You probably weren't aware, but the Winter Olympics are underway! It's okay if you were unaware; it's the more boring of the two Games and the least black. But there's a French figure skater who did her routine the other day to Beyonce's Run the World (Girls) and for the first time in history, there's a brother on the USA hockey team, so we're giving it a shot this year. Time to dive into that white stuff like a Dolphins O-line coach!
17-year-old Chloe Kim became America's new sweetheart last night, winning gold in the snowboard halfpipe. Shaun White, the most decorated athlete of his craft, is gunning for his third gold in the halfpipe right now.
But this ain't about Lil Kim, and it's not about Carrot Top. It's about the phenomenon that put snowboarding on the map.
You're fucking right I'm talking about SSX Tricky.
In the Fall of 2001, EA's now-defunct subsidiary EA Sports Big was looking to capitalize on the critical success of its PS2-launch day title SSX with its sequel, Tricky. The first game in the series did not sell well, but it was critically acclaimed, winning several Game of the Year awards.
With the popularity of the label's summer 2001 hit NBA Street, EA Sports Big wanted to make a statement for the holiday season, with the Xbox and Nintendo Gamecube being released and the PS2 out to a strong one year lead. So it slapped a Run-DMC classic onto a snowboarding game and the rest was history.
Remember the days of Playstation Magazine? I used to buy those suckers, toss the magazine and keep the demo disc, which came with about a mode of six brand new games coming out soon. When SSX Tricky made the disc one month, I scoured newstands and grocery stores until I finally found one that had it. Then I played the shit out of it until it was so scratched I had to go buy the actual game.
It was a colorful collection of queer characters hitting ridiculous tricks on beautiful & vibrant courses. Who gave a shit if a 10-year-old black kid like me had never seen a snow slope or grabbed a board, but Tricky made me feel like I could shred with the best of them, even though I'd probably crash dead on the first jump.
SSX Tricky was a true-to-life arcade style simulation. The courses ranged from fairly standard to unreal, and so fast you can punch your opponent (more often than not your little brother) and knock him out of the race on the last leg. Hit enough tricks to build up your Tricky meter and your snowboarder will hit some insane moves that left your jaw dropping. It was wild, and that zaniness made Tricky a fan favorite amongst kids in my generation.
SSX Tricky, with its amazing gameplay, stellar soundtrack and talented cast of voices (Lucy Liu, Macy Gray and FORMER WCW CHAMPION DAVID ARQUETTE all lend their voice to characters in the game), is one of the most fun and underrated games of the PS2 generation, and one everyone should run to their nearest resale store to find and play the hell out of while its still snow outside.