Jet Moto 3

a game by Sony Imagesoft, and 989 Studios
Genre: Racing
Platforms: Playstation PSX
Editor Rating: 5.4/10, based on 4 reviews
User Rating: 6.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: Jet Games
Jet Moto 3
Jet Moto 3
Jet Moto 3
Jet Moto 3

Jet Moto is getting ready to make more waves on the PlayStation with better graphics and more features than its mediocre predecessors. Jet Moto 3 features II hoverbike racing tracks loaded with shortcuts and multiple paths. There's also a coin hidden in each track--once you've collected 'em all. you'll unlock a hidden stunt mode.

In the preview version, Moto 3 looked sweet. The graphics blazed by with little breakup or distortion, and the track details shined. New play techniques also added to the fun, including air braking, vertical grappling, powersliding, and ditching your bike before crashing. You can also earn points by pulling off successful stunts; and you can put your winnings in a virtual trophy room. While the game controls were easy to pick up, the gameplay was almost too fast and twitchy--with all the twists and turns, it was easy to lose control and crash. Speed issues aside. Jet Moto 3 could be a strong contender to take top racing honors if 989 stays on track.

Game Reviews

The next installment in the Jet Moto series is coming to the PS courtesy of 989 Studios and Pacific Coast Power & Light Company. It features modes you'd expect to find in most any racer, with the addition of a custom Season Mode and a Stunt Mode. In the Stunt Mode, players can polish some fancy moves and compete for points. This September release has 10 racers (five new, five from Jet Moto 2), some 19 types of obstacle-filled environments and a two-player head-to-head mode.

People say:

4

Jet Moto 3 is fast. Really fast. So fast in fact, it takes away from the game in some spots. Granted you can get the hang of this speed and basically control your hover bike OK, but it still gets to be ridiculous--especially in the two-player mode. It's almost like so much speed is being milked from the rest of the game, the overall title suffers. First, JM3 has a general sloppy look about it. There are polygon seams tearing here and there, strange glitchy-looking graphics in places and awkward crash animations and cinemas. Next, the physics are a bit too out of this world for me. Sure, this is to be expected from a fictional racer like JM3, but I just don't like how easy it is to get all flipped around. Thankfully the camera doesn't follow too close when you're like this, and you can use your grapple to bring you back down to earth. Of course, Jet Moto 3 isn't a complete waste of a compact disc either, it provides the classic Jet Moto feel with a good deal of race modes, and new courses with interesting designs (later tracks tend to be more confusing than fun though). The game has some big-name sponsors like Doritos, Mountain Dew and Slim Jim as well. But who cares--I'd rather have creative, imaginary sponsors like the ones in WipeOut 3. Overall, Jet Moto 3 is a flashy racer with a lot of speed, but not much else.

4

I've never played the previous jet Moto games for more than five minutes Oust not interested in them), and the third game didn't draw me in any more than those that came before it. Graphics are very plain and repetitive texture-wise, and sometimes it's really hard to tell which way to go is the right way. When it seems like there'd be shortcuts, there aren't. It's faster than the first two games and has a lot to offer fans of the series, but I'll pass.

4

Although JM3 manages to capture the feel of the previous two games pretty well, it's spoiled by being a little too ambitious on the speed front. Although I wasn't wretching like poor Shawn I did think that the pace ruined the whole thing. It didn't particularly help the graphics either-there are some particularly nasty polygon problems with textures warping and tearing. If you want high-speed futuristic stuff, maybe go with WipeOut 3 instead.

4

What is this--Wave Race on crack? Holy cow it's fast--but not necessarily a good fast, if that makes sense? The environments can't support the speeds these tittle pups are capable of. Half the time you're shooting up the side of a mountain or diving head first into a lava pit...two-player only magnifies the problem due to the limited viewing area. Also, ingame advertising is an unwelcome addition, let Moto fans should rent this, otherwise beware.

Overview

A few years back, Sony Computer Entertainment released one of my all time favorite games, Jet Moto. This game was as original as it was fun. Fast forward to today and 989 Studios has released the third incarnation of the series. While the game does not have the same originality as the first, it still provides quite a rush.

Jet Moto 3 boasts a new 3D engine with "MotoPhysics" handling that is supposed to create realistic handling. There are 11 hover bikes, 19 environments, and a stunt track to test out these "MotoPhysics." It all comes down to some serious, high-speed racing action that if you blink, you may miss.

Gameplay

This game should have a big red stamp across the front of it that reads "Caution: If you suffer from motion sickness, this game may cause frequent trips to the bathroom for vomiting". I personally have never had motion sickness that I can ever remember and I started to feel queasy playing one night. Okay, it was after I had played for about three hours straight, not to mention that I had had a couple of beers earlier but still, I have never had this feeling before (and I can't count the number of times I have played games after a couple of beers). Seriously though, even without the beers, this game made my stomach churn and my head spin.

If you are not familiar with the Jet Moto games, they are racing games that take place on hover bikes. So what are hover bikes? Well, they look like a cross between a motorcycle and a Jet Ski. They have no wheels and hover a few feet above the ground. They are jet propelled and you can catch some serious air and pull off wicked tricks on them. You race across tracks that have checkpoints places on various locations that you must pass through in a specified order. The hover bikes are also equipped with turbo boosters that can be used for a quick burst of speed. The object, like all racing games, is to come in first place. Sound simple enough?

The hover bikes are obviously the main focus of the game and you have 11 different bikes to choose from. They are all rated by top speed, weight and acceleration. Each of the bikes has advantages and disadvantages. I found that picking a bike with faster acceleration and lower top speed worked a little better than going for the all out speed demons. There is a noticeable difference in the bikes as well. It is not like some racing games where everything pretty much performs the same. It will be tough to lay off the bikes with the high top end speeds but trust me, you will be better off in the end.

So why do you not want to just go for the fastest bike out there? Because this game is freakin' fast. If you get on the fastest bike, the game screams past at an almost uncontrollable speed. During an average race I found that I was completely out of control at least 25 percent of the time. I was slamming off walls, flying over cliffs, dropping off ledges or just plain holding on for the ride. This game will definitely frustrate gamers who do not have quick reflexes or a lot of racing game experience under their belt. This is a big part of the feeling of the motion sickness. Do I think this is a bad thing? Not really, but I do think there is a line that can be crossed to where you can be going too fast and feel completely out of control. This game was walking that line a few times.

One big addition to this game over the original is the grapple system. The grapples are magnetic fields that you can use to pull your bike in closer. So if you are trying to take a sharp corner and you use the grapple, it will attach to your bike and whip you around the corner. The original has the grapples but they were only used to help you around corners. They have added grapples that will now pull you up in the air. These are tough to get used to but once you get the hang of it, they are a real blast. This was a great addition to the game.

Aside from the overall speed of this game, the other amazing thing you will find is the tracks. They did a great job of coming up with very original and imaginative track designs. Some of the tracks are the circular type and others double back so you will have racers crossing each other in different directions. Since these are hover bikes, all surfaces are fair game and they have just about every surface you could imagine. You will race over water, sand, ice, grass, snow and lava. Each of these surfaces effect the performance of your bike so you will need to get familiar with how these surfaces effect you and compensate for them.

Not only are the different surfaces that you will race on neat but the actual locations you race through are neat as well. You will race through huge forests (think of the Ewok forest in Return of the Jedi), ancient city ruins, dead ship yards, ice caves, caverns, a city and a floating space city. Each of these tracks has tons of shortcuts and multiple paths. I kept wondering what the next track would like, having no idea what it would be. The only thing that was bad about this was the fact that you will end up going so fast that you will miss most of the shortcuts.

This brings me to my biggest complaint about this game. I really got frustrated with some of the track designs because they were so easy to get turned around on. I would be going so fast and borderline out of control, end up flying through the air and landing someplace that I had no idea where to go. There is a direction arrow that is supposed to point you in the direction that you are supposed to go but most of the time I would just get so disoriented that it did not help. I was also frustrated with some of the later levels because of their difficulty. I don't mind a difficult and competitive race but these were difficult because there were too many place to fall and die. I spent the last three of four tracks slowly inching my way through them (especially the forest track) instead of just racing. A big part of this game is the speed and this was stripped out because I would fall every five seconds or so. I thought this hurt the game somewhat. Hey, I am all for adding a few places where if you make a wrong turn or if you are not careful you fall to your death but this was a bit ridiculous.

Graphics

The graphics are a bit of a mixed bag. This game has to be one of the fastest moving games out there. Everything raced by at break-neck speed. Unfortunately the things that I slowed down to look at were pretty pixilated. The bikes and riders were not very detailed either. Don't get me wrong, the game looks fine. I think they did a good job with what they had to work with and they made a choice to compromise extreme detail for speed. In the end, it does not hurt the game at all.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for an insanely fast speed romp, this game is for you. It is fun and I really enjoyed the game. It will get frustrating later on when you constantly fly over cliffs and off ledges but I guess you will just have to use some discipline and slow down. Over the years, the game has lost some of its originality but I think adding the air grapple system helped. All in all, this is a decent game that should give you a few hours of enjoyment.

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