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A great rival to Sonic, Mario and Rayman
Jazz Jackrabbit is a name that might not have entered the platformer Hall of Fame alongside Rayman, Sonic and Mario, but on the basis of this game, he at least deserves a spot somewhere further down the list. Following on from the original Jazz Jackrabbit, this sequel continues the adventures of the gun-toting rabbit, only this time he's on a mission through time to recover the ring he intends to give to his beloved Eva and which has been stolen by his archnemesis, Devan Shell. In gameplay terms, this translates into a scrolling shooter/platformer, similar to its predecessor and which will be familiar to anyone who has played such games as Lion King, Ghosts & Goblins and the like, with enemies to be overcome, platforms to be jumped over and secrets to be discovered. However, adding to the variety is the option to play as one of several characters in a similar fashion to Super Mario Bros 2 and who each have their own unique abilities. For example, Jazz's brother can double-jump while his sister can dash across the screen to wipe out enemies with ease. Further adding to the interest are the power-ups for your gun and which provide various cool ammo types, like ice and flame bullets. While Jazz Jackrabbit isn't overly original, it scores a lot of points by simply doing most things very well. The levels are nicely designed and are highly striking visually, with lush environments and appealing sprites that are full of personality, while the audio is equally charming. The multi-player mode only serves to make a great game better so really, if you are a platforming fan, this has to be checked out.
At least as good as Sonic CD!
Jazz Jackrabbit 2 picks up the frenzied action delivered in his first sidescroller game, and this time makes it even more elaborate, fast, intricate and enticing! What the game offers is pure thrills, arcade, fast paced, ready to be tacked speedrun style left to right bonanza! Alright, I'm running out of adjectives, but what you should get from my rant is that this game really took it as seriously as it could that the DOS platform could and should be the home of fast games. Of course, by this time (98) few people were still running DOS, unless they really had to, so this game is a modern, Windows game that will run on Windows pretty much flawlessly. However, if you have any issues, try compatibility mode, with Win XP or older, depending on what OS you're running. But, from my experience this is quite the resilient little game, that runs properly on a modern machine and doesn't really fuss that much. And, a lot is better and more interesting now than it used to be in the olden days: the levels are more colorful, the backgrounds more vibrant, the platforms even more interesting to tackle. Play the original as well, for sure, a great game, but this one sure takes it all up a notch, and is bolder, stronger and more satisfying.
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- Jazz Jackrabbit CD-ROM Action, 1994
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