| |

Carve Review

Developer: Argonaut Games Publisher: Global Star
Release Date: February 26, 2004 Also On: None

Carve is a budget Xbox title from Take-Two’s newest subsidiary, Global Star. Carve, a watercraft racer, is competing with Nintendo’s Wave Race: Blue Storm. It succeeded and even expanded on it, by going online.

Disclosure: We may earn a commission from links on this page

Carve’s 27 courses include courses in Europe, the Pacific, the U.S., and the Arctic. All of the courses are well designed, but have little more than ramps here and there, for the most part. Some levels have ice and crates in the water, but crashing into them has no affect on your speed, at least it seems that way.

Only a handful of courses are available out of the box. All others are unlockable by playing the game’s 5 tournaments. The tournaments include 1 rookie, 2 advanced, and 2 pro. Before moving on to the next tournament, you must beat the tournament that you are on.

Carve’s different game modes include quick race, arcade, tournament, trick tutorial, system link, Xbox Live, and time trials. Quick race selects your racer, difficulty, and course for you and is only one player. Arcade allows up to 4 human players without computer.

A trick system is in place and for everyone that is performed, you get trick points, which become “Rush�. Repeated tricks lose point value, but still contribute to your points and “Rush� meter. Tricks above 2,500 points earn you a speed boost. The trick tutorial assists you in mastering tricks in your inventory.

By combining tricks, you receive more points. 5 different trick point ranges give you different speed boost lengths. The highest trick point level gives you an extended boost, while lower levels have shorter boost lengths. Tricks are easy to pull off and memorize, whether it be the one hander (XX), handstand (XYXY), or the 4X combo, which combines four different moves into a single, high scoring, combo trick.

Carve has eight characters broken down into four teams of two. Team AI will block and ram opposing team members at the player’s benefit. Each team has different attributes, such as speed, tricks, etc.

Xbox Live play allows for online matches, such as quick match, opti match, and create a game. Skill boards are available and rank players by online performance, as in points earned by beating higher or lower ranked players. Beating higher ranked players will earn you more points than beating ones that are lower ranked.

Realistic water effects, such as wave movements, are present. Waves will affect your watercraft’s speed, possibly slowing it down if you land on the crest. Water particles get on the camera and blur the screen. Overall, for the price, Carve is one of the best Xbox sports titles available and should be purchased without contemplation.

Graphics: 9
Sound: 4
Gameplay: 8.5
Creativity: 5
Replay Value/Game Length: 8.5
Final: 7.3
Written by Kyle Review Guide