JetX is an interesting title that perfectly meshes fast-paced space racing simulation through crazy environments and the PvP aspects that bring out the worst in us. Err, I mean best. Put into the cockpit of a futuristic racer with laser cannons, you can pit yourself against the CPU or other players online in either a good of fashioned race or a pure PvP arena to see who’s really the best.
We are all familiar with the expression of leaving friendships at the door when it comes to a good bout of Mario Kart. All is permitted and once it’s all said and done, you make nice. Red Shells, Blue Shells, using a star to cross the finish line screwing someone else out of first. Eh, you do what you need to do to win. That said, It’s a racer first. You don’t start off with two laser cannons and booters in addition to your regular thrusters. In JetX, while your goal is to win, generally you should let someone else go first because they’ll be shot first and thus while they are re-spawning, you can take that time in order to try to get ahead.
There’s a learning curve to the whole thing though. JetX doesn’t operate on flat ground. Instead, there’s a “tube” or “pathway” that you need to fly through if you want to make good time and keep up with your opponents. You can leave the pathway all you want but you’ll be going slower because you don’t have the added propulsion. That said, you can use that to an advantage to circumvent something awful coming up like rotating gates or a nasty asteroid field.
Following the pathway through the race also allowed for some other interesting design choices when it comes to all of the other weapons that can be picked up on the field. Missiles, black holes, defensive shields or ice fields. Some of these attacks, like your laser cannons, will come straight for you. Others, will be laid down in your path and you’ll often need to leave the pathway in order to avoid them as getting sucked into a black hole can be both a blessing and a curse. Sometimes it’ll teleport you forward while other times it could teleport you back. The ice field will slow you down significantly and even block your field of view making you question what’s coming up next.
Side to the races, the battle system is also pretty great. Using the same concepts of being able to fly around like a spaceship, the arena is 3D letting you fly around obstacles in order to either hide and get the drop on your opponent or to use some of the surrounding elements to shield yourself while you try to turn around to face your attacker. It can be a bit slow to start depending on where people are but once weapons start firing it’s a pretty fun ride.