This game really should not need any introduction at all. It is the sequel of the ever so popular Jazz Jackrabbit. If you haven't played any of these games or even heard about them, you have been living far away from any civilization. Jazz Jackrabbit is one of the best known and best loved arcade games ever to be made throughout the gaming history.
What is it that makes Jazz Jackrabbit so special? Many things. The colorful graphics with extreme detail. The voices. The fluid animations. The loveable characters Jazz and Spaz (whom both have special abilities). The hillarious monsters. The many secrets in the game. The interesting level-design.... in short EVERYTHING in the game, but especially the music! If you come across a game that has better music than Jazz, please tell me. The moment you start the game, the music will embrace you in the magic world of Jazz Jackrabbit.
There shouldn't be any reasons to say anything else. In fact, I really do not think anyone will reach the bottom of the review before they have clicked the download button.
One of the best side-scrolling arcade games ever made, bar none. Jazz Jackrabbit 2 is a superb 2D platformer, a sequel to Epic Megagames' earlier shareware classic Jazz Jackrabbit. In addition to smoothly animated cartoons, funny antics, and varied levels, JJ2 boasts a charming plot that is told via comic-book style intro movie (missing from this CD-rip, though). The big bad guy from the original game, doctor Devan Shell the mad turtle scientist, is back with another nefarious plot to kill our hero. This time, he came up with an ingenious idea: go back in time to kill Jazz's parents, thus preventing him from being born in the first place. In order to complete the time machine, he (strangely enough) stole a wedding ring that Jazz gave to his beloved. Your job, of course, is to get it back.
The gameplay remains the same as Jazz Jackrabbit, but with a much-improved engine and better everything. You can play at any of the three difficulty levels as either Jazz or Spaz, Jazz's more devious brother. Both rabbits have their own special moves and abilities: Jazz can use his ears to glide down slowly and can jump higher, while Spaz is faster and can pull off an awesome karate kick and a two-phase jump. By combining a jump and duck, you can stomp open crates that contain power-ups and bonus items. You can also switch between weapons using the number keys.
The star of Jazz Jackrabbit 2 is the level design. Levels are designed so that there are areas that only Jazz or Spaz can get to. This helps increase the game's replay value, but also makes cooperative play much more interesting. The levels range from underwater tunnels, a thick jungle, a huge medieval castle, and a weird alien landscape that looks like a scene out of Louis Carroll's books.
On the downside, Jazz Jackrabbit 2 is far too easy. Perhaps this is Epic's response to many players' criticism that the first game was too hard. But they definitely tilted the scale too far to the other extreme: most enemies are easy to beat even with your plain vanilla laser gun. Even if you are a novice arcade gamer, you will likely find most levels cakewalk until you encounter one of the few "bosses" toward the end.
Fortunately, Epic includes a number of bonus features that help make up for the game's short length. First, there is the "Jazz Creation Station," a nifty utility that allows you to create your own levels. While it is neither intuitive nor easy to use, it does help extend the longevity to anyone patient enough to learn how to use it. Second, multiplayer support is outstanding for a side-scrolling game. Up to 32 players can play together over a LAN or the Internet, and you can also play split screen on the same PC with up to four players. There are several game modes including "death match" style, racing, treasure hunt, capture the flag, and cooperative mode for the normal levels.
If you like 2D platformers, you will most likely love this underrated shareware games. It may not be as funny as Earthworm Jim series, or offers as exotic locales seen in Pitfall: A Mayan Adventure, but as platformers go, it is very, very good.
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Jazz Jackrabbit, Jazz Jackrabbit 2: The Secret Files, Jazz Jackrabbit 2: Holiday Hare, Jazz Jackrabbit: Holiday Hare 1995, Jazz Jackrabbit 2: The Christmas Chronicles, Lion King, Raptor: Call Of The Shadows, House of the Dead, The
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