Monday, June 27, 2011

Top 50 Video Games: Number 47

Stats of Import
Platform: Gamecube
Absurdly Specific Genre: Snowboarding game with unnecessary Mario characters
Difficulty: 3, some of the later challenges were a little tricky, but nothing that sent the controller through the TV.
Beaten: Yes, actually. I didn't even know I had the patience for that sort of thing.

I like the universe that SSX lives in. In most boarding games of the skate/snow variety, they make sure you know it when you fall from 700 feet on your head. You don't get hurt or anything, you just get the sound effects to let you know that "oh, if this were real life, you'd be totally dead". SSX isn't interested in anything like that. If you fall, you just sort of faceplant, skid for a little bit, and then get right back up. That kind of optimism permeates the series.

Two seconds ago, you fell on your ass while going 75 MPH. That is a remarkable recovery.

I'll come clean, a lot of my love for this series comes from a very nostalgic place - specifically, the little patch of floor and the dish chair in front of the TV in Lindsey's old room where we spent hours playing this game when we had nothing better to do. Doing tricks was intuitive, if you failed a challenge, you could easily get back to the beginning of the challenge, but you could just as easily just keep boarding and enjoy the hill.

...but enjoying the hill responsibly, of course. Taking off your snowboard in midair is not responsible snowboarding.
 Climbing up the hill's "Power Rankings" list was slow, but rewarding, and unlocking more and more of the hill was kind of thrilling in a way that few games of its type could ever live up to. I had and enjoyed a few other snowboarding games, but none of them ever topped SSX: On Tour.

Note: You could supposedly ski, but I never even ventured into that option. Why would you?

Other notable games in the series: SSX 3 is just as good as this game, and would probably rank right around here. I just played this one more, because while I had SSX 3 for my home system, Linds had this one and enjoyed playing it with me. The SSX series is just pretty much solid all the way through.

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