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Carve Impressions


Romier S
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Well its 20 bucks so I figured why the hell not. Got home tonight and played the game for about an hour all together. This writeup isn't going to be in depth or anything major. More than anything heres some quick thoughts for you:

 

-The game handles great. Turns are easy to get a handle on and the trick system is very well implemented. You get a sense that you ARE racing on a jet-ski but the game really lacks the dyamics of something like Wave Race. The water for the most part in every course I've been too has been very calm and has not offered a great level of "interactivity" that a really great jet-ski game thrives on but the game supposedly has 27 courses so we'll have to wait and see what tommorrow brings.

 

-Tricks are done with button combinations and are a cinch to pull off. There are longer strings of combos you can do which of course require memorization and timing. The game has a handly trick tutorial system that tests you further and further on harder tricks and works great. For every trick you do you get a "rush" which speeds your jet-ski up. Once you fill your "double rush" meter you get a full on blast of speed for a limited time so the trick system is integral to the gameplay.

 

-The graphics are very nice indeed. Quite suprised actually. The draw distance is quite far away and the game moves at a smooth clip The water effects are excellent and not at all overdone. You never get that sense of "mercury" when looking at so many other games implementation of water (which is good!).

 

-Racing is very simliar to other Jet Ski games. You go in and out of different colored buoys gaining ground and finishing first is of course the ultimate goal. The game allows you to miss a buoy only so many times before you are disqualified from the race. During the online team race mode both partners share misses also so that should make for some fun team dynamics ;)

 

-The music in the game is very generic and not at all interesting. The worst part about this particular problem is the game has no custom soundtrack support. :(

 

-The games characters are really generic and the type of "story" they tried to add to each team is somewhat cheesy. Would have almost preferred blank templates or a create a racer than whats here right now. (though again I haven't really explored the game thoroughly so the game may indeed have something like that.)

 

-There is online play also. There is a team based mode that allows for clumps of players to split off into teams and compete for team points. You can set up chat rooms while watching the races and more. It looks like the online component was thought out pretty well thus far. I hopped online only for a few moments to check out the interface so I can't comment on performance or much more than that right now but I look forward to hopping on tommorrow night as I convinced Scott to pick this one up. (Scott's thoughts towards me at the moment: :bang: ) 8)

 

For 20.00 bucks I really think its easy to recommend this right now. I popped it in my Xbox expecting a disaster was pleasantly suprised. The online modes look like they could be fun and the game that it is built on thus far seems very solid. I know how you folks hate to spend money :D but for this price you've got little to lose.

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I tried the OXM demo and it seemed a little blah in the gameplay and level design. In the full game are there shortcuts, power-ups, combat, etc.? Can you dive your jet-ski under water? Are the levels all real-world, or are there fantasy races (the demo level looked like Amsterdam)?. Is there a first-person view? I thought the lens-spray was a little overdone. How many Live players per race?

 

Ah, who am I kidding? $20 list is $15 at Best Buy with a GGC. Damn you, damn you all!

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In the full game are there shortcuts, power-ups, combat, etc.?

 

There are shortcuts. No power-ups though as the trick system is the main way to aquire speed-up bonuses and what not and combat is mainly focused on ramming your opponent (each racer has a "ramming" stat which shows how efficient they are at knocking other riders off thier Jet-Ski.)

 

Are the levels all real-world, or are there fantasy races

 

All the levels I've played have been real-world but again I haven't even scratched the surface here yet.

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Just got done putting in about 45 minutes with Carve and overall it's worth the $20. While it's no Waverace or Splashdown it's a fun racer that I can see getting some playtime on XBL. One thing I noticed however, you'll need to go through the single player game to unlock courses and watercraft to use online.

 

The trick system is very easy to use with some of the more complicated combos requiring a little practice, but by no means impossible. The graphics are a mixed bag with some good looking water effects, but some god awful looking textures thrown in just so you don't forget you're playing a budget title ;)

 

Hope to get some races in tonight before Line of Contact takes over my life :D

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Originally posted by adamsappel@Feb 26 2004, 10:37 AM

I tried the OXM demo and it seemed a little blah in the gameplay and level design. In the full game are there shortcuts, power-ups, combat, etc.? Can you dive your jet-ski under water? Are the levels all real-world, or are there fantasy races (the demo level looked like Amsterdam)?. Is there a first-person view? I thought the lens-spray was a little overdone. How many Live players per race?

I'll answer the questions Romier hasn't for you.

 

1- You can submerge your Jet-Ski

2- There is no first person view

3- 8 players online or system link

4- The lens spray is still a little overdone

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^^^

 

Correct and I agree on the some of the texture work. It can range from decent to N64 quality.

 

Got the pub to goto tonight too, so I may not make it on anyway.

 

Bah, get your butt online. I usually don't jump online till about midnight anyway so you have plenty of time to get drunk and play some Live. :tu:

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Originally posted by Dan B.@Feb 26 2004, 04:35 PM

From the OXM demo, I just couldn't stop thinking the whole time "this isn't as good as Splashdown" and that game also costs less than $20 FWIW.

True, but as the MX Unleashed thread has shown, Live play can make all the difference.

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I just put 20 minutes into Carve and I am very happy with my purchase! The game is fine on its own, but the Live component will be a blast! The Live interface looks to be very user-friendly. You can set it to send invites to your friends as they start Carve, or even as they come online in any other game / dashboard. There is a chat function included as well. Hope to see alot of you pick it up!

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Tried out the demo on my OXM disc (Didn't realize it was on there). It seemed fun, although are there waves in the full release? The water looked fine in terms of reflections and stuff, but I didn't notice any wave effects like I'm used to in the Wave Race series.

 

For 20$ though, I'll still be picking it up. Although my Gamestop didn't get any today because it's "not a hot seller". :?

 

If they have it tomorrow when I pick up Steel Battalion - Line of Contact I'll most likely pick it up. Especially since I can't play LoC because the damn controller doesn't get here until Tuesday.

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The wave issue is something I was annoyed at in the demo too - my mate had been boasting about the water physics, and the demo water was flat! Apparently there are more "splashdown" waves in the full game. I know the "quick level" I tried after lunch had more waves than the demo but still very gentle ones compared to Splashdown or Wave Race.

 

I really am a sucker for good jetski games. I know this is going to be a "flavour of the week", but it's worth it to me in this case. Especially with link play - I can see my brother-in-law enjoying this (big jetski fan/owner).

 

Although my Gamestop didn't get any today because it's "not a hot seller".

 

Mine gave me a bunch of mixed messages - it was in the computer & expected yesterday, but didn't turn up, so when he tried to sell me a preorder, the computer wouldn't let him. Something about it not available for "prebooks". So I bought it from EB instead.

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