#408 Jet Force Gemini

Posted: 29th December 2017 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , ,

659th played so far

Genre: Action
Platform: Nintendo 64
Year of Release: 1999
Developer: Rare
Publisher: Rare

I’m not sure I’ve mentioned our Rare Replay purchase before, which is perfect for this blog as well as easier access to a bunch of classics. I dug it out today for a random game, although we’ll have a follow up from the same disk soon after.

Here, we get a 3D third person shooter originally for the Nintendo 64, and it shows in the screenshots I’ve seen. Beyond that, I’m expecting more standard action adventure work.

Our Thoughts

The graphics for these games are always a bit risky – trying to look realistic in the late nineties can quickly lead to muddy textures that blend together. This game tries to give more than that – at times intentionally looking alien with its colours – but they’re still not sharp or strong. It just didn’t always work.

So the game itself is sort of a shooter, sort of a platformer, but it doesn’t work for either. The controls feel really floaty, but the main issue is with aiming and moving your viewpoint. What we’re often used to is that moving your point of view ‘sticks’ – that makes it easier to aim because you know where you’re at. Here, however, your viewpoint snaps back if you move back, which makes it more difficult to aim and adjust your aim as you’re moving or the opponent is moving. It made it a lot more difficult than it needed to be and really made the machine gun’s random shots far more powerful than pistol precision. I wonder whether this was a compromise choice because of the platforming elements, but it feels like it shouldn’t need to be.

While there are some interesting ideas here, the marrying of 3D platformers like Banjo Kazooie that made Rare big in this era with the shooter elements doesn’t work perfectly and it diminishes both parts. There’s some neat ideas with the setting, with there being these aliens worlds, but it doesn’t work quite as well for me and I’d rather play the games that do manage it, even if that is because they focus.