(PSN) Wakeboarding HD
Posted 3 years ago By - Justin Arruda
On the surface, Wakeboarding HD may seem like a great concept for a digitally distributed title. Racing across the water while executing tricks and completing challenges lends itself well to the short, bite-sized nature of most downloadable games. It enables you to pick up the controller and play a race or two before moving on with no real time commitment needed. But can Wakeboarding HD compete with some of the other great offerings on PSN?
The premise of the game is simple; weave your way through 20 aquatic courses while completing a list of trick challenges. There is one main challenge, which is the major requirement for progression and usually two or three minor challenges that will net you extra points. The challenges range from high combo multiplier to breaking objects or dodging shark attacks.
So far this all sounds appropriately ‘Xtreme’ for a wakeboarding game, right? Unfortunately, boredom sets in when playing it doesn’t feel extreme. The game doesn’t really use the strengths of wakeboarding as a sport in its design. I rarely felt that I needed to use any actual tricks to complete challenges. When I was having trouble on a course, I would actually tell myself to stop pulling off tricks and focus on the main goal instead. This reduces the game to an on-rails collector.
I found Wakeboarding HD most fun when it would ramp up the stakes, using the arcade style gameplay for all it’s worth. One mission has players continuously gain speed as they collect stars. Another surrounds your character with hungry sharks looking for a meal. This is the kind of thing the game should be full of. Instead, just make sure you don’t miss any gates.
Sadly, even this can be a problem thanks to the imprecise controls. A few too many times I found myself zigzagging around an object I was trying to collect. Likewise, ‘hard edging’ to the other side of the course to catch a ramp would often result in me missing the ramp entirely. If this is supposed to be a product of the water’s effect on your board, I wasn’t receiving enough feedback to notice.
Visually, Wakeboarding HD is pretty competent. Character models and the environment are not overly detailed but the water effects are nice and the overall aesthetic is quite pretty. However, the music falls victim to the same sense of underwhelming that the game projects. It just doesn’t feel as upbeat as it should.
All 20 main objectives can be completed in under two hours. If you’d like to raise your ranking, you can go back to get every goal but their isn’t much reason to. You are awarded souvenirs as you master courses but they don’t actually do anything. They’re just pictures of fish and shells.
Maybe I’ve been a bit too harsh on Wakeboarding HD but if you’ve read my last couple of reviews, you know that charging $15 for a downloadable game gives me pause. These games need to be really special to justify that much money and unfortunately, Wakeboarding HD is not.
With some obvious adjustments and a price cut, it might be better suited for the iPhone. It’s a decent title to play for 10 minutes while waiting in line or on the bus but it’s not something you’re going to turn on your PS3 to play.
+ Arcade style play allows 10 min play sessions
+ Button combos kept simple
- Main missions can be completed in one sitting
- Course goals and rewards not engaging enough
- $15 seems a bit steep
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Release Date : 2010/03/25
System : PlayStation 3
Publisher : TikGames
Developer : Creat Studio
Category : Sports
ESRB : E
7.0 / 10
8.5 / 10
8.0 / 10
8.7 / 10