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Video Game / SSX

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Sweet flips bro.


A series of snowboarding games by made by Electronic Arts under the EA Sports BIG bannernote . It shares some similarities in style and mentality with the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater games, but places the action on snowboards (and on one occasion skis) and takes even more liberties in realistically portraying the actual sport in favor of a more arcade, over-the-top experience.

The series is inspired by the Real Life sport of "boardercross", a mix of snowboarding and motocross ("SSX" itself stands for "Snowboarding Supercross"). In reality, though, it's about a bunch of outrageous characters riding down a series of outrageous tracks doing outrageous tricks at outrageous speed. As you might have guessed from the overuse of the adjective "outrageous", the series is at the arcade end of the Sliding Scale of Simulation vs. Arcade.


Now with a Character Sheet under construction.

  • SSX (2000): The first game in the series, and one of the launch games for the PlayStation 2, being hailed by many critics and gamers alike as the best in the bunch. It started the series tradition of earning boost by doing tricks, thereby requiring a balanced play-style (in the races a least) and included some of the craziest track concepts ever seen in a snowboarding game, like a melting iceberg that's been towed to the Hawaiian coast, or a Tokyo course resembling a pinball machine.
  • SSX Tricky (2001): The second game, Tricky was arguably the high point for the series. It took its still somewhat modest predecessor and turned the craziness up to eleven by Flanderizing the entire cast and including so-called Übertricks, in which boarders pull their board off their feet and use them in suicidal acrobatic maneuvers, ranging from breakdancing to faking an execution.
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  • SSX 3 (2003): Took the basic gameplay features of Tricky and set all events on the creatively-named Big Mountain, thereby introducing a Wide Open Sandbox mechanic. As a result, the track diversity suffered somewhat and the general quirkiness of Tricky was played down a notch. However, some fans consider it to be the best game in the series.
  • SSX On Tour (2005): Reduced most of the crazy cast to simple cameos and instead included a pretty restrictive Create-a-Boarder mode. Plus, the game added skiers(!) of all things, changing one of the basic concepts of the series. Also, due to an agreement with Nintendo, you can play as Mario, Luigi, or Peach. The fanbase was not all that pleased, and it is remembered as the Black Sheep of the series.
  • SSX Blur (2007): A Wii-exclusive title. The general consensus is that this game, while not bad (it still received very positive reviews), is weaker than Tricky and 3 due to rehashed tracks and somewhat inaccurate motion controlsnote .
  • SSX (2012): Originally called SSX: Deadly Descents. An "extreme" Continuity Reboot of the franchise for next-gen consoles, the game plays more like a Spiritual Successor to Tricky. The World Tour mode focuses around rival teams of snowboarders competing to be the first to board on the world's most inhospitable places such as the Himalayas and Antarctica. In addition to the new Deadly Descent peaks, the game features traditional Trick and Race modes with online leaderboards and events. This was also the first SSX game not made on the (now defunct) EA Sports BIG banner. This version also became free to download on the Xbox Live Arcade Marketplace from December 16-31, 2014.

This series has examples of the following tropes:

  • Acrofatic: Luther.
  • Alpha Bitch: Elise Riggs.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: 3 featured a Product Placement in the form of dnL, a drink by the makers of 7 Up. Apparently, a lot of people didn't realize that dnL was a real drink at the time; they thought the ad was a parody of 7 Up.
  • Ax-Crazy: Psymon. This video is the best proof.
  • Badass Boast: Everyone has a few of these when they're hitting seriously big tricks or catching crazy air.
  • Badbutt: Since Tricky is E-rated, some of the characters have that "Can't swear, but REALLY WANT TO" issue; Elise in particular (she seems to think that SHOUTING EVERYTHING MAKES HER AWESOME). Kaori does use some Japanese phrases that are often translated as swears, but which do not have the same stigma in Japanese as they do in English and are not considered family-unfriendly in the same way.
  • Bald Woman: Seeiah.
  • BGM Override: A literal case with the 2012 game, as you can use whatever album/artist/playlist you have on your hard drive as music for the different event types as well as the menus.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: Bigfoot and the Yeti are both playable in 3 as "NW Legend" and "Far East Myth", respectively.
  • Bilingual Bonus: JP speaks French, Kaori and Hiro speak Japanese, Jurgen speaks German, and Marisol speaks Spanish.
  • Bowdlerise: A few of the songs had to be edited to keep the K-A/T ratings. For example, "We Don't Care" in SSX 3 had to remove "What the fuck!"
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Rahzel Brown's commentary in the first two games'.
    "Bronze those thumbs!"
    "Call your mama in the room and show her how great you are!"
  • Canon Foreigner: Marty was a character who replaced Mac in the games released for the European market. According to canon, Marty is Mac's cousin who lives in Germany.
  • Cap:
    • The speedometer in Tricky and 3 tops out at 74 MPH (120 KPH)
    • Normally, your stunts are printed out in detail after performing them. However, performing more than five full spins (1,800 degrees) or more than three flips (in any direction for both cases) will result in the stunt labeled as "???" in the first two games. From 3 onwards, this is raised to 2.700 degrees and five flips, respectively.
  • Cowboy: Nate worked as a ranch hand before becoming a snowboarder, and most of his costume options are Wild West themed. Cowboy hats, lassos, a sheriff's badge, a bandit mask, spurs...
  • Crazy Awesome: The majority of Tricky.
    • In-universe, Psymon. Legend has it he went nuts after trying to do a motocross jump over some power lines and not quite making it. In SSX 3, he prefers riding on the outside of the gondola.
  • Curse Cut Short: Brodi in Tricky.
    "You bast...!"
  • Darker and Edgier: The 2012 game was going to be this, but the final result is less so. This trailer was the first and last we saw of the game in this stage.
  • Denser and Wackier: Tricky compared to the original, ramping up the totally radical T-T-T-T-TRICKY-ness compared to the first game.
  • Disco Dan: Eddie.
  • Don't Try This at Home: One of Psymon's quotes from Tricky.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first SSX game had no Uber tricks, only eight characters, none of whom were as in-your-face or full of personality as they would later become, controlled more stiffly, and was a lot more racing-oriented than later titles.
  • Fanservice: Promotional art drawn by Adam Warren. Yikes!
  • Fat Bastard: Luther.
  • Final-Exam Boss: Death Zone in 2012.
  • French Jerk: Jean-Paul.
  • Funny Afro: Eddie's giant orange afro.
  • Genki Girl: Kaori, Marisol, and Seeiah.
  • Gonk: Luther.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: One of the courses in SSX On Tour is called Son of a Birch (although it can be argued that for snowboarders birch trees are just as bad, especially running into them in game and real life).
  • Gratuitous English: Kaori will speak English in some pre/after-race cutscenes in Tricky, but she averts this mostly in 3, where she only speaks Japanese except for on the character select screen.
    • Also from Tricky: while JP mostly speaks French, when you go off of a big jump, he'll sometimes say, "Mr. Big Air.".
  • Guest Fighter: Stretch from EA's NBA Street games is playable in 3.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Not literally, but by his own account Moby is "Half man, half amazing, all Moby!" In a more literal sense, some of his costume options paint him as a werewolf. Seriously.
  • Hotter and Sexier: The third game's artwork. In particular the special art by cheesecake master Adam Warren.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Mac in SSX 2012 is full of them, usually involving his name. "I'm a rocket Mac!" "It's raining Mac, baby!" "I'll have to call this one Mac and cheese!"
  • I Can See My House from Here: Nate can see first place from every angle when he's racing, and when Psymon catches a huge air he can see Jupiter. Seeiah also emphatically shouts that she can see Venus.
    • Eddie in Tricky says the exact thing, and sometimes adds "London" or throws us "I can see the earth ROTATING!"
      • Back in SSX 2012, adding, "It's so small..."
    • In SSX 2012, on a big jump Zoe sometimes says "I can see...ah, forget it."
      • Zoe also says, "Height check. I am really high" or "But I don't want to go down yet."
  • Idol Singer: Kaori Nishidake's regular job.note 
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Psymon's voice actor Jim Rose claims to be the real-life version of Psymon.
  • Institutional Apparel: A staple of Psymon's alternate costumes.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: DJ Atomika would eventually show up in Burnout Paradise. Unfortunately, he did so with 80% less entertaining dialog.
    • Even before that, Burnout 3's DJ Stryker will mention Atomika and the third SSX competition in between songs.
  • It's the Best Whatever, Ever!: Zoe Payne defines the creation, management and running of SSX as the best job ever... while jumping off a hundred foot vertical drop and performing gravity defying stunts.
  • Jerkass: Luther. He is so much so that only JP is willing to be friends with him.
  • Jiggle Physics: As applied to Eddie's afro.
  • Joke Character: 3 is rife with jokey secret characters, though they aren't inferior to other riders. But they include Churchill, a steam-powered robot, and Canhuck, a giant beaver.
  • Keet: Griff Simmons.
  • Lampshade Hanging: In SSX (2012) characters will audibly wonder how snow got so deep in the game's many tunnels.
  • Large Ham Announcer: DJ Rahzel in Tricky.
  • Lemony Narrator: DJ Atomika.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Luther and Nate are both extremely large and powerful, and due to their size and weight have a distinct advantage in the downhill races.
  • Marathon Level: A selling point of SSX 3. Some of the events chain many races together into one large run down the mountain.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Just look at Elise's character video!
  • Noodle Incident: Several in 3, courtesy of DJ Atomika from EA RADIO BIG, including the "orange cat incident", the "dreaded snow snakes", and various Big Mountain events from before the game.
  • Nostalgia Level: Happiness, a track from SSX 3, was ported into the 2012 game under the name "Lock Jaw."
    • Mount Eddie could count as a Nostalgia Pack. It takes nearly all of the elements that made Tricky good (fireworks, bright colors, less chasms, ect.), and molds them into one giant mountain. On top of that, you also have the option of using retro versions of Moby, Elise, Mac, Psymon and Eddie, as well as their respective boards from Tricky and 3.
  • Gimmick Level: Each of the Deadly Descents in SSX 2012 are focused around a particular hazard that serves as the stage's name: Avalanche, Ice, Rock, Trees, Cold, Thin Air, Gravity, Darkness, Whiteout.
  • Oddball in the Series: SSX on Tour is a good game in its own right, but most hardcore fans really do not like due to the bare bones Character Customization feature taking precedent over the original characters. And the way-too-long races and bad voice acting. Not to mention it was developed by an entirely different team.
    • Blur is also an oddball, with a style that's far more cartoony than any game before or after it and Uber tricks based on motion controls.
  • 100% Completion: In SSX 3, getting gold on all the races, getting gold on all the freestyle events, finishing all the "Big Challenges", buying all the outfits and everything else from the stores, and finding all of the hidden snowflakes.
    • And all you get is a Yeti.
  • Regional Bonus: The Spain version of the 2012 game includes an extra song by Las Ketchup.
  • Patriotic Fervor: In addition to his love of his country's flag, Moby has unlockable costume options in 3 that add up to a suit of medieval armor.
    • Canadian Psymon Stark often says "SASKATOON!" while hitting a particularly big air.
    • Elise: "Canadian girls kick butt!"
  • Plot-Relevant Age-Up: Griff in SSX 2012, coupled with Took a Level in Jerkass.
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Mac, the white DJ character.
  • Psycho Electro: Psymon doesn't have electric powers, but his erratic mental condition is the result of being electrocuted by powerlines during an ill-advised BMX stunt.
  • Put on a Bus: Hiro, Jurgen, Eddie, Luther, Seeiah, Marisol, Brodi, Viggo, Tyson, and Sid only appeared in one game. JP and Griff would have also fit this trope, but they were brought back for the most-recent game, which seems to miss Allegra who was the cover girl for the third game and portrayed as one of the main characters.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: A remixed version of Run-DMC's "It's Tricky" for SSX Tricky. See also Awesome Music.
    • Pretty Lights did another remix of "It's Tricky" as the theme song to SSX 2012.
  • Rule of Cool: They built a fucking city on the side of a fucking mountain so you could snowboard through it in SSX Tricky.
    • Hell, it took event organizers two whole years to set up Big Mountain as the ultimate SSX circuit.
    • Try detaching yourself while snowboarding. In midair. Then reattaching before you land. Probably...not easy. BUT WHO CARES?! KICKFLIP YOUR SNOWBOARD!
  • Rewarding Vandalism: In the SSX 2012, you get tricks for running over flares marking the path along the track.
  • Sassy Black Woman: Seeiah in the second game.
  • Sequel Escalation: How big can the Übertricks get? How over-the-top can the courses get?
  • Ship Sinking: In SSX On Tour, the developers decided to push Mac and Kaori away from each other.
  • Shout-Out: One of the legendary boards N7 design done up in red and black.
  • Spelling Bonus:
    • In Tricky: Successfully completing six Übertricks spells out T-R-I-C-K-Y, which grants unlimited boost for a limited time.
  • Spicy Latina: Marisol.
  • Spiritual Successor: SSX 2012 is very clearly inspired by the film Art Of Flight with an emphasis on the film's dangerous backcountry riding and heliboarding along with sharing a few songs in the soundtrack. There's even an ad for the film in the game case, and Travis Rice, who appeared in the film, was included as DLC for the game.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Elise, who is 5'11" (180 cm) and has plenty of midriff-exposing outfits to choose from.
  • Stripperiffic: Some of the outfits are, shall we say, not suited for cold weather. The developers were equal-opportunity in this regard — the female riders often bare their midriffs and legs, whereas for the male riders, Moby has costumes in SSX 3 that feature him shirtless or wearing metal armor, while Psymon also has several sleeveless shirts and tank tops. It's toned-down in Blur, which went for a more cartoonish art style, and the 2012 reboot, which had more realistic winter gear for the characters.
    • In On Tour, your character can go out in nothing but their underwear.
    • SSX3 has one female option where, if it wasn't for a tattoo-thing, is otherwise topless.
    • Princess Peach wears a dress that has a mini skirt and a thong.
  • Talkative Loon: Most of the things Psymon says make no real sense. His battle cries when catching big air make him a Breathless Non Sequitur factory, including Patriotic Fervor (see above) and the infamous "FRENCH TOAST AND SYRUP!!!" shout in Tricky.
    • Seriously. "Roll over, Rover!", "Aw, I'm totally spellbound!", "Supersonic, Stereophonic!", "SUPERHEAVY BUT LIGHTER THAN AIR!", I could go on.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: JP and Luther, the Jerkass duo of Tricky.
  • Totally Radical
  • Variable Mix: The 2012 game presents this in two fashions: an optional "Remix" system which puts the BGM through various filters depending on the situation (high pass when airborne, loops when tricking on rails, off-pitch when you're about to freeze or run out of air, etc.), and with the original music in the World Tour Deadly Descents changing depending on the status of the Tricky Meter.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: In Tricky, Psymon and Moby couldn't stand each other. In 3, Moby's mellowed out enough to become this with Psymon.
  • Wearing a Flag on Your Head: Moby has the Union Jack tattooed on his entire upper body, his default shirt in 3 is a shirt with a discolored Union Jack pattern, and one of his pants options bears the Union Jack as well. He's also got a helmet displaying the Jolly Roger.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: In the third and fourth games.
    • Averted in SSX 2012, through a combination of, well, deadly descents and invisible cutoffs


Example of: