The bulk of the game’s offerings come in the form of a career mode that spans nine different cups, with each offering a selection of races that steadily grow in difficulty. Each successive group of challenges is unlocked by acquiring a sufficient amount of stars which are themselves garnered by finishing in the top three places on each race, to make it slightly less taxing to unlock those more challenging tournaments, the number of races within them also increase, meaning that the harder the cup is to complete, the more stars it has to offer. Simple, right? Well, not really, you see, the opponent AI is actually rather taxing, right from the off as it seems to always have a degree of speed and handling that the player can only dream about, though there are ways to get around this and end the CPU’s dominance on the track.
For a start there are ten different vehicles that can be purchased from the in-game store, these vary wildly in price from fairly affordable to ludicrously expensive, meaning that players will undoubtedly have to backtrack to earlier races in order to grind their way up the ranks. Racing offers XP as well as cash rewards, this allows the player to level up, earning skill points to buy upgrades and skill moves, whilst additional bonus sums of cash are also dumped into one’s savings account upon reaching a new milestone. On top of this, each of the game’s vehicles (including the basic one that players are given upon completing the tutorial) are upgradeable, with four different rated areas to improve upon, these being; acceleration, top speed, handling and boost (this affects how much boost can be earned from stunts). Upgrades offer a cost effective means of making a vehicle more competitive, yet whilst improving the inaugural jet ski does allow the player to become more than competitive on the first two available cups, it does mean that grinding becomes a staple part of the game very early on.