STAFF REVIEW of Splashdown (Xbox)

Thursday, July 25, 2002.
by Tony Ingrassia

Splashdown Box art In the spirit of SSX Tricky, this game is alot of fun. 18 loations to choose from, from beautifull Maui to the Florida everglades, during a rain storm with choppy water no less. Overall this is a great racer, tight controls,great tracks with a few surprises, and Graphics and sound to match. Plenty of modes to keep you rollin', Career, Arcade, VS, & Training Mode with mini modes like Time Trials, Countdown, Copycat, and Free Ride. 8 Charecters to choose from, 3 Difficulty settings and you can also unlock racers and wet suits throughout. This game will probably be overlooked by many, but you owe it to yourself to check it out.

I think most of the appeal is in how this game engin runs, silky smooth and tight, i think most players will use the "B" control configuration which make the right trigger your throttle. Although i have the feeling that the control will be what turns some players off. The subtleties in your racers position on the craft, leanng, and manuvering the bouys to increase your craft performance are key, but take time to master. The performance meeter is a nice touch, basically, the better you slolom through your runs and pull off tricks the better you craft will perform. Start missing those bouyes and your gonna stall. There are 3 Tiers of trick (Total of 27) plus 9 signature tricks, from stretched out "Lazyboys" to "Submarine" manuvers which come in helpfull finding "Hidden" short cuts. There is deffinetly enough to keep you busy here and the developers added a few touches that many will enjoy (Shipwrecks that are actually ramps)and a few "Cute" surprises. I only have 1 complaint, If your gonna have multi-player why make it only for 2 players.

Best looking water to date, that being said, the rest of the game is right up there. Fluid motion by your crafts and beautifull locations. No clipping or drop in frame rate were noticible and thats inpressive considering when your in the everglades you have a downpoor, waves with choppy water, and the racers going full throttle through all of this without a hickup. a little arcady but not to the point of SSX. Great engine, great job.

Above average, you can load your own music. The available music is great, Smashmouth and such, the effects are not mindblowing but adiquit for the game. The sound really let's the game be the center of attention and adds just enough "ambience'" for lack of a better word.

Need more than 2 players. System link would have been nice.

Overall: 10.0 / 10
Gameplay: 9.0 / 10
Visuals: 10.0 / 10
Sound: 9.0 / 10


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