I’ve started a new post at the hospital recently, which means I’ve gone back to shift work and left behind my cosy, Monday-to-Friday, 9-5 post from the last six months. One of the domino effects of this change in work pattern, aside from my diet going completely to hell, has been much less time to play games and keep up with blogging. So, on a rare day off, I’m easing myself back into writing with a post about a PS2 classic that’s near to my heart…
SSX Tricky came along at the perfect moment in my life. I was an impressionable 12-year old when it was released, and the game’s zany characters and over-the-top trick moves intersected precisely with what I thought was cool at the time. In hindsight, EA Sports BIG (remember that intro theme?) was probably trying a little too hard, but for my younger self it was the epitome of awesome. The best part about the game was the outrageous array of über tricks that each character could perform once their boost meter was maxed out: most moves could be performed by several different characters, but each rider had their own unique trick, and they were all utterly ridiculous.
I’ve never exactly had much of an idea of what’s cool in this world, and nowadays I feel more out of touch than ever, but it’s clear to me that some of these über tricks are more impressive than others. So I’ve decided to take it upon myself to create a list of the character-specific über tricks from SSX Tricky, in order of least to most impressive. I’ve rated each trick out of 10 on its level of difficulty, personal expression, and overall style. If I was better at internetting I would have included a gif of each trick along with the ratings, but instead you’ll have to settle for this YouTube montage of all the über tricks in the game. (It’s pretty darn entertaining; the character-specific tricks are towards the end of the video.) Take a look at the montage (via TQK) and read on to find out who finishes atop my completely subjective, arbitrary list!
12. Bronco Buster – Luther
I never really saw the point of Luther in the game. Frankly he just got on my nerves, and his über trick is just a bit rubbish. I suppose that riding his board like a bucking bronco fits with his personality, but it certainly doesn’t win many style points.
11. Aerial Spock 540 – Marisol
To be honest I completely forgot that Marisol was a character in this game, and sadly her über trick is similarly forgettable. I’m not really sure how I can even describe it – it almost looks like she’s fallen off her board and is trying to hang on for dear life. Nowhere near as impressive as some of the rest of this list, so low marks here.
Side note: Marisol is voiced by Patricia Velasquez, who plays Marta (the second version) in Arrested Development. So there you go.
10. Worm – Eddie
I’ll give Eddie points for difficulty, as I have never managed to do The Worm once on a flat surface (despite several drunken attempts), let alone do it on a snowboard flying through the air. But was there ever a time when this dance move was cool? Not in my book, at least.
9. Hang 10 Backflip – Brodi
Brodi was never very interesting as a character, and his signature move doesn’t really blow me away like some others on this list. It’s an impressive feat of athleticism, but it’s over a little too quickly and doesn’t have enough punch to elevate it further.
8. LaLaLa Lockstep – Elise
I thought hard about moving this trick up the list, but it just doesn’t have the thrill factor of the tricks ahead of it. It has a sense of graceful exhilaration, but, like Brodi’s Hang 10, it’s too brief, and doesn’t have enough elements to make it more compelling.
7. Pommel Me – Zoë
Honestly the final seven on this list are almost interchangeable. Zoë’s Pommel Me stands out because a) it looks extremely difficult and b) she makes gymnastics look cool. I love the little board flip at the end, too.
6. Pirouette Grind – Kaori
Okay, now we’re heating up. This is a highly-executed trick that looks exceedingly pretty against a snowy mountain backdrop; the shape Kaori’s board makes as it whirls around her is almost floral. Very nice, but not awe-inspiring.
5. SuperMan BarSpin – Moby
Moby was always my favourite rider in the SSX games. I may be a little biased in putting his trick higher, but you can’t deny that it’s pretty spectacular: stretching out full length, Superman-style, spinning his board like a propeller blade – very cool.
4. Walking The Dog – Marty
This was my brother’s favourite trick, and to be fair I have a hard time disagreeing with him. This is probably the most complex trick in the game – Marty pulls a handstand on the board, then flips upright, spins his body one way while the board spins the other, and finishes it off with a kind of kickflip (I know nothing about skateboarding). There’s so much going on that I kind of get lost in it, which I think is what prevents it from being ranked higher.
3. Headspin 2 Poseur – JP
This one kind of blows my mind. Much like Walking The Dog, everything happens so fast in Headspin 2 Poseur that I struggle to take it all in – but I think that’s what makes it amazing. It’s a magnificent, spinning blur of man and board, and every time I see the trick I’m never quite sure what just happened.
2. Soul Grind – Seeiah
So close for Seeiah (voiced by Macy Gray, no less), but she’ll have to settle for silver. That said, this is still an outrageous trick that oozes cool. A full backflip to a grind down her board, then finishing with a flourish with a nifty heel grab? Hell yes.
1. Guillotine – Psymon
HE THROWS THE BOARD AROUND HIS NECK and somehow manages not to decapitate himself. This trick has always been my favourite in SSX Tricky; it may not be as complex or elegant as some other signature moves, but for sheer physics-defying, balls-out craziness, Psymon gets my number one spot.
So there you have it. If you have any thoughts on the list, or about the SSX games in general, hit me up in the comments and share your favourite über tricks – I know there are a few people out there like me who love this series. Until next time!