Kawasaki Caribbean Challenge
Gentleman, start your engines! Gametek and Park Place Productions worked a long time creating Kawasaki Caribbean Challenge, a motorcycle and jet ski racing game. Why so long? Well, creating this game involved digitizing countless photographs of motorcycles and jet skis. They even consulted a physicist to recreate realistic movement and handling. Curiously, very little of this work is apparent in the final product, a 16-bit game that plays like an 8-bit cart.
Kawasaki Caribbean Challenge has two overhead-view racing games: Ninja motorcycle racing and jet ski racing. You can pick your favorite bike or jet ski and race against time on your choice of four courses.
Or, you can take the Caribbean Challenge, which is a combination of the two races. Your bike, jet ski, and course are selected for you. You race against a group of computer opponents and accumulate points by winning races. Your goal is to stay in contention by earning enough points to move on to the next island course. A two- player head-to-head option would have made the game a lot more fun.
Not Like Paradise
Kawasaki Caribbean Challenge features beautiful digitized still photographs of the vehicles and the islands, but the actual game play graphics are pretty weak. The sprites are small and not very detailed, and the backgrounds use only a fraction of the SNES's color palette. Kawasaki's controls are very simple. In the bike mode, you can turn right and left, accelerate, and brake. The Jet Ski mode is the same, minus the brakes. Again, this hardly taps into the potential of the SNES's six-button controller.
Kawasaki Caribbean Challenge is a good game idea, but it doesn't have enough depth to keep hard-racin' gamers busy. Cruise past this Kawasaki Challenge.
ProTip: For maximum speed on your Jet ski, stay close to the shore.