SSX 3: OUT OF BOUNDS 1ST FAQ - Guide for SSX 3: Out of Bounds
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SSX3: OUT OF BOUNDS BY: EDDY C. [email protected] Initial Version Completed: November 14, 2003 Version 2.0 Completed: DECEMBER 22, 2006 ============================================== ============================================== ============================================== CONTENTS Permissions Introduction From SSX Tricky to SSX3 Peak 1 Peak 2 Peak 3 Suggested Race Routes Money Tips Contact Information ============================================== ============================================== ============================================== PERMISSIONS Permission is hereby granted for a user to download and/or print out a copy of this driving guide for personal use. This driving guide may only be posted on cheatcodes.com ; this guide has been commissioned for hosting EXCLUSIVELY by cheatcodes.com, and NO requests to host this guide elsewhere will be entertained. Remember: Plagiarism in ANY form is NOT tolerated!!!!! ============================================== ============================================== ============================================== INTRODUCTION The original SSX was the sleeper hit of the North American launch for the PlayStation2. The sequel SSX Tricky took all the elements of the original to the next level, and was a resounding success. Then, EA Sports Big took a major gamble and essentially reworked the series from scratch, a move which brings utter failure unless done perfectly. SSX3 is as close to perfection as a game shall ever get... at least until SSX4. Since the game has been so greatly retooled, there are a lot of changes to the series between SSX Tricky and SSX3; an entire section of the guide has been devoted to this issue. SSX3 also introduces online play, which is not covered in this guide as I do not have the appropriate hardware and access. ============================================= ============================================== ============================================== FROM SSX TRICKY TO SSX3 The first and most notable change is that Rahzel, the narrator from SSX Tricky, has been replaced. Further, much like the PlayStation2 North American launch title Ridge Racer V, the music in SSX3 is provided via radio (Radio BIG), with DJ Atomica at the microphone. He also narrates the opening film, but only the first time it is played (after the game has been loaded); on all subsequent viewings, his excellent voiceover is absent. The opening film provides a great overview of SSX3. In fact, watching and studying the opening film can help the player to spot the various obstacles, grindable objects, and collectables available on the mountain. The opening film of SSX3 is definitely much more extensive and also far more informative than that for SSX Tricky. Of course, new characters are introduced to the series. American rebel Allegra Sauvagess is featured on the North American cover of the game. At age 12, American Griff Simmons is a bundle of energy, which could potentially wear thin on some players. Nate Logan comes from the mountains of Colorado. Hailing from Sweden, Viggo Rolig tends to be happy-go-lucky. Alongside these newcomers to the SSX series are longtime favorites Elise Riggs (the Canadian bombshell features in the SSX Tricky opening film), Kaori Nishidake (the kawaii Japanese girl with an unparalleled level of energy), Mac Fraser (an American with a "quiet" attitude), Moby Jones (the British former BMX competitor), Psymon Stark (the Canadian who is by far the strangest and most demented competitor ever in the SSX series), and Zoe Payne (an American with a somewhat-rebellious style and attitude). Unfortunately, there is a powerful overabundance of native English speakers in SSX3, and virtually no non-English chatter, taking away from the international aspect of the competitors from prior installations of the SSX series. However, all these characters are available from the start of the game; even former characters in the SSX series will appear in the various competitions, but they are only "skins" and cannot be selected (and also do not speak). Instead of having simply two types of events (Race and Freestyle) with linear progress required through each Event Type, SSX3 has a much more open format, embodied in the "one mountain, three peaks" concept. Events are split into Race and Freestyle groupings, but the player can literally go to any desired event at any time (if it has been unlocked) on any unlocked peak via the various Transports. This allows players to more easily maneuver from one Event Type to the next, sampling all that makes the SSX series the popular phenomenon it has rightly become. The "one mountain, three peaks" concept provides a great mental reference point for the player. Peak 1 is the lowest of the three peaks, and is full of beginner-level events. Peak 2 has the intermediate-level events, whereas Peak 3 has the advanced-level events. Each peak offers varying amounts of money for winning events in accordance with the difficulty level of the events on that peak. Also, weather conditions and the general mountain terrain on each peak vary greatly, with the weather becoming worse and worse (or, depending on the player's perspective, better and better) at the higher elevations; this is especially true in the backcountry of each peak, where the player will always begin when going to a peak with a character for the first time in the game. Gameplay strategy is more important now than ever before in the SSX series. This is largely because there is no permanent boost awarded for performing a given number of Übertricks. Furthermore, more Übertricks must be performed in order to receive maximum boost. Plus, tricks can be chained together into lengthy combos, thus augmenting the amount of money and the number of trick points a player can receive. All this combines together to force the player to become much smarter about when and where to perform certain tricks, especially to make the maximum use of the boost and to extend its benefits. Character advancement is quite different in SSX3 than in previous games in the series. Previously, each character had a particular strength in competition, and the player could adjust those strengths by winning medals in events and using the medal-attached points to modify each character's stats. In SSX3, however, all characters start with near-atrocious stats. As the player earns money by successfully completing tricks, winning events, and meeting various challenges (such as earning a given amount of money on a particular peak), that money can be used to buy better stats for the current character (in a Lodge). Money is also used to buy customized outfits for each character, with each element purchased separately (goggled, boards, hats, boots, gloves, accessories, etc.) - also in a Lodge. Note that character advancement and outfit purchases can only be accomplished in Conquer the Mountain Mode (the primary gameplay mode), but also take effect in other gameplay modes. SSX3 introduces M-Comm. This is the PDA-style device which all characters in the game carry. This is how they can listen to Radio BIG, and they can also call for transports, check messages left by other characters, and accomplish many other things. As mentioned before, Radio BIG provides the music in SSX3. DJ Atomica also monitors all the happenings on the three peaks with his 262 mountain cams and provides information for the listeners. As the player accomplishes certain feats (such as winning a medal) or approaches certain areas, DJ Atomica may make mention of that fact for the listeners. Various "unrelated" events are also mentioned from time to time on Radio BIG, such as mountain history, the "big orange cat," and the misadventures of Dangerous Dave. At times, members of the bands whose music is playing on Radio BIG will give a quick station promotion. At other times, DJ Atomica will talk about other characters. While obviously unrelated to the gameplay experience itself, these (tall) tales and other "extras" do help to bring about a more realistic radio- style experience. Unfortunately, what is missing is a good set of commercials; while this may seem incredibly strange to ask for in a game, this was done exceptionally well in the DreamCast game Metropolis Street Racer, and really added even more realism to that excellent game. One of the most impressive advancements made in SSX3 is that the player can truly ride from the top to the bottom of each peak, with minimal loading times and no slowdown in gameplay or graphics rendering. There may be an occasional pause of about one-eighth of a second when Radio BIG begins to play another song, but this is the only slowdown of any kind in the game, which is highly impressive and is obviously the effort of behind-the-scenes technological breakthroughs on behalf of the game developers. In essence, it appears that SSX3 loads the upcoming terrain as necessary, without affecting gameplay. ============================================== ============================================== ============================================== PEAK 1 Peak 1 is essentially the beginner peak. Money awards for winning medals in events is fairly low, and the competition is not particularly difficult once the player has become accustomed to performing tricks (if a newcomer to the series). Two Lodges with adjacent Transports are located on Peak 1. Event Type Event Name Description Race Snow Jam Actually somewhere between "beginner" and "intermediate" in difficulty, Snow Jam is a definite thrill ride. Metro-City For a "beginner" circuit, this one is rather difficult. This is essentially the SSX3 "version" of Merqury City Meltdown from previous incarnations of the series, with even more shortcuts. Happiness This is a race through the Peak 1 backcountry which must be unlocked. Peak 1 Race This is a race against the clock from the top to the bottom of Peak 1, and must be unlocked. Freestyle R&B This Slopestyle course has a relatively high time on the countdown clock, with plenty of opportunities to grind and grab some air. Crow's Nest This relatively short Big Air course is all about performing as many Übertricks as possible. The Junction The beginner-level Superpipe competition takes place here in a relatively-simple layout. Happiness Jam This is a points competition in the Peak 1 backcountry which must be unlocked. Peak 1 Jam The player must score more points than the rival from the top of Peak 1 to the bottom. This event must be unlocked. Freeride Roam the mountain. Green Station and Blue Station are the locations of Lodges and Transports. Access to Peak 2 is made via one of the following options: Earn a medal in all Race events Earn a medal in all Freestyle events Find collectibles and complete the Big Challenges Earn $100,000 (cumulative) ============================================== PEAK 2 Peak 2 holds the intermediate-level events. Competition in the races is more physical and competitors are more prone to taking the shortcuts available. Competitors' scores in the Freestyle events are also appropriately higher (note that the player's chosen character is always last to make a run in the Freestyle events which do not take place on a particular course). Those with extensive experience with the SSX series may still encounter some difficulty in scoring Gold Medals. Event Type Event Name Description Race Ruthless Ridge Ruthless Ridge is definitely an intermediate-level course, with numerous blind, tight corners and several significant jumps. Intimidator Intimidator requires a keen eye and fast reflexes. This expert- level course has numerous lengthy jumps requiring Boost to safely clear, and the final portion of the course features numerous falling trees (just like in the game's opening film). Ruthless This is a race through the Peak 2 backcountry which must be unlocked. Peak 2 Race This is a race against the clock from the top to the bottom of Peak 2, and must be unlocked. Freestyle Style Mile This Slopestyle course is somewhat complex, with multitudes of opportunities to grind and grab some air. Launch Time This Big Air event certainly delivers the hangtime. The course is longerthan Crow's Nest (on Peak 1) and the required scores are higher, but success is still fairly easy to obtain. Schizophrenia Yet another Superpipe competition, this one is quite fun!!! Ruthless Jam This is a points competition in the Peak 2 backcountry which must be unlocked. Peak 2 Jam The player must score more points than the rival from the top of Peak 2 to the bottom. This event must be unlocked. Freeride Roam the mountain. Yellow Station and Red Station are the locations of Lodges and Transports. Access to Peak 3 is made via one of the following options: Earn a medal in all Race events Earn a medal in all Freestyle events Find collectibles and complete the Big Challenges Earn $250,000 (cumulative) ============================================== PEAK 3 This is the absolute summit of SSX competition. Peak 3 has the absolute worst snowboarding conditions in its backcountry, making even simple joyrides an extreme nightmare at best. Peak 3 has the toughest level of competition, and simply winning a Bronze Medal in any event is quite a feat for all but the most experienced of SSX3 experts. Event Type Event Name Description Race Gravitude Even experts will have trouble at Gravitude, the steepest of the constructed race venues. When taking shortcuts, the chosen line off a jump must be flawlessly perfect in order to make a successful inbound landing. The Throne This is a race through the Peak 3 backcountry which must be unlocked. All Peak Race This is a race against the clock on all peaks, and must be unlocked. Freestyle Kick Doubt Peak 3's Slopestyle course is absolutely fun, with seemingly infinite grinds and jumps. The trick to success here is avoiding the snowmobile at the start, and hitting as many points multipliers as possible. Much-2-Much This final Big Air course is straight as an arrow, with plenty of hangtime opportunities. The trick here is to rack up as many Übertricks as possible... and then some. Perpendiculous This is the final Superpipe event in SSX3. Throne Jam This is a points competition in the Peak 3 backcountry which must be unlocked. All Peak Jam This is a points competition on the three peaks. Freeride Roam the mountain. Black Station is the peak's sole location of a Lodge and a Transport. ============================================== SUGGESTED RACE ROUTES In the races, crossing the Finish Line first is all that matters; no matter how many wipeouts occur or how many times the player's chosen character slams into obstacles, winning is everything. This section provides a suggested route for each race, along with screenshots to show important landmarks. Note that the Peak Races primarily use the courses noted for the shorter, "mundane" races. Snow Jam Shortly after the start of the race, look for the two narrow jumps with the orange paint. Each time, jump off the top-right edge performing as many tricks as possible. This will moderately shortcut the course. Jump off the blue-green paint to the right of the upcoming billboard to perform more tricks and again moderately shortcut the course. Now entering the section with the massive trees, jumping between the trees will provide a minor shortcut, and can also permit the gathering of collectibles if the jumps are timed just perfectly. Note the dark-colored curving rail ahead on the right side of the course. This leads to an Out of Bounds section which is a "shortcut" only in that there are no jumps - minimizing the amount of time spent in the air maximizes the amount of speed and momentum. Metro-City The landing zone of the first massive jump provides a three-way split in the course. The two main routes are to the left and the right. However, taking the narrow route directly ahead bypasses all the twists and turns of the main course. Once the three routes rejoin, the main course curves to the left ahead. However, the narrow jump leads to another shortcut, which again bypasses the twists and turns of the main course. After rejoining the main course, the Out of Bounds sign ahead on the left presents another shortcut, although this one has two significant obstacles. First, it is best to go to the left around the Out of Bounds sign, as there is a telephone pole almost directly behind the sign. Second, this shortcut can ONLY be used successfully with A LOT of speed, as the shortcut has a jump leading up over some really tall buildings; a lack of sufficient speed will result in a collision with the building and a long hard fall to the main course below. Once back on the main course, the rail to the left presents another significant shortcut. Near the end of the course, this long pipe leads to a trench, providing a straightline shot through a trench to the Finish Line; meanwhile, the main course splits in half and goes around this area, with plenty of super-moguls to disrupt momentum. The trench itself is not without any dangers, however, as there are a number of low metal crossbeams. Happiness At the very beginning of the race, it is important to veer HARD to the left; by the time the two initial paths rejoin, this will put the player's character well in the lead (unless there have been a lot of wipeouts). Throughout this race, it is best to always keep hard to the left; this tactic will also bypass the avalanche. Ruthless Ridge There are no true discernable shortcuts until about 63% of the way through the course. Here, there is an Out of Bounds sign underneath a pair of billboards. Even this on only a very minor shortcut at best, but from this point throughout most of the rest of the circuit, keeping a more-or-less straight line (until the area with the chair lifts) will save time in the long run, as the course winds back and forth down the mountain. One must not be fooled by the near-vertical strip of ice ahead. While this strip of ice is great for launching into the air to perform a few tricks, the course itself makes a pair of semi-steep perpendicular turns to the right, essentially forming a double-apex corner; it is best to approach this section as a single hairpin turn. Kaori is off the course to the right here, but for a very good reason. Remaining on the course provides a jump which is not necessarily enough to clear the gap and make it to the top of the ski jump (ahead). On the other hand, keeping off-line here will momentarily slow the player's character, but there is no jump, so the player will spend virtually no time airborne and can speed to the Finish Line at the base of the ski jump. There are some moguls underneath the ski jump, however, which can make things a little challenging. Intimidator Note the gap to the right ahead between the rail and the green fencing. The course actually doubles back to the right, so veering to the right off the course will be a nice shortcut. Also, due to the steep incline of the railing, it WILL slow the player's character A LOT, making the aforementioned shortcut even more important. In the Japanesque section, after the Speed Boost comes three green rails to grind. It is best to use the middle rail. This is the first of a set of three rails, and it is very easy to perform jump-spins from one rail to the next to increase the trick combo and gain more cash. Coming off the last rail in the section, however, can be tricky. It is best to jump or veer slightly to the left coming off the final rail. Otherwise, the character will risk crashing into the final rail coming off the set to the right, thus losing any trick combo and any cash. After coming over the icy, arched bridge, the main course curves to the left ahead, but there is a small jump which continues straight ahead (to the right of the main course). This jump is a moderate shortcut. At the next major jump, it is best to slow greatly and veer heavily to the right before going over the cliff. This will put the character onto a completely different line through the final portion of the course, which can itself be shortcut by continuing to the right through the Out of Bounds sign; this is not quite as challenging overall as the main line, and has fewer jumps, thus giving the player's character more opportunity to build momentum. Ruthless In general, the best line is to keep to the right at all times in this race. Gravitude At the very beginning of the Gravitude course, there is a fork. It may be best to veer to the left. However, keeping as close to the barriers (ahead) as possible will permit the player to pull a few tricks in the air; typically, a double misty/rodeo is easily attainable here. This will help to fill the boost meter to go even faster. 45% of the way along the course, there is a downed tree which forms a grind- jump to a lower level, entering a sort, icy tunnel. The player must have FAST reflexes, as the character will truly speed along the ice. Once outside the tunnel, there is a long jump back down to the main course below, allowing time for more tricks to refill the Boost Meter. At the landing zone from the shortcut mentioned above, the main course continues to the left. Continuing straight ahead instead, however, provides a minor shortcut; this is also the preferred line here simply due to momentum and trajectory, as turning to retake the main course would scrub off a little speed. At the very end of the course, it can be a great benefit to ride the rails on either side of the course. The course ends in a multi-tiered drop, but the rails are aligned perfectly straight, so once on a rail, the player can simply ride that line to the Finish Line. Combining these grinds with use of the Boost can provide an edge over competitors in the snow. The Throne It is best to keep to the right until about 42% of the way down The Throne, when this formation appears ahead. Upon landing, take the fork to the left, then descend to the right. Yet another shortcut exists here by continuing straight ahead and jumping the small gap. In this natural halfpipe section, it is imperative to get through here as quickly as possible... which means NOT performing tricks on the sides. The fastest route is to remain in this initial halfpipe and cut SHARPLY to the left upon entry, then following the natural contours all the way to the Finish Area. ============================================== ============================================== ============================================== MONEY Money (in Dollars) is introduced into the SSX series for the first time, and it plays a very important role. In SSX3, money is earned in several ways: Method Description Earning Medals Winning a medal in an event grants money. However, if the character has already received a particular medal when competing in an event again, the amount of money earned is half of what was originally granted; for example, winning a Gold Medal at an event may grant $10,000 the first time, but only $5,000 for each subsequent win. Note that the amount of money varies depending on the peak upon which an event is located. Meeting Objectives On each peak, there are four objectives: completing all the peak's Races, all the peak's Freestyle events, collecting a given number of collectible items (per peak), and earning a cumulative amount of money (total per career). Each time an objective is met, more money is awarded; other items may also be awarded, such as trading cards, toys, new boards and outfit parts, etc. Performing Tricks Simply performing tricks will add to the amount of money the player's chosen character earns. Even a simple spin can grant $1 of earnings. This occurs even in Freestyle Mode. Once earned, money can be spent in several areas: Item Description Cheat Characters Somewhat of a misnomer, "Cheat Characters" are bonus characters. Some are unlocked by accomplishing certain feats (such as earning $1,000,000 cumulative across the chosen character's career), but others can be purchased; of those which can be purchased, the ones available depend upon which peak the player's character is currently located. To purchase a Cheat Character while at a Lodge, go to Rider Details, then Rewards, then Cheat Characters. However, Cheat Characters' names are not used even if a new score/time record is set using Cheat Characters. Gear A character's appearance - including clothing, boards, and accessories - can be modified by purchasing items at a Lodge in the Buy Gear section. However, not all potential character-specific items are available at all Lodges; in fact, the "best" items are typically located in the Lodge on Peak 3. Music The Radio BIG music can be customized. In a Lodge, selecting Music and then Edit Playlist will present the player with all the music available in SSX3. The player is given five free credits to spend on any five desired songs for the Radio BIG music; after the initial five songs, any further music customization is done by "purchasing" the desires songs. Rewards In a Lodge, selecting Rider Details and then Rewards allows the player to access all sorts of bonus items, ranging from "toys" to posters to videos and more. Many of these Rewards must be unlocked by accomplishing certain feats in the game, but many more can be purchased. (Note that the Cheat Characters above are officially rewards, but are covered separately because they can be so bizarre!!!) Stats This is the most important usage of money in SSX3. Each character begins with minimal stats. As the player earns more money with a particular character, stats can be improved by "buying success" - in a Lodge, select Buy Attributes. Obviously, this does not mean the player will necessarily have better success - that still depends upon the player's own skill and experience. Übertricks In a Lodge, selecting Rider Details and then Übertrick Setup allows the player to customize a given character's repertoire of Übertricks by "buying" the desired Übertrick. Before purchasing, each Übertrick can be previewed. ============================================== ============================================== ============================================== TIPS Whenever possible, saving records and game progress is essential. There is nothing worse than playing for hours and making numerous advances in the game, and then lose it all due to a power outage, Records can be saved whenever the player makes a top five score/time. Game progress can be saved in any Lodge, when leaving a Lodge, and when returning to the title screen. To earn money quickly, the player may find it best to work through the Freestyle events on each peak first. Since these events are about accumulating points and not about finishing ahead of other competitors, there is less on- course pressure - and no threat of any Knockdowns. Knockdowns are an important tool in Race events. Successfully knocking a competitor to the ground will fill the player's Boost Meter and grant access to Übertricks. A well-timed Knockdown could be what is required to win a medal in a race. Übertricks are handled differently in SSX3 than in SSX Tricky. In SSX3, there are three "levels" on the Boost Meter. When the Boost Meter is full, it turns yellow; during this time, the player must perform four Übertricks (spelling "Über") to extend the duration of the Boost. The next level is orange and extends the boost duration again; here, the player must perform five Übertricks (spelling "Super"). In the final level, the Boost Meter is red, and this is the period of longest Boost duration. At each level, the amount of points given per Übertrick is progressively higher. At each of the five Lodges on the mountain, the player can buy enhanced stats and also outfits for the current character. However, not all outfit parts are available at all Lodges. Therefore, once all three peaks are available for the character, the player may need to go to all five Lodges to find and buy a particular desired item. At any time on the slopes, the player can call for a Transport by using the M- comm (by pressing the Start button). An event can also be restarted via this manner, plus other elements of the game can be fine-tuned to the player's liking. Unfortunately, the characters in SSX3 do not have any inherent strengths or weaknesses - for example, in SSX Tricky, Kaori was a trick specialist, whereas Brodi was a race specialist - because all characters in SSX3 start with the same identical miserable stats. This means that typically the quickest way to earn money (via winning medals), and unlock more events and peaks, is to focus first on the Freestyle events. The money attained can then be spent upon stats to improve the chosen character's abilities to increase the chances of success in other events. After being transported to an event, the character must traverse at least a short distance of near-virgin snow to reach the actual event site. In the interim, tricks can be performed to both gain a few extra Dollars and to begin filling the Boost Meter. The bonus in this is that any Boost in the Boost Meter upon arrival at the event site carries over to the event itself :-) However, this advantage is instantly lost should the player restart the heat or event. When the character becomes unstable while performing a trick, or falls to the ground, recovery is possible by quickly pressing the Square button repeatedly; failing to recover quickly typically results in a sliding faceplant down the slope. However, depending upon the situation, it may be faster to simply reposition the character on the mountain by pressing Select. In either case, whatever amount of Boost is in the Boost Meter will be noticeably decreased as "punishment" for the mistake, and the level/color of the Boost Meter may also be downgraded; any potential combo bonus will also be instantly nullified. There are some Big Challenges where the player must attain a given number of points (in some cases, without falling), achieve a certain combo multiplier in an event, etc. A good way to successfully complete these Challenges is to find a natural bowl in the mountain, then perform continual jump-spins until the current Challenge is completed. This will only grant 30 points each time, so even with a large combo multiplier (say, 500x), it will still take a while to hit the given number of points. This is also a good way to gain a few extra points at the end of a Freestyle event - so long as the countdown timer does not expire before crossing the Finish Line. However, because of the way the game handles camera movement/placement, it is best to do this WITHOUT looking at the screen, as the images will very quickly become quite disorienting. Knockdowns: Knockdowns can be an important tool in race events, creating a hole in a pack of traffic for a clearer path ahead. Scoring a Knockdown instantly fills the Boost Meter to provide an even greater advantage over the competition. Grinding: Rails, park benches, certain rocks, wires, barricades, and other elements are usually grindable surfaces. Airborne: Of course, the very best tricks are those performed while airborne... and SSX3 certainly provides plenty of opportunities to fly through the air!!! Of course, the money and points for performing tricks is negated if the landing is not right. Scenery: Even the distant in-game scenery is breathtaking. ============================================== ============================================== ============================================== CONTACT INFORMATION For questions, rants, raves, comments of appreciation, etc., please contact me. [email protected]