Splashdown PS2
Review by Matt Paprocki Infogrames Racing
Graphics: 9 Sound: 8 Gameplay: 9 Overall: 9

2001's holiday season will always be remembered by the gaming community as one of the busiest ones ever with 4 consoles on the market and over 200 games being released within a short period of time. As always, a few truly great games will get overlooked and Splashdown is one of the best games for the PS2. It's unfortunate, but it seems that Konami and Rockstar will ultimately rule the sales charts, leaving this See-Doo sponsored racing game on store shelves.

Gamers begin the game with a great intro featuring game footage of brilliant stunts. The licensed music pumps up players who will be more than ready for an exhilarating thrill ride. The options are slightly limited, but the basics are there. Career, arcade, and time trials are all present plus a highly recommended training mode for first timers. Playing deep into the career mode will let players unlock courses and more riders. Unlocking these isn't as easy as simply progressing through the stages, but grabbing icons during the races that are seemingly impossible to reach will give players the extra feature. The pinpoint controls make this a feasible task however, so the frustration level never gets very high.

Just as lens flares were the most overused special effect in the 32 and 64 bit era, water effects are quickly becoming the standard for this generation of consoles. You know what? It's fine with me as long as games look this good. The water reacts with uncanny realism to the riders and their surroundings plus you can even see under the water revealing plants and fish. The light hits the water giving it a life of it's own and the greatness of the physics engine needs to been seen to be truly appreciated. Fans of pulling off massive stunts will be more than satisfied with the large amount of tricks in the game, especially due to the great animation of the riders.

Sum 41 has had their music attached to no less 5 games so far, so the music can be slightly repetitive. Other bands such as SR-47 and Smashmouth round out the soundtrack, but the limited number of licensed tracks causes a lot of repeating music. The riders voices are also annoying with some of the dumber quotes in recent memory. The water splashing effects and engine noises are spectacular when hooked up to a decent surround sound system as players can hear opponents coming from behind them and instantly tell which direction they'll be appearing from. Waves will also crash behind players giving this game some of the best sound effects in some time.

After your done with Metal Gear Solid 2 and Grand Theft Auto III, make sure to pick this one up. It will easily go down as one of the most overlooked games in the PS2's library. The uncanny physics engine combined with realistic water effects and near flawless control make this one a must play. The repeating music can be annoying, but there always the option to turn it down. Definitely worth dropping $50 on....


Go to Digital Press HQ
Return to Digital Press Home

Last updated: Sunday, June 08, 2003 12:00 AM