The summer is on the way, so get ready for the sun, sea, and sleek Carve. Grab your wet suit, your jet ski, and ride the waves to the new race on the scene.
Carve is a trick based race game, first past the post still wins, but by performing tricks over the many ramps you can gain speed boosts, the better the trick, the quicker you get your “Double Rush”.
There 27 races, and over 15 tricks, and 5 tournaments, with every tournament completed you gain access to more tricks, tracks, crafts and even the odd fun cheat (yep you guessed, big head mode) so a bit of practise is certainly needed before you take yourself online.
There are 4 teams in the game each consisting of two players, As usual each team have there own statistics, some are faster, but there boost is overall slower, others are more aggressive to win the race, blocking and ramming you, but are average in the other areas.
There is the usual practise ya tricks track, and it works well getting you used to the quick button presses you need, to execute the flips, spins and “Look no hands!” style stunts. Problem is performing the tricks take you away from what this game really is, a racing game.
The tricks range from simple hand waves, to barrel rolls, and flips. As you do a flip though you can still do other tricks, i.e. a side kick, just to give you that little bit more points. You can even chain a few tricks together as you do a submarine, this enables you to dive under the water after a trick and bob up again for a quick trick. There are a selection of tricks you can only do on the water i.e., no off a ramp, these include hand stands and riding your jet ski back to front, these gain you a fair amount of boost points, but make steering a little harder, worth the risk? When you have done enough stunts, the more daring the better your Double Rush meter fills, and then when you unleash this, you get a huge boost compared to the little ones after a more than simple trick.
You can miss a designated number of buoys per race. This is not only good just in case, it can be very tactical. Imagine you have to take a corner wide just so that you pass a buoy. Well just miss the buoy, let the game notch it up as a MISSED BUOY and take the lead, to many missed buoys, and your disqualified, and out of the race. Thing is, the whole game doesn’t feel like a proper race, you do tricks, and round the buoys, so you have no real feel of slip stream or power sliding like you would a normal racing game.
The tracks range from simple canals to sunny beaches and onto Artic waters, there are ramps to jump of, icebergs to dodge, ships wrecks to speed through. The graphics are crystal clear, colourful and work very well.
There are various modes of play, the usual quick race, arcade and tournaments, system link and time trials and of course… Live! Online play is set out particularly well; it’s easy to set a game up, and even in game it tells you if anyone on your friends list has come online and what game. There is no lag to speak of, and plays as you would hope, fun fast and pretty flawless. You can gain points from various things too, not just your placement in your race, but best tricks too.
Good racer, sadly not great. Fun though, and you keep coming back just to get that first place. You’ll want to try each team too, you might be surprised.