SSX Blur


Review by Matt Paprocki

EA Sports Big


Graphics: 7

Sound: 7

Gameplay: 6

Overall: 6


The concept for the Wii was to make it feel like you’re in the game, hence why Wii Sports was a brilliant inclusion in the box. What developers are failing to do is build on this idea. That’s what happened with SSX Blur.

ssxblur1wii.jpg (65920 bytes)In the same mold as prior entries, Blur has the player taking control of a character, winning races and challenges to boost stats, and hopefully find everything hidden on the courses. Taking a cue from SSX 3, the menu has been replaced by a full mountain area in which the player snowboards down to find new challenges. Signs can be tough to read at times, though after a run or two down it’s not difficult to figure out where you need to be.

While tricks are a focus, SSX is more about racing. Mammoth mountainsides contain wildly fun course designs, crafted to keep players looking for another shortcut regardless of how many times they make a run. Trick opportunities, used to earn boost and work up the possibility of performing an Uber trick, are plentiful. They’re laid out in a way so dedicated players can piece together ridiculously high combo scores once adequate practice is completed.

It’s the controls that make this harder than it should be. Using the nunchuck, turning is now assigned to both the analog stick and motion controls. The analog stick only allows for a slight turn. Twisting the Nunchuk is supposed to provide an additional lean to carve a proper curve. Its inconsistent nature and frustratingly touchy nature when it does work make this the first adjustment you’ll make in the option menu.

The trick system is the second victim, this succumbing to the Wii Remote. Flailing the controller in the air is enough to produce results, eliminating the need to focus on what tricks you’re doing to keep things fresh. In its PS2 incarnations, the four shoulder buttons were combined in a manner that allowed for full control. Here, you just swing the Remote in conjunction with a button or two.

This adds nothing to the game, and with the total lack of effort in making the characters unique (what happened to the voice acting?), this is a pale imitation of what the franchise used to be. You’re not “in the game” at all with this control set up.

Uber tricks are the worst offender. When it’s time to perform the move, you’ll need to trace a picture that appears on screen with both portions of the controller. Like the turning motion with the Nunchuk, this fails to work also. You’re better off not attempting them at all as you can be just as successful doing standard tricks.

Aside from the controls, Blur adds nothing new to the franchise instead of throwing snowballs. In actuality, all this does is replace pushing your opponent down. With a lock-on system in place, this becomes nothing more than a projectile fest. At the least, the pushing required some maneuvering to get into position to be successful.

This Wii adaptation of SSX does offer the usual involving experience, sharp graphics, and addictive RPG-like stat boosting. Unfortunately, those are only a few of the necessary pieces required for a complete title in this otherwise enjoyable franchise. Blur feels rushed in nearly all of its Wii-exclusive aspects.


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Last updated: Monday, April 09, 2007 11:17 PM