SSX: Out of Bounds «

When playing games, I’m generally impressed with the abilities of the N-Gage. It can produce some decent graphics, some quick speeds, and manage a lot of onscreen tasks at once. However, SSX: Out of Bounds shows me the limitations of the hardware. It’s not a very good game, and the main problem I see is that the developers tried to do too much on the platform — and took a nosedive.

If you enjoy this game, you must be on the pipe.

At first glance, you’ll be amazed with how similar the features et al are compared to the console versions of SSX 3. That’s a good thing. However, if you spend an hour with this game, I’m pretty darn sure that you won’t want to ever play it again. That, of course, isn’t such a good thing.

The races are uninspired for a lot of reasons. While there isn’t much you can do with snow, I think the mountains would’ve been better bare. That’s because the environmental objects have awful collision and make the camera struggle something terrible. Out in the open, things are better, and the game is at its best when you’re flying through the air, tricking like nobody’s business, without a care in the world. Unfortunately, you don’t get enough chances to play to this strong suit.

Adding boredom to injury is the fact that you have to complete each race three times. There’s the qualifier, the semi-final, and the finals. The only point I see in this is to extend the time that people are forced to play Out of Bounds. Even after these three runs, you’ll still likely have to play through again just to get enough money to unlock a new event or peak. I didn’t have much fun the first time, so why would I want to do it again and again?

Like the gameplay, the graphics and sound try a little too hard. I talked about the camera already, but even the boarder models themselves are brutal. My character choice, the “imposing beauty” Elise, seriously looks like a monkey. I don’t think they changed the game’s acronym to mean “Simian Super Cross,” so that isn’t a compliment in the slightest. The audio is likewise overly ambitious. Trying to cram songs by the Chili Peppers, Queens of the Stone Age, and NERD just doesn’t work. Yes, it’s a feat to fit them, but they’re so tinny and poor quality, it wasn’t worth the effort.

Sometimes the simplest approach is best. SSX: Out of Bounds is neither simple nor the best. Extreme game fans are encouraged to stick to Tony Hawk, and race fans need only look to Colin McRae. Keep this game on the sidelines where it belongs. Yes, you can take lemons and make lemonade, but you need more than the fruit to do it. This game lacks the sweetness of sugar and the flow of water, resulting in nothing but a sour experience. I expect more from the N-Gage.


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