The Jet Ski genre was forever changed with the release of Wave Race 64, which proved that there were people interested in Jet Ski racing and since then we have seen quite a few Jet Ski games. One game in particular, is Splashdown, which was another impressive Jet Ski title that has been pretty impressive thus far. Now THQ has taken over the title and has just released Splashdown: Rides Gone Wild an impressive Jet Ski title that has just recently been released for the PS2.
Before I get right into the review I just want to make one thing clear. If you have played the original Splashdown then you will find that Rides Gone Wild plays pretty similar. Therefore if you enjoyed the original then you will find that you will enjoy this one, and vice versa.
Splashdown: Rides Gone Wild is a game that has just all the basic game modes that you would expect to find in a game such as this. The game modes for Splashdown include Training, Career, Arcade, and a Vs. Mode. The training mode is pretty impressive, and it does a nice job of giving you the basics about the game. Once you have gone through the training mode you will be ready to go to play through the rest of the game.
The career mode is actually two modes packed into one, where you get to choose from the indoor racing circuit and the outdoor one. The indoor racing is the harder of the two because you will be forced to take much sharper and precise turns where the outdoors is much more open. The career modes aren’t overwhelmingly complex or deep but they do keep you occupied in a nice fashion.
You will find that the game is really made to be a deep and complex title, but it was made to be a fun pick up game, that you could just have a good time playing. This is mostly noticed in the course design which has been changed quite a bit from the original Splashdown. Instead of having the normal straightforward water tracks, you are given some very wacky insane tracks that look more like an amusement park then they do Jet Ski courses.
This is really a judgment call on your own personal opinion on whether the new courses were a good thing for the series or not. Personally I have found that the new types of courses give the game a new element of excitement and make it feel much more like the SSX series in water, which is a good thing! Through the courses you will find shortcuts and other interesting little extras that will keep things interesting.
Like I mentioned earlier, Splashdown: Rides Gone Wild is pretty similar to the original, and you will find this in the way the game plays. The trick system is pretty similar to how it was in the original. It still works in the same manner, but it does have some new tricks implemented into the game.
Splashdown ends up feeling almost identical to how it did back in the original, but that is not a bad thing. The controls are solid and very responsive and feel exactly how you would expect them to for a game like this. Overall the controls are responsive and are ones that you can pick up and play, like you would expect from an arcade racing title such as this.
Probably one of the nicest upgrades that the Splashdown series needed was a graphical update, which was given to Splashdown: Rides Gone Wild. There have been some nice touches done to the game that really make this game pretty impressive.
Like I mentioned earlier the courses have really been redone to become a lot crazier and to be more bright and interesting. This new style ends up really appearing quite nicely with everything looking pretty sharp and nicely detailed. There are a lot of nice effects implemented into the game which really makes the game appear quite nice.
One of the more impressive parts of Splashdown: Rides Gone Wild is the water which looks superb. It is constantly in motion and it is just great to look at. Overall the game is pretty impressive, there is nothing overwhelming about the games appearance, but for the most part it is done in a nice fashion.
One of the best parts about Splashdown: Rides Gone Wild is the fact that the game is just a blast to play. With the multiplayer mode along with the career mode just makes this game a blast to play. Playing this game with a friend can be quite enjoyable and can really get competitive. It is kind of disappointing that there isn’t any online support for the game, but for what it’s worth the multiplayer is pretty fun. The game is an arcade style racer so it is made to be fun, and in that aspect the game does a very nice job of accomplishing that.
Is Splashdown: Riders Gone Wild a revolutionary title like Wave Race 64? No the game doesn’t do anything revolutionary, but it is an extremely fun fast paced title that is definitely worth picking up. There is plenty of fun to be had in the game, with the multiplayer and the career modes being solid, I would definitely think about picking this one up.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.