"As a third-person shooter, the formula for JFG works perfectly. For instance, pressing the 'R' shoulder button will change the view to a semi-first-person view, with your character's body becoming transparent, and a crosshair appearing on-screen. You can move the crosshair with the analog stick, and/or move using the C buttons."
Rare has never disappointed me. They've given us gamers such great games such as Donkey Kong Country (or DK64), Diddy Kong Racing, Perfect Dark, GoldenEye 007, and tons of other masterpieces that would make this list run forever. However, while Jet Force Gemini maintains the high-quality gameplay that we've come to expect from Rare, it does have its faults.
The story of Jet Force Gemini leaves little to the imagination. It involves an insect race--led by a maniacal arachnid, named Mizar, whose only objective is to take over the galaxy--as the antagonizing force. That's a pretty big objective, but it's been done so many times (except for the insect part) that it just didn't excite me. Opposite them, fighting to save the galaxy, is the Jet Force, which only has one remaining team--Gemini. This team, consisting of paternal twins Juno and Vela, and their trusty sidekick, Lupus the Dog, swear revenge on Mizar and his troops for orphaning them at a young age, as well as trying to fulfill their mission of saving the universe.
The gameplay in Jet Force Gemini is, to say the least, some of the best you'll find in its genre. As a third-person shooter, the formula for JFG works perfectly. For instance, pressing the 'R' shoulder button will change the view to a semi-first-person view, with your character's body becoming transparent, and a crosshair appearing on-screen. You can move the crosshair with the analog stick, and move your character using the C buttons. Very innovative, and very helpful. Also, while running in the third-person view, the game aims for you, so you can concentrate on strafing, and killing more bugs.
Sometimes, however, the camera can just piss you off. The game's scenarios practically require you to turn sharply, yet the camera does not react fast enough, and this may cost you some health, or cause you to fall off a ledge. Also, the framerate is not that great, and often detracts from the otherwise great graphics.
The game's main objective is to stop Mizar, but to do that, you'll have to undergo the most important mission in the game: rescuing all the Tribals. Tribals are the cute, furry critters who inhabit most of the JFG galaxy, whose primary home planet was invaded by Mizar's troops. Their leader, King Jeff, asks the Gemini Team to rescue the Tribals in order to save their race, so that they can rebuild a space ship that will help them defeat Mizar. While not a very entertaining storyline, it's actually finding the Tribals that entertains you, and also frustrates you.
The levels in Jet Force Gemini are absolutely spectacular. While a lot of the worlds consist of mostly shades of blue, all of them are extremely detailed, and are very friendly to the eyes. The enemies look pretty darn cool, too, especially the bosses. The characters themselves look fairly detailed, but also lack expression and style. The one fault in the level design, however, is this: it's too damn easy to get lost in the redundant textures of the passages. For instance, one level has you navigating a maze of several tunnels in order to eliminate all the enemies and open a door at the end. Problem is, every tunnel looks the same. Thus, if you take a wrong turn, you're screwed. This problem was not big enough to take the enjoyment out of the game, however, at least for me.
Sound is another of JFG's triumphs. (I absolutely love the theme!) When a character jumps, he/she grunts, and when they hit the ground after a big fall, they emit a very distinct, ''Oomph!'' Each weapon has its own unique sound, also. When characters speak, however, their speech is just incomprehensible mumbo-jumbo, much like in Banjo-Kazooie. All in all, the sound is far from bad.
In conclusion, Jet Force Gemini is one of the best 3rd-person shooters around, and is well-worth a trip to Blockbuster for a rental, at the least.
Staff review by Zack M (Date unavailable)
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