Video Game: Jet Moto

Jet Moto. Racing on the edge, and sometimes off.
—Magazine ad for Jet Moto.

Jet Moto is a racing game series that was developed for the PlayStation in the late 1990s. Racers use a diverse array of hover bikes varying in mass, maneuverability, lift, and acceleration to compete against each other at high speeds over a variety of race courses that are intricately linked to their environmental settings. The complexity of successful strategies is increased by the inclusion of limited turbo boosts and magnetic poles at sharp turns to which the rider may "grapple" while turning in order to slingshot around the corner. Many of the courses themselves present a significant challenge as well, requiring racers to navigate across bottomless pits on awkwardly placed platforms, monitor speed at jumps to avoid overshooting the landing, and slip through groups of oncoming racers to get to the next checkpoint (these are called suicide tracks).

Competitions are organized as single race events, multi-race championships, and solo practice.

Jet Moto is notable for its overt use of product placement, simulating the wash of posters and billboards plastered all over everything at major racing competitions in real life.

This game provides examples of:

  • The Ace: The Max.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: Planet X.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The Jet Moto bikes aren't exactly possible.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: The only kind of music you came across in the first game.
  • Circus of Fear: Rollercide from Jet Moto 2.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The second game is a unique case. All of the AI racers are based on different developer runs of each track. The different difficulty levels simply change the speed of the racers. Pro difficulty has most AI racers reaching above the top speeds of players. Insane difficulty is almost literally impossible without the the normally game breaking bonus character, Enigma.
  • Convection Schmonvection: The only penalty for riding over lava in Meltdown is that it will nudge you along the flow a bit.
  • Cool Bike: The Jet Motos themselves.
  • Cut-and-Paste Environments: The original Jet Moto had three beach themed stages, three swamp themed stages and three snow themed stages. And Nightmare.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The original Jet Moto limited your turbo to four quick bursts per lap. The games that follow would all use a turbo gauge.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Most courses in Jet Moto 3 were named with this in mind.
  • Fake Difficulty: Jet Moto was a very glitchy game at times. Often one would race off a ramp and find themselves tripped up for no clear reason. As a result, players would find themselves back in last place almost instantly.