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Jazz Jackrabbit 2 is awesome!


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Aug 24, 2019, 06:56 PM
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Jazz Jackrabbit 2 is awesome!

I played this with my best friend a week ago, and with the Gravis controllers, this was sweet! (I was disappointed I couldn't get the controller to work with Jazz 1, but it's surprisingly smooth with jazz 2, even though the positioning of the buttons looks like it would be a mess to run, jump, and shoot at the same time, it actually handles easily)

This is the kind of 2-player game I was wishing existed when I was a kid in 1998. I wanted 2D games to all cut the rabbit-hraka of taking turns or being stuck together on a screen or tails getting left in the dust and just deliver complete split-screen freedom, and Jazz 2 delivers. Jazz and Spaz are both great personalities, and there are levels where they start in different places! My headcanon is the timetravel wormholes spit them out in the same general area but far enough to get separated. It's too bad this style of co-op 2D gameplay didn't catch on when it was competing with the then-blossoming competitive FPS and MMOs the kids these days are solely subjecting themselves to.

I have a couple gripes though:
1) They bump into each other. This is compensated for with the ability to give each other a jumping boost by having one stand on the other's head and push them up, finding some 2-player-only-secrets!
2) They don't share the coins. This was a major bummer when so many times we didn't have enough to pay the coin rabbit simply because we were both picking up coins and, thus, neither of us had enough most of the time. It would be nice if they can both use it by touching the booth together and split the cost, sending you both to the secret area.

I went on deviantart and found out the title screen was made by a fan! And JJ2+ is a fan mod. I bought this on GoG and they included that with the package. Wow. The title screen art is so accurate to the style I thought it was a legit original screen art.

Another downer is it feels too short. 4 episodes, compared to Jazz's original 9-episode adventure. I get I'm essentially complaining that there's no pointless filler. I have to admit some of those Jazz 1 episodes have a feeling of quantity over quality (did we need multiple jungle-planets and TWO xmas episodes?), and it's DAMNED hard. But Jazz 2 felt much less difficult to play and that's not because it's neutered (or that we were playing on easy), but because it addressed the things that made Jazz 1 flawed. The screen real-estate you're given (even on split screens!) and the existence of a run button makes such a huge difference in not running into crap all the time, and you no longer die from an arbitrary time limit.

The boss at the end of medivo was like Mr. Krabbs: A Cheap, cheap, CHEAP Mother(bleep)er! This thing was so stupidly hard, and not for the right reasons. The way we beat this thing was it kept targeting Spaz after he lost his last life and I just wailed bullets into it until it died because it refused to care that Jazz was shooting it. Then started a new game on episode 4 to start us both off fresh after the resources it drained from us. We found out too late that we could save/load games, which would have helped defeat it more legitimately. The boss from the previous episode, and even Devan Shell himself are a joke (I hope that's because of easy skill).

Defeating Devan Shell together and then watching that ending was beautiful. Oh yeah, I should mention the lack of cutscenes/story in this compared to Jazz 1. You're just left to infer that you chase Devan through the time machine, with includes a medeival/renaissance turtle area, wonderland for some reason, and a random beach. First one fits the time travel theme, but what the heck is the meaning of the other two? Then you're sent to the first episode of Jazz 1; fair enough, and then a final chase through the jungle and into hell. The two cutscenes that are in this are fantastic, but I'm left wanting more. A couple episodes between 3 and 4 could make it feel more complete, like those three midquel episodes of Jazz 1. Are there any homebrew maps that try to do this? I'm thinking with time travel, we should get the standard cliche'd stone age dinosaurs, classical time periods, the future with unrealistic technological and cultural expectations (too much change in A, and absolutely zero change in B) (but this is already a sci-fi in the future so what could you do there anyway

Anyway... I'm rambling. Everyone should co-op Jazz 2 and find all the secrets. The other thing I have left to do is 3-players in The Secret Files.

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