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Classic game appreciation section: SSX 3

On a cosmetic level, the painstaking detail in making the mountain look and feel incredible is enough to give you chills. As avalanches tear apart bits of the track, there’s a sense of tension and then relief when you manage to navigate through a black-ice tunnel and then out the other end and off a ramp for an uber trick of death-defying skill. What a rush.

Even the bombastic nature of the competitions – complete with the fireworks, neon lights and DJ Atomika providing the pumping bass soundtracks – adds up to create a pure gaming experience and maintains a party atmosphere throughout.

Above: Don't worry about the tree tops, you can smash those to splinters if you hit them

The ultimate goal is to unlock the whole mountain, and after completing a few early competitions, I was desperate to get to the highest peak. This is where SSX 3 reaches new heights on two levels – in literal terms, and also in the form of the enjoyment you can suck from it.

In the back country you’ll find very little in the way of razzmatazz like bright lights and colourful explosions but up here – away from the madness – there’s a chilled out feel to SSX 3.

An area that is best when the mountain ambience is switched on and the only sounds are from the cracking ice and whipping winds. A place where you can simply float down the slopes and discover new areas of interest. It’s a tranquil place where, dare I say, you can just relax from the mad half-pipes and grind rails of the peaks below.  I’ve spent a sickeningly large amount of time just drifting down the highest points and practising tricks because it just feels right.

Clearly, I’m hot for the new SSX coming out, and I absolutely can’t wait to get my hands on the full game, but for now, SSX 3 will remain number one for providing me with hours of blissful gaming and also getting me into the real sport. Sadly, I’m nowhere near as good in real life, but it at least opened my eyes to something I would otherwise have dismissed.

Here's the upcoming SSX that looks amazing too...

 

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12 comments

  • DukeNukeThem - November 28, 2011 7:59 a.m.

    Just picked up a perfect copy on the PS2 from a charity shop for £1. Helping charity and dusting off my PS2 to play a great game.
  • augdog - November 27, 2011 11:10 a.m.

    This is appreciated.
  • ManikMiner - November 25, 2011 2:19 p.m.

    Seriously get a new video player, urs is complete crap
  • JBizFoShiz - November 24, 2011 9:41 p.m.

    Cheers for the appreciation piece on this. I still remember those runs down the entire mountain, the heart-racing speed runs or the calm of performing a 2 minute manual in between the "real" race/trick levels on the peaks. The one thing I have to disagree with you on, though, is setting things to mountain ambience. I loved (most of) the soundtrack, and cannot imagine boarding down the mountain without it. Here's to hoping this gets an HD re-release along with Tricky sometime down the line. Mac is, and forever will be, the homie.
  • ShowMeYourKitties - November 24, 2011 3:03 p.m.

    Easily one of my favorite games of all time. This game and Burnout 3 encompassed most of my time spent of the original xbox.
  • Dazbot - November 24, 2011 2:32 p.m.

    Boarding from the highest peak to the very bottom of the third mountain in one seamless rum is still incredible. One of the few games you can pick up today on the PS2 and play for hours; incredible graphics, gameplay and soundtrack. Amazed no boarding game has yet to come close to what SSX3 did.
  • Redeater - November 24, 2011 1:16 p.m.

    While I will always love Tricky for introducing me to this series, I loved SSX 3 to death. It's a shame they butchered the series with the half assed attempts at sequels but I'm really hoping the new SSX will redeem itself. Once again, thank god for the grittiness being gone!
  • CitizenWolfie - November 25, 2011 6:55 a.m.

    Agree with everything you just said. Looking forward very much to the new one.
  • punkduck2064 - November 24, 2011 8:51 a.m.

    I am terrible at sports games but I loved the crap out of this game so much I bought this game twice, and when my PS2 died I dug through several pawn shops to find a back compatible PS3 just so I could still play SSX 3.
  • SDHoneymonster - November 24, 2011 8:20 a.m.

    It's not a patch on Snowboard Kids...
  • Net_Bastard - November 24, 2011 10:02 a.m.

    They're different games. I am an SBK fan as well, but SBK is a kart racer on snowboards. SSX is a snowboarding game.
  • RoeTaKa - November 24, 2011 8:07 a.m.

    You know a game is great when you buy it and play the first level for hours on end. Great game. SSX Tricky was also amazing I remember sending my scores into PSM2 magazine on video tape.

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