Game Review - by James Allen
Try and find a Real TV without some spectacular speedboat crash. Yes, the popularity of this sport is based solely upon the fact that the vessels can obliterate into a million pieces in a matter of a second or two. This violent transition leads us to Jetboat Superchamps 2, a game in which neither of the two words passes spell check. In JBSC2 (as the "cool kids" call it), you take the helm of a jet-powered speed boat, and sail across the land, completing laps and solving crimes. Wait a minute, no you don't; it's just for pure, unadulterated speed! Wowsers! So, can Jetboat Superchamps 2 race toward victory, or feel the agony of defeat?
There's not much to Jetboat Superchamps 2. You can choose from a roster of 8 drivers and race on 5 different courses (although they can be reversed, and have different difficulty levels). There are normal races, and time trials available for your boating pleasure. You can unlock the next stage by winning a specified number of races at the previous track. That's pretty much it, folks.
Sound is what is to be expected in a game such as this. A booming soundtrack (which I think fits well in the game) dominates the action, as you see often in arcade racing games. The occasional splash of the boat being exposed to the blue ocean and the revving of the engines also come into play. You can hear the banging of boat against boat (or a solid object, such as that DARN BRIDGE), and you're dutifully informed of your finishing place, along with some words of encouragement for your next encounter. There isn't that much variation in the sounds, but it seems to work well with this kind of game.
Jetboat Superchamps 2 adds a couple of different notions to make the gameplay vary from the normal arcade racer. First, since we are controlling boats powered by jets of water, you must be "accelerating" at all times. You can't really slow down by any means other than turning, and even then, you must keep the pedal to the metal. You have a store or turbo boost, which slowly regenerates over time: this is essential to win races, and can assist your boat in picking up speed swiftly. You race around a circular track, and you must pass through a sequence of gates. If you miss a gate, you are charged with a fault: three faults, and you're out. However, if you pass through four consecutive gates following a fault, said fault is taken away. This means the strategic racer studies the track and misses certain gates on purpose in order to gain time on the field. It takes a couple of races to discover the specific spots which will lead you to victory. These attributes of gameplay make Jetboat Superchamps 2 a rather unique game, and one which is fun to play.
The graphics look pretty sharp, especially for a game of this price range. Everything seems so sunny (except for the subway sections) and bright. The detail on the boats is great; the reflective surfaces shine in glory, and the water parts from the manliness of your craft. Although few that there are, the individual tracks seem very well done. It does create a great atmosphere of being in a brightly lit beach area. There are some issues with the waves being inconsistent, especially from a far distance, but that only annoys you a small amount. The graphics certainly hold their own against many games.
If you're looking for a mindless boat racing game, Jetboat Superchamps 2 is a fine choice. The lack of many tracks provides for some note of discomfort, as you'll beat all the levels fairly quickly, but it's a fun ride while it lasts. Jetboat Superchamps 2 certainly acts and plays like a casual console racer, and it excels at that.