Xbox: Splashdown

Splashdown's PS2 release marked the first time that quality jet ski racing could be found outside the Wave Race series, and this Xbox version brings the love to the Microsoft crowd. A straight-up port of the PS2 original, it adds two new tracks, two new riders, and some minor visual upgrades. The difficulty and AI are tuned a bit better, too - this version isn't quite as tough. Overall, though, if you've already conquered the PS2 version, you can safely skip right past this game.

But if you're an Xbox gamer looking for a good racing game, Splashdown's waves deliver sizable thrills and spills. Its 18 tracks and reasonably in-depth Career mode provide plenty of game as you tackle an engaging gameplay dynamic that blends racing and performing stunts: The more tricks you land, the faster your jet ski goes. The control is the best part of the game, offering a unique, challenging feel. The visuals are respectably sharp but not dazzling, while the sounds mix cool punk tunes with lame smack talk from the riders. At the moment, the Xbox isn't exactly brimming over with stellar racing games, so Splashdown definitely deserves at least a rental (and for some, a purchase) to quench your need for speed.

Publisher: Atari.

Developer: Rainbow Studios.


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