Aside from the career mode, you can play a free ride mode that removes the goals, and there are some two-player games, including one where one player rides while the other drives the boat. Like the boat driving seen in the career mode, this seems like a real "because we can" sort of addition.
Graphically, Wakeboarding Unleashed has its moments of clarity, but the game's bad clipping problems and occasionally odd physics make the game look pretty weird at some points. When all is running as it should, the water looks great, moving like a real wake would and showing some nice reflections of the surrounding environment. But you'll occasionally catch a look at the water from the side, and then the illusion is partially blown. The surrounding structures look good, but rarely great. The game is available on both the PlayStation 2 and the Xbox, and it has the typical qualities you would expect from a multiplatform game--the versions are roughly identical, but the Xbox version looks a little crisper and cleaner, though not as much as it would if it were being developed specifically for the Xbox.
Better collision detection really would have gone a long way here.
The game's sound does its job. The sounds of the boat and your board riding on various surfaces are the main audio components. The game's soundtrack is a little more wild than you'd expect in this age of "license whatever the hot songs are this week" soundtrack design. Songs from The Pixies, The Flaming Lips, Love and Rockets, Molly Hatchet, J. Geils Band, George Thorogood, Pavement, The Stooges, and Van Halen can all be found here, among a handful of others. The Xbox version of the game has custom soundtrack support, letting you select a mix of the game's tracks and your own, if you desire.
Wakeboarding Unleashed is a fun game. But most of that fun comes from simply seeing the levels and executing the longest combo you possibly can. Unfortunately, the game's real goals aren't exciting enough to carry the game, so once you've unlocked enough levels to be satisfied and gotten the hang of the controls, there really isn't a whole lot more to see. Fans of the genre will be left wanting more, which makes Wakeboarding Unleashed a terrific candidate for your next game rental.
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