How would you react if I told you that an unofficial sequel or tribute to Super Mario Sunshine appeared on WiiWare for just 1000 Nintendo Points?
Well get ready to react in that very manner because Jett Rocket for Wii is a 3D Platform Adventure game which takes great inspiration from Nintendo’s Gamecube classic. Before things get too silly I’ll point out right away; Jett Rocket is not as good a game than Sunshine – but that doesn’t mean it’s bad either, let’s find out more in this Jett Rocket WiiWare review.
Jett Rocket is a peaceful ecological superhero who looks a bit like Ben 10 crossed with GI Joe. Not everyone cares about the environment and it appears that the evil Power Plant Posse have invaded a peaceful planet called Yoroppa. Not only have they installed horrible fossil fuelled power plants all over the once beautiful planet; they’ve left lots of horrid robots guarding them all too. Just as you or I would, Mr Rocket vows to clean up this mess once and for all and promptly gets down to the planet’s surface to sort matters pronto.
So far you’re probably wondering about the afforementioned similarities to Super Mario Sunshine; well wonder no more. You may remember that in Sunshine Mario had a three function water pack called Fludd? Well Jett Rocket can’t quite afford expensive tech like that but don’t worry, he does at least have a standard jet rocket pack and if it means he can float about the place does it really matter what fuel it uses?
Ok so both games feature a rocket pack but what else do they have in common? Well each of the three world locations (Tropical Island, Snowy Artic and Toxic Swamps) are distinctively themed and split into levels. At the start of each level you’re given a quick scan of the horizon in a mini cut-scene which usually (in combination with the level name) gives you a clue of what your goal is. From here on it’s down to you and Mr Rocket to get the job done.
Completing a level is usually a simple case of running around solving some basic puzzles such as hitting switches, throwing bombs into containers or finding hidden batteries to power a stone cannon (weird eh?). On your way you need to collect as many Solar Panels as possible because these are your ‘Power Stars’ to unlocking the next world. Jett’s ship needs as much power as possible and the only way to power the transporter is to install those solar panels pronto. Now Jett doesn’t quite have the move set or aerobatic fluidity of Mario so you can forget about cartwheels, backflips and what not because you’ll mainly be running around doing the odd bit of jumping, smashing and floating with your jet pack. Nevertheless apart from the stiff robotic feel to Jett and his movements (even though he’s human), exploring the area does trigger that 3D Mario feel much more than you’d expect. Of course at the end of each world is a boss, none of ‘em are super tough but not they’ll not be walk in the park for you either.
Now let’s not get over ourselves here; Jett Rocket will not worry Shigeru Miyamoto and the Mario legacy but for once this is an example of a non-Nintendo developed 3D platformer that doesn’t just fall flat on its face.
If you just give the game a chance then Jett Rocket will give you that nice warm Super Mario Sunshine glow for a few hours, probably enough to whet your appetite for finishing off those missions you’re stuck on in Super Mario Galaxy 2. The control system is a basic Wiimote and Nunchuck affair, Jett is controlled with the analogue stick and jumps with a press of the A button (and floats with A held down), attacking comes in the form of swishing the Wiimote motion style and it works well. I’m no Wii Waggle advocate but this is very inoffensive and suits me just fine.
Jett Rocket features fairly decent graphics and audio; neither will stun you into a fiery oblivion but don’t forget that squeezing anything gorgeous into the 40MB WiiWare storage limit is a tough task for anyone. The levels are pretty enough and the special effects are good enough for any self-respecting game lover, it’s all crisp, smooth and does the job. For me a game with no slowdown and a half decent game camera goes a long way to being playable, Jett Rocket easily manages this and more.
For just 1000 Nintendo Points you can have a good dose of retro 3D platforming action. Gamerscore junkies will be pleased to see that there are plenty of achievements to earn as well. Of course being a Wii title they don’t really mean anything (they’ll not appear on your Xbox 360) but it’s certainly nice to see some effort towards WiiChievements, especially when Nintendo aren’t bothering. Fun stuff indeed! 8 out of 10.
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Related: Super Mario Galaxy 2