Back in the glory days of the Nintendo 64 you might remember a game called Wave Race. It was an excellent jet ski game that really started a trend of Jet Ski games to come and was really a standard for the games to follow. There has yet to be a game on the PlayStation 2 that has really captured the same flair and excitement as Wave Race, aside from Splashdown of course. Will Jet X2O bring back the greatness of the Jet Ski genre?
Jet X2O is a game that really reminds me a lot of the big hit SSX. You start out the game by picking from a bunch of goofy characters with their own goofy characteristics that is identical to what SSX looks like.
Once you select a character you want to play as and then it’s off to the races. There are three different modes you can choose from - a single event, world tour, and a big wave mode. The single event mode is self-explanatory, and the Big Wave mode is just a fancy name for Trick Attack. Where the simple object is to rake in as many points as possible to win. This can be played in both single and multiplayer modes but for the most part isn’t very much fun.
You will find yourself mostly playing the World Tour mode, where you go up against other riders to reach the top. Not only are you racing to get gold, you also have to look good while winning the race. Which means your place in the race is averaged with your stunt score to give your overall place in the race. This is like combining the Tricks mode and Racing mode of SSX and making it into one giant single player mode. So, you have to go very fast, and pull some awesome tricks on the way to win the race, which is no easy feat. But those that persevere will be well rewarded.
The most disappointing part of Jet X2O is the fact that this is really not a multiplayer-friendly game. Never once did I find that playing against a friend in the Big Wave competition to be overly thrilling, and racing against them was really not much to make this worthwhile to play with friends.
On the flip side Jet X2O handles very nicely. The controls are very nicely placed on the Dual Shock 2, so that you can really just jump right in and play this one. Pulling off tricks is also very simply. This really allows you to get right into the heart of the game without having to struggle with the controls.
For an extreme sport game one of the most important things involved in making a good extreme sports game is having a good soundtrack. I guess Killer Games forgot this part and put in a mediocre sound track that doesn’t even play as very good background music. The sound effects are a little above that but nothing special.
The graphics of Jet X2O were really nothing we hadn’t seen before, but for the most part the did everything right along the standards of what you would want to see. Each rider has his or her own unique look and personality, and that is prevalent throughout the whole game.
Probably the best thing Jet X2O does is the level design. Each level has a very unique look to them and are extremely lengthy and well drawn out. You won’t see the jaggies, which is a huge plus, and everything is nice and sharp.
One of the most obvious difficulties of a water-based game is making the water look realistic, and for the most part developers Killer Games did a very nice job making the water look real. Again it’s nothing we haven’t seen before but it’s really just a clean nice looking game that doesn’t do anything bad.
Jet X2O is one of those games I really have a hard time figuring out if I am having fun or if I am half asleep and anything would be fun. I find that the World Tour mode can be entertaining for a sometime, but after a while I felt like I was really in a need for a change and the Big Wave mode really didn’t do the trick. The absence of the multiplayer mode really hurt the games fun factor in the long run, without a decent multiplayer mode there is really only so much fun to be had in the single player modes.
Jet X2O is really not a bad game by any means. In fact in some cases I really enjoyed the game. Although when it comes right down to it there really isn’t anything in the game that hasn’t been done before and in some cases done better. This is one of those games I would place very high on a rental list but it’s not one I would really find being a great game to own.
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.