|Developer(s)||Opus Studio Inc.|
Wave Rally, also known as Jet Ski Riders, is a 2001 Jet Ski racing game developed by Opus Studio Inc. and published by Eidos Interactive exclusively for the PlayStation 2. It was released in North America and Europe in 2001, and in Japan in 2002. It was also to be released on the Xbox but was canceled.
The game provides players with both a Jet Ski and runabout on which to race. Five modes of play are offered: Arcade, Championship, Time Trial, Multiplayer, and Freestyle. The Championship mode awards points based upon the player's final position in each race. The objective is to be the rider with the most points at the end of the season. The Arcade mode forces the player to reach checkpoints within a given time limit in order to continue with the race. The freestyle arena is requires the player to perform various tricks with the aid of waves and ramps scattered around the open area. Tricks are performed using button and directional pad combinations and are judged according to composition, appeal and technical merit, among others.
Dynamic waves which vary in frequency and height can help or hinder the progress during the race. Races take place during different times of the day and in variable weather conditions. A cast of eight selectable characters, consisting of female and male riders, makes up the field for each race. Races take place in a variety of real world locations, such as the Maldives, New Zealand, Florida, and Venice. The official Kawasaki and Jet Pilot licenses allow for official watercraft and wetsuits. A two-player split-screen mode is also included.
Game Revolution commented, "It's got some nice waves, but a bad camera, tough controls, and some unsatisfying gameplay cause an evil tsunami of massive proportions." Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine stated, "This game looks so great, but the controls may very well be the worst I have ever seen in a racing game." IGN stated, "Wave Rally isn't bad to look or listen to, but in the end it seems like more trouble to play in view of the rewards it offers. Shoving yourself around the courses is a frequently frustrating task, even with a touch of catch-up to the AI. You can learn a better way around the tracks, sussing out the lines and finding shortcuts (of which there are many), but it's still entirely possible for the strange behavior of the water to throw you off, no matter how hard you try."
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