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Review of Jetski Riders
The game is a straight up arcade racer – high-energy thrills, spills and the odd soaking! The premise is that you are a rider in the PWC (personal watercraft) World Championships where the winner claims all and the loser dries more than his eyes!
There is the usual Arcade, Championship (both split into pro and amateur) and Time Trial options to play in and the Freestyle which is a 2-minute opportunity to score as many trick points as possible using either of the watercraft available (JetSki or Runabout).
As is usually the case in arcade type games you have to finish in the top 3 to continue – unusually here however you can actually finish lower but still make the grade as long as your points tally of the previous races meets the unlock requirements.
That’s right “unlock”.
You have to play in arcade and championship (a series of 3 seasons) to unlock new riders and to gain access to tracks in 2-player mode.
When racing you are given the opportunity to modify your rider’s abilities but you can’t improve on the over all tally – in other words each of the available riders has a certain number of points to split up amongst engine, grip, handling and tricks.
You don’t need to be able to do tricks to race but when you max the engine the competition still just blast past you – the way to win is to be consistent and smooth in the corners.
Sounds easy but it ain’t – your JetSki or Runabout isn’t easy to handle when you are forever cresting 10 foot waves and getting knocked about by your opponents.
The amateur class in both arcade and championship isn’t too difficult but its in the professional that you begin to get a little irate with the game. Thankfully you can adjust the wave height to make winning easier.
There are a limited number of courses – really only 6 locations – but these are beautiful and alter depending on which watercraft you are using and change again as the difficulty increases. By alter I mean that the racing is round a series of coloured buoys (yellow = left side, red = right side) on the water and the placement of these is changed.
You cant save between races and you cant restart a single race and since you have to win to progress (coming joint first ain’t winning!) you can find yourself have to begin the series – which can be anything from 3 to six races over again.
As far as I am concerned this is the greatest fault in the game.
The handling is excellent and very different across the 2 machines – the JetSki needs to be controlled in the corners where as the Runabout performs best whilst running full throttle.
The 2 watercraft and the range of races give the game good lifespan – if having to restart all the time doesn’t put you off. The 2-player game is fantastic – with out a doubt the most fun 2 player racing I have ever experienced.
The sound is typical for this sort of game and the dance music soundtrack is bearable. Lots of rider sounds and engine sounds finish off the game nicely.
But its for the graphics that this game comes into its own. The scenery is beautiful and the water is so realistic both in movement and look that you could almost dive in. The game is very quick to load and since it is on a CD-ROM I was seriously impressed with the quality of the visuals on offer. I looked and looked for pop –up but as the racing is so tight and close its very hard to see beyond the next buoy nevermind the horizon!
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'Jetski Riders' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by Rory Kelly © Absolute PlayStation
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