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ups: simple fun, good graphics, lots of weapon choices
downs: very simple plot, not a lot of substance beyond ship customization

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Jets'n'Guns Review
game: Jets'n'Guns
three star
posted by: George Holomshek
publisher: TotalGaming.net
developer: Rake in Grass
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date posted: 01:27 PM Wed Sep 14th, 2005
last revision: 01:51 PM Wed Sep 14th, 2005

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Click to read.Sometimes you run across a game that is so ridiculous you can\'t help but like it. Jets\'n\'Guns is one of those games. It reminds me of the goofy fat guy in every movie -- not very deep, but he is fun and makes you smile. How ridiculous, you ask? Let\'s take a look at the story. Professor von Hamburger has been kidnapped by the schizophrenic and paranoid lunatic-dictator Xoxx. Xoxx plans to use the professor\'s newly developed multi-mile long quantum cannon to destroy the entire universe. Intense, huh? Or how about the fact that at one point during the game you meet up with the USS Impotence, a giant space ship that looks a lot like a certain part of the male anatomy. Anyway, the question you may be asking now is, \"So is the game any good?\"

Right out of the box (or off the net, if you prefer) you will see that the graphics actually aren\'t bad, especially as far as side-scrolling shooters go. The spacecraft are all well done and many are very unique and inventive. The ships also show damage and parts literally fly off as your bullets tear through. Detail plays a big part of this game\'s style. Bullet casings rain from your ship as you shoot, trees can be mowed down with a barrage of lead, and you can even shoot cows standing on hills. And I was particularly impressed with the quality of the backgrounds. Not only do they look good, but they are constantly changing to keep things from getting boring and monotonous. However, one of the things that really sets this game apart is the ridiculousness of how you tear through the bad guys. When you destroy a ship, often its passengers will eject and start frivolously shooting at you with their pistols. Blasting these guys will reward you with not only points, but also an absurd amount of blood and body parts falling from the sky as the force of your bullets causes the little guys to explode. And believe me, you will shoot a butt-load of these dudes. If I didn\'t know better I\'d think Quentin Tarantino had a hand in this game. And not only do the men fall from ships, but they are frequently walking the ground in mobs just waiting to be annihilated. Mob of henchmen + 1 bomb = red jelly.

Audio wise, there isn\'t a whole lot to say. The background music you hear could best be described as \"cruisin\' tunes\". Not really anything to rock-out to, but I have heard a lot worse. The sound effects department is a little better. Bullets firing and ships exploding sounds alright with a regular set of speakers, but you can get some decent rumbling going on if you plug in a system and turn your subwoofer up. I had people looking into my room wondering what in the world I was playing on multiple occasions.

While the story itself my lack depth, there is an impressive assortment of features and weapons you can use to outfit your ship. You start the game with $80,000 to buy any small additions you may want for your ship before you start out on your first mission. During each mission you score what you can in terms of points, body count, and spoils, and then everything is totaled at the level\'s end and you receive cold hard cash for your efforts. Between levels you can go into the Hypershopping Mall to buy even more goodies for your ship or to upgrade the ones you currently have. And with over 50 different guns, all of which are upgradeable, along with nearly 20 enhancements you can apply to your ship, there is plenty of room for experimentation and customization. In fact, it is in this very premise of working to get bigger and bigger guns that Jets\'n\'Guns\'s biggest flaw may lie. I found that as I got better weapons and upgraded them to shoot in more directions and with bigger bullets, I actually started to have a hard time seeing what the hell was going on. This, coupled with the game\'s large swarms of enemies and their massive explosions, made it nearly impossible to simply see if there were actually any live baddies on the screen or if I was just shooting into space. This becomes especially aggravating in tighter levels in which you must dodge buildings and debris. Thus, the game leaves you with two options: stop shooting so you can see but chance getting ventilated by a swarm of enemies, or keep shooting and have a good chance of plowing into a wall. Even though you can upgrade your armor and buy a \"bumper\" to ease the pain when you hit a solid object, it is still rather inconvenient not being able to see, regardless of how much ass you may be kicking.

In the end, Jets\'n\'Guns is a really fun, really ridiculous shooter, but it is still just a simple shooter. The opportunities to mix-and-match weaponry are nearly endless, but beyond that there isn\'t a whole lot else to it. It\'s one of those games you can play for hours on end or just one level at a time whenever you get bored during the day. If you are a fan of side-scrolling shooters, Jets\'n\'Guns should definitely be on your list of games to check out. And with a price tag under $20, even those who aren\'t hardcore fans of the genre should give this one a peek.

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