Review by BostonFuse51
"A solid Jet Ski racing game"
Splashdown, a game developed by Rainbow Studios released in the United States in mid-2002 portrays the sport of Jet Skiing in a race-style atmosphere. The basic point of the game is to race against many other computer characters and, upon a certain number of wins in these larger races (usually comprised of many racers) you will get to challenge a character in a one-on-one match. Upon winning the race against this specific character, he or she will become a member of your team and you will have the option of choosing this newly acquired character in other larger and individual races. After acquiring all of the individual challengers to your team, you will have beaten the game but can continue to enter into larger races and unlock more racecourses.
Splashdown's gameplay is rather entertaining the first time around. With many different aspects including the variety of racecourses, the different tricks and stunts, and competitiveness of the game both in single player and in multi player the game opens up new experiences never experienced before in Jet Skiing games. The moderate difficulty of this racing game also contributes a positive element to the game. Not every race is an easy win which gives Splashdown a more competitive feeling and can also make playing the game much more enjoyable. However, the way that the game is designed the replay ability value of Splashdown is fairly low. Going around to races at the same courses and challenging the same characters for a second time isn't the most intriguing endeavor. Although replaying Career Mode more than once is tedious, there are many fun mini-games and also the Multi Player Mode to fool around with. The gameplay of Splashdown always provides an entertaining and competitive ambiance.
The Graphics of Splashdown are advanced for a game released during 2002 when the XBOX had just come out approximately half a year before and hadn't had time to set up it's video game system dynasty. The different characters, swim wear, jet skis, and racecourses all have different looks to them, which provides you with a different racing experience every time you play. No two tracks are the same and each individual track has its own unique layout and look. The game does a good job of depicting the real Jet Ski experience through the graphics of the game. Some of the hits you take or stunts you pull off from your craft truly give you a first hand experience of a Jet Ski race. The graphics are a major contributor to the positive experience one has in playing Splashdown.
The music and tracks for Splashdown were chosen wisely with hits from artists such as Sum 41, Blink-182, and New Found Glory. These kinds of punk rock bands provided the right, competitive feel during a tight race. With no music, you cannot be fully put into the game and the variety of songs gives you a new racing experience with every different race. When going off a major ramp, pulling off an awesome stunt and hearing blaring music really puts you in the right mindset of a Jet Ski racer.
The sound for Splashdown was actually quite a revolution at the time the game was released. Back in the early 2000s, the video game world was used to completing an action and then hearing the appropriate sound or noise seconds later. With the creation of the XBOX and some of the spectacular games released for the system (such as Splashdown), it was realized that sound could be perfected in the video game world. Upon landing in the water, going off a huge jump, or hydroplaning across huge waves (another feature of the game which allows you to speed up your Jet Ski to top speed, similar to the function of a turbo) you are able to hear the appropriate sound at the correct time. In Jet Skiing, obviously, there are many scrapes, splashes, and other boisterous noises and in Splashdown you're able to hear every one in a crisp, clear manner. The sound in Splashdown makes you truly feel as though you're watching an actual Jet Ski race, giving you the perfect feel.
Buy or Rent
In the modern world, where this game would be considered outdated and old, Splashdown is a definite buy. I'm sure you could now walk into any video game store and buy it for a ridiculously low price. The only reason you might want to consider the option of not buying Splashdown is for it's tedious replay ability. However, it can still be fun unlocking characters the second time around with a new team and a new look. Also, if you have people to play with, the Multi Player Mode of Splashdown is one of its best qualities of the game as you and your friends can develop rivalries amongst yourselves in races and also compete in the different mini games available. With the low cost of Splashdown and the fun the game has I'd mark it as an easy buy.
As you can see, Splashdown is a truly high-quality Jet Ski racing game. Through it's enjoyable gameplay, and it's suitable music tracks, Splashdown gives you a spirited feel that not many Jet Ski or any racing games do. With its advanced sounds and graphics, all players feel immersed in the Jet Skiing world. From time to time it still a pleasant experience to dig into some of my older games and boot up Splashdown reliving some of the exciting times I experienced through this game. It is still an enjoyable game even in modern times with games coming out containing super graphics most people never thought were never possible to enter the video game world. The only real reason I didn't give Splashdown a nine or even a ten was because of the game's poor replay ability. No matter how you turn it, going around and unlocking the same characters at the same racecourses just doesn't have the same flavor after the first time. Regardless, the game will provide you with many hours of fun-filled action as you seek to become the best Jet Ski racer in the world!
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/01/04, Updated 07/11/07
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