SSX is another long established franchise from EA, and although it only came out last generation its impact on snowboarding games, and extreme games in general, helped push interest in the genre and the actual sports they depict into another stratosphere. Now with the X Games a dominant force, SSX has unfortunately fallen off from its earlier titles. But there is good news SSX Blur matches the excitement, polish, and creativity of the original.
Blur manages quite nicely to blend together the old school fabrics that made the original SSX such a great game while adding new controls and the awesome new groove system. While the groove system is an awesome addition to the game, the controls can take a little getting used to and can either be a challenge or a point of frustration depending on how much you like to practice. No doubt they are intuitive and fun, but the learning curve, especially for uber moves is something that might put you off. I plainly sucked at this game and even after playing hours on end I was barely showing any improvement. I got used to the controls however and enjoyed the limited tricks I could pull off becoming a giddy 5 year old every time I successfully landed an uber move. What somewhat helps are the tutorials so I’d advise you begin there and stay there until you get a feel for things. The major issue I had with the controls was the way I had to hold them. When I play I sit in my recliner and just relax, with blur you have to watch how you place your hands or you might just find yourself carving off course. For me it was a major gripe because I love to get “lost” in my games and by having to pay attention to the details it placed the focus on the controls more than on the game.
The game itself has some issues as well, as starting off most of the quick play events, and the same courses in career, will be far too short, and for me it was difficult to get into a decent groove before the end of the course. These quick play events can be a major kill joy, especially when you’re still learning the controls, and worse yet career is just an expanded version of quick play. Although I’ve been pouring on the negativity I had a good time with SSX Blur, but it was definitely trial and error. In the end if you like the competitions and the challenges then this game will completely satisfy you, even reward you with gears, tricks, and skills for your rider so I suggest you give it a try as you may find yourself hooked by the games charms and uber cool appeal.
Graphics: Solid visual representation, one of the top 3 best looking games so far on the Wii. Shredding downhill while pulling off insane tricks never looked so good.
Story: More of a series of events than a story. You have a rival but they’re not really that important, Career mode centers more on your placement in races.
Gameplay: The controls really make or break this title, those who love a challenge and practicing to perfection will be in heaven, but for the rest it depends on how you like to play your games.
Music and Sound FX: I loved the beats, especially the groove system that amps up the tunes as you better navigate the slopes. The DJ is witty but can be over the top but overall your ears will be pleased.
Game Over: Everyone’s experience will differ with this game, for me it was fun. If you like to practice and enjoy the challenge of mastering the controls and your tricks then you’ll have a blast. The game really doesn’t have much variety either so if you’re like me you’ll have fun but will be looking to play something else soon.
3 out of 5