Title: SSX Blur Out: Now (US, JPN, EUR) RRP: £35.00 Published by: Nintendo Developed by: EA Sports Big Genre: Extreme Sports Number of Players: 1-2 Its funny, no not the game, I said to myself “The controls must not be that bad” while i was looking at Reviews for SSX Blur but I was wrong… You start off with a choice of 5 characters – Mac, Elise, Moby, Felix and Kaori each character has a set of stats a example would be one rider has the best air and speed but are terrible with other stuff, like in Tony hawks, you can improve these with a new snowboard/skies. The first 5 Characters you have a pretty bad so don’t go expecting to win every race just now each character has 25 Snowboards and 25 Skies to unlock, Yes you heard me right 25! That is a lot of unlocking and it’s all worth it. Nearly every set of skies or a snowboard can increase your power in one stat e.g. Power or speed but they can also decrease a stat. There is 7 characters to unlock bring the total up to 12 characters in all. What is wonderful on the Career is that Each Peak is a Free play if you don’t understand here what I mean: You don’t simply choose a race from the main menu you get you enjoy snowboarding and skiing around the peak, what to race? Then you go to a large signboard for each race and you get there the race starts. This lets you get a feel of SSX Blur without even racing. While playing SSX Blur you can control the sound what ever you character does the sound gets affected so take for example you fall – the sound goes all weird and stops until you start back up, when your groove meter is full and you pulling tricks the music is up beat and starts to get louder which is a great feature and adds fun to the game. On the main menu you get the choice of: Multiplayer (2 player only), Career, Quick play, Tutorial, options and finally Extras. The Career has you playing 3 different peaks. At the start you only have 1 peak, which has different types of races to win, SSX Blur doesn’t follow a certain story, like most games, its just race, win and on to the next race which can be sometimes very boring. To unlock new stuff to use you need to win each race, but you never know if that race it going to give you a brand new character or just end up giving you nothing. There are Art pieces that you can unlock and view at the “Extras” menu these are just little drawings, which made SSX Blur it is today. Quick play lets you view all the types of stuff you can do – Half pipe, Slope Style, Slalom, Race and Big air. Each doesn’t count towards the career so you don’t unlock stuff in the Quick Play mode. Tutorial lets you learn how to control SSX Blur, here is a friendly warning – Complete the Tutorials first to get a hang of the controls because you don’t want to end up not knowing what to do during the a race in the Career mode. In the Tutorial you learn: Carving, Brake/Accel, Jumps, Rails, Spins/Flips, Snowballs, Uber Tricks, Groove System and Grabs. Options menu lets you play around with the Sounds and tweak the movement in the nunchuck. If you are anything like me you’ll be going back to that options a hell of a lot of times to get it perfect which can be annoying. Luckily enough the Options menu can be accessed during the career so you don’t need to quit the career just to fix the nunchuck movement. By Nunchuck movement I mean how to ‘carve’ (turn) you can tweak it so you only turn by the motion sensors in the Nunchuck or you can only move by the Analog stick or you can move using both – the world is you oyster. The graphics! SSX Blur is indeed a lovely game – Snowboard games are always lovely to look at and SSX Blur is right up in rank 1 due to the amazing graphics. Your riding down on a lovely snow hill with a glance of the mountains in the distance. The special effects that come off you Snowboard/Skies and the Fireworks, which are set off when you go through a Gate. It is just a good sight to see when playing this game. Okay maybe they are not Next-gen but oh my! They are the prettiest I’ve seen on the Nintendo Wii. Ok you got to this point and all things are fair in the land of SSX Blur but why does everyone keep going on about the controls? This is why: Your carving you way down a hill with the sun shining and the wind in your face all is good until you hit a little bump…you start tumbling down the hill shaking the wiimote and nunchuck to get up, or may not sound bad but sometimes SSX Blur doesn’t register you movements so often your in mid air trying to do a grab or spin but your character just stand there in mind air it can be so frustrating at times. And I found myself forgetting the controls often and not knowing how to do a simple movement. Like I said early on if you complete the Tutorial you can get use to the controls and it can be surprising on how much enjoyment you can get to out of it. On no! That is not all that is wrong with SSX Blur. Let me introduce the most pointless, annoying, frustrating thing ever in the history of SSX games – ‘Uber Tricks’ if you have read many reviews you would have found out no one can pull off a Uber Trick Uber tricks work by filling up your ‘Groove System’ (by doing many tricks) when you hit ‘part 3’ (the Groove bar is in separate pieces) your allowed to pull of a special trick which gets you drawing shapes in the sky to pull off amazing tricks and grabs. These shapes can be Love hearts, the letter ‘Z’ etc. About 99.8% you will be able to pull off an Uber trick but it’s just so hard even when you actually do draw the shape the game doesn’t register your movement. Overall: SSX Blur can be frustrating at moments; don’t let that put you off, sure the Uber tricks and controls can be nightmare but stick with this game and you get a good enjoyable game which will make you come back to it. Controls: Dodgy at times, steep learning curve. You do get a hang of them soon enough and when you do Carving with the nunchuck can be so much fun. Graphics: In my mind this game push’s the Wii to perform these Jaw dropping graphics. Not Next-gen but clearly one step ahead of last-gen graphics. Sound: A DJ talking most of the time about what’s happened in SSX Blur, the option to control the music is a added bonus most techno music. Gameplay: 3 different Peaks, many different races in each peak, 25 unlockable Snowboards and Skies, 7 characters to unlock, Artwork added in. You’ll be at it for a while. It is very enjoyable. Note:I have to resize the images, so they are not the true Image quality - Credit for pictures - IGN.com. Note:The end score is 4.5 out of 5 - .5 mean a half.