Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Splashdown: Rides Gone Wild

First, a bit of news: my PS2 miraculously started working again. Go figure.

Anyway, I picked up Splashdown: Rides Gone Wild quite a while ago so that I would have some 2-player games when nephews and other people come over, but I hadn't really had much of a chance to get into it. I broke it out tonight and played it, and it's actually a pretty fun racing game. It's also relevant right now, since it combines good racing dynamics to look at while I tinker on my own racing game, and it has a whole pirates-themed course to look at while we are (still!) desiging the pirates-themed educational game at work.

Of course, the best part of Splashdown: Rides Gone Wild is the fact that they drew upon Disney theme rides as inspiration for the course settings, which is a real blast. My favorite course, by extension, is the one that is a lot like the Disney Haunted Mansion: Blackwater Castle.
Splashdown screenshot
I looked for the official web site for this game, but interestingly, the THQ web site doesn't even mention the game, and they're the ones who made it. Luckily, Gamespot comes to the rescue with a whole raft of images and Developer Q&A, which is always interesting to read. The developer sums up why I like the Blackwater Castle course so much:
For instance, on our Blackwater Castle course, you release a flood of ghosts from a haunted castle in lap one. During lap two, the ghosts attack a sleepy village, zombies pop out of the cemetery, and the villagers get riled up and march up to the castle (pitchforks, torches, and all). In lap three, they burn the castle down--while you're racing through it.
Yeah, can't go wrong with that. And the level of detail is pretty amazing; for instance, there's a great but easy-to-miss sight gag where you see a zombie burying the gravedigger in the graveyard. That's just good stuff. I hope we can fit some of that fun and creativity into the pirates game or my racing game.

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