The lights are on
When I first heard about SSX's reboot, I was excited to see how the new survival mechanic would be implemented in the game. But, I thought it would be a little part of the story mode, not a third of the whole game like it was.
The story pits you, Team SSX, against Team Griff, in a race to see who can conquer the world's nine deadliest descents quickest. It takes roughly 5 hours to complete if you just want to breeze through it, but it'll at least double the time spent on World Tour mode if you want to get golds on every single course. This is where the survival mode mainly is.
At the end of each mountain is a deadly descent (this game's boss fights) with different obstacles like darkness, rocks, cold, and more. Its fairly easy to get through these, but I was particularly upset at the last descent, which puts you racing against Team Griff, while at the same time combating a whiteout. This was by far the most difficult part of the game, because your are pretty much playing the final boss almost completely blind. EA wasn't totally stupid as to have you fight Mother Earth without some equipment, so you can choose armor, headlamps, oxygen tanks, and more to help you with these. (that is, if you don't want to get the trophies/achievements, which have you do these descents without these aids). This isn't to say the survival parts are terrible, they just can be horribly frustrating at a few times.
Instead of it being just its own mode, they decided to implement survival mechanics into almost every track as well, making it frustrating often just to get down the mountain with a good time or score. You can have an amazing combo or sick run, only to have it broken by falling into a crevasse, or crashing into a tree. It takes hours of concentration (and luck) to get a gold score on many of these courses, which I don't have the time or attention span to do.
But for the bad stuff in this game, there is loads of great things about it too. For instance, there are over 150 drops in the explore mode, so there is loads of replay value. As well, when your are playing the few courses without deadly obstacles, its a blast stringing your combos together for a massive score or (literally) flying down the course. This makes up for the frustrations from the survival mode, and brings the series back to its PS2 roots.
The multiplayer implement is very innovative too. For example, you can place geotags (marks that your can place in out of the way places ) that other random can try to find. If you have lots of friends that play this game, you'll have fun trying to break their records on each course. If you are a loner, you can still check out the global tournaments putting you against 99,999 others in a competition to see who can get the most points or the fastest time on a track before time runs out. How you place determines how many credits you earn. You can use these credits to buy new boarders, boards, gear, modifiers (that give you boosts in certain areas i.e. +20 tricks), and geotags.
In short, if you have played the other games in the series, and you liked them, give this a try. If you are new to the series, try playing the older ones before trying this one out.
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