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Old Sep 5th, 2007, 12:58 AM   #1
merylsilverburg
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Thumbs down SSX Blur....of mess!

I know this review is a bit late but I had only just played the game yesterday. I've heard lots of complaints about it but I decided to give it a try anyway...which I now regret.

I was really hoping to like the game because I'm a fan of the SSX series except for the last one "SSX On Tour." Unfortunately, "Blur" took everything that I hated about "On Tour" and implemented the Wii Remote and Nunchuck. There's a good and bad side to this.

Good: Interesting use of the Nunchuck and Remote. You use the nunchuck to move your character, everything from accelerating to jumping to balancing. The remote controls all the tricks and other things, like scooping up snowballs with the B button and shaking the remote to toss it. All of this is pretty great and it takes a few minutes of practice to get the hang of it but otherwise, it's fluid.

Bad: Doing UberTricks with the remote. A key element of the series are these tricks and the game completely ruins it. To perform UberTricks, you have to use the remote (and sometimes the nunchuck) to draw out the shapes shown onscreen. Sounds so easy but when the shape icon is the size of a penny, it's not. Also, the shapes are genuinely stupid: a tidal wave? A heart? Some kind of shape resembling a sideways pi sign? Drawing these shapes out made me look like a mime gone insane. Not to mention that the shapes don't even register when you attempt it. Real helpful when you want to, oh I dunno, boost up your score.

Also, the whole "hip look" they were going for in "On Tour" has returned except ten-times worse. I loved the mature, sophisticated look everyone had in the first few SSXs. But "On Tour" made them "too cool for school" thus everyone ended up looking like a bunch of high school losers. Now, they all look like really ugly junior high schoolers. I couldn't even tell half of the characters anymore because they all looked so stupid. Oh and guess what they named the Latin-American/Mayan-looking girl? Maya, of course! Pure genius there.

Graphics and effects were nothing special...nothing that couldn't be done on the GC or the PS2. And the snow that covers your character when you wipe out looks so sadly fake it's scary...it looks like the snow was painted on.

I couldn't bother to play with the game longer than an hour because I was so disgusted. If you haven't played it yet or are contemplating to do so, I wouldn't recommend it.
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Old Sep 5th, 2007, 06:11 AM   #2
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I for the most part agree with you, there is however a few things I also don't agree with.

I really didn't see how the controls were fluid, you could get use to them given enough time but I still felt the mechanics could have spent more time in the oven. I know each Wii game (most of them at least) have a learning curve not applied to any other games, but when you play this game for the first ten minutes and know how to handle the Wiimote pretty well originally. Only to see your boarder waling around in the snow like a retard and hard to keep him balanced, you have some issues. Still the controls aren't all that bad, but looking at it from the angle of a SSX vet who has been with the series since the first one and from the terms of the newcomer, the controls are ridiculously hard to grip unless you have the time to get use to them. Then with SSX always being a nice pick up and play game it goes against its original style completely. I know if I spent more time with the controls I'd get the hang of it, but they felt like they could of been smoother, it just feels hard to play just for no reason at all and I feel this kind of game is ill-fated for the Wii anyway. Unless you put 100% effort into the controls games like this will bomb, and I hardly expect that effort from EA anymore.

I completely agree with how they make you do ubertricks in the game. Somebody at EA must have moonlighted as a late night sadist because trying to do uber tricks with all those flippin' stupid motions is just futile. They are hard to see, you don't have enough time to get them off most of the time because the game is fast paced. I mean wouldn't a simple "move wiimote to the left, and then to the right" suffice? It may not be "flashy" to do like some gamers would want but with a game as fast as this, you don't have all day to play the 'invisible shapes game" in the air just to do a stupid move. It pretty much ruined the game for me, since my main thing of play in these games is tricks and high scores, I love to do that more then racing. So the ubertricks being impossible to pull off, I got very annoyed and fast.

I also agree with your "hip kids" look. But the entire series besides the first SSX has tapped into that "idiot hipsters" thing. You can't tell me the characters for SSX Tricky and 3 were not in some form hipster fashion idiots, the entire series has been this way if you ask me and On Tour didn't suddenly start this trend. Only a few characters from the entire SSX series has struck me as mature or sophisticated, the rest of them are as big mouthed and obnoxious as Mac. Some characters I felt who weren't like this were Hiro and Jurgen from SSX one and they were never seen again. Only to be hidden characters in SSX3 and given no real personality. While characters like Psymon, Zoë, and Luther are just horrible, horrible stereotypes. Moby is one of the few who I have liked as the series has moved on and I like Mac to a point, I guess every game needs that obnoxious cool guy so he does alright. But characters like Psymon, Zoë, Luther, and JP just make me want to kick them off the mountain.

So I really can't agree with you that On Tour started the hipster kids phase, it has always been there at least in my view. This is coming from a company that probably has old men sitting around asking what the kids like and throw in every obnoxious thing they can to appeal to them. The gameplay saved a lot of that annoyance some of the characters have served throughout the series and since Blur can be annoying to play, that sort of eliminates my desire to play it. So you say the characters themselves look like high school drop-outs and I do agree. But they had the annoying "too cool for school" attitude and personality way before they got into those stupid clothes, but that's just how I saw it.

It really was a disappointing game though; I loved the series ever since I got it for my launch-era PS2. I feel the series is suffering from just gameplay repetition, the ridiculous attitudes of the characters (I know this game is larger then life and unrealistic, but there is no excuse on gods green earth for a character like Luther. A hillbilly on a snowboard? That tops my list on things that destroy my grey matter. ), the fashion. It's like a band that started out underground and got a cult following, then they got popular and that's fine. Nobody should hold it against them it got popular and more people loved it but then they just more and more ridiculous as the years went on that they aren't even who they originally were starting out. Just a horrible parody of themselves, trying anything to still stay relevant. They thought the Wii version and the controls would help but it didn't. They have to fine tune them more, make them smoother, eliminate the annoying way to do ubertricks and tone down on the high school fashion bullcrap and the series can be great again.
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Old Sep 5th, 2007, 11:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beretta55
I really didn't see how the controls were fluid, you could get use to them given enough time but I still felt the mechanics could have spent more time in the oven. I know each Wii game (most of them at least) have a learning curve not applied to any other games, but when you play this game for the first ten minutes and know how to handle the Wiimote pretty well originally. Only to see your boarder waling around in the snow like a retard and hard to keep him balanced, you have some issues.
When I first started the game, the idea of turning with the nunchuck and the analog stick and jumping by flipping it up was a total mess to me. Controlling the characters was awkward and annoying. However, after I played through the tutorial and one race, the controls were not so bad and really do become second-nature. I'd say the nunchuck controls a lot better than the Wii Remote. So with that said, the controls were, to me, fluid. Others can and may disagree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beretta55
They are hard to see, you don't have enough time to get them off most of the time because the game is fast paced. I mean wouldn't a simple "move wiimote to the left, and then to the right" suffice? It may not be "flashy" to do like some gamers would want but with a game as fast as this, you don't have all day to play the 'invisible shapes game" in the air just to do a stupid move.
Precisely! This is a fast-paced game so having to do really stupid tricks while in the air that don't respond doesn't sit well with me. I went through the tutorial where you have to perform 4 UberTricks about a billion times and I have yet to see one UberTrick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beretta55
But the entire series besides the first SSX has tapped into that "idiot hipsters" thing. You can't tell me the characters for SSX Tricky and 3 were not in some form hipster fashion idiots, the entire series has been this way if you ask me and On Tour didn't suddenly start this trend.
I may have been confusing in my initial post. First off, SSX did start the trend of "hip" characters. You cannot say that Zoe or JP became idiotic looking in Tricky or 3 because they were already designed that way from the first game (although I don't think they were idiotic looking). However, when I said "mature and sophisticated" in the first 3 games, it was referring to the stylized style they all had. Everyone had a very outrageous and fantasty-esque look to them which is what I consider stylish. The mature and sophistication came from the way they successfully pulled off their looks without seeming pretentious or stupid, at least to me. I actually enjoyed many of the characters whom everyone probably hated, like Zoe, Seeiah, Eddie. Yes, they were stereotypical but their style was so outlandish it was appealing. Also, even though their designs should've made them look much more younger in age, they all still looked quite mature and professional, IMO.

Now, On Tour (with its moronic cover of notebook paper with doodles, something that I've always hated with a passion) had character designs that were much more realistic than the predecessors (like facial features, anatomy, etc.). Yet somehow, they actually looked more idiotic to me because of the realism. With realistic features and "hip" clothing, they looked nothing more than a bunch of high schoolers who were trying to be cool; which is pretty much what you'd see everyday from actual high schoolers. And, if you look at their faces, they did look much younger.

Now Blur ruined it completely because they reverted to the fantasy look but they've all become shorter, uglier, and tackier. The character selections no longer show the 3-D models of the characters but frighteningly-ugly, third-grade cartoon illustrations instead. And the actual characters reflect this cartoon-y mess. I find it terribly offensive on my eyes and this is why I am appalled by this game.
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Last edited by merylsilverburg; Sep 5th, 2007 at 11:30 PM..
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Old Sep 6th, 2007, 12:44 AM   #4
Beretta55
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The nunchuck did control pretty well, moving the board with the control stick was indeed pretty easy to use. This game though is like playing with a broken limb, one thing works pretty well while the other is completely useless and hard to manage, thus bringing the entire game down and the good "limb" with it. Controlling the boarder and setting up for a jump isn't too bad but once you get to the trick portion of the game, it just falls apart like a house of cards. SSX has been more stylish tricks then racing so the most difficult and frustrating part of the game is the fault of what was the most FUN part of the other SSX games. So while one part of the controls may be fluid, the other didn't really feel that way and for Wii games you need all the controls to be competent in some respects and even if one part of it is horrible, the rest is dragged with it.

I think I pulled an ubertrick off maybe once, I think maybe if you flail your arms around fast enough like you’re swatting away an army of invisible bees, you'll get lucky and nail one.

I gave a pass to SSX one mainly because the series was highly unrealistic and fantasized from the start. Plus some snow boarder personalities in the real world are for lack of a better word, morons. Their personalities may have been like that in SSX one, but it wasn't as out there or completely obnoxious as the sequels were. It just seems as each game come along the attitude of the characters got worse and worse, I never expected these characters to be "nice and mellow" people because of the nature of the game but they are still beyond ridiculous. Some of them may have been mature and sophisticated as you said and yeah some of them had a style that was their own and just wasn't "boarder number 5." but characters like Luther were absolutely ridiculous and made you want to commit hara-kiri. My dislike of Zoë and Psymon is just the stereotype of them all, they are the typical snow boarders that just act like total idiots that you know if they weren't snow boarding they would probably be pumping my gas at a shell station. Maybe I'm just taking things way too seriously from a game that is pretty much light hearted to begin with, but I just can't help it.

I liked Eddie though, yeah he was a stereotypical 70's guy but his personality and attitude was funny and endearing. He wasn't obnoxious or trying to be all "tough and cool" he was just a funny guy who approached snow boarding that way. Mostly everybody else from the game just acted stupid or way too hard to "be cool" and it turned me off. So my main problem was purely attitude and personality wise, a lot of people may wear stupid looking clothes (like SSX On Tour) but they might have an attitude and personality that makes them a person that isn't irritating and are actually interesting. What clothes you wear doesn't bother me, how you represent yourself and act around others does and the way most of the characters in the SSX games acted, turned me off.

I get what you’re saying about the youngness of characters in On Tour. Everybody did look strikingly younger, which makes no sense since a lot of people in SSX were 17-18 something kids with some people in their 20's here and there. So that absolutely made no sense, but in that game I just made my own character and used him. So this didn't bother me as much as you since I've always been one in games to play with a character I created then one's already in the game unless I really liked them initially. I don't think SSX On Tour had Eddie in it and Mac I liked to play occasionally, he's sometimes amusing but he's acts like way too much of a dummy.

The characters lost a lot of personality on SSX On Tour and it carried into Blur once SSX3 passed the game and the characters in it took a nose dive. With Blur they seemed to stop making the characters fun to look at, I mean hell I really didn't recognize Mac, Moby or Kaori anymore. So I now do know what you mean in how they look character wise did get progressively worse from each game and that is upsetting. But if they revert back to their more original looks and more then half of them still act like complete morons I'll still have problems with it. On Tour and Blur felt blah all around, in terms of character personality (or lack there of sometimes) and to the aesthetics of the games look. I felt it still took a dive from gameplay as well, On Tour and Blur just feel mediocre and "meh" in terms of everything.

I still stand by my original point though, what they wear doesn't really matter to me when they act the way they do. I hate stupid fashion as much as anyone but I think moronic personalities and general "I'm too cool for anything" type of attitudes are much worse then any type of clothing style.
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