SSX 3 (PS2) – Character: Zoe Payne – Event: Snow Jam
As in previous SSX titles, players choose one of several characters, participate in races or trick competitions, and earn rewards.
The most obvious change to the series is the location. In earlier games, individual tracks were located around the world. In SSX 3, the entire game takes place on one mountain, with three peaks and several individual runs. Runs are designated as “race”, “slopestyle”, “super pipe”, “big air”, or “backcountry” tracks, and are designed accordingly. The race tracks are connected; it is possible to board through these tracks from the top of the mountain to the bottom without stopping or reloading each track.
The reward system is also revamped and improved. Although some rewards are still tied to what medals the player gets, most rewards are bought using money earned in competition or when finding hidden collectibles. Outfits, stat improvements, “cheat characters” (character models) and game art are all available.
Graphically the game is improved over previous installments by featuring a new graphics engine which adds various visual improvements such as ‘Mountain effects’: special effects to the game’s mountain, such as thunder. Furthermore, the game is based around a “freeroaming” architecture akin to the later installments of the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series.
Other notable changes include the introduction of a second level of “über tricks”; the elimination of freestyle/BX/Alpine boards in favor of a single board type, and the elimination of statistical differences between characters, and the continuity in tracks linked together by “Stations.” In general, the game emphasizes customization much more than in previous games; for example, different boards no longer have different effects on how they perform, allowing the player to choose between them based purely on aesthetics as opposed to taking the statistics into consideration, as was common previously.
There are four ways to “Conquer the Mountain” and advance to higher peaks:
One is to earn medals in racing events, eventually leading to a challenge by the master of that peak in a backcountry event, and then a full peak challenge, which covers that peak’s backcountry all the way to the bottom of Peak 1. There are 5 official race courses in the game, not including the 6 rival challenge races.
Freestyle works similarly, given that there are more freestyle events than there are races. Also, the full peak challenges for Peaks 1 and 2 only cover their respective backcountries and slopestyles. There are 9 official freestyle courses in the game, not including the 6 rival challenge freestyles.
Freeride works in an entirely different way. The player can earn a certain percentage of the collectibles for the peak and also win a certain number of the peak’s “Big Challenges” (special challenges that range from breaking glass panes in superpipes to punching targets in “The Throne”). The “typical” Big Challenge has the player score points in a race track or speed down a slopestyle track. Some of the BIG Challenges have three different steps – the higher step, the harder challenge. After completing a challenge who appeared as a green beam, it will eventually turn blue instead of white, showing that there is a harder version of that challenge. After you complete step two, the challenge will turn red, and will become much difficultier than the previous challenges. This could for example be: The first challenge has a goal to punch 5 punching bags. The second step of this challenge is punching 10, and the third and last step is punching 15.
Earnings is a set amount of money the player is supposed to earn while playing the game normally.
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