Deadly Descents AKA Holes Where Fun Goes to Die

#1 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

SSX lost the moniker 'Deadly Descents'. What it didn't lose are tracks littered with holes to fall into. I just did session some of the PS3-exclusive preorder drops at Mt. Fuji. The tracks are littered with crevasses and holes to fall into.

I can only imagine a self-aware trackdesigner sitting there and saying... 'let's put a hole where fun goes to die... here.. and here... and everywhere!' - until the whole damn mountain is a lethal minefield for flow and fun. Totally oblivious that gamedesigners should design fun and not kill it.

Don't get me wrong. SSX is pure joy when it's about tricks on trick-centric tracks. There's enough drops which I will enjoy immensely. Sadly the team cut what I love about their game with a tonne of crap. More precisely - many tracks are laden with traps intended to catch fun and kill it. I don't get that. At all.

P.S. a more elavated camera which allows to actually see past ramps and drops and plan ahead would help a lot too, but I guess that's technically not feasible - which makes the technical art director... grrr... *punches wall*

#2 Posted by zudthespud (3281 posts) -

I usually rage quit when games get ridiculously hard, but I spent prolly 45 minutes on each of the last 2 deadly descents because this game is still awesome even at it's most frustrating.

This game makes you its bitch until you are worthy of competing with it, which just makes it even better when you finally get it.

#3 Edited by rmanthorp (3910 posts) -

I love them. I hated them in World Tour... A LOT! However, I became to play them in explore and as you get real tactics and you start to think about the multiple runs, they really show why they are there. So much fun. Really happy with the third pillar.

They are not what makes SSX fun. I just enjoy them for what they are!

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#4 Posted by MikeGosot (3227 posts) -

They are supposed to add challenge and encourage memorization of the tracks. I don't they if they work as intended (Never played the game.), but i think that's their objective.

#5 Posted by emergency (1193 posts) -

Basically, they are there to add variation to the 153 drops. Sure, they could have created 153 drops that you would have loved where the snow is crisp and the tricks are flowing. However, some people enjoy the challenge of the deadly descents as shown in this thread. There is still enough for you to enjoy elsewhere, even if you don't like certain tracks. I think that that is good design and I applaud them for catering for everyone.

#6 Posted by Humanity (9011 posts) -

@Seppli: Also caves! Thats another place where fun dies in this title as it's almost impossibe to trick in them. I never do races but maybe it's fun to boost through them, I dunno. All I know that certain drops, like all of Africa, are interesting but not extremely fun to play.

#7 Posted by Demoskinos (14719 posts) -

I've done the ice and tree Deadly Decents so far and it was frustrating but fun.

#8 Posted by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@emergency said:

Basically, they are there to add variation to the 153 drops. Sure, they could have created 153 drops that you would have loved where the snow is crisp and the tricks are flowing. However, some people enjoy the challenge of the deadly descents as shown in this thread. There is still enough for you to enjoy elsewhere, even if you don't like certain tracks. I think that that is good design and I applaud them for catering for everyone.

Nope. It's the opposite of design. Letting us play trick events on tracks not suited or built for it is the opposite of design - period. Design is decisive. The lack of decisive decisions is a lack of design. It's freedom. I do not believe in freedom.

#9 Posted by iAmJohn (6114 posts) -

@Demoskinos said:

I've done the ice and tree Deadly Decents so far and it was frustrating but fun.

Same for me, though I've also played the wingsuit one. Maybe they get real bad real fast and like others said it's not the reason I come to SSX, but I enjoyed the first three. :\

#10 Edited by Barrabas (326 posts) -

I don't agree with the argument that those tracks are not suited for trick events. Adding trick events and race events to the deadly descents makes them a lot more fun to play in my opinion.

#11 Posted by emergency (1193 posts) -

@Seppli said:

@emergency said:

Basically, they are there to add variation to the 153 drops. Sure, they could have created 153 drops that you would have loved where the snow is crisp and the tricks are flowing. However, some people enjoy the challenge of the deadly descents as shown in this thread. There is still enough for you to enjoy elsewhere, even if you don't like certain tracks. I think that that is good design and I applaud them for catering for everyone.

Nope. It's the opposite of design. Letting us play trick events on tracks not suited or built for it is the opposite of design - period. Design is decisive. The lack of decisive decisions is a lack of design. It's freedom. I do not believe in freedom.

Well freedom is good, they aren't forcing you to go down these slopes over and over again.

#12 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@emergency said:

@Seppli said:

@emergency said:

Basically, they are there to add variation to the 153 drops. Sure, they could have created 153 drops that you would have loved where the snow is crisp and the tricks are flowing. However, some people enjoy the challenge of the deadly descents as shown in this thread. There is still enough for you to enjoy elsewhere, even if you don't like certain tracks. I think that that is good design and I applaud them for catering for everyone.

Nope. It's the opposite of design. Letting us play trick events on tracks not suited or built for it is the opposite of design - period. Design is decisive. The lack of decisive decisions is a lack of design. It's freedom. I do not believe in freedom.

Well freedom is good, they aren't forcing you to go down these slopes over and over again.

The one redeeming quality of the non-design of allowing people to do whatever - competition. I find the lack of decisive design dillutes the quality of the game.

@Barrabas said:

I don't agree with the argument that those tracks are not suited for trick events. Adding trick events and race events to the deadly descents makes them a lot more fun to play in my opinion.

I find the camera too lacking to truely enjoy trick events on tracks other than dedicated trick tracks. The camera angle is too low to allow enough foresight for proper planning. Trial and Error and Memorization are a big fat NO-GO in my books of viable game mechanics. In the context of RiderNet competition and its intrinsic reward-mechanics, it's okay to let it slide.

Clearly it's a matter of taste if something that shouldn't go together is fun or not. Chocolate and pickles shouldn't go together, but apparently pregnant women crave it like cats do crave catnip. For me though, it's pretty atrocious.

#13 Posted by BPRJCTX (704 posts) -

Ok, regarding Mt. Fuji, i really don't like that mountain, i'm on the 360, but i'm from Europe, and anyone that doesn't have it, really isn't loosing anyting, it's only 3 drops, and it's full of holes, there's really nothing special about it.

But more on topic, i like the actual deadly descents, they're fun because it's a nice change of pace from race it and trick it, i just wish all the frustration you get from the deadly descents, were exclusive to the deadly descents.

Meaning, falling into bottomless pits shouldn't be part of regular tracks.

#14 Posted by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@BPRJCTX said:

Ok, regarding Mt. Fuji, i really don't like that mountain, i'm on the 360, but i'm from Europe, and anyone that doesn't have it, really isn't loosing anyting, it's only 3 drops, and it's full of holes, there's really nothing special about it.

But more on topic, i like the actual deadly descents, they're fun because it's a nice change of pace from race it and trick it, i just wish all the frustration you get from the deadly descents, were exclusive to the deadly descents.

Meaning, falling into bottomless pits shouldn't be part of regular tracks.

QFT. I feel the same way about the topic. Guess my OP wasn't clear enough on that.

#15 Posted by SaturdayNightSpecials (2355 posts) -

I agree with you completely.

If only rewinding wasn't instant defeat in races, it wouldn't be so bad.

#16 Posted by StrikeALight (1114 posts) -

Mount Fujii was a bonus mountain, IIRC. They probably didn't make it part of the main game (campaign) since they knew it would piss so many people off. There are certainly harder drops in the game, though.

But the only DD to give me any trouble so far was the Griff ghost race in Africa. Just got one more to go.

#17 Edited by gike987 (1752 posts) -

I'm having pretty fun right now doing trick it on Route Zero (whiteout) without pulse goggles so I disagree, trick it on deadly descents is pretty fun. My best score so far is 5,002,324.

#18 Posted by GolazoDan (114 posts) -

I genuinely don't mind the 9 Deadly Descents. I know why some people don't dig them, because they're not what people come to SSX for. They're not always fast-paced affairs (I'm talking about World Tour here, having just done them) and you have to play them differently than most of the game. I found some of them pretty difficult - the last one with the goggles against Griff took me a while - and I got through Avalanche and Rocks by the skin of my teeth, but I enjoyed the challenge. Also a fan of the Survive It modes. "You've made it all the way down... NOW KEEP DOING IT UNTIL YOU DIE".

The last race where you combine a load of the skills though and still win a race absolutely sucks a big bag of dicks. I haven't even won the race. It took me long enough to actually manage to finish it.

#19 Posted by Auswin (66 posts) -

I really don't mind the descents. I wasn't a huge fan of the Griff race at the end with the pulse goggles, but I look at them as a primer for the survival modes in the multiplayer more than anything.

Now, when you get the survival events online I really love them. They're a really nice change of pace where the drop almost become a pseudo puzzle game as you work out the best lines.

#20 Posted by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@Auswin said:

I really don't mind the descents. I wasn't a huge fan of the Griff race at the end with the pulse goggles, but I look at them as a primer for the survival modes in the multiplayer more than anything.

Now, when you get the survival events online I really love them. They're a really nice change of pace where the drop almost become a pseudo puzzle game as you work out the best lines.

I'm not talking 'Deadly Descents'/'Survive It' as a game mode - even if the thread title reads that way. I like those well enough. I'm talking about how SSX started out as 'SSX - Deadly Descents' and how consequently some tracks/regions are full of showstoppers, even outside of survival mode stuff, despite the repositioning of the game. Like Mount Fuji - which is littered with showstopping bottomless pits and crevasses for no apparent reason other than to make the game shit.

If the camera was suited to showing me upcoming dangers, so that I can actively avoid them, whilst allowing me to still perform tricks - without forcing trial and error and memorization on me.... but it's not and it's totally about trial and error and memorization on such tracks, at least if played with a 'tricky' mindset.

#21 Posted by SpaceInsomniac (3628 posts) -

Meh.  The way I look at it, there are 30-ish amazingly entertaining and "easy" courses in the new SSX, and 30-ish more that up the difficulty anywhere from a little to a huge amount. You don't have to like them now, but they'll be waiting for you when you're ready.  Some of it is insanely hard, but you just know that some fans will obsess over the game until they end up posting ridiculously perfect runs of drops like "One Jump Ahead" or "The Monster" on You Tube. 
  
For now, just use my list of what to expect from each run, and don't play anything that you don't want to play.

#22 Posted by Vinny_Says (5700 posts) -

On the last race against Griff I CLEARLY came in first place after spending 45 minutes losing to him back to back but I still had to restart. I'm not a violent man but I really wanted to chuck the controller through the TV. I then beat him again and felt so much better I spent an extra 3 hours playing more SSX.

#23 Posted by DrShilliams (86 posts) -

I agree completely. I've only ever played SSX for the trick events and a lot of the trick drops they've filled with utterly pointless ice-axe, goggle, thermal rubbish. It makes sense for the survival stuff but just give me more trick drops like Bulldog please.

#24 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

Actually, I find Trick competitions to be boring. Survive It and Race tracks are much more interesting than just trying to spam out tricks.

#25 Posted by FunExplosions (5407 posts) -

@Seppli said:

P.S. a more elavated camera which allows to actually see past ramps and drops and plan ahead would help a lot too, but I guess that's technically not feasible - which makes the technical art director... grrr... *punches wall*

That's totally feasible. I haven't played it, but if the controls are too packed already, they can just put a camera toggle in the options. Don't see any other reason why they couldn't do it. Well I mean, it won't happen now, but it could have easily, very easily, been implemented.

#26 Posted by Humanity (9011 posts) -

@FunExplosions: Pressing BACK on the 360 in the middle of an event actually does toggle the camera between close, mid and far.

#27 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@FunExplosions said:

@Seppli said:

P.S. a more elavated camera which allows to actually see past ramps and drops and plan ahead would help a lot too, but I guess that's technically not feasible - which makes the technical art director... grrr... *punches wall*

That's totally feasible. I haven't played it, but if the controls are too packed already, they can just put a camera toggle in the options. Don't see any other reason why they couldn't do it. Well I mean, it won't happen now, but it could have easily, very easily, been implemented.

I guess the camera has that flat angle to increase/smooth performance. Most of the time it doesn't draw the mountain range, since most of the frame is sky. It's what technical art directors do. Find the right balance between beauty and performance and functionality. I find the functionality aspect to be lacking, since most of the time, the game doesn't show where I'm going. On drops with plenty showstopper obstacles, respectively 'holes in the ground/bottomless pits/crevasses', it's off-putting.

That said, I've spent like 8 hours today on a single drop. SSX is not in trouble because I find numerous drops to be utter shit, because on the drops it works, it's bloody brilliant and has virtually endless entertainment value. It's a shame nonetheless how the bad drops dillute the overall quality.

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