Review of Splashdown
Splashdown is a Jet-Ski arcade racing game where the courses are on a mixture of rivers, lakes, sea and massive multi-level indoor swimming pools.
The controls have been made very simple; consisting of accelerate, steer and 3 stunt buttons. While the aim of the game is quite simply to come first, gamers are encouraged to perform various airborne tricks using the many ramps scattered around each course to boost the performance of their craft during the race. Holding different button combinations allows a variety of death-defying actions to be carried out. There is a nice balance to this aspect of the game in that the longer you hold a pose during a stunt the more the performance is boosted… but the greater the risk of falling off and wasting valuable time.
To make things more interesting racers must navigate around key marker points, which often involves some very tight turns. Miss any of them and your performance takes a hit and may even stall the Jet-Ski for a few seconds. The track design is actually very clever as some of the jumps need to be taken at angles (or top speed) to avoid landing in trees, whereas others should be taken slower to avoid landing on cleverly positioned obstructions. Later in the game you will have to learn to submerge the craft UNDER various obstacles, or bunny-hop over them !
I never ever imagined that the day would come where looking at moving water on the PS2 would be such an enjoyable experience, but for the first 15 minutes after loading the game I stared at the TV screen like a small child who had just seen candy for the first time. The light bounces off it highlighting the way it undulates and in shallower areas you can see right through to the bottom. Open sea courses have waves to negotiate and when it rains the surface dimples in an eerily realistic way. Each course has ramps to jump over and the point at which they emerge from the water sees the liquid dancing all over its surface in an almost trance-like way. Picking up speed on your jet-ski produces a wake behind it and turning throws out a spray that just looks like… yes you guessed… water.
Splashdown was programmed by the same team who made the visually stunning ‘ATV Off-Road’ for the PlayStation 2 earlier this year; so it comes as no great surprise that each course looks fantastic and follows a similar artistic style.
A very strong sound track featuring some great songs compliments the Dolby pro logic in-game effects to further increase your pulse rate and add to the atmosphere.
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'Splashdown' 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 Stevie Vincent © Absolute PlayStation
Click here to view our 9 Splashdown in-game screenshot slideshow
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