With the extreme sports genre progressing forward at a rapid pace, weíre seeing virtually every extreme sport there is make itís way to the console. Although watercraft racing is but a very short chapter in the PS2ís life, SCEA is hoping to open up this wave racer once again with a game titled Jet X20.
Probably taking a page out of EA BIGís book, Killer Games has incorporated many things into Jet X20 that made SSX so great. As you start out, you can chose from a host of different riders and compete in the single-player season where you can accomplish a lot. Starting off, youíll have to place high in the races to unlock the new levels. Along the way, earns points so that you can upgrade the various statistics on your craft, so itíll be able to handle the increase in AI difficulty.
While racing, you can also perform myriad tricks, most of which can be found in a game like Splashdown or Freekstyle. As you start landing tricks, the boost meter indicated on the screen will increase, and you can then move at higher rates. Another way youíll be able to fill your meter is by successfully maneuvering in and out of the flag-type markers that are dissipated throughout.
In the season mode, youíll have the opportunity to duke it out with the competition in eight different locales. The levels are all abroad too, ranging from volcanic scenery to jungle-like terrain. Found in each level are shortcuts, multiple forks in the road, plenty of background scenery; above all though, theyíre quite expansive, similar to the degree of the tracks found in SSX.
Each rider hails from a different state, including Germany, Spain, Russia, the US (of course), and more. With each character comes his own stand-out, memorable style thatís unique to him or her. You can basically expect the same type styles and attitudes from SSX, more or less.
Killer Games knows it needs to hold a strong ground in the water physics department, or basically the whole game will be somewhat skewed. Thankfully, so far, so good, and the game will definitely benefit because of this. The interaction among you and your challengers waves will collide and coincide accordingly, and each bank and river will also already have its own current, which will also come into play.
As of now, the game is coming along rather well, controlling nicely and also holding other key elements to make this one a success. Visually, the game could use a little brushing up, but players will most likely be pleased with the rest of the game in mind. Keep your eyes peeled for Killer Gamesí wave racer late this year.
7/12/2002 Joseph Comunale