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By ROBB GUIDO

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 11, 1999


MAKER: 989 Studios

PLATFORM: PlayStation

There are a lot of racing games out there, so picking one you would want can be a daunting task.

For starters, the game should be original, with features you can't find anywhere else. In this area, Jet Moto 3 shines. Not only do you zoom across 14 crazy, highly detailed tracks, but you also do so on your choice of 10 tricked-out hover bikes.

Sounds good so far, but now for the second thing you'll want in your racer: tight controls that let you adapt to the tracks within a single lifetime. Unfortunately, whatever physics 989 Studios used for Jet Moto 3 -- it calls them MotoPhysics -- humans aren't quite ready for it. Or at least most people won't be able to control the bikes at higher speeds.

An electromagnetic grappling hook lets you cling to walls and makes turning easier in places, but you're limited in where you can use it. The result is a frustrating experience that could have been a rush. Grade: B-

WCW Mayhem

MAKER: EA

PLATFORM: Nintendo 64

Wrestling fans looking for the next great wrestling game should look no more. The next step in the evolution of the genre has arrived in the form of WCW Mayhem for the N64.

For the first time, momentum, not just power, carries the day, and only after fans are worked up to a roar can you win by pin or submission. Complementing this system are some simplified, easy-to-learn controls that will have you moving around the ring with grace -- if you can call jumping on top of someone graceful.

Mayhem gives you more than 50 wrestlers to choose from, many hidden until you beat the game on its three difficulty settings, and each wrestler's special move is perfectly re-created and a snap to pull off.

Also included are a create-a-wrestler feature, if the 55 you're given aren't good enough, and all the sets from WCW TV episodes and pay-per-views. It's close to the real thing, except without the blood or cussing. At least parents can take heart in that. Grade: B+

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