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19 Nov, 2005

SSX: On Tour Review

PS2 Review | We take the tour yet again.
The original SSX title debuted successfully as a PlayStation 2 launch title way back in 2001. EA successfully followed up the series a year later with SSX Tricky. A lot of people didn’t think it was possible (They must of had low standards, then. - Ed) but in 2003 EA improved upon the formula even more, adding a completely free roaming mountain and even more tricks to the game. After three fairly incredible games have EA improved upon the series even more with SSX On Tour, or is the SSX series becoming a little too formulaic?

From the very beginning of the game it is apparent that EA have tried to change the overall look of On Tour. Whilst SSX3 featured a techno soundtrack and a very “down the line” look, On Tour lets it’s guard down and features a heavy rock soundtrack, backing it up with an appropriate look. The entire visual look of the game is very different to its predecessors, so it is refreshing to see that EA have tried a different approach.

Personally we'd rather snowboard

Personally we'd rather snowboard
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As you could imagine from the game’s title, the main mode in the game is “the tour”. At the beginning of the Tour you have to create your own rider and build your career. Each part of the tour is divided up into certain skiing or boarding events. Some of the events include shred events or high score challenges. As you can see, there is no lack of things to do. As mentioned above, for the first time in the series you are able to ski as well. This doesn’t make too much of a difference to the game and really takes a back step in comparison to the snowboarding.

Aside from the tour mode there is also a quick play option, which is an appreciated inclusion. One of the most disappointing omissions to the game is the lack of an online mode. The online mode of SSX3 wasn’t very fleshed out, but had potential so we’re a little disappointed it has been removed entirely; it feels as if EA just gave up on the mode and cut their losses. There is support for up to two players offline, but the multiplayer mode just feels like it has been stripped down a little. Despite this, the game still remains fairly fun.

The game play itself hasn’t changed that much though, except it feels like a little bit of Burnout has crept into the game. When you are racing the screen will blur, and whilst this may seem like a novelty it really does make the game feel a lot more faster and frantic. The monster tricks are back in force, but in terms of move variety there haven’t been many new additions. Overall though, the game play has been fine tuned since the second title, so we weren’t really expecting any evolutions. The skiing feels a lot slower than the snowboarding, with little variety in terms of tricks between them. The skiing options just feel like you’re snowboarding except with less speed and a different set of gear.

This is better

This is better
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The visual style is the major change to the game. During the loading screens all sorts of characters pop up and even though the visual style is different, it doesn’t take long to adjust to it. Otherwise the game hasn’t evolved too much, the tracks themselves are a lot more realistic, and there isn’t as much colour in the courses, which would indicate to us that EA are going for a much more realistic look in the tracks. One of the most impressive aspects of the game has always been the huge mountains in the background and thankfully these are still present. Even though we know that the background is just a static image it really makes the environments feel a lot more vast and atmospheric.

Whilst we did like the visual look of the game, we were a little unimpressed by the music. This all really comes down to personal preference, though. If you’re a fan of the rock genre then there is plenty to like here, with a lot of licensed artists. However, if you’re not a fan of rock songs then you can just decide to turn the music off. There is plenty of mountain ambience so the game still feels fairly atmospheric.

You would not want to fall off here

You would not want to fall off here
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The tour mode could easily last fifteen to twenty hours. As you play through the tour mode you can win medals, and it’s also possible to unlock new gear such as clothes and boards. The multiplayer is still a draw card of the game, but it really is disappointing that more effort wasn’t put into a possible online mode. All versions of the game miss out on an online mode though, so it isn’t just the PlayStation 2 version that has missed out.

Despite a lower score for SSX On Tour than its predecessor, the game isn’t necessarily worse. Rather than making an evolution, this game has actually just taken a side step. Aside from a new visual style and a new main single player mode there isn’t that much new in the game, so anyone who mastered SSX3 should be able to pick this game up without any problems and play it right through. It has been two years since SSX3 and logically we expected that the series would have evolved a little more by now. If you were a fan of SSX3 then On Tour is definitely worth playing, but just be warned that it doesn’t exactly bring anything new to the table. The SSX series is still the greatest snowboarding series around to this day, though.

Related Reviews:
PSP: SSX On Tour
PS2: SSX 3
PS2: SSX
The Score
SSX: On Tour is a worthy follow up to an incredible title. We can't see where the game can go from here, as it may have reached it's peak.
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

Related SSX: On Tour Content

SSX: On Tour Review
11 Nov, 2005 Is this the first time SSX has made the transition to a portable successfully?
SSX Review
09 Feb, 2003 We dig deep into the PS2's classic games basket to bring you the review of one of the best snowboarding games ever ceated, SSX!
9 Comments
8 years ago
I don't own SSX 3, is it worth getting SSX 4 or 3?
( I own a gamcube, so I will be paying close to full price for either game )
Thanks.
8 years ago
hmm... depends, SSX3 is big its free roaming, echno music and a lengthy adventure

SSX On Tour is rock, its a little more linear but the track design is more realistic, it has a superb sense of speed as well.

Personally i liked SSX3 a little bit more, but you can't really go too far wrong with either version, i guess SSX3 was better in it's day simply because it has been 2 years since it came out.
8 years ago
Good review.

I have SSX Tricky, and have played SSX 3. Personally, I still think Tricky is the best of the series. It just had that magic and addictiveness..
8 years ago
Frozencry wrote
Good review.

I have SSX Tricky, and have played SSX 3. Personally, I still think Tricky is the best of the series. It just had that magic and addictiveness..
Finally, a person who agree with me. I almost cried when they didn't have Eddie in 3... never end up getting 3 anyways. I have play it though.
This I will have to get soon mostly because of the Mario characters in the GC ver.
8 years ago
Yer Tricky was the best, i beat all your high scores icon_razz.gif

Theres Mario characters in this?
8 years ago
ReD3yE wrote
Yer Tricky was the best, i beat all your high scores icon_razz.gif

Theres Mario characters in this?
You sure about the high scores? icon_razz.gif My highest on Showoff is with Marty, around 1,500,000 on Garibaldi.
8 years ago
ReD3yE wrote
Yer Tricky was the best, i beat all your high scores icon_razz.gif

Theres Mario characters in this?
pfft...
Yeah, in like the 1st map.
You can never beat me in Alaska.

As for the Mario characters

there's your poof

still don't believe me & think that's from 1080 Avalanche or a super good looking Mini game from one of the Mario Party series?

Is even on the box.
8 years ago
Yea i got like 1 000 000+ on that map, something like that havn't played it for a long time.And on other maps.i just had to take your memory card and save it into mine so i didn't have to do that tricks totorial.

Hly crap that pic looks sweet.
8 years ago
838 La wrote
ReD3yE wrote
Yer Tricky was the best, i beat all your high scores icon_razz.gif

Theres Mario characters in this?
pfft...
Yeah, in like the 1st map.
You can never beat me in Alaska.
Don't assume just the 1st map though, I've also got 1,000,000+ on Snowdream, Elysium, Merqury, Tokyo MegaPlex, the Hawaii one and I think Pipedream. As for Alaska...I've never been good at that level, I don't know why..might be because of my lack of attention to it. icon_confused.gif

EDIT: Nice visuals on Mario in SSX.
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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  Out Now
European Release Date:
  Out Now
Publisher:
  EA Games
Developer:
  EA Games

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