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Platform

Playstation 2

 

Genre

Racing

 

Publisher

SCEA

 

Developer

Killer Game

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

Q4 2002

 

- Tricks are actually employed more or less realistically

 

 

- Ghosting cripples this game at times

- Some of the worst game control

 

 

Review: Splashdown (XBox)

 

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Jet X2O

Score: 6.0 / 10

 

Jet X20 is the latest game to try to duplicate the magic of the SSX series, this time using a jet ski instead of a snowboard. The main thrust of the game is the same: race to the finish before everyone else, but don’t miss the opportunity to hit the big tricks on your way down the course.

 

Unlike SSX, the courses are longer, more drawn out, and require many more runs to master (so don’t expect to fare very well against your computer opponents in the first couple races). This is the first time that I’ve ever felt as though I got lost during the race, ‘cuz I’m in last place and I don’t see anyone. A person who spends the time to follow the computer through the course a few times will learn the quickest way down the course (and if you intend to successfully compete in the circuit courses, it’s a must).

 

The parallels between Jet X20 and the SSX series become immediately apparent once your see the controller layout. Jump, boost, grabs, etc… are all the same; unfortunately the same cannot be said for the controller response. The best description that I can come up with for the controller response is that it's too sensitive. If you tap right – you’ll slam into a wall to the right, if you hold right… well let’s not try that, because you’ll either do high speed donuts or continual bootlegger turns. Multiply the annoyance that the computer AI doesn’t suffer from these problems and you have a game that you’ll be changing out frequently.

 

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- Playstation 2 Game Reviews

- Racing Game Reviews

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The trick system is more true to form than most “extreme” games. If you take a jump and are planning to pull some tricks, you have to leave enough time for your rider to get into the trick and get out of the trick before landing. If you hit the water and you aren’t properly reset on the jet ski, you’ll go flying. On the more difficult tricks, it can take 2-3 seconds to set and once that happens the scoring begins on the trick. The scoring for tricks doesn’t start until the trick is actually set (and you lose all your points for the trick if you don’t land perfect) and uses a multiplier system if you can chain a series of tricks in a single jump.

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The benefit for pulling off successful tricks is boost (hmm, seems familiar), which will let you pull off sicker tricks; and if you can juice your boost you can pull off an “uber trick.” (Now I know that I’ve heard this before.) The accumulation of points will become important to succeed in the circuits because your finishing time isn’t the only measure of how well you ran the course.

 

The graphics for Jet X20 are the proverbial mixed bag. The character designs are decent, no one should be displeased with them (except for the too over the top French-guy maybe… or the stereotypical dumb American jock because of their excessive personalities not their appearances) because they all look sharp and the attention to detail they possess even during their aerial stunts is rather life-like although somewhat cartoonish.

 

The water though is the big show; the realism that is generated with the water’s “close to reality” appearance and response to the jet skis themselves. With all that is done right with the graphics, it is almost completely undone with the interaction between the racers and the surroundings – ghosting in this title isn’t just there, it’s a huge pain in the ass that really acts like a kill-joy. The sight of a bunch of random polygons on screen when you run right through some solid objects (which happens more than you’d think thanks to the shoddy control system) really pulls you out of the action quickly and kills any fun that you were having to that point.

 

Jet X20’s sound is average; the music is unobtrusive, the character voices are accurate (if not completely freaking annoying), and the sound effects seem appropriate to the game (not that I’d know what a jet ski sounds like when revving through a 40 foot drop or when grounding out in a shallow pool).

 

All in all, I’d liken Jet X20 to playing a not as much fun or polished version of SSX, which surprises me considering what has come out of Sony’s game division lately. This game was rushed for Christmas and certainly could have greatly benefited from additional debugging and work.

 

- Tazman

(January 5, 2002)

 

"You are all fools of the highest calibre!"

- Bubblegum Tate (Futurama)

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