Ah, the nostalgia of NES games. But let’s be honest, not all of them were gems. One such game is JAWS, a movie-based title gracing Nintendo’s 8-bit console. Developed by the now-defunct LJN, known for their hit-or-miss releases, JAWS manages to rise above LJN’s typical mediocrity. However, it falls short of leaving a lasting impression.
A Game of Unfathomable Monotony
JAWS can be seen as a pseudo-RPG, focusing on the player’s progression towards defeating the iconic shark. With a world map and random battles reminiscent of old-school RPGs, it attempts to add depth to the gameplay.
But here’s the catch: the majority of your time will be spent traversing between docks. Back and forth, ad nauseam. Already mundane, this repetitive task becomes the catalyst for an even more monotonous experience.
The docks offer upgrades and power boosts, crucial for your confrontation with JAWS. However, these enhancements come at a price: shells. And gathering them proves to be a challenge.
Perilous Battles Beneath the Surface
As you navigate between docks, unexpected encounters await you. “Hitting something” triggers a battle segment requiring you to fight stingrays, jellyfish, and smaller sharks. This underwater clash demands quick reflexes and precision, as one touch from an enemy spells certain doom. Worse yet, it results in the loss of precious shells.
Picture this: shells falling to the bottom of the screen, disappearing within seconds if not collected. Imagine a jellyfish spawning right where a shell lands, leaving you helpless. Add to that the frustration of indistinguishable fast and slow-moving stingrays, risking the loss of shells for survival.
The Quest for Shells and Uncharted Territory
A major flaw in JAWS lies in its failure to provide clarity regarding the number of shells needed for upgrades and power boosts. As a player, you’re left guessing and hoping that you have enough to progress. If not, brace yourself for more encounters in search of elusive shells.
And speaking of encounters, JAWS himself appears frequently, his fin slicing through the water’s surface. While early confrontations inflict damage, you soon realize JAWS recovers between battles. To come out victorious, you must boost your power substantially, delivering a decisive blow in one fell swoop.
Bonus Segments and Baffling Aviation
Intermittently, you’ll find yourself in a bizarre bonus game labeled as an “extra scene.” Picture this: you’re in a plane, dropping bombs on jellyfish in the sea. The catch? You have no control over the plane’s trajectory. It moves back and forth at its own pace, often making it impossible to hit the elusive jellyfish.
Final Verdict: Swimming in Shallow Waters
All in all, JAWS manages to avoid being the worst LJN game. With decent graphics and satisfactory controls, it stands above the likes of LJN’s Roger Rabbit or Bill & Ted adaptations. However, its repetitive nature and lack of substance leave much to be desired.
As we navigate the vast seas of gaming, let’s remember JAWS as a title that barely scratches the surface of our gaming expectations.