SSX Blur is one of those Wii games that looks great on paper. Heck, it looks great on screen, with its colorful graphics, cheery characters and cool courses, but alas, all that glitters is not gold, and although SSX Blur has all the elements of the first great snowboarding game for the Wii, it fails in execution.
So what’s wrong with Blur, you ask? Quite simply, its reliance on the Wii’s motion controls, that’s what. While on paper the controls sound awesome – rolling the nunchuck to perform grabs, and flicks the Wiimote to pull flips and spins – in reality, they just don’t work. Literally, they don’t work. The motion detection is all over the map, with you often finding yourself shaking the controller in a blind rage, hoping that maybe this one time it will register something other than a 720 Rodeo Flip, especially when all you wanted was to pull a 180 toFakie. Trying to pull the Ubertricks is nearly impossible, as they require you to practically draw a trick onscreen, which is almost impossible to time with the sluggish controls. One might argue that the basic controls work fine, so you can perform all the basic tricks and enjoy the downhill races in the game, but for a franchise that relies so heavily on insane tricks, the control failings mean the game as a whole fails in the end.
Let’s say, for the sake of argument, you can live with being unable to perform big tricks with any semblance of consistency. Well then, SSX Blur might be a fine and dandy purchase for you. After all, the presentation values are quite strong, with lots of colorful characters and environments. All your favorite characters fromSSX Tricky and early SSX titles are here, but now they’re done up in a bit more cell-shaded style, which adds a bit of visual panache. The cell-shading is a smart way to avoid having this Wii game compared graphically to the other new-gen console offerings, plus, it’s just fun to look at.
The music, too, is enjoyable, with a fine mix of EA’s chosen artists fleshing out the game’s soundtrack. Character voices are humorous, but not grating and the announcer is actually kind of funny. It’s worth pointing out, however, that if you enjoyed the more realistic board-scraping ice-grinding sounds of the earlierSSX games, they’re noticeably absent in Blur. This actually does affect the gameplay in a way, as you don’t ever feel like your board is really digging an edge into the snow.
The courses and events in the game are varied in as much as you can make halfpipe, freeride and racing events as such. When the controller feels like being responsive, then you can actually enjoy the courses and events.
SSX Blur has all the makings of a good game, yet faceplants into the hardpack due to the unresponsive controls. It’s really a shame that the controls are so bad, because this game could have been incredibly fun, but instead becomes incredibly frustrating. Save your money and wait for the next iteration of theSSX series.
- Overall: 5.5
- So much promise, yet it’s all dashed on the ice due to sloppy,unresponsive and frustrating controls
— Craig Falstaff