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Retro Review: Jet Moto

Andrew Yoon
Andrew Yoon|@scxzor|February 14, 2007 3:15 PM

File Size: 73MB
Price: $5.99
Developed By: SingleTrac
Published By: Sony Computer Entertainment of America
Original Release Date: October 31, 1996

Short Review
Not Recommended. What is wrong with Sony's PlayStation Store? The platform should be used as a vehicle to drive fans to the incredible array of classics that defined the 32-bit generation. (Notice the incredible number of puns here?) Instead, the current selection of games would make one believe that the PS1 only had racing games ... and these games have certainly aged quite poorly. Jet Moto might be fun for a little while, but age has ravaged it quite horribly. Heck, it wasn't even that good when it first came out--paling in the likes of Wave Race 64. Don't waste your $6 on a game like this: it simply isn't worth it.

Full Review
Jet Moto has a formula that should easily equate to success: riding on futuristic hover bikes through all kinds of environments is undeniably cool. However, the graphics of Jet Moto simply don't work on the PSP's small screen: the pixelated environments look absolutely horrendous. This is a game that is littered with obstacles, waves, and sharp turns. You're expected to fly through them quickly, but how is that possible when one can't even see what's coming up? Everything blends together, and the choppy framerate certainly doesn't help.

It's too bad that the graphics really do hurt the gameplay experience quite a bit, because Jet Moto has some interesting ideas. Of particular note is the grappling hook, which allows you to make incredibly sharp turns around corners. The hook latches on to specific beacons set across the tracks, and they're crucial in helping you make turns as quickly as possible. The ability to do a grapple successfully can determine victory in this game.

Also, you're given four boosts per lap, an idea not uncommon in other racing games. Because your boost is restored at every lap, it's imperative that you make the most out of your limited supply in every lap. With the significant amount of obstacles in your way, it becomes a daunting challenge to find an opportune moment: crashing into a wall, or dislodged log, will obviously slow you down considerably.

No really, can you tell what's going on in this in-game pic?

But you'll find yourself taking a lot of risks, simply trying to maintain pole position. The combination of inherently rough track designs, poor graphics, and a fiercely competitive AI make Jet Moto a frustratingly difficult racer. Even in the lower difficulties, one thing is clear: this game is relentlessly hard, to a fault.

It's unfortunate that many, if not most, gamers will be unable to get all of what Jet Moto has to offer, because it does offer some truly interesting tracks later in the game. However, this is one title that shouldn't have been ported to the PS Store: why not offer a full remake or a sequel that takes modern gamers' needs into consideration? Jet Moto has the potential to be a good game, but a player shouldn't have to work so hard in order to get the most important aspect of a gaming experience: fun.

PSP Fanboy Retro Review: 4.5 out of 10
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