you're required to string your tricks together in order to get the
huge multipliers needed to score big. So...when you work hard to
get a good run going and then blow it, it's hard to calm down and
then get yourself psyched up to do it again.
Overall, the game has something for
everyone. Racing fan? It's got you covered. Trick fan? Ditto.
Racing fan who likes flying over absurd terrain while trying to land
ridiculously big tricks? You can't go wrong with SSX 3.
Rating: Opening Weekend
Chuck likes to hang out...when he's not taking care of his
lovely, pregnant wife.
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": Buy
this game right away, and don't ask me any questions as to why
that's a good move. A game experience that will almost
guarantee repeated controller abuse, lots of ManScreaming and high
resale value, you will assuredly play this bad boy for months on end.
after games have been out for a while, they drop in price slightly,
or can be bought for slightly cheaper in combination with other new
games. Usually, that's about $40. You'll feel good
getting the game for this price, since it isn't quite
run-out-and-get-it-right-now good, but it has enough game in the box
for a few weeks' worth of enjoyment.
game is not too bad, but you'd be better off buying it used from
either half.com or eBay. You also might let a friend buy this
game, let s/he beat it, and then try to buy it from them to make
them feel better. Yes, this does tend to feel like "Sloppy
"Rental": Like my
cousin Ron, you should always rent games that you aren't sure about
first, to make sure that your $50 is going towards something
worthwhile. For games in this category, this is the maximum
amount of money ($5) and/or time (3-5 days) you'll need to either
gain satisfaction from the game, or beat the game in its entirety.
Rental-rated games are also sometimes perfect for a weekend when you
are going to be at home on your ass, with some time to kill.
Games like this should have never been released. If you play
this game for any reason, you will regret every second of the
experience. Further, if you can get this game for free, don't
do it, because even for FREE, it will still be a negative experience