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SSX Blur Review

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Challenging but rewarding snowboarding antics.

★★★★

As the best Wii games are the ones that adopt a subtle approach to the motion controls – the intuitive fishing and swashbuckling in Zelda being infinitely more satisfying than the twitchy, overly ambitious controls in Red Steel or Excite Truck - things didn’t look too rosy for the latest entry in EA’s snowboarding franchise, where every move is controlled by gesturing with the Wii remote and nunchuck. But while the game’s motion controls have unexpectedly turned out to be amongst the most compelling on the console, they’re also what bars SSX Blur from achieving a top score.

While sliding down slopes the nunchuck is used for ’boarding basics, with players tilting the controller from side-to-side to carve through the snow and the thumbstick to make their avatar balance and lean into turns. When your ’boarder is in the air the Wii remote can also be flicked in different directions to pull off outrageous grabs and stunts, even the smallest movement allowing you to somersault, spin and feel like a gaming god.

However, while this unique set-up makes the slippery action feel natural and fluid once you’ve nailed the controls, it does require practice, persistence and the patience of a saint, and any player looking for the instant gratification of a game such as Wii Sports will soon curse their new purchase. And while the ground-based movements feel beautifully instinctive, the airborne ‘ubertricks’ that allow you to rack-up unfeasible scores are almost impossible to pull-off, and only the most dedicated SSX nut will have the resolve to stick around until they’ve mastered all its extreme antics.

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