GameCube Index Episode 17: SSX Tricky

gciopenslidebigSSX Tricky is the stellar sequel to the Playstation 2 title, SSX, which was released the prior year for that system’s launch window. The SSX franchise is a competitive snowboarding series, where the player is tasked with taking a number of playable and unlockable characters down the mountain as fast as possible in races, or far more interestingly, down the mountain as rad as possible in trick tournaments, racking up points and putting others to shame.

Tricky introduced a number of new gameplay elements to the series, most of which would become series staples and help define the franchise as a whole. These include UBER moves, which can be performed after the player has filled their boost bar to the max by performing tricks and landing jumps. Once the player then lands six of these UBER moves, they then gain infinite boost for the remainder of the run.

Rivalries are another new mechanic. Using the C-Stick, players can shove other racers when near them on the track, potentially forcing them off of the board and making them fall. This is a sometimes necessary tactic to use, as the computer characters will not hesitate to knock you down, and a successful knockout also fills the boost bar. Essentially, if you want to get ahead, somebody’s gonna have to eat some snow.

Tricky starts out small, with only a couple of tracks available, with many more being unlocked as players complete races and trick tournaments. Other unlockable content includes racers as well as outfits and boards, making the entire experience as customisable as it could really get in 2001.

The game oozes character at every turn, with the crazy and unique outfits that each boarder has, to the large amount of actual snowboards and tracks in the game, it’s never boring. SSX Tricky is the type of game that can be played for hours on end without getting boring, whether it’s single player or not. Released to nearly universal acclaim, it’s a title that has found a home in the hearts and histories of many players. Just mentioning to friends that it was an upcoming title in this video series elicited excitement and conversations about how much fun they had playing Tricky.

And the fun didn’t stop there. The series didn’t peak with Tricky, it actually had four more sequels released on various platforms, with the most recent being a reboot – SSX for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2012, which captured a lot of the spirit that Tricky had and was still a blast to play.

Going back, I was afraid that I was looking at SSX Tricky through the lens of nostalgia, and it was relieving to find out that it’s just as good now as it was when it was released.

What memories do you have of SSX Tricky? Maybe you skipped Tricky and played other entries of the SSX franchise? How did you like the games?

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About Geoff Girardin

Geoff Girardin is the producer of GCNdex, a weekly series that covers every GameCube game in chronological order. He also helped make two tiny humans, and he eats so much that his wife is worried. You can follow him on Twitter @geoffgirardin, or keep up with his experience with fatherhood on geoffgirardin.com.

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