Review: Wakeboarding HD
Developer: TikGames/Creat Studios
Publisher: TikGames/Creat Studios
Release Date: March 25th, 2010
Price: $14.99 | £11.99 | €14.99
Players: 1-2 Local
What I liked:
- It certainly looks nice, and the presentation is great.
What I disliked:
- The gameplay, the loading, the price.
I love TikGames/Creat Studios. They’re the biggest supporters of PSN games to date, with so many games in fact that Sony has given them a custom storefront on the PS Store, and I’ve enjoyed quite a bit of what they’ve offered (Cuboid, Magic Orbz, etc.) Every now and then they release an inexplicable game that doesn’t feel much like a game than it does a product, and Wakeboarding HD joins Smash Cars in that regard.
What do I mean by that? Well, Wakeboarding HD certainly is a fine looking game. Screenshots and video make it look very appealing, and the higher price alludes to a deeper gameplay experience. Once you start playing it, it feels a bit empty and somewhat unenjoyable, until you hit patches of gameplay where you think, YES! Give me more of this kind of action! But no, the game continues in its set path until the bitter end. That is, if you can even make it to the end, thanks to the ramp up in difficulty.
Wakeboarding HD tasks you with boardin’ in a variety of areas, completing objectives before you cross the finish line. The objectives range in hitting all the goals, smashing up levels, dodging sharks, picking up stars, grinding for 30 seconds, etc. The only controls you have is moving your boarder left to right, and performing tricks with the face buttons via tapping or holding said buttons. And that’s it.
Well, it wouldn’t be too bad if you weren’t tethered to a boat going 20mph. In fact, the entire game has you going that speed up until the last few levels, where I had to collect stars and each one would slightly increase my overall speed. So I grabbed the stars as I went faster, faster, and even faster until I hit a ramp and jolted into the air, and I had that “YEAH! moment of excitement.” Maybe the game would continue this pace, I thought/hoped. But nope, there were never any moments like that again (except in two or so levels where it would immediately throw you from 20mph to 60mph with no advance warning, causing me to fail those levels almost instantly.)
This game feels disjointed. There’s a persistent leveling system, but it doesn’t explain how you earn points or how many you’ve earned for that matter. You can unlock souvenirs, but they don’t seem to do anything at all. You can get a bronze/silver/gold medal in a level, but it’s not displayed anywhere in the level select screen until you access the online leaderboards. And the load times, going over thirty seconds per level, is a real buzz killer.
Creat/TikGames have done better, and this is a pretty gorgeous engine that I hope they use in future projects… as long as that project isn’t Wakeboarding HD 2.