SSX / Electronic Arts / Playstation 2
 
 
SSX was the toast of the PS2 launch in 2000 ... hasn't aged tremendously well, and has been surpassed by its own sequels, but still a pretty solid snowboarding game all around.

Modes of play and players are kinda limited ... there's four characters to choose from at the start, and four unlockable, which is mostly done by playing the Circuit races, where you just race one track after another. It's pretty much just playing Circuit or playing individual tracks for time trials and such once you unlock them.

The game toes the line between detailed snowboarding aficionado complexity and simplified accessible gameplay, leaning more toward the latter. Each snowboarder has a particular "stance", the pros and cons of which will be inexplicable to anyone who isn't into the sport. But once in-game, tricks are performed simply by mashing the L and R shoulder buttons in sequence while in mid-air. Really, the biggest challenge is getting used to the game's unique "snowboard physics" and how to properly handle turning at high speeds, which won't be immediately intuitive if you haven't played one of these before.

There was actually already something of a glut of snowboarding games on the market when SSX hit, what set it apart was the expansive tracks that you could roam all over, and the intricate design and detail combined with solid gameplay and sense of speed / opportunities to grab big air.

At this point the game is no great shakes but it was something of a pioneer in its field. Though no longer quite so visually impressive, at an asking price of 2 bucks or so it's a pretty solid pickup for your PS2 library.
 
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