|Playstation > Whats New > PlayStation Reviews > Staff Review|
|A.P.I Review:||JET RIDER 2|
No.1 No.2 No.3
|Game Type:||Racing||Memory Card|
|Review Date:||March 1998||Analog Compatible|
Setting the Scene
The original Jet Rider was the frantic multi surface racer that allowed you to tear up tortuous stretches of ocean, swamp and snow covered mountain side as you strapped yourself onto a cross between a jet ski, a motocross bike, and a rocket (the US version was called Jet Moto). Now developers SingleTrac, creators of Twisted Metal 2 and Warhawk, have attempted to continue the successful formula by providing a sequel that holds the imaginative title.... aw, you guessed it, Jet Rider 2. Although the handling and objective remains the same, Jet Rider 2 has ten brand new tracks to test your racing skills on, ranging over many different types of terrain with the later circuits also providing a fair old challenge to hold down your lunch.
The object of the game is to compete against 19 other riders through championship, rally and elimination races on a futuristic Jet Bike that flies, bucks and maneuvers like nothing seen before in a game.
Contrary to what you may already have read about this game the graphics are an improvement over the original title. Once again the visuals contain the hallmark of SingleTrac's past offerings - bright, colorful and detailed with a slight grainy look to the scenery. Perhaps grainy is the wrong word. More like you are negotiating your way around an abstract oil painting. Unfortunately this affects the gameplay because I usually find that the best system to beat a racing game is to play the tracks, visualize the tracks, learn the tracks and then beat the tracks. Not so in this case because you simply cannot see which direction to go when negotiating the larger more open sections of the circuits making it only possible to learn the fastest route by crashing and smashing your way around each course enough times until you form some sort of imaginary map in your head. It's not on and it spoils what could have been an excellent game.
Sounds and Effects
The sound effects are once again crisp and well defined, although the noise of the engine seems to have been toned down a few notches. A few background noises can be heard such as the wailing cop cars in Aftershock and add to the overall atmosphere of the game. The music is a blend of guitar thrashing rock tracks with the occasional piece of classical music thrown in for good measure. It doesn't live up to the Pulp Fiction style tracks from the original game but they are quite catchy.
If you experienced the original game then Jet Rider 2 should be treated as a straightforward extension because this is a simply more of the same kind of thing. The main difference being that rather than select from 20 characters and four racing teams you now choose a specific rider from a smaller list of ten. Each has his or her own characteristics and bike styles while a biography has been included should you wish to get to know them a little better. Depending on how you wish to race, character selection is extremely important. Li'l Dave's jet ski has maximum acceleration but low weight and slower speed while at the other end of the scale you may select Bombers bike that has high speed and top weight with little acceleration. A light bike will handle well but a heavier bike can knock the crap out of it... so unless you plan on being out in front every race, the lightest bike is not necessarily the best. There should be something in there to suit everyone's riding style. There are a good selection of racing circuits but similar to the first game the opening tracks must be conquered before access to the others are gained. Slickrock Gorge is a fairly stiff opener that winds through the dusty canyon before launching off the edge of a cliff onto the waters below to face a series of fast flowing rapids and waterfalls. Meltdown is the first of many suicide tracks where not only do you face the challenge provided by the tricky twisting circuit but also avoid collisions with oncoming tail-enders. There's also Aftershock set on the West Coast after a major earthquake, Arctic Blast where glaciers and sunken ships must be negotiated, Hot Shot in a National Park and the extremely difficult Shaft that takes place in a darkened mineshaft. Should you make it this far through the game then the final four 'fun' tracks begin to open up which are Ka Ma Ta set in New Zealand over a series of suspension bridges, then it's off to heaven as Nebulous takes you on a journey above the clouds. The treacherous snowy mountains of Mach Snell must be defeated before experiencing the ultimate fun fair trip as you chance your luck on the Rollercide. Game modes include Practice, Single Race, Head to Head or a full Season. There is also a Custom Mode that allows you to select your tracks in any order for a one or two player Championship or Rally race. Difficulty may be set from Novice to Master while the duration of each race can be between two and six laps. Handling of the bikes is very responsive and tight for the most part, but there are some hair-pin turns that are extremely tight. To make these turns you need to use a special device on your bike called a grapple. This activates special sensor poles at each of the tight turn locations. The poles send out a particle beam that grabs onto your bike and helps you to make the tight corner. If you don't release the grapple at the right moment though, you can be slammed into the electrified lane boarders.
Value for Money
Many fans of the first game will already have purchased this title and probably completed all of the circuits. To the uninitiated I suggest that you rent this title before you buy. It's so unlike any other racer on the market and unless you are mentally prepared for it then the control pad will be thrown to the floor many times in frustration.
|GRAPHICS:||16/20||If you ask me whether Jet Rider 2 is challenging then I would have to say yes. But is it fun? Not really. Imagine playing a game like Cool Boarders 2 and all of the tracks were set on those mountainousness regions where with one slip you fall off, over and over again. It can be that frustrating. With a great deal of skill you can build up a commanding lead only to be dismounted by an accidental collision with a stray rider who is heading towards you in the opposite direction. If you enjoy that sort of thing then surely you can flip your vehicle around in any racing game and drive head first into oncoming traffic rather than be subjected to this during standard gameplay.|