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Jet Moto 3 (PSX) by James Puckett

Overrall Score - 6

                   Following in the footsteps of Twisted Metal 3 and Coolboarders 3, 989 Studios stuns the Playstation community with yet another crappy sequel! Jet Moto 3 is the latest game from 989 Studios that attempts to latch on to the name of a great game that Playstation gamers have fond memories of. The original Jet Moto was a huge hit back in the day, and was later followed by Jet Moto 2, which failed to capture the glory of the original, but was still a great game. Jet Moto 3 is a great in many ways, unfortunately it happens to be critically weak in a few.

                   I'll start with the graphics. The graphics in Jet Moto 3 range from acceptable to poor. The levels are all crammed with too much stuff for the Playstation to handle well, so the polygon counts are kept far too low. The textures are all very low-res and get horribly pixelated up close, which is how you often see them. In some areas, the polygons under or close to you will shift when you get close, distorting the texture on top of them. This seems limited to small areas of a few tracks, but is still unacceptable. The bike and rider graphics would be fine if it wasn't for the lens flare attached to the rear of the bike for some reason. Why a jet engine would output a lensflare is beyond me, and why they chose to use one that appears to be a texture and not even a real lighting effect makes it outright criminal, not to mention a sign of poor game design.

                   Next on the list of bad things about Jetmoto 3 is the tracks. The tracks in this game just SUCK. The tracks are chock full of twists, turns, and tunnels to keep down the onscreen poly count, a technique that worked great in the Crash Bandicoot games but it sure doesn't work well here. It prevents you from hitting top speed most of the time, which takes some of the fun out of the game, this being a racing title and all... The game does feature grapple bars, which allow you to use some sort of electromagnetic beam to grapple onto the bar for tight turns or jumps in many places, but they aren't as easy to control and or as effective as the grapple bars from the previous Jet Moto titles, and they slow you down. The few long stretches they are often bare watery areas that are visually uninteresting at best. The track design gets worse and worse as the game goes on. It seems like they just put the best tracks first for in store demonstrations, so that players would get to unlock the crappy tracks at home.

                   The control in Jet Moto 3 plays much like the last two games, and works pretty well, with two exceptions. The first exception is the harder to control grappling, as mentioned earlier. The other issue is being able to control your speed with the L3 button, a la "Gran Turismo." While I like this in games, it just doesn't work too well in Jet Moto 3, being somewhat inaccurate. The game just works better using the standard buttons to control. This isn't a big deal, but if they were going to implement it, they should have done a better job. 

                   Sound is a real weak point in Jet Moto 3. The jet bikes sound like mopeds, and it really grates on you. All the other sound effects are alright, but overshadowed by the the horrible high pitched drone coming from the engines of the bikes. Audiophiles steer clear.

                   Musically, Jet Moto 3 comes out ahead. The music is just well done in every area, and often appropriate. The catacombs level even features music from the best trance group ever, Juno Reactor, which just shows how far 989 went to get good music into this game. The music in here can hold its own against even the Wipeout games.

                   Overall playing the game just isn't much fun. Unlike the past games, you rarely see many of the other racers on screen. Gone are the laps against 16 other racers, instead Jet Moto 3 features 6, which are rarely on screen. This takes the competitive feel out of the game, which kills most of the fun out of the game. JM3 retains the familiar  stunt mode from the previous games, but by the time you unlock  it (outside of practice mode anyway, where you get a stunt track early on) you will likely be so sick of the game you won't care.

                   To be blunt, I can not recommend this game. If you are hardcore Jet Moto fan (how do you think I ended up with it?) and must have it, rent it first, or buy it at a store that will let  you can return.



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