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SSX Goes All the Way Up to Eleven!
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on October 20, 2003   |   Episode 31 (Show Archive)  


Mulder and Scully could do another full season of the X-Files just pondering what happened to all of Spinal Tap's drummers!
Once upon a time there was a balding, yet friendly gentleman named Rob Reiner. The son of the famed comedy writer Carl Reiner, Rob made a name for himself by starring in one of the best-loved television sitcoms of all time, All in the Family. But even with two Emmy's under his belt, the junior Reiner didn't feel completely comfortable in front of the camera, and decided to follow in the footsteps of Ron Howard by becoming a full time movie director.

Almost twenty years ago Rob's first film, the cult classic This Is Spinal Tap, introduced us to "Britain's Loudest Heavy Metal Rock Band". Posed as a fake documentary about a goofy rock group who is on the cusp of losing the popularity they once knew, This is Spinal Tap managed to lead the way to influencing everything from A Mighty Wind to the Blair Witch Project.

It was in this 1984 mockumentary where Nigel Tufnel, played

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by Christopher Guest, explains to the director that their amps "go to eleven". As the joke goes, Rob Reiner questions if that actually makes a difference, if anybody will notice. What he's met with is one of the most inane comments in movie history, a comment so stupid it almost makes sense.

"Well, it's one louder isn't it? It's not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You're on then here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, your on ten on your guitar. Where do you go from there? Where? Nowhere, exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do? Eleven. Exactly. One louder."

This joke has been copied, repeated, and ripped-off more times than I'd care to count, and yet people still use it like they were the first to think of this pop culture reference. EA Big, the "extreme sports" branch of Electronic Arts, is

Perhaps if Amped 2 had gone to eleven people would be playing it instead!
the most recent company to play homage to Nigel Tufnel, and while I'msure they won't be the last, they have managed to do it in a completely different way.

While most games allow you to upgrade your character to ten, SSX 3 bumps it up to eleven. So while you're stats may be great at ten, this game actually gives you that extra juice to be even more over the top. Of course, the same logic that baffled everybody almost two decades ago baffles us today. Why not simply max out your character at ten? It's not like the characters are any faster, or tougher, or whatever because they are at eleven.

One has to assume it's an homage, otherwise that would mean that Electronic Arts is as smart as a fictional rock band who can't even order stage props properly. And that is to say, Electronic Arts isn't that stupid, are they??


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