Game Rant Review 3 5

Game Rant’s Andrew Dyce reviews the SSX “Mt. Eddie & Classic Characters” DLC

Sometimes video game franchises have to grow up, and trade in neon lights and fireworks for more realistic simulation and physics. When the developers of SSX first showed that the series reboot would be shedding its more outrageous trademarks this time around, the cries from fans were clearly heard. What they got instead was a snowboarding simulation that retained some of the lunacy the franchise had become known for, while keeping the occasionally darker, realistic style.

Just to make sure that every fan’s wishes come true, the team at EA Sports have rolled out the Mt. Eddie and Classic Characters DLC Packs. The new content introduces a host of series favorites (in all their retro glory) as well as the fireworks and billboard-filled Mt. Eddie, an embodiment of the SSX franchise’s more memorable style. But does this content offer enough to warrant its price tag, or just more of the same?

The most obvious criticism fans raised when news of the DLC first dropped was that this track and these character skins should have been included in the retail game. That isn’t to say that the boxed version itself was lacking – read our review if you have any doubts – but there are still going to be die-hard SSX fans who felt even the included fireworks and glowsticks were too subtle. All things considered trying to bring the over-the-top environments together with realistic mountains would have been a near-impossible task to do well.

With the overall product having managed to avoid an identity crisis and exceed our expectations, it’s hard to say EA made the wrong decision. But if SSX still left some craving a bit more panache, then Mt. Eddie gives more than a healthy dose of neon lights, anime-inspired billboards, and more spirals and rails than anyone will ever need.

The collection of existing tracks already married realistic environments with fields of jumps and drops, so the Mt. Eddie track doesn’t very too greatly from the game’s formula. Given the design of the game’s more menacing and trick-inducing drops, that in itself is a compliment. All sparkles and signs aside, Mt. Eddie is a well-designed track filled with both bottlenecks and parks. Considering the sheer density of ramps and rails, players who favor speed over scores will have quite a challenge on their hands in the mountain’s ‘Race It’ portions. As for tricking, well, finding the perfect line will certainly take more than a few hours.

While the Mt. Eddie Pack may only include the one new peak, the mountain dwarfs many smaller runs already featured in SSX. With over 9 drops, players can spend close to 10 minutes tricking their way from the summit, so there’s no risk of not getting your money’s worth. Three new songs come bundled with the mountain, with “Top Bomb” and “Gin and Sin” by John Morgan having appeared in the original game. Morgan’s “Dark Path” will also be bringing back memories of EA Sports’ Sledstorm.

Take a look at a few sections of Mt. Eddie’s numerous logic-defying sections if you still have doubts that this DLC is a return to past designs:

The track won’t be the only injection of retro goodness coming this week, as the Classic Characters Pack features the return of seven boarders in their original appearances. The additional versions of Elise, Eddie, Kaori, Mac, Moby, Psymon, and Zoe may not be as well-equipped for the elements as their next-gen counterparts, but nostalgia could be motivation enough. Each retro boarder comes with additional outfits and their very own board, so budding stylists and completionists will once again need to save up some in-game credits.

At just $5.99 the Mt. Eddie Pack is a no-brainer for anyone still spending time with SSX, long-time fan or newcomer. With the same price tag for the Classic Characters Pack that recommendation is a bit harder to make, for anyone not strongly tied to past games or incarnations of characters. That is obviously clear to EA as well, since the Mt. Eddie & Classic Characters Bundle – granting players all the content – comes in at just $7.99. With the amount of time since the game released, a handful of new characters might be appealing for players, especially since the bundle cuts the price by more than half.

Whether additional outfits or boarders matter as much as a new-yet-retro SSX track, we’d say a trip down Mt. Eddie is a must for fans. Both DLC packs go on sale on PSN and Xbox Live May 1, 2012.

Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.