SSX: Tricky used to be a very important part of my life. I was quite addicted to this game in my middle school years, to the point where I’d go through the whole game and get 100% with multiple characters. It might have been how all of the characters have their own interactions with each of the other ones that gives this one such great replay value, but I feel like it’s maybe more due to the ridiculously cartoony nature of all of the huge jumps and course designs, as well as the fact that there’s a whole category of tricks you can do that involve you taking your feet out of the snowboard bindings in midair.
SSX: Tricky is the reason I know who Rahzel is (the DJ who does all the crazy vocal scratching and announces all of the races in this game – he says stuff like “yeah yeah yeah, that’s a good trick…”). He’s on one of the tracks on Rakim’s album The Master and the first time I heard that track I was so sure that it was the guy from SSX: Tricky, but I didn’t tell anybody because I didn’t want to sound silly in case I was wrong. I checked first, and it turns out he is in fact the same guy. But anyway….
My Tricky characters always have been, currently are, and will forever be Kaori and (to a slightly lesser extent) Psymon – the Japanese schoolgirl and the mental patient, respectively (side note: the fact that Psymon’s bio says that he listens to Slayer is a big part of the reason that I first got into their album Reign in Blood, which I am currently listening to). But those two really are my only characters. I’m sure when I first picked this one up used for Gamecube, I gave a bunch of different characters a try, but now, the thought of playing even one race or showoff contest with Moby, Elise, Mac, or that guy with the afro just seems completely wrong. I would never do it. Plus half of them ride the alpine board..what even is that? Is that a real kind of snowbaord? Show me where people are riding alpine boards. I don’t believe you. My love for Kaori especially is possibly due to the fact that I practiced with her so much when I used to own Tricky that I got her leveled up to a very high level pretty quickly, and her stats were so good that I could win any race or showoff contest pretty much guaranteed – her spin was so good that I’d frequently get the ??? where the degrees of a trick’s spin usually showed up. Psymon was really awesome too, I played almost as much as him, and leveled him all the way up as well. It just got to the point where every time I played, I expected the character to be as good as my leveled-up Kaori.
I obviously played a lot of SSX: Tricky, but I feel like it didn’t make the list for good reason. It’s a really fun game, but kind of shallow in the unlockables and level options that it gives you. I will never stop loving it though. Rahzel is too good.
Ok that’s all of the honorable mentions, next time it’s number 30 on my list of all time best games of the universe: an N64 adventure game that I really hoped would be like Super Mario 64 and it wasn’t. Not in a bad way though.