" I played it, I'm not sorry I played it, I probably won't play it again. "
Title: Jet X20 by Sony
Format: PS2 Racer
Reviewing Monkey: Dungapult
The Hype: Combination racing and trick games have always been popular, and Sony's latest dive into one of the most frequently played yet least frequently watched sports among the genre, that of jet skiing, is part of their new under hyped sleeper series of games. It offers dozens of tricks, four racing modes, and 8 wildly stereotypical riders. The question is, will it sail or go Titanic for the gaming giant? Read on, my monkeys, and find out.
What This Monkey Thought...
Graphics: I've always loved nice water effects in games. I've never quite been sure why, but any time I see nice waves or a pretty waterfall it's always drags an "oooh" or "ahhhh" out of me. That said, the environments in Jet X20 were good for any numbers of guttural sounds of approval. The waves are some of the best we've seen in a game, the waterfalls are sheer eye candy, and the real world(ish) physics on the currents really played out a nice aquatic feel through and through. Unfortunately, however, the same could not be said for the character model graphics which end up very lackluster compared to their backdrop. Truthfully, it looked to several of us monkeys like 90% of the graphical time was spent on the water and the riders and jet skis were just thrown in at the end. Still, since most of your attention is on what's coming and not your character's ass (unless you happen to be playing the proverbial "hot chick" racer) you won't notice it much. 3.75 out of 5
Playability: I don't know who the guy was that decided that these water racers would play like a hybrid between a skateboarding/snowboarding game and an arcade racer was, but that guy is a genius and should be given a medal. I've always loved the semi-real world and semi-cartoony nature that these games have had ever since the old Wave Racer line and it's all here in spades. Straight out races clock you for time, trick tracks deck the courses out with ramps to pull gnarly air from, and what is essentially a season mode runs a combination of both. The controls are fairly solid and use a nice common combination of buttons, but unfortunately suffer from being overly sensitive and carry a fairly steep learning curve. On top of that, my only two complaints both involve the design of the levels. The first being that their equivalent to a "skate park" mode (where you can just mess around) is incredibly lifeless and the second being that with only 8 tracks you'll learn all your courses way too quickly (but more on that in a second). Still, when all's said and done, Jet X20 plays well for it's genre and didn't leave me wanting much more for playability. 3.75 out of 5
Story and Drama: It's a racing/trick game…you really think there's a story? No rating.
Multiplayer and Replayability: A dangerous thing happens when you put your console system on line…suddenly everyone expects all your games to be internet compatible. And while there is often understanding for 3rd party games which ignore the potential, for a 1st party racing game to lack the potential is nigh unto unforgivable (and while it's only fair to point out this game technically came out before the adapter, it was close enough that we all expected it). True, there is support for 1 or 2 players, but the lack of even 4 person multi-tap compatibility severely limit the amount of replay you'll get from Jet X20. Further hampering the effect is the limited number of levels and the lack of any kind of track customizer or for an exciting free ski mode. 3 out of 5
|In the end, Jet X20 is neither a poor nor a standout game. While it has some strong elements and belongs to a fun genre, it's steep learning curve, limited replayability, and inconsistent graphics keep it from being anything memorable.|
The Good: Pretty backgrounds with familiar controls.
The Bad: Lacks the polish it needs to really be a competitor.
The Overall Ugly: I played it, I'm not sorry I played it, I probably won't play it again.
What it's Worth: Rental first, market if you like it a lot.