SSX Patch 3.5 Out Today, Brings Awesome Tweaks

SSX received a new update today, adding some exciting new features to the game, including:

  • Characters can now be leveled up to level 15. Levels 12-15 are unlocked with in-game credits.
  • Players can now choose weather conditions and time of day before a drop.
  • Innate weather changes made to The Dilemma, Don’t Make Me, Buckeye, Invincible, Code Blue, Intrepid, Lockjaw, Last Call, Vengeance, The Dagger, and Broken Tooth drops.
  • Ghost wins now reward more credits.
  • Placing and collecting Geotags reward more credits and XP.

Combined with the multiplayer patch that was recently released, the team behind SSX is really going a long way towards letting players play the game the way they want. Check out the patch today, and let us know what you think of the new godly powers at your disposal!

You can view an unofficial video detailing the patch here.

SSX Q&A Detail Overload; Traditional Multiplayer, “Big Air” Returns, Level Editor and Much More!

SSX fans were treated to a really awesome Q&A session with Todd Batty, the Creative Director of the latest SSX game. A lot of fans had legitimate questions comparing the old with the new, along with some more common concerns that fans pondered upon. Mr. Batty answered as much as he could during the three hour session and stated he would respond back to the rest of everyone’s comments tomorrow. However, what he answered was quite insightful and provides for a solid read. Todd Batty answered some questions pertaining to traditional multiplayer, freeriding, changing your music, why they opted for “rewind” instead of “reset to track”, level editor, and much more.

In terms of a traditional multiplayer, Mr. Batty answered the fact that it came down to lack of development time. The team wanted to incorporate both RiderNet and “3-2-1” online multiplayer but found that RiderNet was the best route to go for the time being. However, he’s not ruling out the option of patching in a traditional multiplayer in the future. Another question asked regarded toward the Freeride option that SSX 3 fans recall. Todd stated that the feature was in the game originally, but was cut out last minute. Again though, he’s not ruling out a possible patch to add it back in.

One complaint went in regards to the “randomized” aspect of buying items in the shop. Anytime you shop for new mods and gear, you never know what to expect really. If you’re looking for a particular board to purchase, you have to check each run to try and find certain ones. It leads to frustration for many who just want to quickly access exactly what they’re looking for. Todd was a great sport about it and whole-heartedly admitted, “ok, yes. we f***ed that up a little.” However, he then went on to add the following:

“in all seriousness, the store wasn’t built to be used the way some players want to use it. it was more intended to be something you browse each time you enter a drop and pick things up sort of as you go along. pretty terrible for anyone who goes about actually ‘trying’ to get a specific item.

i myself have suffered shop rage more than once. when in a feverish session of trying to beat one of my nemesis (Clawz) in Patagonia i decided i needed a better wingsuit and ended up spending almost 40 million credits (i went broke) just trying to spawn a legendary aerodynamic one. man, i was pissed.

so yeah, sorry. it needs some fixing. we hear you loud and clear.”

One particular feature that people asked regarded to the inability to change songs while in the middle of an event. This was a feature that every SSX had in the past and while it’s minor, more options are always welcome. Me personally, I’d love to see this added in the near future since there are certain runs where I want to listen to my “jam”. Also, I asked the question regarding why the team opted for a “rewind” mechanic as opposed to the original “reset on track” feature in previous games. As I expected, Todd responded by mentioning that the feature was easily exploited in the originals, which is true. Here’s what he said:

“this has been a pretty big debate in the community. reset to track is definitely a more user-friendly option, but it was also highly exploitable in past games. it is extremely difficult to know where to reset someone on the track to make sure they can actually recover from their mistake. in past games, for example, you could miss a jump over a gap and get reset back to a place on the track where you couldnt gain enough speed to actually make that same jump. and sometimes you could spawn forward, so just as you were about to miss a gap jump you could press select and spawn on the other side of it and actually gain time/distance.

it’s tough either way really. probably the best answer would be to never have gaps at all? 😛

definitely something we’d work on improving in the future regardless given the chance.”

Another solid question mentioned about the possibility of a level editor. Todd responded by stating the idea was thrown around early in the game’s development but decided to rule it out “due to the amount of effort it would take to build a user-friendly interface around it.” It would’ve been a great feature but I can understand it being a ton of extra work to put on the development team.

Regarding the DLC that is set for release tomorrow, Todd stated that there is one “special” drop which is the return of the “Big Air” events first introduced in SSX 3. Mr. Batty stated, “you basically hit 4 or 5 huge air jumps in quick succession…takes about 45 seconds or so then back to the top.” Does this mean we may see the return of Superpipe events in the near future as well?

Lastly, Todd replied to another Reddit user asking about the environmental themes and how the model changed a bit from SSX Tricky. Todd replied that their focus was based on providing a solid physics engine and now that they’ve done that, their main goal is set on more abstract environments such as “city tracks”. Todd stated that the team’s extremely proud of their designs for each region as they distinguish each other quite well, both aesthetically and gameplay wise.

Todd Batty wasn’t able to answer all the questions asked but promised to go back and respond to the remainder of them tomorrow. As you read his responses, you can tell he has a passion for the franchise and continues to want to further provide an experience that SSX fans have been clamoring waiting for. To see the full list of Q&A that occurred on Reddit, head over to the link!

SSX Xtreme Community Showdown – Week #2 Now Live; Week #1 Results Included

Our SSX Xtreme Community Showdown continues this week with new events and more treacherous terrain to tackle. Every week, there will be three different events to partake in, each tailoring toward specific game types. If you’re a racing enthusiast and are all about speeding your way down the mountain as fast as possible, then our Race It event is right up your alley. There will be NO WINGSUITS allowed, resulting in a more pure and fair racing event. Are you all about showing off your survival skills? Then the Survive It will be the best event to tackle. It’s all about survival so NO REWINDS are in effect, pushing your skills to the test.

Love to showoff your “skills to pay the bills”? Well “bring your mama in the room and show her how great you are” in the High Roller Club of the Trick It event. Why is it called the High Roller Club you ask? Well, the event drop cost is 1,000,000 SSX Credits to compete in. There’s another catch to this event…Winner Takes All. There’s no standard bracket which means there’s no credits earned for just attempting it. This event is for SSX enthusiasts who really think they have what it takes. The more people that join, the bigger the money pot is, so spreading the word of the event is key here. Once again, NO WINGSUITS and NO REWINDS are in effect.

The one thing that will not be limited is your character level, so keep in mind to use your highest rated characters. Now, the events will all last for exactly one week and once you buy-in for the competitions, you’re always welcome to come back and retry the event to improve your score at no extra cost.

This week’s events are as follows:

Race It: Alaska > Silverthrone > Pan (No Wingsuit)

Description: Pan provides a ton of pipelines to grind on to, leading to consistent boosting and high speeds. Thanks to a minimal amount of crevices to worry about, all you need to do is find your fastest line and nail it.

Event Drop Cost – 400,000 SSX Credits

 

Trick It: New Zealand > Mount Wakefield > Bulldog (Winner Takes All) (No Rewind+Wingsuit)

Description: Bulldog provides an excellent tricking ground that ensures players to grab some high scores. There are a ton of high jumps and a solid amount of rails to further help add to your combo score. Remember, only ONE person wins this event.

Event Drop Cost – 1,000,000 SSX Credits

 

Survive It: Patagonia > Cello Torre > Last Call (No Rewind)

Description: Last Call is an intense survival track that will push you skills to the limit. Crevice galore, multiple paths and barely any safe ground to shred down, you’ll have to carefully navigate through this nightmare.

Event Drop Cost – 400,000 SSX Credits

 

How do you participate in the events? Well, first off, the events are only for the PS3 version of the game as that’s the version the staff has here. From this point on, you add either Glacier928, Argus9Z or Rion_7 on PSN and type in the message: “SSX Xtreme Community Showdown”. Blank messages will result in us not adding you. Simple concept, right? At the end of the weekly event, the winners of each event will be announced on the site!

The event is now live so strap on your boards and showoff your SSX skills!

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Here are the results for the first week of our SSX Xtreme Community Showdown.

Race It: Alaska > Foraker > Lock Jaw (Winner: Rion_7 = 1:46.23)

Trick It: Rockies > Whitehorn Mountain > Curnoe’s Moustache (Winner: Glacier928 = 22,243,766)

Survive It: Himilayas > Chomo Lonzo > The Monster (Winner: Skyhawke_2 = 34,648.45m)

SSX Patch 1.02 Adds Voice Chat

SSX fans were treated to a new patch update when they booted up their game this morning but no details were shed as to what it entitled. Well, the latest patch now adds Voice Chat functionality via RiderNet so that you can chat with your friends, regardless of which event they are in. This will certainly give the game more of a “social” experience with your buddies.

Also, players will notice they can purchase Level 11 for their characters that reached Level 10 for only 1 million credits. It unlocks an extra mod slot and extra geotag slot, along with new and better equipment for purchase. If there are any other enhancements we spot in the game, we’ll keep you updated. Regardless that I earned my Platinum Trophy for the game already, it’s time to shred the mountains again!

SSX Review (PS3/360): A Non-Stop, Adrenaline Experience

SSX is the long-awaited reboot to the much-beloved franchise that finally makes it’s way to the current-gen consoles. Published by Electronic Arts and developed by EA Canada, does it soar to the status of “SSX Tricky” and “SSX 3” or does it fall into the same identity crisis “SSX On Tour” did?

Gameplay: 5/5

SSX was synonymous for its over-the-top, sleek style that gave you the freedom to pull off crazy tricks while shredding down a mountain at incredibly high speeds. That whole feel returns in this new installment. The franchise lost its way after SSX 3 and as a diehard fan, have waited almost 9 years for the proper sequel. I can safely say, this latest installment is the return to what made SSX the franchise it is today. While the game has locales based on actual regions, the designs of each course also have outlandish tweaks, giving it that extreme design that allows you to pull off abnormal tricks.

When players boot up the game, they will be introduced to the game’s story that they will tackle in the World Tour mode. The story consists of Team SSX taking on Griff Simmons(the character nobody liked in SSX 3, only now he’s much older) who left SSX for his own selfish reasons. Now, Griff aims to be the first person to tackle the deadly descents but Zoe won’t sit by and miss the opportunity to take SSX to a new extreme. Zoe then rounds up 8 other teammates, some old faces along with some new ones. The story isn’t the driving point of SSX but it’s neat to see EA came up with a reason behind the deadly descents concept.

In SSX, you will partake in three different style of events: Race It, Trick It and Survive It. Race It events are exactly what you would expect, get from point A to point B before the other boarders do. Unlike previous SSX installments, you will not compete in a Qualifying, Semi-Final or Final race before earning your medal. Now it’s just a single race that you have to focus on, giving it a faster pacing. Trick It events will have you pull off “Uber” and “Super Uber” tricks to no end and trying to earn the most insane combo possible. Master the trick system and you’ll be able to combo an entire run from top to bottom, and doing so is incredibly rewarding. The Survive It events are the new catch to SSX in which you will have to tackle deadly descents that have certain stipulations. You will tackle trees, gravity, thin air, ice, rocks, avalanche, cold, darkness and whiteout conditions. These events will test your skills as each hazard has you fully utilizing your specific gear that is required to survive. It is these events where you will have a “health” bar to keep watch on and if not careful, will lead to your death. You can rewind time in case you messed up but these are limited and should you actually die, you won’t be able to rewind at all. For example, in the “cold” descent, you will have to stay in the sun as much as you can to stay warm. Staying in the shade will cause your body to start freezing due to outrageous cold temperatures you’re going up against. If tackling the “gravity” event, you will use your wingsuit (which is a great new mechanic that’s a ton of fun to use) to further extend you airtime so you can clear the chasms the size of a football field. Paying attention to the heads up your helicopter pilot provides you, as well as the neon writing on the track, will further ensure your survival. The survival element actually works incredibly well, adding a whole new level of intensity and adrenaline aside from the race and trick events, while still feeling like an SSX title.

In previous installments, you would be able to upgrade your characters’ stats to make them faster and easier to use. This time, the upgrade system is slightly different in which it is replaced by an XP system. The better you play, the more XP you’ll earn to level up your character of choice. The purpose to leveling up is to be able to obtain better suits, boards and gear. While suits are mainly just for looks, certain ones will actually boost a specific stat such as boost, speed or tricks. Based on your equipment selection, you will notice your “Survival Probability” percentage on the bottom-left corner of the screen letting you know how well of a chance you have at survival. When tackling Explore events, you will be able to take on your friends’ ghost records in all the events scattered throughout 150+ drops (a few more on PS3 with the exclusive Mt. Fuji venue). New to the game is the ability to post “Geotags.” Geotags are collectibles that you can plant anywhere on any drop for players to try and find. Planting them in impossible to reach areas is the main goal as the longer it takes for someone to obtain your planted Geotag, the more income you will receive. Thanks to RiderNet, players will be notified when a friend/rival finds your Geotag or takes down your record and with the simple press of a button, take you to the event directly to try and reclaim your throne. Similar to Need for Speed’s “Autolog” system, RiderNet adds a whole new level of connection amongst your friends that will tremendously add to the replayablity.

The game’s main online mode is handled through Global Events. It is here where you will partake in events that can contain up to 100,000 players competing for the total SSX credits that are in the pot. As you tackle these events, you will land a position on the bracket: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond. The higher you place in the event, the more bank you will collect at the event once the timer expires. An event can last between 10 minutes to a whole week. When you boot the game up after taking a break, there will be a “While You Were Away” feature. This will notify you if you won any Global Events, whether or not your Geotags have been found, or if your ghosts have been beaten or not. It’s a great feature to implement that adds a deep, social experience that few games have done.

Graphics: 4/5

SSX was always known for its style and this installment still achieves that sleek, stylish look while giving it a more realistic approach. Every character is very carefully detailed, showcasing some nice character models and top-notch animations that are mind blowing to see in action. The mountains all have some great effects, whether it’s the snow, the ice or the extreme weather conditions, the game’s visuals further immerse you into the experience the way the originals did. The only complaint with the visuals are that there are a few texture pop-ups and some of the environment textures aren’t as detailed as others. While it’s nothing major, it was enough to make the visuals just shy of perfect.

Sound: 5/5

SSX Tricky and SSX 3 had phenomenal soundtracks that still rank up amongst the best music a game could offer. The latest installment adds another killer soundtrack that perfectly resonates the intensity and adrenaline you will be sure to have when taking on the racing and tricking events. However, the songs utilized for the survival events are what will truly immerse you into feeling like you’re actually a part of this due to its intensity. They will really get your blood pumping and your adrenaline peaked as they accompany the track design brilliantly. The team over at EA Canada also developed a new sound system called “Harmony,” which allows the songs to remix based on your play style. The system was used in SSX games in the past but there’s a neat catch here. The game has support for custom soundtracks in which it can read your music data and remix it based on your play style. This is a groundbreaking new feature that EA achieved as I forget that some of my custom tracks weren’t a part of the original soundtrack. The sound effects are crisp and clean as well, with ambient effects adding further intensity to the overall sound package. All the characters have voice over work with lines you’d expect them to say from previous games, bringing back a nostalgic element to all the fans. Overall, this is audio at its finest. Make sure you crank up the volume for an unforgettable experience.

Replay Value: 5/5

SSX is an incredibly engaging game that will easily captivate the hearts of many, while also winning back the fans of the originals. The World Tour mode will last you about 5-6 hours, but the Explore and Global Events will have you coming back for countless hours to come. Add in RiderNet’s functionality and you’re in for one of the most addictive games this generation. Despite the game not having a traditional multiplayer function, its alternative works brilliantly.

Overall Score: 19/20 = 9.5 out of 10

SSX is the pinnacle of fine gaming this generation. What made the original games shine is still intact here and is a game everyone needs to experience. SSX lost it’s way after SSX 3 and it’s safe to say it has returned to its former glory. Between the game’s well designed tracks, brilliant RiderNet functionality, great visuals, powerful soundtrack and intense survival events, this is a game that cannot be missed by fans and newcomers alike. SSX is, simply put, one of the best games this generation and an early Game of the Year contender.

PROs:

+ Intense, Perfected Gameplay

+ Amazing Soundtrack

+ Brilliant RiderNet Functionality

+ Heart-Pounding Survival Events

CONs:

– Some Uneven Texture Visuals

SSX Dynamically Remixes Your Own Custom Soundtracks

SSX is aiming to really be the ultimate installment in the franchise and more and more it appears to be getting there.  In an interview with Game Reactor, they unveiled that SSX will have a dynamic system in which it remixes the soundtrack based on how you play…including the songs that you upload into the game yourself.  Here’s what creative director, Todd Batty, told them in an interview:

“You can import custom soundtracks into SSX, you can bring you own music into SSX. And the cool thing is that if you bring your custom music, your custom music will also remix as you play the game. So you can put in any music you want, import it into the game and, as you play the game, depending on how you play, you can remix your music, which we think people are going to love. So we’re looking forward to unveiling the actual functionality a little bit later.” 

When asked about what to expect from the standard soundtrack, he remained secretive and stated, “We’re not talking about actual songs for the soundtrack yet, we’re still in negotiations with a number of different artists.”

What do you guys think?  I know this excites me being a massive SSX fan and look forward to uploading my SSX Tricky and SSX 3 songs to listen to while boarding the mountains!  SSX is slated for release in January 2012 for the PS3 and Xbox 360…and it can’t come soon enough.  Sound off in the comments below!

EA Revives FIFA Street Franchise

“Welcome to the greatest pitch in the world: the streets.”  That is how EA introduced their revival for FIFA Street at the GamesCom event during their Press Conference.  The reboot is being developed by EA Sports Vancouver and will be running on the FIFA 12 engine.  They’ve been motion capturing top street players to promise an authentic, realistic football experience.  There will be 35 different locations to play in from London to Rio to Barcelona.  Players will also be able to use aerial skills to weave around defenders as well as utilize an all-new one-touch passing system.

The game will also utilize the EA Sports Football Club and those who purchase the EA Sports Season Ticket pass will get early, full-game access to FIFA Street before it hits retail early next year.

SSX – First Online Details Announced

During the EA Press Conference, they announced the online aspects of SSX.  Todd Batty stated on stage that, ““SSX is going to revolutionize social gaming. We’re gonna make sure it is fun and easy. Even better, there are no lobbies and no need for scheduling.”

“Explore” let’s you play with your friends via ghost tracking.  You will earn money by taking down your friends records that will transfer to your campaign.  You don’t need to be playing online with your friends to actually compete with them however.  If your friend competes with your ghost and fails, you will receive money as well, even if you’re not playing.  You will even receive notifications on Facebook and iPhone when your friend takes down your record.

“Global Events” will allow up to 100,000 riders to compete in a single event and could last from a few minutes to several days.  You can fully customize events with your friends as well.

“RiderNet” is going to be the “Autolog” of SSX.  It will guide you to where your friends are and recommend new friends for you.  It will also keep you connected with your friends by letting you know how they’re doing in the game at all times.  Todd Batty stated that you can even vote friends down if they “annoy you.”

There you have it, a brief touch on the online aspects of SSX.  Excited to take on the mountains with your friends? Check out the trailer and be sure to sound off in the comments below!