You know the phrase imitation is the best form of flattery? Well if that is the case SSX must be blushing quite a bit right now. If their is one thing that Jet X2O does a lot of it’s imitate. This is not necessarily a bad thing if done correctly, the problem Jet X2O runs into is that it does nothing to distinguish itself from the rest of the pack. Taking almost every page from SSX and adding very little to decipher the two minus the addition of water really takes away from an otherwise solid game. Read on and find out why I kept asking myself, haven’t I played this somewhere before?
I sound like a broken record when I say how dated the PS2 has been looking lately, but in all honesty I have come to expect great things from the blue wonder. Jet X2O actually looks pretty good, sure the textures could use some work, but the massive size of the levels is amazing. Decent water effects and great overall design make this game pleasing to the eyes. It doesn’t do anything spectacular or revolutionary but it gets the job done. The riders themselves could use some work and sometimes the levels slip and draw a little more than I like but overall this game looks good.
The thing I hate most about these kinds of games is the developers complete lack of sound design. Uninspiring sound effects, lame voice overs, and some of the worst blend of techno plague this game. You are left feeling the need for custom soundtracks. The taunts between characters can be amusing at times but for the most part come across adolescent and annoying. Speaking of annoying could the announcer be any more?? His descriptions of he tracks sound like a cheap rip off of SSX and almost make me want to quit the race before it begins. Trying to add humor is fine…when it’s actually funny.
This is where I had the most problems with the game. Controlling your rider is a little on the tight side, you spend most of your time avoiding walls and rocks because of the sloppy feel. You can earn upgrades in the single player game and it does help in the long run, but for those wishing to jump in and play with find themselves struggling with the controls more than enjoying them. At it’s core Jet X2O has a decent amount of playability. You have Single Race, World Tour, and Big Wave, you will be spending most of your time in the World Tour earning upgrades, characters, and tracks not to mention extra wetsuits for each character. The Big Wave mode almost seems like a waste, imagine Dolphin Park from Wave Race scaled down and not much fun. Certainly a feature that could have been left out.
This game is certainly far from horrible, but calling it stellar would be a huge stretch of the imagination. If you are a huge fan of games such as Wave Race and Splashdown and need a new fix give this one a rent, that should suffice. If you end up buying the game be sure to take your toll on the World Tour or else the Single Race mode will lose it’s appeal quickly. A decent game with just as many flaws as achievements, perhaps with a few unique additions this game could become a classic. As it stands it is more like a filler for the already large “average” PS2 collection.