Controls for this game were very basic with holding X to accelerate the boat, Circle to brake/reverse and then Square or Triangle to activate a boost. The boat could be turned with the right and left on the D-Pad, and R1/R2 or L1/L2 lets the player bank the boat right or left respecivly.
This was also one of the first games on the Playstation to be fully analog controller compatible, with the players being able to steer with the analog sticks and also rumbe was present throughout the race which varied depending on what type of water the boat is on.
HUDVarious information is displayed on the games HUD:
- Lap Number
- Lap Time list and Overall time
- Time left to reach checkpoint
- Buoys Collected
- Arrow - which points to boats behind when they are close, this gives the player a chance to try and block them.
There are four different coloured buoys to collect during races or time trials:
- Green - Gives a turbo boost for a short time, three can be held at once. Available in all modes.
- Red - These buoys will remove a collected green buoy and replace it with a red, if the bar is filled with red buoys then the player will be penalised with a temporary speed loss. Not available in time trial.
- Blue - Allows the players next checkpoint time to be frozen. Not available in time trial mode.
- Yellow - Collect five of these and finish in first place to unlock the bonus track.
For all these events three difficulties can be chosen, easy, medium and hard.
- One Race - This allows the player to have a single race over any unlocked track with 16 competitors including the player.
- Time Trial - Allows the player to race any unlocked track with no opposition, with the aim of getting the best lap and overall times possible. In this mode a 'Ghost Boat' appears after one lap is completed and from then on the 'Ghost Boat' will re-enact the players best lap of the session.
- Championship - Once all the regular courses are beaten this mode is unlocked and it requires the player to complete all six courses in succession performing well enough to score enough points to top the table at the end of the championship. Championships are broken into groups such as the 'Day' group or the 'Night' group, these are simply the same tracks but played at a different time of day. Winning championships is a method of unlocking new boats or upgrades.
- Bonus Rounds - This is activated if the player collects five yellow buoys and also comes in first place in the Once Race mode. The object of the mode is to pass through coloured gates that represent a type of upgrade, if the player is successful then the player earns an upgrade depending on what gates they passed through during the race. Players have three attempts on easy, two on medium and only one on hard.
When in two player multiplayer the players have two game mode options which are similar to those found in One Player:
With this comes the ability to change various settings that can affect the way the game is played:
- Catch Up - Can be selected either 'Yes' or 'No', when activated this gives the player in second place a speed boost to 'maintain the tension and competitiveness'.
- Opposition - Can be selected 'On' or 'Off', this is simply whether the players wish to race by themselves or to have AI controlled boats present as well.
- Delay 1P / Delay 2P - This allows players to choose the start delay, between 0 - 10 seconds, of player one and then player two.
Players can also choose on this option screen to play the race with the screen split horizontally or vertically.Three to Five Players
The players have three different game mode options to choose from and also have the options to specify how many players between three and five and the difficulty which has the same options as in One Player mode:
- Multiplayer League - This is where each player takes it in turn to complete a Championship which is based on points just like in other modes, the order the players participate in is randomised.
- Sudden Death - This mode sees the players each take it in turn to race a lap around a selected track, and in doing so making sure they beat the time set. For example the first lap could require the player to complete it in 1 minute 40 seconds, so each player will race the lap and then will be returned to a table screen, showing them whether they achieved the time or not. The survivors, the ones who completed the lap quick enough, then go on to race the lap again, but this time with a shorter time limit. This continues until all players fail, as even if there is only one player left, this player can continue to try and beat the lap time high score.
- Winner Stays On - Two players compete in a single race, with the winner staying on to compete again against a different player, this continues for a set number of rounds after which a winner is declared and a league table is displayed. This mode has the options of Catch Up and Opposition as seen in the two player mode.
Boats and Stats
- Black Widow*
* Indicates boat has to be unlockedBoat Stats
Each boat has three upgradable stats and one that is not upgradable.
- Speed - Top speed of the boat.
- Acceleration - How fast the boat can reach the top speed.
- Handling - How manoeuvrable the boat is in the water.
- Hull - How stable the boat is, this cannot be upgraded.
Tracks can be played during the day, or when unlocked, night time. Mirror tracks can also be unlocked.
- Golden Sands Miami
- Wild Water Canyon
- Glacier Bay Alaska
- Bear Lake Canada*
- Lost Valley Costa Rica*
- Lava Trail Hawaii*
* Indicates track has to be unlocked