SSX Blur (Wii) – Initial Impression

While I’ve had this game for a few days, I really wanted to wait until I figured out a part of the game to put down my initial impressions, for good reason.

SSX Blur is more like SSX 3 – there’s 3 mountain peaks (though I don’t know yet if they are connected like the one big 30 min uber-race you could do in SSX 3), and several different events: big air, half-pipe, slopestyle, racing, and new to the game is the shalom event where you basically need to weave through flags, getting time penalties for missing flags.  There’s also a handful of pick-up events more like from SSX On Tour against other racers or just to do specific goals on the course (“Grind so many meters of rail…”).  Many of the characters from the SSX series are back with a few new ones as well.

The controls use the nunchuck for most of the movement with the remote used for pulling off tricks once airborne.   The combo meter is back (adding bonuses for pulling off tricks in short succession) as well as ubertricks…

Now, here’s where the make-or-break part of the game is going to come for people and why I waited until I could pull off ubers without too much difficulty.  For uber tricks, you need to draw (with no indicator on screen until after you’ve done it successfully) a shape, such as a ‘Z’, a simple loop, or more complex shapes, while holding down the remote’s A button, releasing it only after you’re done.

It is, needless to say, very tricky to accomplish correctly.

Pretty much every review that pans Blur comes back to this point, but after reading this article on which actually explains how one guy spent time to learn the uber system and then perfected it, I followed some of the same tactics and have just got around to pulling off ubers maybe about 33% of the time I try them, which is better than not at all.  You can also collect more ubers by collecting all the tokens for that uber around the mountain, and a special screen allows you to practice the drawing aspect of each uber, letting you know if you got it right or not.  And as the same article indicates, once you can do this on a more regular basis , the game becomes extremely fun, nearly as good as SSX Tricky (aka SSX 2) or SSX 3, with the added bonus of the controls becoming instinctive after a while.  I think that if anything, the on-screen display of what you were drawing while you were drawing it would have helped, or at least as a optional handicap for the game.

But for those SSX fans disappointed by On Tour, Blur definitely goes back to the right direction for what made the SSX series fun.  Just stick with and practice the controls before giving up on it.