SSX Blur Review

So far itís been the sports titles that have done the best job of utilizing the unique controls of the Wii. For the first time, home gamers have been able to mimic the swing of a golf club or the motion of a forward pass when controlling the action onscreen. Now SSX Blur brings the action of snow sports to the Wii, but the results are not as natural as they are for other sports. Snowboarding and skiing depend entirely on leg control and lean, two things that the Wii remote and nunchuck donít really simulate. Still SSX Blur does a pretty good job of turning the control of a virtual snowboard into more of an interactive experience.

To steer your board you use the nunchuck. Moving the stick right or left will cause you to make a gentle turn in the corresponding direction. For harder turns you need to turn the nunchuck itself left or right. To jump you jerk the nunchuck up and if you hold the Z button while rotating the nunchuck youíll perform a grab. This all sounds pretty simple, but getting the hang of it is entirely different matter. The game provides a series of tutorials to help familiarize you with the controls, but donít be surprised if it takes you a while to pass each one. Even the opening tutorial that has you making a series of turns to hit a small handful of gates will be a challenge at first. Stick with it and youíll eventually get the hang of it and come to appreciate the control scheme, but Iím certain that a lot of players will become too frustrated too early on and give up on the game.

The Wii remote primarily serves as your trick controller. Wave it around while youíre in the air and you can perform a variety of spins, flips, and other tricks. If you perform several tricks in a row then youíll charge your uber-meter which will give you the ability to pull off an uber-trick. These tricks are unleashed by using the remote to trace out a shape on the screen. Unfortunately unleashing an uber-trick is pretty much a random experience. The game does not show the pattern that youíre drawing on the screen so you have no idea if youíre even close to the shape youíre trying to draw or even if have the remote pointing at the right part of the screen while youíre drawing. The tricks, both regular and uber, are tough to pull off with any kind of consistency. Youíll find that each time youíre airborne youíll just twist and shake the remote as much as possible to try and pull off whatever tricks you can before you land.

SSX Blurís main mode of play is the career mode. In this mode you pick a boarder and hit the first of the three mountains in the game. You can board your way down the mountain looking for events to enter or you can simply pull up a map and jump straight to the event of your choice. The events range from simple races to tbe the first to reach the bottom of a course to half-pipe competitions in which your trick score is all that matters. Competing in and winning these events will allow you to upgrade your characterís abilities and also gives you the ability to unlock new riders, boards, and more. In addition to the big events youíll find challenges in various locations around the mountain so it pays to get out and explore the slopes. In addition, there are collectibles placed along the slopes. Some are easy to pick up, but others will require some tricky boarding or a well thrown snowball to collect.