If you're a fan of powerboat racing and think it's neat that it has been turned into a video game, don't get your hopes up. Powerboat Racing is by far one of the worst racing games I've played since VMX Racing. The fact that it's boat racing doesn't hide the fact that it's a terrible racing game.
There are five modes of play in Powerboat Racing: arcade, shootout, time trial, challenge, and practice mode. The different modes of play have different parameters and rules. You have eight monohull boats to race with at first, but after completion of the game or use of a code you can select from eight catamarans as well. There are three levels of difficulty to choose from, cutely named minnow, pike, and barracuda. The nine tracks to race on are all incredibly narrow, making the game feel as though you are on rails.
Visually, Powerboat Racing is a mess. The water spray that comes off the boat when turning looks like it consists of two frames of animation. The pop-up is horrendous - half of the time a wall appears out of nowhere when you round a corner. The biggest problem with the graphics is that you can hardly see what's in front of you because of the incredibly bad camera view. Most of the screen is simply blue sky. There is a second cockpit view to play from, but since the pop-up is so bad it isn't any good either. And to top it all off, the frame rate is pretty sluggish.
Sluggish is also a good word to describe the gameplay. You have to control the trim of the boat as well as step on the gas. It's extremely basic. So basic, in fact, that after a lap or two you will be reaching for the power switch.
Even the sound in Powerboat Racing is annoying. The constant buzzing of boat engines that sound more like leaf blowers accompanied by the annoying commentary will prompt you to go into the audio options menu and turn it off. Powerboat Racing has too many problems. It looks bad, sounds bad, and plays bad. There simply isn't a good side to this title. It seems like it was designed as an afterthought. PlayStation owners, racing game fans, and everyone else should just skip Powerboat Racing.