Jackie Chan Adventures
My taste has a mind of its own, how else could one explain the preferences I have for certain games which no one else likes better than me? You would probably need at least a quantum computer to find a pattern in my logic within this century which means that a cluster of super computers nowadays wouldn’t succeed in exploring the web before the next meteorite hits the earth’s surface. However, this time I could have an explanation for why it is I liked to review this third person action game for kids: because I 0wn while playing such an easy game. Isn’t that great? Well, it was until I had played a few hours after which I began to get bored.
That doesn’t mean I have to lose my objectivity so I will judge this game the way it is meant to be: from a youngster’s point of view which makes sense if you know that this game really focuses on kids from let’s say five to about twelve. If you, mentally, do not fit in to that category then this game won’t last long and neither will you consider it to be challenging. For those of you who don’t get it yet: stop reading now if you are older. On the other hand, if you don’t realize that you didn’t need to read further to come to your conclusion, are you mentally above twelve then?
The story focuses on the cartoon series but there is really no need to have seen them as the game wraps up the general concept before you start playing. In addition, its plot isn’t very thick either: you play as Jackie Chan who works for his uncle, an antique importer. The main idea is that there once was a box in which they captured a lot of evil spirits who have now been set free by a fancy villain. So your job is obviously to stop those monsters, recapture them and take home some antique stuff while you are at it.
Therefore you’ll travel to a far-off locations, even to the moon, where you have to explore the area and then solve a puzzle (Tombraider kind of thing but ten times as easy) to get into a castle or cave where you can defeat the boss using one of the classical patterns. For example: you must throw rocks in his mouth while the creature of wind is breathing in. Of course, you will have to take out a serious number of enemies too. You’ll do so by combining strikes and kicks which can be executed by tapping square or triangle. Sometimes you can pick up a wooden bat or broom with which you can fight too or try to find combinations like punch, punch and kick which initiates a special move. Fun but not that spectacular.
Especially children will adore the cell-shaded level design of which I think it will really create the kind of magic atmosphere needed to make them feel as if they live the game. On some occasions I wished that the camera would work differently but in general it did its job really fine and that is definitely something I can appreciate in the third person genre. The locations are varied too which helps to keep up the pace and excitement, after all isn’t it fun to travel from a Mexican booby trapped temple to the Moon where gravity isn’t like we know it on earth?
The sound effects are as I know them from games in the nineties but obviously adapted to the technology from today. What I mean is that the beeps and background music goes back to simplicity but does contain a kind of addictive, funny melody. I like that because when hearing such a sound, when somebody downloaded it from the internet in a nostalgic mood for example, it has the power to immediately recreate the awesome times you had while playing computer games as a kid.
Although I feel that Atomic Planet once again proved that also smaller developers can make good games (they are responsible for titles like Robin Hood: Defender Of The Crown, Mega Man and Miami Vice which will be published by Davilex shortly), you can’t deny the fact that this game is very short and hasn’t exactly got a wide audience. I do agree that quantity and quality are two different things but I guess most people would want both when they pay about fifty euro for a game. In fact, for an average teenager, it will probably take longer to get the money than to play the game. However, for the youngest generation this game is ideal as it is technically okay and has a difficulty level which is adjusted to their level. To be honest, I don’t know if that is still necessary as there are lot’s of children playing hardcore games too but that is not up to me to worry about, or is it?