SSX Tricky: Some things are best left in the past BIG!


Cast your mind back nearly two decades, to the heady days of 2001. Harry Potter... Lord of the Rings... Big Brother... Sopranos... 24... Friends... Buffy/Angel... 9/11. 

In smoke filled hazy rooms akin to that seen/heard in the Streets Irony of it all, barely-twenty-somethings were, uncompetitively competing with each other all over the UK. Seeing how long they could last at 5 stars wanted rating in a tank on Vice City, or in this case who could get the highest score on SSX Tricky, Garibaldi, Showoff. 

This was no ordinary competition, this was classic arcade leaderboard shit. We would sit about for hours on end passing the controller between us. Each run would last (to completion) around 5 minutes, but as we became more advanced and driven for the "perfect run". The rules changed. We were peaking around the 2 million mark. And restarts abounded. Restarts were generally reduced to 3 and could only occur before a certain point, you had to nail your first large jump and generally get the 1st 5x multiplier, anything beyond that was frowned upon, and you knew it meant your stash was getting raided for the next skinning up of a spliff. The competition was tight, each one of us would go away, and play by ourselves (and maybe play Tricky) and we would have found new approaches to x5 bonus, or found a new place to squeeze in a third uber trick to share with the troops, these tricks would only bump our scores by a measly 100k if that, but was making all the difference in the ranking . This competition sadly started dying out after "university" and we had to get real jobs, partners, lives and shit like that, though I'm pretty sure I reigned supreme. 

Fig: Oh man check this shit, old school CRT TV with Tricky, RICHIE enters the fray at 1.39 million knocking DUCKY off the top spot, little did we know then there was another million to squeeze out of a standard run.  

Fast Forward to 2019 and I get, through a burst of nostalgia, or perhaps the onset of an early midlife crisis, a desire to blast through Tricky Garibaldi and see how much I have rusted.

Firstly I just decided to fire it up on an emulator, which, is surprisingly great, wide screen and prettied up resolutions (see vid below). But there was a level of prep involved, I forgot that you needed to level your damn character up! I started showoff, tried to do my initial tricky boost flip, and fell flat on my arse. After that I then remembered there was a "Trick book" I went to the trick book option and spent an hour nailing them to get the UBERBOARD. Little did I realise "trick book" is not the place to unlock them! All I had done was spend a fucking hour practising them, you actually have to go in-game to do the trick book tricks! And there you go hurdle number one, I forgot how the game works, but you know what I can excuse that away with "most of my time was on Garibaldi show off runs, and I forgot about the unlocking shit"  or "Game menus from 20 years ago were shit and unintuitive". After a few runs of Garibaldi, I had unlocked the Uberboard, equipped it on Marty, but low and fucking behold, his stats are not full. You have to complete every race and every showoff on gold to unlock full stats...

OR you can go full RETRO on the bee-atch and just look up the full stats cheat on GameFAQs. Ah GameFAQs, for so many years now it has not changed, all the cheats still remain in courier font, .txt file, glory. I put in the cheat, old school: though button entry on the title screen... Even this felt retro. I must stress this cheat was only a time saver and does not boost the character beyond his original max stats (plus you still need the Uberboard). 

My first run was awful, at around 500k, I forgot routes, I forgot about repetition, I had forgot that some Ubertricks took longer than others. I felt rusty. 

Fast forward again to about 30 runs later, 700 restarts, a fuck-ton of angry expletives, some of which get borderline racist, specifically about Marty's German heritage. Oh and you should hear some of the things his mother allegedly gets up to!  And I decide to to a Vidcap of my runs. Below is an AWFUL go at me playing Trick going for 800k (not even a million!)  


All in all this was fun to revisit, especially with some bumped up graphics. SSX Tricky, is glitchy, clunky and dated, but despite its faults is a great game, special in my heart. I was amazed to see the voice cast and the production values around it. EA Sports BIG was a monolith back then! But Tricky is of its time, we ain't gonna be able to recapture that post phantom menace, Spaced atmosphere. Not with out a no responsibilities, a shitty sofa, infinite time, and a big bag of weed.  

Love and do you every cast your mind back to non-"heady" days?

Richie X

Comments


  1. Oh boy, this takes me back! What a game and what a time that was.

    We dug out SSX3 a while back and had a great time, but it was a bit of a shock to be crap at it again when in our minds we were gods of the slope. Thought the controls would immediately come flooding back but was surprisingly impenetrable! Felt like no amount of practice would bring those dope skills back, so something has definitely gone very wrong with my hands and eyes since then. Still loved it though, felt great to be spinning aboot like a lunatic again.

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