EA has released their “Mt. Eddie” retro inspired DLC on both Xbox Live and PSN, bringing back old characters from past SSX titles like SSX 3, Tricky, and On Tour, as well as adding 3 new songs to the already stellar soundtrack. In addition to the characters and soundtrack additions, there is a new range available in Explore mode; “Mt. Eddie”, the tracks and drops taking cues from level design of past SSX games and the name being derived from the distinctive, hair-obsessed boarder first introduced in the original SSX.I’ve had a chance to sit down and play the new tracks, and while I personally wouldn’t have minded blatant copies of SSX Tricky tracks like Tokyo Megaplex or Garibaldi reimagined in the new engine, the kickers, rails, and billboards of Mt. Eddie are obviously directly inspired by the levels in SSX Tricky, 3, and On Tour. Mt. Eddie is very much an expansion to 2012’s SSX, however, and all of the features from the full game like the soundtrack remixing on the fly, tricks off the helicopter, and the new gear system work seamlessly on the new tracks. The mix between new level design and old works better than I thought it would, and the tracks are fun to play whether or not you have past experience with SSX Tricky or 3, and although you will be missing out on the nostalgia factor when you see the trademark loops, crisscrossing rails, and billboards, Mt. Eddie’s tracks are challenging enough to appeal to both new SSX fans and referential enough to please the relative old-timers like myself.
As far as the other half of the DLC goes, the character pack may be skippable unless you’re a diehard SSX 3 or Tricky fan. Spikey-haired Psymon and spray tan-less Mac may be worth the price alone, but besides appearance, there is no real difference between the base game’s characters and their “Retro” counterparts. Luckily, a bundle pack of Mt. Eddie plus the retro characters is priced at a relatively affordable $7.99 for both rather than the $5.99 for either Mt. Eddie or the character pack. I wouldn’t pay $5.99 for the characters alone, but if you’re planning on picking up the DLC regardless the bundle might be looking into, especially for those that have already maxed out all of the game’s base characters.
Originally, one of my biggest complaints with the new SSX was that the tracks went for a more realistic approach rather than the flashing lights and fireworks of past titles, and the Mt. Eddie pack successfully remedies part of that complaint. There are no gaping drops off either side of the run, no clouds in sight, and although I’ve since grown to like the new direction SSX has gone, the variation present in Mt. Eddie is a welcome addition, especially for those still hoping for a bit more of the tried and true level design or just some old-fashioned nostalgia.