Jet Moto has been creating quite a stir around our offices, even among the most jaded racing fans. Created by SingleTrac, who also produced the stellar Twisted Metal series, Jet Moto is a futuristic racing game in which riders pilot hovercrafts that bear more than a casual resemblance to a certain Kawasaki watercraft. (Rumor has it SingleTrac originally wanted the crafts to be Jet Skis, but the big N snatched up this coveted license for WaveRace 64). SingleTrac, however, turned a liability into an asset by designing courses no conventional watercrafts could negotiate. One course features a large highway overpass that has crumbled into the ocean. Another course, aptly named Blackwater Falls, has an insanely high waterfall that would snap a real Jet Ski, not to mention its rider, in half. Additionally, the jet motos also have nitro boosters and laser "grapplers" that allow crafty racers to slingshot around hairpin turns.
Jet Moto's frame rate, rider animations and wave physics are extremely impressive, even at this early stage. As in real racing, players must plot a course through the calmest waters while avoiding large breakers, which slow down your rider.
Jet Moto has an awesome Two-player Split-screen Mode that really has been drawing crowds around here. So far we've seen only three of a rumored 10 tracks, and we're already salivating for more! This game will certainly appeal to any fan of racing games. With the wide range of tracks and racing surfaces, it is sure to get the adrenaline pumping. Look for Sony to release this before the end of the year.
- MANUFACTURER - Sony
- THEME - Racing
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 or 2
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JET MOTO (PS)
Besides the obvious car racing games that have recently swamped the market, very few--if any--motocross games surfaced for any system let alone a next-generation platform. Jet Moto allows you to take your racing talents to the dirt and race against others of equal skill. Transverse dirt mounds on the hottest off-road bikes around while leaving the rest in your dust.
Before I even start in about Jet Moto, let me save you some valuable time. After you finish reading this review, turn off your computer, get in your car and drive to the nearest game store and beg them to sell you a copy of this game. It is that good. I know this kinda goes against the old "build up to a climax" style of writing but Jet Moto breaks a lot of the traditional rules of racing games, so it's all right. Now, on with the review.
From Sony, the makers of the hit Playstation titles Twisted Metal and WarHawk, comes the new racer, Jet Moto. Sony is billing Jet Moto as a next generation motocross racer. This motocross places players on the seat of a jet powered bike that hovers just above the ground. The bike looks a lot like a traditional jet ski but has the benefit of not being limited to water travel. That means that you can race across water, sand, snow, broken down freeways and even through swampy marshes.
Jet Moto is kind enough to supply us with 20 different bikes to choose from, each with unique characteristics. The bikes are broken up into four teams with some corporate sponsorship (Butterfinger, Mountain Dew). Throw in a pretty good split screen two-player mode and 10 tracks, plus a hidden bonus level and Jet Moto is set to keep players hopping many a late night. Believe me, I did it to me.
The creators of Jet Moto used a design technique that they felt was so good and unique that they actually Trademarked the name. This technique is called TruePhysics 3D design. This gives the game player the ride of their life and incredibly responsive controls. Put all of this together and you have one of the best Playstation games to date.
I don't know how Sony manages to put out so many cool games but I like it. Jet Moto is definitely at the top of the list. The game is packed with options, bikes, game modes and short-cuts. The racing action is very intense and competitive and I just can't stop playing. Writing this review I only manage to spit out about two paragraphs before I save the file so I can get in a quick race or two.
So let's talk about the game itself. You can race a single race, which is a one-time race for the top spot. There is a practice mode, which allows you to race against the clock with no other racers on the track. Like all practice modes, this is very helpful in sharpening your racing skills and getting familiar with the tracks before you step in against the competition. You can only race on the tracks that are available to you at this point. The third game option is the full season. This is the place you need to spend most of your time. Why? Because you only start the game with three tracks available. In order to unlock the next three tracks, you must finish in first place on the first set of three. Now, be careful because if you have your difficulty setting on Ammeter, no tracks will unlock. If you are set on intermediate, only the next three will unlock. The only way to unlock all nine tracks is to set the difficulty to Expert and finish in first place on the first six tracks. Finally, you have a custom circuit. The custom circuit has three modes of gameplay underneath it as well. You can select the rally, championship or elimination. Once again, only the tracks that have been unlocked are available for the custom circuit. There is also a stunt race that is not available until you win a full season with the difficulty set to professional on all 10 tracks. This gives your bike extra performance enhancements when you complete a particularly good stunt. A little incentive for some showboating.
The racing itself takes place on a Jet Moto bike, which is a cross between a hovercraft, jet ski and dirt bike. It reminds me of the bikes that were used in The Return of the Jedi. It is the same basic concept except instead of screaming through a forest, you are bailing through a swampy marsh. The bike has all of the modern equipment and features you would expect from a high-powered racing vehicle. Of course you have your accelerator and brake. There is a turbo button that is an added kick in the pants. The bike has only four turbo boosts per lap so they must be used wisely. The last item that the bike is equipped with is the toughest to master but most rewarding when you do figure it out. It's called a Magnetic Grapple and it is used to whip you around sharp corners. At various locations around the track, you will find red energy poles. This pole allows you to use your grapple to swing around the turn without losing much speed. Now, the tricky part is releasing the grapple at the correct time. If you let go too soon, you will be shot out to the far side of the track. If you don't let go soon enough, you will smash into the energy pole or a boundary marker. If you let go at the right time, you will slingshot past you opponents.
The controls of the bike are very simple and responsive. I do find that once you get turned wrong it is difficult to recover without loosing serious ground. The L1 and R1 buttons are used for doing a sharp turn. If you are really leaning into a turn, use one of these buttons to help make the corner. The L2 and R2 buttons are used to correct yourself if you get knocked sideways on your bike. The TruePhysics that the designers used are very cool. You actually feel the drops, speed, collisions and crashes. This also makes the bike respond different when on different surfaces. The harder surfaces make you go faster whereas the water makes you go slower.
The crashes in Jet Moto are some of the most amusing crashes around. They are very reminiscent of Road Rash where your rider goes hurling through the air and skids along before coming to a stop. One of my favorite crashes occurs when you fly over a jump and fail to clear the top of a palm tree. Your bike sticks to the tree as the rider is launched off from 100 feet in the air. That's gotta hurt.
There are 20 bikes available from the get-go. Each of the bikes is rated on handling, acceleration, mass and lift. The first two are self explanatory so let me explain the idea behind mass and lift. The mass is the weight of the bike. The heavier the bike, the more sturdy and less likely to throw you when you are hit by another rider or if you run into an obstacle. This also means that with a heavier bike it's easier to knock an opponent off of their bike. The lift is the strength of the bike's suspension. The lift is apparent when going over jumps and hitting bumps. The stronger the bike is rated in the lift category, the more air you get off of the jumps. I found that acceleration and handling are more important than mass or lift but I like to race all out and just out-run the competition.
The tracks are all unique in their elements. You race through an ocean, sand dunes, mud, snow, marshes, trees, bridges and drop-offs. This is what makes Jet Moto so appealing. Every track is as different as night and day. Even the beginner tracks will have you screaming in frustration and cheering when you finally master them. The stupid trees are a bit too difficult to maneuver but I really don't like to use my brakes. It will take you some time to master all of the tracks.
Jet Moto's graphics make the game. The feeling of speed is perfect. The bikes look cool and the backgrounds are beautifully detailed. The bike selection menu gives you a fully rotating, 3D view of the bike. Even the Butterfinger on the back of your suit is legible. In order to appreciate the graphics of the game, you need to watch someone else play because when you are playing, everything is flying by and you really don't have time to admire the scenery. There is some slight flickering and a little break-up but it's hardly noticeable.
I thinnk Jet Motto is one of the best games available for Playstation. Sony has done a great job in making this game super addicting. This is a very difficult game to describe but a very easy one to play. The best advice I can give you is, if you are still not sure if it is for you, rent it, play it, buy it. I know you will. This gave is evil. The more I think about it, if you ever want to do anything but play this game, you may not want to buy it. I can't stop playing. I have ten other games that are still wrapped in cellophane. I am making my girlfriend hide the game so I can start playing something else.