Review: Jet Car Stunts (PS3/PSV)

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Title: Jet Car Stunts
Format: PlayStation Network Download (402 MB)
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Publisher: Grip Digital S.R.O.
Developer: Grip Games
Original MSRP: $7.99 (US),€7.99 (EU), £5.79 (UK)
ESRB Rating: E
PEGI: 3
Jet Car Stunts is also available on Xbox 360, PC, Mac, iOS and Android.
The PlayStation 3 and PS Vita download versions were used for this review.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy.

Gameplay:
This isn’t a racing game, nor is it a trials experience. I almost don’t know how to classify it. You have to guide a jet car around different tracks, over huge jumps, and around loops trying to attain the quickest times. Guide seems a very fitting word to describe the feel of the jet car, which feels like a brick on an ice rink.

Perfecting courses and shaving off valuable seconds can be very satisfying and fun in most racers or trials games, especially when you’re racing against a ghost and the controls are tight and responsive. Jet Car Stunts isn’t one of those games. It takes a while to get used to how the car handles both on the track and in the air. You use the Left Stick to roll and pitch the car in mid-air with the air brake or jet (boost) apparently improving the responsiveness.

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A few different modes make up the game. Tutorials and Time Trials are self-explanatory. Collector has you trying to grab the stars around the track which is a lot harder than it sounds due to their placement while Platforming is just a different set of tracks. You can also race against ghosts which automatically download unless you turn that feature off.

Physics spoil the experience. Hitting a small ridge causes your vehicle to flip and spin wildly out of control usually forcing you to re-start and adjusting your jet car as it flies through the air takes a lot of patience. It became very frustrating watching the car shatter into small pieces as it slammed into the bottom of the track or wall time and time again.

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No matter how hard I try I just can’t find anything fun about this game. Its controls are annoying and the jet car feels disconnected from the track but at least it has a nice feature of downloading ghost cars so it doesn’t feel so lonely and desolate in the upper atmosphere. A few people will eventually get to grips with the controls and maybe even begin to enjoy this game until they realize how cheap it is on their phone.

Visuals:
There is only so much you can upgrade when porting from a mobile and this looks very basic. With the bland tracks impossibly suspended in mid-air and tranquil clouds as the static backgrounds there is a definite lack of visual appeal. Your jet car looks as if it were pulled straight out of a PSOne game. It is smooth and quite fast, even on the Vita, until you active the speed boost.

The speed boost on the Vita is just a few blurred lines bleeding in from the edge of the screen and doesn’t give the impression of an increased speed, in a way it ends up looking cheap. On the PS3 using the boost or even just getting up to a high-speed sets off a nausea inducing blur effect.

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Audio:
Sound effects are terrible, with the most annoying engine sound in the world that must come as close to the “brown note” as we are ever likely to hear.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is single player only. There are leaderboards for every track so score chasing is possible. You can also play against ghost cars which is a good way of seeing how others manage to get around the track.

Conclusion:
For a game that performed well on the mobile devices this is a big disappointment. As per usual there is a huge price difference compared to the mobile versions. I also had to deal with the horrible sound effects and a speed boost that had me reaching for a vomit bag. Frustrating and annoying sum up this game perfectly. Some might argue that I didn’t give it a fair chance and gave up on it too soon, but it just wasn’t fun or appealing in any way.

I pity anyone that buys this game especially considering its extortionate price. Now please excuse me whilst I delete this annoying game from my consoles and hopefully from my memory.

Score:
3.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Vita’s built in screen capture feature.

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