Tuesday, April 12, 2011

SSX Revival: Fantastic Mountains and the Return of Elise


Electronic Arts is releasing a series of videos on the making of the new SSX game (formerly SSX Deadly Descents) on Joystiq each week.  The first video features Todd Batty, the creative director at EA Canada Vancouver, showing off some highlights of the new game.  The three pillars of the new SSX are: Race it, Trick it, Survive it.  Crazy races with death defying jumps and plenty of opportunities for trick combos.  Some members of this team have worked on many of the best SSX games in the past.

SSX was one of the first games I bought for the Playstation 2 back in 2000 and I’ve been a die hard fan of the series ever since.  This franchise has always been fantastic fun, featuring excellent track design on the various mountain slopes, cool music and funny characters.  SSX was followed up by SSX Tricky a year later in 2001, which featured the celebrity voices of Lucy Liu as Elise and David Arquette as Eddie.  Tricky was more or less a gradual improvement on the first game, but it introduced the Uber style tricks which became addictive.  SSX 3, in 2003,  was an absolute masterpiece of gaming.  The tracks were layered on top of each other, so as you went up the mountain, you could ride along the lower tracks for a continuous 30 minute ride.  The soundtrack in SSX 3 featured Fatboy Slim, The X-Executioners, N.E.R.D, and many more—I still have the original CD that came with a behind the scenes video.  Last year I bought a used PS2 slim just to play these games again.  See this earlier post about PS2 retro gaming with Metal Jesus.  SSX On Tour in 2005 broke the winning streak as far as I was concerned.  I can’t remember why I didn’t like it, but it just didn’t feel like SSX. 

The second new SSX video, really makes me think this current EA development team gets what made the franchise fun.  Elise, my favorite character, is shown several times in the video.  Her character sheet features these short descriptions: Glam Girl, Fearless, Confident, Sexy, Aggressive, Amazonian, Free Spirit, Powerful.  Hopefully they have chosen a voice actor who can embody all those characteristics! Lots of different outfits for Elise are displayed quickly, but it looks like her classic red top and blue pants are back, too.  There are teases here for more features.  It looks like there will be many mountains from around the world this time, and Uber tricks are mentioned.  No release date for this game yet, I hope it does come out in 2011 as it currently is slated.  Nuff Said!

Update: Joystiq reported that SSX will ship in January 2012.

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