SSX On Tour
SSX On Tour is the fourth instalment of the immensely popular snowboarding series from the sports division of mega-publisher, EA. If you’ve played one of the previous games you’ll know what to expect, if you haven't, expect a well-rounded, fast paced snowboarding experience oozing credibility and irresistibly addictive gameplay.
Tour mode forms the bulk of the game. Consisting of well over 25 hours of snow slicing mayhem you won't be beating this baby without putting in serious man-hours. You’ll find yourself faced with a huge variety of challenges that increase in difficulty without failing to be continuously entertaining.
Challenges include basics such as beating an opponent in a race and beating a score in stunt mode. Then things go mad: running casual boarders down, reaching checkpoints, picking up items off the slopes, pulling bigger and bigger jumps – these are just a selection out of countless tasks assigned to you.
On top of Tour mode there’s a Quick mode that does exactly what it says on the tin: offer you a quick method of playing one off matches on any choice of the courses as an alternative to the full-blown tour. Customisable characters, the choice to ski as well as snowboard and a host of unlockable content round off the single player package nicely.
A split-screen two-player mode adds to the experience allowing you to challenge a friend. However, the visuals take a hit with noticeably less detail and some slowdown. It doesn’t detract from the experience too much, but it’s disappointing that these problems still exist so far into the series.
Online play isn’t featured in SSX On Tour. No biggie… Except online play was included in SSX 3. It was a fun addition, albeit a flawed one, and only emphasises the lack of the feature in this sequel.
SSX On Tour looks good – you won’t find realism here but realism isn't the aim of this game. In game graphics aren’t a huge leap over the previous games in the series but everything runs smoothly and is heaped in style.
A menu may not sound exciting but it's testament to the level of detail in SSX On Tour that the menus are a joy to behold. Psychedelic hand-drawn animations litter every screen and are carried through to the in game action creating a unique feel that sets SSX On Tour apart from any other game.
An extremely well chosen soundtrack from quality artists and clear sound effects improve the overall experience. There can’t be a higher compliment than that.
Considering this is the fourth game in the SSX series it's great that so much new life has been injected into it. If you’re a newbie to the series look no further than SSX On Tour as an introduction. The core of the game remains unchanged however. Whether the new modes warrant this game being picked up when you’ve played the previous games to death will be down to how much you enjoyed playing them.
Despite this and the removal of an online mode, SSX remains one of the best snowboarding series available on any system and SSX On Tour is an extremely competent and exciting game that will ensure the series remains on top for the foreseeable future.