It's ironic that developer Argonaut has put a lot of love into this game. Being a budget title, you'd figure they'd push it out the door faster than a Jehovah's Witness with bad breath.
Instead, they've slapped some great water effects on this jet ski racer and even thrown in Xbox Live. What is missing, however, is that solid gameplay core which could have made those features something more than anecdotes.
Despite lacking everything from a real career mode to a notable physics engine, Carve definitely has its moments. My favorite was when I was hot on someone's tail – water was spitting up and forming droplets on my screen. Meanwhile, my craft would crest and dip in the swelling wake of my opponent. The trick system gets points for being integral to building speed, but its execution is uneven, meaning you don't always perform the tricks you've punched in. Other ideas, such as an AI teammate to help you out and team-specific characteristics, aren't executed to any satisfaction.
Sadly, that early ‘90s Body Glove wet suit will have to remain a dark secret in the depths of your closet.
A budget game that almost covers up the reek of cheap jet ski cologne
The water effects are exemplary even for a title twice its price
Don't know if the character voices or the music is more annoying
Much to the detriment of the game, the trick system is a shade off
Like a cat in water, you just can't get comfortable