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64 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, but not without flaws
Brand new from EA is the latest in the successful SSX snowboarding saga, SSX 3. Whether this is your first SSX game or you're a faithful follower of the previous two, this game will flat-out amaze you. No other snowboarding game so perfectly combines the reality of the feel, touch and appearance of gliding through the snow with the jaw-dropping physics defying stunts...
Published on October 23, 2003 by Robert Graves

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars One if my favorite classic ps2 games
One if my favorite classic ps2 games ! But.. It wouldn't even get to the game , stopped and froze after the ps logo comes across the screen on the start up!
Published 17 days ago by Sam Bentsen


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64 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, but not without flaws, October 23, 2003
By 
Robert Graves (Thompson Station, TN USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: SSX 3 - PlayStation 2 (Classics) (Video Game)
Brand new from EA is the latest in the successful SSX snowboarding saga, SSX 3. Whether this is your first SSX game or you're a faithful follower of the previous two, this game will flat-out amaze you. No other snowboarding game so perfectly combines the reality of the feel, touch and appearance of gliding through the snow with the jaw-dropping physics defying stunts you'll be able to easily execute from the moment you pick up a controller.
Several new additions are found in SSX3, most notably the Conquer the Mountain mode of play. In this mode you select a snowboarder and build him or her up - like in the previous versions of the game - except this time you're doing it for cash in order to purchase various accessories and abilities.
Rather than take you all over the world to snowboard, SSX3 keeps you in one location - a gigantic mountain with 3 separate peaks. Each individual peak is bigger than entire contents of the SSX Tricky (wow). You begin on peak one and as you win medals in different venues, you eventually unlock peak two, and so on. The events you'll compete in on each peak are the old familiar ones - racing and freestyle - as well as some very cool new ones: Freeride, where you collect icons for money and perform various missions; Big Air which is usually a very short run where you try to land huge scores in only a few jumps; Rival Challenges where you have a one-on-one duel with your nemesis down the mountain, trying to beat their score or best time; the Superpipe, an event where you ride the length of a pipe garnering unbelievable air; Slopestyle, which has you basically in a gigantic downhill snowboard park. It's up to you to find your own route down and score the most points; and the enormous Peak Events. This is worthy of its own section. There are 3 Peak Events, one for each peak. After you have medaled in all of the freestyle or race venues for a given peak, you'll then compete in the Peak Event where you'll race from the top of that peak to the bottom, usually encompassing 3 - 4 of the venues from that peak. Peak one's race is over ten minutes. Peak two includes not only it's own trails but also peak one's trails. This race is over twenty minutes. Lastly, Peak three's event takes you down all three peaks for over a half hour.
Back also are the Uber-tricks, but there's a new slew of super-Uber-tricks, as well as rail Uber-tricks and board presses, which allow you to spin on the tip of your board while either on the ground or on a rail. The addition of the rail tricks are great, but I'm not thrilled with the Uber-tricks. Many of them are simply the same exact ones that the characters performed in SSX Tricky.
Most of the old characters make an appearance here as well as a few new ones, the most popular sure to be the 12-year-old prodigy Griff and the cute 18-year-old Allegra. Each character has a designated enemy with whom they'll square off in the various one-on-one Rival competitions throughout the game.
The graphics are far better than its predecessor, SSX Tricky, which was outstanding in its own right. The snow is amazing. As you change from powder to hardpack to ice, you can not only hear and feel the difference of the board on the surface but you can also tell by the way the light glistens of it.
This game provides seemingly endless game play, allowing you to travel literally hundreds of unique routes down each of the dozens of trails with ten different riders, each with their own special characteristics.
The music is one-of-a-kind. With everyone from the Black Eyed Peas to Fat Boy Slim, you'll never get bored of hearing the same lame soundtrack over and over again. SSX3 also employs a unique mixing system - The music is mixed in real time as you play, meaning it changes depending upon how you're performing. If you are cruising along with tons of momentum expect the music to be busy, loud and aggressive. If you catch air, often the drums will drop out while you soar, which will usually lead to a huge musical entrance perfectly timed with your landing.
However, a few negatives. Everything can't be perfect. The game is touted as allowing you "go anywhere" and true, there is a huge realm in which you can travel, the biggest I've ever seen in a game. But every once in a while if you stray off the beaten path only a little - and I mean only a few feet (in the game scale obviously) - you will be out of bounds and reset to the path again. They would've done better to expand these narrow areas of play, since it brings down what is otherwise a huge game universe.
As previously mentioned, the Uber-tricks are basically the same as in other versions of the game, except for the new characters. I was really hoping for more amazing stunts. Additionally, I would've liked more interaction with the "plot" section of the game. There could be more inter-character drama, more clothes to buy, etc.
Lastly, it can be a little complicated to know what you're supposed to do. It's not easy to figure out how to get into the lodge, buy attributes, compete in different events, etc. If you're wondering, you need to go to the transport, then pick which course you want to go to. Once there you'll find yourself snowboarding and you'll see signs for the different events, simply follow the sign to the event you want to do. And to get to the lodge, you need to go to the transport, select which peak you want (each has it's own lodge), then select the "station" option. Once there you'll be snowboarding along and you'll see the signs for the lodge. Just glide in and enter.
Even with the flaws, I couldn't give the game less than five stars. It might be the deepest game you'll own.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Third time definitely has charm..., November 1, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: SSX 3 - PlayStation 2 (Classics) (Video Game)
I'll be blunt: I don't like sports games. I loathe them. A total waste of time in my opinion. I prefer arcade, RPGs, platformers, etc... pretty much every other type of game around. Sitting down to play a sports game is about the same as having my nails pulled out.. plain, unadulterated toture.
But SSX3 isn't like other sports games. It's not a game that you have to be a hardcore sports nut to appreciate and enjoy. It has what so many other games (sports and other genres) have forgotten.
Fun.
It's flat out, addictive, grab you by the throat fun! It'll keep you saying "just one more race, I can nail that trick!" until 3:14am in the morning. It's as superior to SSX Tricky as Tricky is to every other snowboarding game out there.. and that's saying a lot! SSX3 is a sports game that cuts across the lines and appeals to people from all walks of life.
Do yourself a favor and try this one out. You'll be glad you did.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bigger, and better than ever, January 20, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: SSX 3 - PlayStation 2 (Classics) (Video Game)
Unlike SSX Tricky where you go to a bunch of different places, there is one mountain here, one HUGE mountain. No wonder it's called big mountain!
There are three different events to do. Freesyle, Race, and Freeride. The freestyle is three different events, Big air, Super Pipe, and slopestyle. Big air is exactly what it says, BIG air. You go off huge jumps and do ill tricks on a short course. Super pipe is new to this game and is very fun. You go down a pipe doing combos and just trying to get your best biggest greatest score. Slope style is like SSX Tricky freestly, only bigger, and better finding your own uniqe line to get big points.
The race is a hard, fast race down a long course with enemies and friends around you. You have to a good racer, and as smart, and tricky as you can be 'cause your gonna want to find shortcut's, and knock opponents off their feet. When you get gold here, you either deserve it, or not.
Free ride is a ride down any trail (race event, freestyle event)to get collectible's, and do mission's for cash. Also when in frees ride doing tricks gets you money, but not much.
When you get cash you can spend it on stat's, clothes, or boards. It is cool because in SSX Tricky you just won a board, and couldn't buy what board you want, or clothes.
There are also new characters like Griff, Alegra, Viggo, and Nate, all very nice, and fun characters to play. Also you have Mac, Elise, Phsymon, Moby, Kaori, and more back from SSX Tricky. All these characters have different rivaleries. (like Griff, and Mac)
Another thing is the new EA Radio BIG where D.J. Atomica gives you info, and such about the mountain. The music is also great. Depending on your performance the music is different say your doing well, the music is fast, and strong, then when you catch big air the music pauses, then BANG comes roaring back in as soon as you land.
Also the graphics are awesome. You can see theight affects, the powder and ice, and hardpacked. Also there are avalanches, Ice breaking under your feet, trees falling, and high winds pushing you off course, this game looks, and sounds great.
Also after beating all the races, or freestyle events on that peak you get a peak race first agains your rival in that peak's backcountry, then down the whole peak. These races are long, and hard. Peak 1's race is 10 minutes long, including two courses. Peak twos race is 20 minute's long going down peak 2, and 1. Peak 3's race is over 30 minutes! down peak's 3, 2, and 1. These will leave you sitting on the edge of your seat at the end of the awesome run.
There are a few flaws though. The Uber tricks aren't very good, basiclly the same as SSX Tricky. Also it's hard to get to the lodge, and such at first. The lodge is at a the station on each peak (Red station, Blue station...) just transport here, or follow the sings to get to the lodge to but stats, clothes, and boards.
Over all a very fun game, and I hope yoiu enjoy it as much as I do!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Third Time's the Charm!, October 17, 2004
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: SSX 3 - PlayStation 2 (Classics) (Video Game)
What's the Skinny?

SSX3 is the best of the lot. Not entirely free of annoying idiosyncrasies, it is still superior to its predecessors and one of the better games you'll ever play.

I'm going to start with the bad stuff. Trust me when I say you will happily forgive EA's few errors, but nevertheless, they are there.

1. The menus don't work the way I think they should. It's easy (in fact, mandatory) to go through a lot of unnecessary loading. For example, you can't change your outfit without loading the mountain, THEN going to the lodge, THEN loading the lodge, THEN loading the character file.

2. The cameraman is a bit of a doofus. Most of the time, the camera is good, but when it goes wrong, you essentially have to fall down or go out of bounds to fix it. If you're going slow or trying to explore, you can get the camera pointed UP the slope, or in some other useless direction. Once you do that, it can be hard to turn it around without wiping yourself out.

3. Out-of-bounds areas are not clearly delineated and, at the same time, they are much easier to reach than in prior games. You will get a lot of automatic resets while you're figuring out the courses.

Now, on to the good stuff.

The Courses

The game takes place on one mountain, instead of all over the world. There are three peaks with difficulty relating directly to altitude. You begin on peak 1 and must complete certain events to ascend to the second and third peaks. Each peak has about half a dozen different trails in a fork-of-lightning configuration, not unlike the trails at a real ski slope.

Rest assured, however, that you won't find courses this crazy anywhere on Earth. Gone are the giant pinball machines from Tricky, but the 500-foot jumps, loop-the-loops, and pretzel-shaped rails are just as prevalent as ever. The tracks are all new, although some short sections naturally bear resemblance to earlier efforts.

Overall, the tracks seem more difficult, designed to keep you on your toes at all times. This is especially true on Peak 3, where tracks like Gravitude redefine your notions of how hard it can be to run a good line. Gone are the easy high scores on Garibaldi-type straightaways. Most of the peak 1 tracks resemble a cross between Elysium Alps and Mesablanca in terms of the way they are built and the feel you get from playing them. The concept of it being a mountain instead of a totally prefabricated area means there are more rocks, pits, trees, and ramps that don't quite line up properly than there were before. Large sections of the mountain resemble the Untracked courses.

The designers have taken the concepts of multiple paths and hard-to-reach areas to extremes. Just when you think you've found the fastest/highest/trickiest path, you spot a rail somewhere nearby that represents something even more insane. I've seen areas which were obviously playable that I still don't have the foggiest idea how to reach.

Also, since the tracks are connected, you can choose your experience as you go, deciding only when you reach a fork what it is you want to do. It's possible to freeride the entire length of the mountain, a single, uninterrupted run that takes half an hour to complete.

The Events

Racing: same as in earlier versions, except since the tracks are now part of one mountain, you can do a short race from point B to point C, then do a longer race from A-B-C-D. Eventually you'll be challenged to an All-Peak Race, from the top of the mountain to the bottom, covering about nine tracks.

Slopestyle: this is Showoff mode. It's pretty much the same as in previous games, except you can do longer, multi-track runs like you can in Race mode.

Freeride: this is no longer just an empty course. There are BIG (TM) Challenges strewn all over the courses. Each challenge has a goal: hoops to ride or jump through, items to retrieve, a score to beat, and so on. Challenges range in difficulty from fairly easy to mind-shatteringly difficult.

The Tricks

The trick setup has been changed in several ways. There are now two classes of Ubertricks. Normal Ubertricks are prolonged grabs like the ones the shoulder buttons produce. Super Ubers are the flashy board-releasing moves from Tricky, plus a host of new ones. Doing normal tricks until your boost is built up opens the door to Ubers, and then to Supers. Also, you can do Ubers on rails.

EA also balanced the scoring system: in Tricky, Ubers were the only way to get a respectable score. Now they aren't worth much more than Misties and similar tricks, so it's harder to get those astronomical scores in Showoff mode. This is balanced by the ability to do combos. Taking a page from Tony Hawk, EA has made a system whereby you can do tricks within about two seconds of each other to create a sequence that earns a bigger score than the tricks would have on their own. You can do board pulls to aid in this process.

The boost dynamic has been altered: it burns much faster than it used to, and you sacrifice the whole contents of the meter if you fall.

The Characters and Extras

Most of the cast of Tricky is present, along with newcomers Allegra, Nate, Griff, and Viggo. Zoe and Moby are still my favorites. You get ten characters right away, and I am told you can unlock everyone who's ever been in an SSX game. Unfortunately, the unlocked characters do not have voices.

In SSX3, everyone's starting and maximum stats are the same. Anyone you want can do anything you need. You upgrade using money, which you get from victories, Big Challenges, particularly impressive tricks, and collectible snowflakes.

Money is also used to buy new outfits and accessories. Rather than a number of prearranged costumes, every character has multiple shirts, pants, boots, boards, gloves, sunglasses, hats, belts, bracelets, and so on, which can be arranged to your taste. There are tons of things you can buy or unlock to add more flavor (for example, Moby has a Skull Face Paint option you can unlock - it looks creepy). Different board designs are available but boards no longer give stat bonuses.

The Graphics

In a word, stunning. Powder sparkles. Jackets flap. Ice shines. Boards flex under pressure. Avalanches shoot up clouds of silver spume. Poetry in motion, all of it.

The Sound

First, the DJ. Alas, Rahzel is no longer with us. His replacement, Atomika, is, at least, not annoying. Rather than calling out trick names, he broadcasts Radio BIG. This is basically music interspersed with news about the game characters.

The soundtrack has the phat beats Tricky favored, and a bit more alternative. It's not bad, but I really miss "Song for Dot." The character voice talent is all different, except for Bif Naked as Zoe. Voices are much less over-the-top than in Tricky. For the most part, this is good, although Psymon will just never be the same without Jim Rose.

The best feature of the sound is the ability to customize. Don't like Atomika? Shut him up. Don't like the music? Make your own playlist, or shut that off, too, and just listen to the mountain.

The Conclusion

You will play this until your thumbs bleed. Buy it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bigger, Bolder, and all out Better!!, January 8, 2004
By 
lasher (Space and the Great Beyond) - See all my reviews
This review is from: SSX 3 - PlayStation 2 (Classics) (Video Game)
So SSX3 comes out and I read the reviews and expect the usual greatness. Every gaming mag and show all give it stellar nods. Then I finallly get my copy pop it into my PS2 and I"m completely overwhelmed by the general hugeness of it all.
GAMEPLAY
SSX3 has everything the first two had only MORE!!!! The tracks are huge, you can travel to them all thru the mountain which is really nice because you can build up your adrenaline meter before you hit the course. The openness is amazing while you travel down the mountain. The courses are much more vicious this time around... they arent kidding at all when they say it's You Vs. The Mountain. With random avalanches, high winds, tree falls, and the mountain literallly crumbling under your feet. The visuals are back on par with the original SSX which I truly am happy about, although Tricky was great, I thought the tracks looked a tad too cartoony for me. In the original the snow felt much more real and looked as such, in Part 3 its that and more. Oh yes, I cannot forget this, The Superpipe, a very very nice addition, this really lets you get practice your combo moves and see how far you can push yourself, both trickwise, and stylewise.
MUSIC
More more, oh so much more. There is about twice as many music tracks as the last incarnation. As you perform better in the game the music gets louder and more intense taunting you to raise the bar on your boarding to yet another level. The music is very nice too, ranging from Trance, Punk, and Hip Hop, so there is something for everyone.
CHARACTERS
All the SSX faves are back (Yay!), this of course I am happy about, mainly because if they get rid of Mac I would protest, he's one of my fave players. Now they arent as lippy as in Tricky, but I think thats a good thing, I think it was a little too much of a good thing last time around. They still talk and still get lippy, but its just been toned down to a more reasonable level. The new additions are pretty kewl, my current fave of course is being the ever hot Allegra, she has definately taken Elise's place as snowboarding Femme Fatale. I'm still waiting for Griff to grow on me, but so far I like everyone.
All and all its a great game, beautiful big tracks, varying gameplay, tons of characters, and phat music. Perhaps its not perfect, but its the closest thing any snowboarding has ever come to. You can't go wrong here, get this ASAP!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of all SSX games, January 25, 2004
This review is from: SSX 3 - PlayStation 2 (Classics) (Video Game)
While I despise all sports games, the SSX series has always had a special place in my heart. This is definately no different with the newest installment: SSX3. The gameplay from SSX Tricky which I found immaculate has managed to improve (I happen to think pressing two buttons for uber tricks is more fun seeing as though it IS supposed to be a higher-scoring move), the graphics are MUCH better, the music is more to my personal liking, and Kaori Nishidake DOESN'T sound like a 4 year old (hurray!). The clothing is a lot more "trendy" (as opposed to the seizure-inducing brightness of SSX Tricky). This game opens up a LOT more in the customization area. You can change your various uber trick and rather than having preset stats, you buy attributes. The races are a lot quicker and slopestyle and superpipe has been added to the list of freestyle events. You can scale the entire mountain to get from place to place or use a transport if you'd like. There are text messages between you and the other riders as well! I do, however, lament the loss of the cutscenes between characters that was in Tricky...but all in all, this game is better than Tricky. It's faster, more immersive, and exuberant. Contrary to what a previous reviewer said about the Trick Book being taken out of SSX 3, there ARE Trick Books...only in this game they're called Monster Tricks. Basically, these are high scoring tricks that net you high points...should you execute them PRECISELY as indicated and land the trick successfully. That said, SSX 3 is the best snowboarding game out there, period. The pros far outway the cons. Do yourself a favor and check it out.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Freakin' Awesome, October 25, 2003
This review is from: SSX 3 - PlayStation 2 (Classics) (Video Game)
I was admittedly a total addict to SSX and SSX Tricky, so when I saw that this game was coming out I actually booked my calendar to remind me of the release date.
Since then, I have been glued to my PS2 playing it. What awesome graphics/sound (THX, by the way)/and gameplay. The ONLY thing missing here (and I can't decide if it's major or minor) is the Trick Book.. I agree with the other reviewer(s) in that the trick book, while sometimes REALLY frustrating, was the "challenging" part of the first two. However, the races and pipe challenges in this newer installation of the SSX series are giving me plenty of challenge.
If you loved or even liked the first two SSX games, this one will impress you even more.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shred Some Snow!, July 8, 2004
By 
This review is from: SSX 3 - PlayStation 2 (Classics) (Video Game)
The sound of the snow crunching under your board, the feel of cutting the first track through fresh powder...in this game you won't be disappointed!
I really liked SSX Tricky, but the Trick Book quickly became tedious along with the repetitive tracks. Though SSX3 steals the ''open'' concept from Tony Hawk 4, it works even better with its ''open mountain'' concept.
And So It Starts...
You begin on Peak 1, the lowest of the 3 unlockable peaks. You have a choice between Racing, Freestyle, and Freeride goals. To progress to the next mountain, you must either complete one set of goals or you have to earn a certain amount of money (typically by performing tricks and winning races).
Characters
The characters in this game are great, though be warned that some of your favorites don't appear (e.g. Eddie, JP). The ''snazzy'' voice-acting from SSX Tricky is gone -- no more Lucy Liu! However, the acting replacements are great, and their vocals are much less hammy, IMHO.
Story
It's a sports game; there isn't too much story. The rivalries are still present, and new characters (like covergirl Allegra) bring newfound sayings and moves!
The only negative is that, unlike THPS4, you have to complete the SAME GOALS over and over with each individual boarder. If you thought this was tedious with THPS, try dozens of goals and challenges with the 8+ characters in this game! It becomes really boring!
You Look Maahhh-velous!
Wow, wow, wow. The graphics are fantastic. Yes, sometimes you see the ''inside'' of a mountain or the underside of a level, but that's a small price to pay for the camera keeping pace with you the rest of the way.
In terms of scope, even the smallest of them all, Peak 1, takes 12 minutes to rush down. You can spend well over an hour just travelling from Peak 3 to 1, slowly completing goals and collecting ''collectibles'' (aka snowflakes).
The skins that you can download for your characters (e.g. hats, heads, clothes, boards) allow you to customize your look every time you go down the mountain. I try to dress Elise differently every time I play -- it feels like a whole new character!
Will This Gather Dust?
No, I can honestly say that I'm still playing SSX Tricky, let alone SSX3. I haven't explored the online racing, but the game is strong enough without it!
Overall Recommendation:
If you like Tony Hawk, you'll like this.
If you like SSX, you'll like this.
If you like snow, you'll like this.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The SSX Returns, March 4, 2004
By 
This review is from: SSX 3 - PlayStation 2 (Classics) (Video Game)
SSX was a revoutionary game in many people's opinions, but my introduction to the series was SSX Tricky. How good was Tricky? It was the most addictive game I have ever played for the Playstation 2. My family's productivity dropped to almost nothing, as every member of my family would play the game for 5 hours straight if they could. And partially because of the tricks, partially because of the song, my family has a new definition of the word "Tricky" (it now means either nuclear cool or something that looks impossible but is doable if you've got mad skillz). The big question is then, does SSX 3 live up to the greatness of SSX Tricky?
SSX 3 is a further evolution of the SSX gameplay style. While Tricky was a great game in it's own right, there were flaws. You could get stuck in a corner or in a particular spot. Sometimes you would land on your head because you got dis-oriented. And of course there were times when you could swear you landed the trick but maybe your timing was like a tenth of a second off, and so you fell on your face. I am overjoyed to say that all of these problems are pretty much gone. Your character is much more likely to land tricks without falling now. If you hit a rock or billboard you do NOT fall in mid-air and lose the trick you had done right before hitting it. If you get stuck, press select and you are instantly reset. And if you DO happen to fall, press square repeatedly and you get back up faster. And remember the frustration of some tracks litted with object for you to smack into (Aloha Ice Jam comes to mind)... well that's gone in favor of more "organic" tracks which give you a little more room. What does all this translate to gameplay-wise?
Tricky wasn't about getting through the course. It was about landing insane tricks and pushing yourself as far and fast and high as possible. SSX 3 pushes even further in the right direction, because instead of falling and bumping into things and getting caught in a corner, you're doing more tricks.
People who loved Tricky won't feel alienated because all of the old riders are back (either from the get-go or in unlockable form), the old tricks are still here, and a lot of the tracks have a similar feel to the best from Tricky. There is simply more of what you love now. More tricks, more characters, more possible moves (handplants anyone?), and more clothes, gear, and boards (don't you love the fact that rider stats are no longer attached to boards, so you no longer have to use a sucky board to like the way it looks?).
The graphics are better, featuring some awesome weather effects and lighting. The music has more of a techno-rock feel than before (which is fine by me). The controls are about the same as before, only they just FEEL a little better, a little smoother.
You can play this game for five minutes or five hours. It's as addictive as your first game of tetris. The learning curve is easy, but this game is almost impossible to master. There's literally mountains of stuff to unlock and the game never gets boring. For fans of Tricky this is a must-buy. For people who love great games it's a must-buy. It's the greatest snowboarding game ever. It's bigger, cooler, prettier, and trickier than before. What more could anyone ask?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not great, December 22, 2003
By 
Julia Acevedo (San Jose, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: SSX 3 - PlayStation 2 (Classics) (Video Game)
I was so excited to get this game a few weeks ago, and while it is a lot of fun, it's also the single most frustrating game I've ever played!
If you've played the previous two SSX games, then you've got the basics for SSX 3, but figuring out how to transport to other areas, how to use the lodge, and the seemingly vast network of how-to files, text messages from other characters, and all the new additions to the game (and there are a lot of new things) is baffling when you begin. The instructions that come with the game are a must-read, and even then don't offer too much help (I've been told that there is a game guide out there somewhere that you can buy separately...).
This is certainly the best-looking game of the three, the scenery is spectacular and the courses are all different, and there are a lot more of them, each with it's own characteristics: some courses are rail-heavy, there are new Super Pipe courses, and some courses seem as though they're simply meant to be explored, but they're extremely irritating in that it is very easy to go "out of bounds" (and there isn't a way of determining where "out of bounds" is, like there is in SSX 1 and Tricky), which resets the character in the game (and even if you landed your trick perfectly you lose all the points and your boost if you go out of bounds...GRRR).
A lot of the great characters from the original SSX and SSX Tricky are back (Elise, Zoe, Moby, Mac, and my favorite, Kaori), and they've introduced a few new characters. Each character was certainly fleshed out in Tricky, with personalities and Uber Tricks which only the specific character could perform, and each character ***earned*** his/her way up the ranks by being good at those tricks. Unfortunately, the game creators seem to have abandoned that in favor of providing a lot of flashy bells and whistles that, while at first are different, get a bit tiresome after awhile. Now you can simply earn some money and buy your character new skill levels, clothes (I love picking out outfits, but do we REALLY need so many different headband choices for Nate?), boards (which don't improve the character's abilities like they did in Tricky; I miss the Uber Boards!), and even new tricks (and I do realize that there's not much you can do after awhile with only so many variations on a theme, but a lot of the extra Uber Tricks look the same). The soundtrack is nice, you can customize it and even buy your own songs, or just shut it off altogether (annoying DJ chatter; the same song plays over and over during a run on any course). It is easier to hop a rail, easier to land a trick, easier to advance in rank. There are Big Challenges that are fun, and ice crystals that you can collect to earn even more money (which are driving me insane now because I haven't found them all and there seems to be no way of knowing where the elusive little things are hiding). But the Trick Books are gone, replaced by Monster Tricks that are similar but not as challenging as some of the old Trick Book tricks.
Because of all the added new stuff, it takes longer for the game to load, and I also found the between-course vignettes of boarding or taking the tram and plane to the next venue to be a pain in the butt.
This is a good game and the creators should be commended, but I'd say rent it first and see if you like it (and you probably will)!
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SSX 3 - PlayStation 2 (Classics)
SSX 3 - PlayStation 2 (Classics) by Electronic Arts (PlayStation2)
$45.29
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