Review

SSX3

(PS2; EA; Everyone)

One of the first things you'll notice when playing the latest version in this best-selling powder-pounder series is its impressive scale: Win a series of races and you'll be rewarded with a bunch of new trails, some that will give you more than 10 minutes of pulse-raising, toe-curling, whoop-inducing thrills. Not that the trial runs are anything to sneeze at: The terrain on the first peak starts in a post-blizzard backcountry, morphs into a fantasy ski park, and slides into a vertiginous Metro City course that wouldn't seem out of place in ''Blade Runner.'' The celeb voice-overs from 2001's ''SSX Tricky'' have been swapped for an electronica radio station hosted by a cotton-mouthed announcer who imparts gossip about what went down last night at the lodge. All that smooth music, along with the ''Uber'' and ''Super Uber'' combo tricks, will have you stumbling away from the console at 4 a.m., your fingers aching and your voice hoarse.

Originally posted Oct 17, 2003 Published in issue #733 Oct 17, 2003 Order article reprints