When it comes to looking good in the good looks department, Jet Moto shouldn't be as overlooked as it's going to be. The gameplay isn't as revolutionary, but those who feel adrenaline is one of the four basic food groups will get your money's worth here. While it may look like a jetski and sound like a jetski, it definitely doesn't act like one. The vehicle of choice in this game actually hovers above the terrain, which may not seem like such a big deal in the water, but when you're forced to race on sand or cement, you can understand this feature's usefulness. The riders that you can choose from are grouped into four different teams for a total of 20 different riders, each with his or her own bike, which itself is different from all the others. There are differences in their ability to accelerate, the way they handle, their weight, and their ability to lift off the ground.
When you take these babies to the big dance, you'll find yourself racing on ten different tracks, though when you first start you only get access to the first three tracks. As you win the full season with these first tracks, a new set of tracks is enabled, and then the final set is made available. To make things even more difficult (not to mention frustrating), you have to win the season using the intermediate skill level and then the pro skill level to release the last set of tracks.
As you may have probably guessed, the first one to cross the finish line wins the race, but there's a bit more involved in the gameplay, including, dare we say it, strategy. Each course and rider brings different ways to achieve your goal of winning. In this game the shortest distance isn't necessarily the fastest way to get there. You see, Jet Moto features real-life physics, which means that the surface you're racing on and the type of bike you use can mean the difference between winning or playing catch-up. Like most other arcade games there are power-ups that help you get an advantage to win the race, along with shortcuts that most of the time are discovered by mistake.
Admittedly, when you first fire her up, the graphics in average and ordinary mode live up to the billing, but kick it into 3Dfx mode and you'll realize that the money you forked over on an accelerator board was well spent. Obviously it not only looks better than the PlayStation version, but better than many accelerated games on the market. It has a little ways to go to compete with the likes of Quake II, but the reflections on the water look great, and the players all look realistic while racing around the track. While they could have done a better job on the waves - they look more like white speed bumps than waves - but on the whole, it couldn't get much better.
The soundtrack, too, was good, but either you'll love it or hate it. Personally I thought the music was just the adrenaline pump I needed, though I expected a lot more rumble from 20 engines than the game delivered.
If you have friends, you'll also find plenty to like here, as Jet Moto, like it's SingleTrac sibling, Twisted Metal 2, truly comes alive in multiplayer mode. It supports 14 players over an IPX network, as well as Internet TCP/IP and modem-to-modem.
While it definitely has its share of minor flaws, this title offers a compelling new twist to a pretty hackneyed genre. While there won't be any Jet Moto clans springing up on the Net, those who love their graphics tight and their action intense won't go wrong with this title.