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Players may choose any one of a number of riders, each with their own statistics and boarding style. A course is selected and the player is given the option of racing down the course or participating in a competition to do tricks.
Each course is filled with ramps, rails, and other assorted objects. Performing tricks fills up the player's boost meter, which can then be used for additional acceleration, making tricks is even important in a race. Players also have the option of practicing or exploring courses in "freeride" mode.
SSX Tricky introduced "Uber Tricks", absurdly exaggerated tricks, often involving detaching the board from the rider's feet. The player gained access to uber tricks during play after filling the adrenaline bar; performing six Uber Tricks earns the player unlimited boost for the rest of the race.
SSX 3 introduced a second, intermediate set of Uber Tricks. Each character has an associated Uber Trick. The unlimited boost system was tweaked to where you simply had to complete 9 Uber Tricks to get the boost bonus, but it now has a time limit, and after that expires, you must redo the second tier to regain unlimited boost. Certain combinations of spins, flips, and Uber Tricks resulted in "Monster Tricks", worth even more points than uber tricks; the catch was that you had to memorize the combination (Triple Backflip Superman, for example), and the combination had to be unlocked through certain goals in the game, such as staying on a rail for 120 meters.
In SSX On Tour "Uber Tricks" are presented as "Monster Tricks", though most of them resemble the more advanced Uber Tricks, and are much easier to perform than the Monster Tricks of SSX3. Where previous SSX titles used the main trick buttons (and the tweak button for later titles) to perform Uber Tricks, the Monster Tricks are performed by combinations of directions entered on the right analog stick.
SSX and SSX Tricky
SSX was released only for the PlayStation 2 for its launch in October 2000. SSX was developed by EA Canada, SSX Tricky by EA Sports. SSX Tricky was released November 5, 2001 for the PlayStation 2, GameCube, Game Boy Advance, and Xbox. SSX Tricky was so similar to the original that many considered it an update rather than a sequel.
In SSX and SSX Tricky, winning medals in a variety of events, unlocks new courses, characters, and boards, as well as improved the boarder's abilities. New outfits may be earned by completing a character's "trick book", by doing a number of specific tricks during play. Three kinds of boards are available to players: trick-oriented "Freestyle" boards, all-around "BX" boards, and racing-oriented "Alpine" boards, which are not meant to be ridden backwards.
The courses in both games are located around the world, for example: "Tokyo Megaplex" (a course resembling a giant pinball machine) and "Merqury City" (which takes place in the downtown area of a city). The riders also come from around the world, including Japan and Germany, and speak in their primary language.
The most obvious change to the series is the location. In earlier games, individual tracks were located around the world. In SSX 3, the entire game takes place on one mountain, with three peaks and several individual runs. Runs are designated as "race", "slopestyle", "super pipe", "big air", or "back country" tracks, and are designed accordingly. Tracks are connected; it is possible to board down the entire mountain without stopping.
The reward system is also revamped. Although some rewards are still tied to what medals the player gets, most rewards are bought using money earned in competition or when finding hidden snowflakes. Outfits, stat improvements, "hidden characters" (character models) and game art are all available.
Other changes include the introduction of a second level of "uber tricks", the elimination of freestyle/BX/Alpine boards in favor of a single board type, and the elimination of statistical differences between characters. In general, the game emphasizes customization much more than in previous games; for example, different boards no longer have different effects on how your board handles, allowing the player to choose whatever board they like the most, instead of the "best" board, statistically.
SSX 3 also offered online play; once in a lobby, a player could initiate a 2 player versus match; Slopestyle, Halfpipe, or Race event. However in early 2006 Electronic Arts closed this option by terminating all servers designated to EA games released during and prior to 2005.
SSX Out of Bounds
SSX Out of Bounds was released on the N-Gage on January 24, 2005. It is a port of the console installment SSX 3, but downsized for the handheld. The game features multiplayer capability over Bluetooth.
SSX On Tour
Unlike its predecessor, SSX on Tour has no online play as the main focus was improving the gameplay and maps. There are many new characters, new maps, new tricks and skiers. One main variation from other consoles is the GameCube version since it has Nintendo characters and a special track.
SSX on Tour's main gameplay mode, "The Tour", allows the player to create a character and select one of a number of challenges available at any one point in time. Progressing through challenges (including medal events) earns the player both cash and hype; earning hype advances the player from amateur to pro level and unlocks harder challenges.
On Tour does several things differently from previous incarnations of the series; for one, courses are no longer closed; the player will frequently encounter other skiers and snowboarders when freeriding or doing minor challenges. Additionally, stats are no longer tied to the character; the character's board or skis are the sole determining factor in the character's abilities.
SSX Blur launched February 27, 2007 on Wii. It makes full use of the motion controls for turning and tricks. Uber tricks are performed by drawing shapes on the screen, while flips/spins are performed by simply flicking the Wii remote in certain directions.
12 playable characters are in the game, all of which can use either skis or snowboard. Only 4 characters are available at the start of the game, and players unlock additional characters through completing tasks. In common with SSX 3, the game takes place on one mountain with three peaks, and it is possible to travel non-stop from the top of the highest peak to the bottom of the lowest.
All the race tracks are taken from previous games (SSX3 and SSX On Tour), put together to a new mountain. SSX Blur offers fewer customization options for the characters than previous SSX games, and characters do not talk.
SSX iPhone was originally announced by EA Mobile to be released 2009, but has recently been delayed to 2010.