It’s a good thing that Sony’s “Jet X2O” isn’t attending the University. Deliberately copying EA’s snowboarding title “SSX” in every way possible, the game would be kicked out for plagiarism one day and flipping burgers the next. Fortunately for gamers craving downhill snowboarding – err wave racing; rules in the area of video game cloning do not appear to be that strict.

Paul Wong

The first indication that “Jet X2O” is an “SSX” rip off is the game’s title. Both titles sound like gibberish and appear to be brought to you by the letter X (for those wondering, SSX means snowboard super cross, while Jet X2O is a hydrogen fuel used by a league of racers). While these similarities could be considered a coincidence (yeah right), there are too many obvious comparisons that can be made between the two games.The chromed cover of “Jet X20,” loading screens, menu screens, in-game displays (most notably the course progress bar and boost gauge) and race results look EXACTLY the same as those found in “SSX.” Sony doesn’t even try to be the kid in class that copies the work but finds a way to make it look different – they simply copied and pasted.

Also helping “Jet X2O” become “SSX Water” is the game’s oh-so-original control scheme. Using the x button for acceleration, the square button for both speed boost and tweak maneuvers, and the four shoulder buttons for various tricks, gamers familiar with “SSX” should feel at home. At the same time, the game’s developers should be in jail for such blatant Xeroxing of another game’s controls.

While the already mentioned aspects of “Jet X2O” follow the style of “SSX” page for page, the game’s levels are not exactly the same. After all, people can’t wave race on snowy slopes. But again, like the “SSX” games, the game’s downhill-based levels are long, full of various shortcuts and can be played either as a race or a trick event. While this is not a bad thing, the only gamers who will play “Jet X2O” over an “SSX” game are those who prefer the wet stuff to the frozen stuff. For such gamers looking for wet dreams on watercraft, it should be noted that Sony has done an excellent job creating realistic water, wave movements and controls that make gamers feel like they are controlling a wave runner.

The final touch of copycatting found in “Jet X2O” is the game’s characters. While not completely identical to those found in “SSX,” gamers can expect to see racers of every size and personality spouting all sorts of funky trash talk.

In the end, gamers who love EA’s snowboarding series might be thinking that if the game completely rips off “SSX,” it must be a blast to play. Unfortunately, this is not the case. “Jet X2O,” while fun for maybe a few days, lacks the magic that made “SSX” and “SSX Tricky” so good. The jumps are not as exhilarating, there are fewer opportunities to pull off tricks and the pace of the game is a little on the slow side. “Jet X2O,” you’ve been expelled.

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