Jett Rocket (WiiWare) Review
As a game, it would’ve been hard to compete with Super Mario Galaxy 2 at release, and even more so when said game was a platform game. Jett Rocket is a platformer that doesn’t really do anything majorly different, but at the same time delivers quite a solid experience that could be mistaken for a retail title at first glance.
Jett Rocket follows a young mechanic-like character called, surprisingly, Jett. Upon arriving at the almost picturesque planet of Yoroppa, the planet is attacked by the evil Power Plant Posse, a group of mechanical terrorists that is planting strange devices throughout Yoroppa that are sapping the life force of the planet away. Jett, being in the right place at the right time to be a hero, must investigate the areas throughout the planet and shut down each of the devices that the Power Plant Posse has planted around Yoroppa.
Yeah, as you’ve probably guessed, the story isn’t really going to be the major highlight with Jett Rocket, though as I usually say with most games, it does an average job at pushing the characters along. Yoroppa itself appears to consist of three distinct areas: a tropical island, an artic region and a bog/swamp area too. Essentially, the story takes Jett through each of these areas, hunting down “Solar Cells” to unlock progression into the next region. Sound familiar?
The presentation of Jett Rocket strangely mimics that of Nintendo’s first party Wii titles, such as Wii Sports and Wii Play, though with obviously a bit of a more complex design. Menus are simplistic and sleek, and the game’s world is quite well constructed, though you’ll only experience it in small doses at a time thanks to the game’s structure. Water moves and reacts as you would expect it to, enemies are animated enough to be quite believable, and Jett himself is a well designed character. To top this all off, the smaller details like shadows and lighting are all pulled off and behave as you would expect them too, making Jett Rocket probably one of the nicest WiiWare titles I’ve ever played. This is conveniently reinforced by the fact that the game supports widescreen presentation, as well as enhanced definition and a smooth frame rate of 60 fps.
As I’ve previously alluded to, Jett Rocket takes the structure of almost any adventure platformer that you’ve played in the last ten years. Each level has a certain aim, and Jett must complete this goal while collecting Solar Cells to unlock new areas. There are, of course, a few lite and simple puzzles here and there, though these never really provide much of a hindrance to gameplay. In fact, Jett Rocket is extremely forgiving and is also quite possibly one of the easiest WiiWare games I’ve played too. Unlike other platform titles, however, there is no major hub world connecting each of the levels, presumably due to the restrictions of the WiiWare platform, and instead players select a level from an overhead map of each world.
Of course, there are a few things that Jett has at his disposal to make his battle against the Power Plant Posse easier. Jett has access to a jetpack that is used in a similar fashion to a double jump. The jetpack is used in most situations and requires refuelling at stations peppered around the game’s world. Refuelling is performed by shaking the Wii Remote at said stations, as is attacking. Movement, of course, is done with the Nunchuk’s analog stick. In addition to the jetpack, throughout the levels Jett can utilise a jet ski for a few racing levels, a snowboard during the arctic region and a parasail which works in a similar vein to Link’s Deku Leaf from Wind Waker. These extra elements help break up the gameplay a bit and make it a bit more digestable, and do their bit in preventing any boredom that may occur.
In terms of value, Jett Rocket has quite a bit of stuff to get through, and even more if you consider yourself a completionist. There are three unique worlds, each with a certain theme (Tropical, Arctic and Swamp) and each world ends with a boss battle that is also a unique experience. I was expecting a lot of recycled environments following the first level but was pleasantly surprised. Thankfully, there is quite a bit of a variety throughout the game, and all in all it should take most players at least six hours to complete if they went for 100% completion. If that’s not your thing, then, thanks to the game’s rather lax difficulty, Jett Rocket may only last you four hours.
All in all, Jett Rocket surprised me. It’s a rather competent platformer from a rather competent developer that breaks most of my misconceptions about WiiWare. While it doesn’t quite feature enough content to do so, Jett Rocket’s presentation rivals, sometimes even surpasses, that of certain retail titles. It’s just a shame it doesn’t do anything particularly new or groundbreaking for the genre – though some people might argue that’s not really a bad thing.
For those who like quirky platformers, this is probably worth a look. Those who don’t, I recommend that you try it anyway – it’s not like it’s painstakingly difficult.
Developer: Shin’en Multimedia
Previously: Nanostray series (DS)
Control: Wii Remote + Nunchuk
Cost: 1000 Wii Points
Blocks Used: 311