Last night we celebrated the upcoming release of EA Montreal's SSX Blur at what was likely the coldest launch party ever, located in the famed Ice Hotel in Quebec. Blur 's development team didn't seem phased by the sub-zero temperature, and enthusiastically handed us the controls to the SSX franchise's Wii debut.
It's a good thing that Blur requires almost no button pressing to play, because by the time we picked up a pair of controllers, we'd forgotten what our fingers felt like. Nevertheless, we took to the slopes with surprising ease. A little instruction from designer Nicolas Nadaey was all we needed before we were pulling off SSX's signature over-the-top grabs and flips. Tilt the nunchuck to the left, and you turn left. Flick the remote up, and you jump. It's intuitive, which is exactly what Wii games are supposed to be. If you can't master the controls right away, you'll at least be able to recover from your wipeouts without much difficulty - as Nadaey put it, "just freak out and he will get up."
Above: Designer Nicolas Nadaey pulls off some "uberduper" tricks
While the game may be easy to pick up and play, Nadaey assured us that it will take the average player 60 to 100 hours to unlock everything in single player mode, offering a fulfilling experience for those who really like to beat a game. We caught a glimpse of the multiplayer modes as well, which include head-to-head and hot seat. Hot seat will allow several players to compete in turns for the best time or highest number of points, which meshes nicely with the Wii's inclusive, party-style attitude.