Splashdown: Rides Gone Wild


posted 8/22/2003 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
One Page Platforms: PS2
In case you haven’t seen the commercial for the game the basic premise poses the question: “What would life be like if I could Jet Ski in all of my favorite theme parks?” Thus each track is essentially a rollercoaster ride of its own, and as we all know, rollercoasters are a hell of a lot of fun. And that’s just it, Rides Gone Wild is amazingly entertaining. It’s the type of game that you expect to play for 15 minutes and end up playing for hours. It’s that game that you play when your buddies come over and when your little sister stops by for a visit. And yes, it’s even that game that your mother and father can get in to. It’s pure, unadulterated fun, and that’s fine by my book.

There are a few modes available from the start; an Arcade mode that lets you hit the virtual sea, a Career Mode where you earn points to unlock new goodies and a Garage Mode where you actually enter to unlock new goodies. Also available is a little tutorial that gets you up to snuff with the world of watercrafts and a trick mode that lets you practice the game’s tricks.

Rides Gone Wild is the ride of your life, it’s one hell of an amazing adrenalin rush that keeps your heart thumping from the opening seconds of the race right to the moment that you cross the finish line. You get into it, you don’t just watch your racer go around turns, you start to get into the action and learn along with it. Sure you’ll look foolish but only to those who are unfortunate enough to not understand what this game is truly about.

What makes Rides Gone Wild so amazing is that each lap on each track is a different adventure. There’s no such thing as monotony here, every single lap brings forth new obstacles and hurdles to overcome. An early stage features a huge sinking battleship; as it sinks it sends huge waves your way, knocking your craft off course. Later stages feature pieces of landscape that fall onto the course and change the entire layout. No two laps on the same course are the same and the variety in this game ensures that you can’t just sit back and relax, especially if you want to be successful. Learning how to think and handle these situations on the fly is the key to success here. Also, because there’s such a huge variation from track to track you can expect every new track to provide a varied and unique experience. In addition to the variety the courses are a blast to play as well.

If racing through flooded suburbs isn’t your thing then you’ll want to check out the game’s numerous stadium courses, each one more outlandish than the next. These things are out of control, featuring multi-tiered jumps, crossover jumps where riders have the potential to collide in mid-air, and some breakneck hairpin turns that require you to stop on a dime. These indoor courses may seem bland in comparison to the ride-inspired courses but they have enough personality and flair to stand on their own merits.
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