Jet Moto 3
Jet Moto 3 was released exclusively for the PlayStation video game console on August 31, 1999. It was the first and only Jet Moto title released by developer Locomotive Games and publisher 989 Sports. It has been released only in North America. It was released on the PlayStation Network on February 21, 2008 but was removed shortly thereafter for undisclosed reasons.
|Jet Moto 3|
North America PlayStation Box Art
|Composer(s)||Steve Stevens, Ben Watkins, Chuck Doud, Juno Reactor|
The game received moderately positive reviews, averaging 75.75% at video game aggregate site GameRankings. Reviewers generally praised the game's visuals, considering them an improvement over the previous installments. Jet Moto 3 would be the last title to date in the Jet Moto series. Two additional sequels, Jet Moto 2124 and Jet Moto: SOLAR were cancelled during development.
Gameplay in Jet Moto 3 differs from that of a traditional racing game with cars or motorcycles. Players instead control hoverbikes which sit close to the ground and can be ridden over land and water. Most of the courses in the game are designed to take advantage of this ability. Characters are split into teams, and bikes are adorned with logos of products such as Mountain Dew and Doritos, similar to real-life sponsored racing.
Ten characters are available from the beginning of the game with two more unlockable. This Jet Moto is notable for the inclusion of new stunt tracks. The objective of these tracks is to perform stunts to gain higher points and to collect coins scattered throughout the track. Another notable inclusion is the "hop" button, which is used to boost your player above the ground to avoid obstacles.
The physics of the jet moto bikes were also changed, with the bikes reaching much higher speed than the two previous games. Weather was also introduced into the series, with jet moto riders racing in the rain and in other weathered environments. Track themes vary greatly, with tracks taking places in volcanic islands, underground catacombs, the heights of Machu Pichu, and a thick Sequoia forest.
Jet Moto 3 would be the first and only released Jet Moto title by developer Pacific Coast Power & Light and publisher 989 Sports. SingleTrac had been purchased by GT Interactive, and the original developers had no interest in doing a third Jet Moto title. According to former 989 Sports president Kelly Flock, Pacific Coast Power & Light was "nearby and cheap" and was headed by Don Traeger, who had formerly worked on the Road Rash series, so the decision was made to use that studio for development.
Unlike its predecessor, the game supported the DualShock Controller. The previous game only supported the Dual Analog controller with Rumble feedback. The Jet Moto 3 graphics engine and developer toolkit were built from the ground up by lead programmer Ming Lee. Lee was challenged to increase the framerate and graphic quality of the game. To do so he decomposed the opcodes of the PlayStation's graphics processor and rewrote some of the PlayStation's library calls. This in essence allowed Lee to access the PlayStation hardware as he saw fit, allowing him to optimize his code specifically to his hardware calls. In doing so, however, the developers broke compatibility with first generation PlayStation consoles, something that was not caught until after the game was released. Fellow programmer Matt Gaston focused his energies on AI, physics and user interface programming.
With programming optimizations in place, developers were able to use the additional power to add weather effects previously unheard of. Lee noted in an interview with PlayStation Museum that rain particles "actually streak in 3D according to your camera speed", noting that other games used a 2D effect on the game's HUD to produce the effect of rain. Colored fog was also shown in one level, something that the PlayStation console could not do natively, and had only previously been seen in one game, Spyro the Dragon. Real time lighting was also added to the game. Jet Moto 3 would also use CGI cutscenes for the game's introduction, a first for the Jet Moto series. It was released on the PlayStation Network on February 21, 2008 but was removed shortly thereafter for undisclosed reasons.
|Jet Moto 3|
Jet Moto 3 was fairly well received, averaging 75.75% at gaming aggregate site GameRankings. It ranked tenth in the top ten racing titles for June 2000 according to the NPD Group, however sales did not continue to hold strong.
Doug Trueman reviewed the PlayStation version of the game for Next Generation, rating it four stars out of five, and stated that "In a season with relatively new worthwhile PlayStation racing games, Jet Moto 3 proves to be fast, furious racing fun."
Reviewers were mixed on the opinion of the game's visuals. Game Revolution called the graphics "a vast improvement over the grainy, somewhat choppy visuals of Jet Moto and Jet Moto 2." IGN also praised the Jet Moto 3's visuals, citing a vastly improved framerate and draw distance than Jet Moto and Jet Moto 2. GameSpot, however felt the graphical details were poor, citing that the game's environments were "nice and pretty unless you get too close." The CGI cutscenes were also panned by GameSpot, calling it "frightful" and stating "none of the characters look even fractionally human."
Game Informer praised the new stunt tracks, stating that they "will capture hours of your playtime." Electric Playground spoke highly of the game's soundtrack, stating that the varied types of music fit each track's location and environment. They further praised Jet Moto 3 as superior to the other titles, calling the first two games "notoriously bug-ridden." The Official UK PlayStation Magazine said the opposite, giving the game 3/10, while the previous game received 8/10.
Jet Moto 3 would be the last game in the series to be released publicly. 989 Studios and Pacific Coast Power & Light were also working on a fourth Jet Moto title, dubbed Jet Moto 2124 for the PlayStation, however the game was cancelled when Jet Moto 3 showed poor sales. Jet Moto 2124 was to be set over a century after the first three games. Jet Moto: SOLAR, developed by RedZone Interactive, was also cancelled. SOLAR would have been the first title in the series to appear on the PlayStation 2.
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- McWhertor, Michael (2008-02-21). "PlayStation Store Update: Demo Man". Kotaku. Retrieved 2010-08-27.
- "Opinion: PlayStation Network & Downloadable Games – The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly". Game, Set, Watch. 2008-05-07. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
Since the new year began [up to early March], there have only been seven new games (and one of them, Jet Moto 3, has vanished from the store).
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- Official PlayStation Magazine issue 56, (March 2000)
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- IGN Staff (2000-06-22). "Comprehensive Sales Charts – Early June". IGN. Retrieved 2010-08-25.
- Caoili, Eric (2010-02-26). "Jet Moto 2124 Retrospective, Syd Mead Designs". Game, Set, Watch. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
- "Jet Moto:SOLAR Game Design Document 2.4" (pdf). RedZone Interactive. Retrieved 2010-08-13.[permanent dead link]