options screen allows you to customise your game to suit your preferences and
skill level. There are three levels of difficulty with an additional Master
class available for those of you with the skill to win a full season outright at
Pro level, or possess the programing ability to punch in the cheat codes. Stunt
race is only accessed by the more skillful racers, where your bike gains
performance enhancements when you complete a daring stunt. Other options
include the number of laps per race, from 2 to 6, Turbo and Grapple on/off and
the usual sound and vision adjustments.
Before entering a race you must
select your bike from the 20 different riders that are divided into four teams.
Each rider has his own bike with its own special attributes. A curved graph
analysis' the four performance categories, handling, acceleration, mass and
lift. Mass influences the stability of your machine while lift rates the
Next step is where Jet stands head and shoulders above any
other racing game to date, the races. There are no less than seven categories
of racing formats for you to compete in. A one off Single race, a league
Championship, a time trial Rally, an Elimination KO competition, a full Season,
a Practice race against the clock and a two player split screen head to head.
are nine tracks and a special bonus track with each presenting its own unique
difficulties and challenges. The game uses a win-to-unlock method of play, so
you initially have access to only three of the courses.
Control of the
bike is imperative and the joy pad can appear a little tricky to master at
first. The shoulder buttons are used to roll your bike and perform tight turns,
while the directional up and down buttons allows you to lean forward and
backwards, lowering your wind resistance and increasing your lift on the jumps.
The accelerate and brake buttons are straightforward but it will be the
perfection of the turbo and grapple buttons that will allow you to keep up with
the pack and challenge for the lead. You may fire up to four turbo boosts per
lap to get an instant burst of speed but this must only be used on the straights
as a mistimed turbo will see your rider catapult from his machine, skid across
the scenery, through the back of your monitor and end up in your neighbors front
room. The magnetic grapple comes into play on the particular severe corners of
the course, if timed correctly a pink beam will connect your bike to a red
energy pole and slingshot your jet ski safely around a tight corner at top
speed, incorrect use will grind your rider to a sudden halt and probably wrap
him around the pole and send 20,000 volts up his backside.
successful formula to Jet is in the timing of your turbo boosts. All twenty
competitors jostle and push their way to the front from the word go, therefore a
timely boost away from the pack will assure you of a good start. I must admit
to throwing down the control pad on numerous occasions through sheer frustration
as, unfortunately, Jet is one of those games where a single collision will see
the whole pack shoot past in a blink of the eye. Why, oh why does this happen,
because when you fight your way back through the field there appears to be at
least a half a lap separating last position from first.
If you select
an amateur setting, then you will have the advantage of a centrally placed arrow
to guide you through the course but don't be a wuss, go blind as it's half the
fun. The opening track, Joyride, is a wide open, easy baptism into the sport of
jet ski racing where once you get your bearings on this sea and sand course, a
win will be forthcoming. After a few circuits you will be performing a
selection of acrobats over the palm trees as you turbo up the concrete ramps,
while a perfect grapple will be rewarded by the cheering on of the crowd (I
looked around, but I could not see them, perhaps it was in my imagination?).
is a winding, treacherous course that I would rate as the most difficult to win.
A mixture of sea and dirt track that hides many sneaky short cuts that I found
quite accidentally due to the fact that my bike remained in contact with the
barriers for the full circuit.
Hammerhead is a suicide course with
multiple routes across the bridges and water. Risk gaining precious seconds by
sticking to the broken bridges or guarantee a win by staying on the water below.
Run is a congested nightmare full of innumerable obstacles within these
backwater swamps. If the thick reeds don't slow you down, then the trees
certainly will, while the stumps....well, keep you legs crossed.
Falls is the second freely available track that required many runs before I knew
where the hell I was going. A winding track inside a quick moving river with a
nice shortcut through the house that is placed on the left hand bank. Once
open, you may cut through on each lap to avoid a tight corner before
experiencing the perilous drop over the dam. A turbo boost up the sloping
concrete dam, will result in your riders bike reaching the finish line long
before his head does. Master this track and you are ready for the best of the
Suicide Swamp is the third opening course which is fairly easy
until you reach the end of the track as a U turn sends you racing back into the
pack, head-on. It is also the track that can be found in Single Tracs Twisted
Willpower is the first track where your brake is more
important than your accelerator. Set high on the snowy mountain side, this is a
difficult track to assess your direction with one slip resulting in an endless
fall. Take heed of the SLOW sign if you do not wish to study geology.
Crusher is carved out of fragmented glacier. Imagine a ton of ice cubes falling
to ground then racing across the surface. Keep your nose up!
Blind is a jet ski shaped course that is a fairly straight forward snow bound
course, but beware of the turbo as there are many low bridges that feature teeth
marks from previous joyriders.
Nightmare is the bonus track. Some
people dream of flying, others about falling, welcome to your nightmare. Set
high above the city at night, Nightmare uses the same background that was used
in the New York level of Twisted Metal 2. I was quite surprised to win this
track on my first run, perhaps I need a dope test!
So there you have
it. Ten variable tracks packed with speed, thrills and plenty of spills. Seven
modes of gameplay including a head to head split-screen mode. Oceans, beaches,
swamps and ice laden mountains. Try it out, I think you'll like it.
and by the way you CAN move with a realistic representation of inertia and
momentum, and this does mean forward and backwards as far as I can tell.