Game – Jett Rocket II: The Wrath of Taikai
Developer – Shin’en Multimedia
Publisher – Shin’en Multimedia
Platform – 3DS (MSRP $8.99)
Rating – E for Everyone
Obtained – Download Code courtesy of Shin’en Multimedia
I’ve been a fan of platformers ever since I got my hands on an NES controller and was introduced to the Mushroom Kingdom back in the 80’s. From the moment I first moved Mario to the right to when I graduated into the fully realized 3D world of Super Mario 64, I was hooked. And as much as I love the classic side scrollers, I have come to greatly appreciate 2D and full 3D platformers even more. Jett Rocket II incorporates both 2D and full 3D worlds and it’s a platformer – so what’s not to like? For the most part – almost nothing. While it gets most things right, the few negatives cast a shadow over what could have been a great platformer.
Kaiser Taikai, the mechanical villain from the first Jett Rocket game, has returned from exile to exact revenge upon Jett and all his planetary inspector pals. After being kidnapped and teleported far away, it’s up to Jett to rescue his pals and defeat the evil Taikai once and for all. There isn’t much to the story, but when it comes to platformers, all you should really care about are the levels. Speaking of levels, the game is split into 3 worlds, each containing 5 levels, optional mini-games, and a boss battle. As you make your way through each level, you’ll collect solar cells which can be used at the aforementioned mini-games. These mini-games can net you extra lives, extra hearts, and even extra solar cells to help you along the way. And trust me, you’re going to need some help along the way.
The levels are designed well, and it will require some precision and timing to ensure that you make it through those slightly difficult sections. However, the distance you get knocked back after being hit is a bit ridiculous. This was one of my biggest frustrations while playing the game. I wound up dying more times than I’d like to admit due to this and I found myself turning the game off in frustration. Though to be fair, Shin’en heard these complaints and put out an update to address these concerns as well as increasing Jett’s movement speed. Although, I still think he gets knocked back too far. Then again, if I was more careful, perhaps I wouldn’t get hit as much.
I’m so busy talking about getting hit, but I have yet to speak on your weapon of choice. So Jett is able to jump and do a spin attack in order to go on the offensive or defensive. And while that is not anything special by itself, you will come across some temporary power-ups that further enhance your gameplay experience. There is a power-disc which is akin to a hover board. You can use this to reach high places. What’s cool about the power-disc is that it moves left to right so have more choices of which direction you can go in. The Jett Pack is a classic, it allows you to hover high into the air to reach the hard to reach places. There are a couple more, but I’ll leave it up to you to find and experience them throughout the game.
Mixing it up every once in a while, you’ll come across a full 3D level. These levels are fun and a nice break from all the 2D ones prior. I had the most fun with the 3D levels and would have loved to see more of these levels included. Hopefully for Jett Rocket III?
Once you complete the 5 main levels in each world, you’ll come face to face with the boss in a well-choreographed boss battle. These boss battles will test your skill at first, but once you realize the attack pattern, they’re a bit easier to defeat.
For the completionists out there, throughout the levels you’ll find hidden pathways, collectibles, and bonus rooms. The collectibles unlock photos in the gallery for viewing and once you beat the game it unlocks Mirror Mode for an even greater challenge. Seriously, it’s worth checking out.
Games like Mario, Sonic, and even Battletoads all have enjoyable, catchy soundtracks. Coupled with the visuals, some decent music can really enhance the experience. And while Jett Rocket II has some tunes that are a bit enjoyable, it’s nothing that will stay with you once the credits roll. Regardless of the audio, I can say that Shin’en has done it again with these visuals. Running at a smooth 60 FPS in 2D and 3D, the visuals are smooth from beginning to end and certainly do a great job of making this a fun adventure to experience.
Final Score: 7.5 out of 10
+ Extra content (Mirror Mode)
– Distance knocked back when hit