Jet Moto 2 (known as Jet Rider 2 in Europe and Jet Moto '98 in Japan) is a 1997 racing video game developed by SingleTrac and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation video game console. It is the sequel to the 1996 game Jet Moto. It was released in North America on October 31, 1997, in Europe in April 1998, and in Japan on August 6, 1998. In January 2008 Jet Moto 2 was made available for the PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 3 via the PlayStation Network. The PlayStation Greatest Hits version, branded within the game as Jet Moto 2: Championship Edition, is slightly different from the original in that the framerate is increased, the number of competitors is limited to four, and all the original Jet Moto tracks were unlocked from the start.
As with Jet Moto, gameplay in Jet Moto 2 revolves around the use of hoverbikes to traverse a race course, similar to modern day motorcross, but with the added ability to traverse water. Reviews for Jet Moto 2 were mixed. It currently holds a 70.08% at GameRankings, a video game aggregator. Reviewers felt the game was an improvement over the original, but again criticized its high difficulty. Jet Moto 2's popularity would spawn one additional sequel, Jet Moto 3.
- See also: Jet Moto#Gameplay
Jet Moto 2 retains all of the basic gameplay from its predecessor. The riders received an overhaul, with only a total of ten selectable characters being available, and subsequently only ten racers on the track at any given time. In addition to ten main characters, one additional character can be unlocked during gameplay. The number of tracks available greatly increased, however, with ten new tracks and the ability to unlock all of the tracks from the original game. Track designs are more varied in Jet Moto 2, with each level containing a unique theme rather than the shared themes of the original. The courses range from earthquake-damaged cities, to desert canyons, ice-covered mountains, roller Coasters, and several other themes.
The difficulty was increased in this game. The developers used gameplay recordings in place of fully developed racer AI, so most racers had a perfect run and any mistakes made by the player would result in a quick loss of top racing positions.
The PlayStation Greatest Hits version of the game, dubbed Jet Moto 2: Championship Edition further changed the gameplay mechanics. All Jet Moto tracks were immediately unlocked for the player. Additionally, the number of in-game racers would be reduced from ten to only four to allow the game to run at 30 frames per second.
Jet Moto 2's original cut from 20 competitors to 10 was to "to open the game up to a broader market, one that wasn’t driven by hardcore." Chef Boyardee was one of the new sponsors in the game, however the game's producer, Brian Wiklem fought to ensure the sponsor would not be a rider's sponsor. As a result, Chef Boyardee's logo was added to track advertisements throughout the tracks. Of the ten new tracks created for the Jet Moto 2, five concepts were designed by SingleTrac, and five by Wiklem and his assistant. Dual Analog Controllers and the accompanying vibration functions were supported for the first time, but DualShock Controllers were not. As with the first Jet Moto, Axiom Design created the user interface shell for the game. Pinnacle Music Group composed the music for the game. Jet Moto 2 would receive localized renames in Europe and Japan. It's European title is Jet Rider 2, and its Japanese title is Jet Moto '98.
The release of the Greatest Hits version of the game was never meant to be released in its current form. As the game's production cycle was ending, Wiklem asked SingleTrac to modify the game for him a modified version of Jet Moto 2. This version increased the framerate to 30 frames per second by removing six competitors from races, thus putting less strain on the PlayStation hardware. Additionally, Wiklem requested that all of the original Jet Moto tracks be unlocked at the start of the game. It was branded in-game as Jet Moto 2: Championship Edition.
Due to their master disc being destroyed, Sony contacted Wiklem for a copy to use as a master disc for burning. Wiklem sent the altered disc SingleTrac had made for him, notifying Sony of the change and petitioning it be used as the Greatest Hits version. Sony replied that Greatest Hits titles must be the same as the original release version. Dismayed, Wiklem burned a copy of the original version and sent it to Sony for duplication. Due to a mixup in the duplication process, the modified version of the game, was duplicated and not the original version. Sony Digital Audio Disc Corporation phone Sony Computer Entertainment, and eventually the phone calls trickled down to Wiklem himself. He vice president of marketing Jeff Fox that he "did send the right disc, it was properly labeled, and it’s not my fault that DADC couldn’t read." The situation was put to rest with no other changes to the Greatest Hits version.
Jet Moto 2 received mixed reviews from critics. It currently holds a 70.08% at GameRankings a video game aggregator. Like Jet Moto, Jet Moto 2's popularity would earn it a spot in the PlayStation Greatest Hits.
Reviewers generally praised the new variety of tracks offered, and the fact that the original Jet Moto tracks could be unlocked. GameSpot stated that the variety of courses "take the Jet Moto series yet another step away from the traditional racer." Reviewers also noted improved graphics over the original, citing that the game seems to have a less polygonal look. The improvements to the physics system were especially praised by IGN, calling them "even more over-the-top" and that the game was "simply more playable". GameSpot felt oppositely, stating that the physics seemed to have degenerated from the original game. They noted that often a rider will fly off in an odd direction when thrown from the bike.
As with the original reviewers felt that, though the gameplay had improved, it was still too difficult. IGN noted that the product placement seemed excessive, and felt the game was not unique enough from the original in the end, calling it "Jet Moto 1.5".
Jet Moto 2 would be the last game developed by SingleTrac and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. Pacific Coast Power & Light would develop Jet Moto 3, with 989 Sports publishing the third title. Jet Moto 3 would be released August 31, 1999 exclusively in North America. To date it is the last title in the series to be released.