Well we all knew that in time every “extreme” sport would have it’s own videogame. After the initial success of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater it was inevitable that the other companies would pick up the trend as well. TWS was released as an XBox launch title back in November and was a shocker, a surfing game made fun how could that be? We haven’t had one of those since T&C Surf Design for the NES. Now that is quite a standard to live up to, but Infogrames never ceases to amaze me time after time. Enough babbling from the village idiot let us rally on as to why this game is actually enjoyable.
The first thing you casual gamers will notice when you power on your over hyped blue amplifiers is that this game is gorgeous. The water effects stood above many others on the XBox and they continue to leave a lasting impression on the PS2. It really is amazing what a good developer can do with restricted hardware these days. The only major gripe about the way the game looks is the constant frame rate issues. One second you have a glorious 30 the next a whopping 15 at most. It hurts the gameplay in minor ways, but nothing to ruin the overall experience!
We have been spoiled over the years with some of gaming’s finest music ranging from Zelda to the Mario series to the ever so recent Metal Gear Solid. Game music is a beautiful thing in it’s own right, too bad extreme sports games never use it…but then again the music is quite setting for a sport where you spend much time on your face. Bands such as NOFX and the like are here blasting away with super fast drum beats and guitars galore, accompanied by the vocal greatness these bands have so greatly materialized over the years. It’s suiting but I won’t be humming along with this game.
Of course the mimicking of a classic is a must. Ever since the birth of Tony Hawk everyone has pretty much the same control scheme. You have your jump button along with the standard trick buttons that you perform in mid-air. There really is no other way to do this kind of game, but as with Tony Hawk every year a few innovations wouldn’t hurt it in my opinion. Perhaps sprucing things up a bit could be beneficial to a stale control scheme, I mean imagine if Mario played just like it did on the NES today?? Now that would be frustrating!
The PS2 version gets a few extra features such as a couple new riders and a handful of extra tracks from the XBox version as well as a new shark attack mode which is quite cool. The multi-player will keep you occupied for a weekend at best and the single player still gets repetitive. Perhaps next time we will get the Tony Hawk of the water but for now I am concise with this title and proudly proclaim it, “Best surfing game ever!” end quote LOL. Should you buy it? That is a question you should ask Blockbuster as I suggest a rent, and if you still wanna play when it’s time to return, go ahead and shell it out. A quality title from a quality company!