The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 13
With the full release a week away, EA rolled out the SSX demo this morning. While it doesn't give you a taste of all the features, there's plenty in here to keep excited fans happy, or maybe put a few doubts to rest.
The demo opens with an unfortunately unskippable video, and worse, it's one of the promo videos that have been circulating for a while now. Thankfully, once that's out of the way, you can jump right into the tutorial, which throws you out of a perfectly good helicopter so you can practice moves in freefall. You're given the choice of using the right analog or face buttons to execute your moves; I went with the buttons since I'm used to the earlier entries.
The moves are familiar territory, left analog to control rotation along two axes, face buttons to perform various holds and stunts. There are nice little change-ups, using RT plus a button tweaks the move, while transitioning from one face button to another changes your grab. Normally, X is your left hand, B your right, and Y is both, and you use them to grab the left, right, and front of your board respectively. However, by pressing Y then quickly pressing and holding X, you'll instead use both hands to grab the left edge of your board. Basically, the inputs are [choose your hands] >> [choose your board grab.] It's a nice intuitive touch, and lets you mix up moves without repeating them to improve your combo scores.
Physics and self-preservation both called in sick this morning, so you have the slopes to yourself all day.
Once your Tricky meter is full (blue,) your moves change to Tricky moves. Filling your meter again (to orange) lets you unleash Super Tricky moves with RT + LT + any button. Unlike SSX3, it seems that Tricky moves automatically cancel out before landing (as long as you don't hold the buttons) so you have fewer "oh s***" moments where you realize you may have initiated a fancy move right into a mountain face or into the ground. Other than that, the A button is still your jump, you can "wind up" spinning jumps before letting go of A, and aiming towards rails will still put you into a grind fairly easily. RT is your speed boost, LT now lets you manually grind onto non-rail edges, and RB activates your wingsuit if you want to catch serious air and do your best flying squirrell impression.
The demo limits you to Zoe and Mac, and two events (besides the tutorial) - one score event, and one race. Unfortunately, your character customizing is locked in the demo; it would have been nice to at least allow a few pieces of gear to play with. The menus have an option for "music" so it's likely the EA format for building your custom soundtrack will return. Speaking of music, the new dynamic mixing system is shown off here. Entering Super Tricky mode will mix in whatever version of "It's Tricky" they're using in this release, and it simply overpowers whatever song was playing. It would have been fun to mix it in subtly, but I'm not a fan of the way it simply takes over the audio. Thanfully, it seems you can turn this off in the options menus, having giant flaming orange letters on my screen is enough for me to get the point.
Normally, launching yourself off the fuselage of a downed aircraft would be considered "foreshadowing." Here, it's "awesome."
The menus also reference RiderNet, which is similar to EA's other online competition system, like Need for Speed's Autolog, letting you know when friends have challenged you to events, or beaten your score. One thing that I noticed was Geotags, which - this is my impression, anyway - will allow you to leave holograms floating on levels, as a challenge to your friends to try to reach that same location. This should be a nice complement to trying to find all the hidden showflakes on each level.
The game seems to break up the action across several locations; unlike SSX3's one gigantic mountain, you'll travel to several locations around the world, each with multiples peaks, and each of those with multiple "runs" to compete on. Between the varied locations, customizable outfits and gear, stat tracking, soundtrack and song mixing, and some new event types, it's looking like the latest SSX might be the best entry in the series by far.
Well if the control scheme has changed, I guess my worries about skill transfer won't apply. I thought I'd be able to pick up a DualShock controller on PS3 and just jump in like I did on PS2. If they're more intuitive, that's good, since it probably means switching between PS3 and 360 will be easier. Can't wait to try the demo out for myself!
I'm loving it already
Sounds great! I can't wait to play it later tonight.
went to the using the rs to do tricks. i like it a lot better than i thought i would. much improved scores
The only thing I like about the Xbox is the fact that they get the demo first, while the ps3 hasn't gotten it yet. Lucky bastards.