Sea-Doo Hydrocross Preview

If you're not familiar with the term Sea-Doo, imagine those single-person Jet Ski vehicles you see at the beach or on ESPN2. Utilizing these fancy Jet Skis, Sea-Doo Hydrocross will feature eight unique characters, each with his or her own personalized watercraft.

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Considering the success of Sony's Jet Moto and Nintendo's Wave Race series, it only seems fitting for other companies to take a stab at watercraft racing. Up to now, most watercraft games have contained an ample amount of arcade-style gameplay, but lacked in a variety of ways. Seeking to break this mold, Vatical Entertainment is hard at work on Sea-Doo Hydrocross, a Sea-Doo racing title that promises a mixture of arcade and simulation elements.

If you're not familiar with the term Sea-Doo, imagine those single-person Jet Ski vehicles you see at the beach or on ESPN2. Slap a corporate name on the side, and you know what a Sea-Doo is. Utilizing these fancy Jet Skis, Sea-Doo Hydrocross will feature eight unique characters, each with his or her own personalized watercraft. The game will initially contain eight tracks based on unique real-world locales, such as the sewers of Paris or the canals of Venice. Each course will contain a variety of shortcuts, secret areas, and breakable objects.

Though the game is still in the early stages of development, a few notable gameplay features help Sea-Doo stand out. The first is the inclusion of trick elements, akin to those found in recent snowboard and dirt bike titles. You can perform any of 14 basic tricks or chain them together for outrageous combos. Though it's not known how tricks will factor into overall gameplay, the similarity of the title to Vatical's upcoming Polaris SnoCross leads one to believe that exceptional daredevil skills will translate directly into corporate sponsorship or vehicular upgrades. The game will also have two realism settings: arcade and realistic. Thus, those craving a true-to-life Jet Ski game can have their way, while arcade lovers can just boot up and play.

As mentioned previously, the game is still in the early stages of completion. The demo at E3 gave a hint of good handling and speed, but there were too many glitches to make a significant impression. It remains to be seen if Vatical can meet the September release date for the game, but since the game engine is similar to the one being used to develop Polaris SnoCross, Vatical might pull it off. Though 50 percent complete, Sea-Doo Hydrocross is slated for release in September for both the PlayStation and Nintendo 64 game consoles.

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