Jets'n'Guns (PC) review
""(...)a direct link to a TV channel that will buy and broadcast the most entertaining massacres that happen around you. On a signpost on the way to the space-sector you can read: "No nuclear weapon tests between 08.00 and 16.00". It is probably too much to ask for"."
In a space-bar in an insane universe, a worn down mercenary sits and cradles his glass while waiting for the next mission. The mission arrives: an "eco-fascist" orders you to "cleanse" a holy space-sector of theirs from mutants, unbelievers and other scum. And that is really all there is to say about the plot in Jets'n'Guns, if you do not want to sound like a raving madman.
Before the cleansing of the space-sector is to begin, you can buy various rockets, bombs, laser-weapons, black hole generators ("as seen on TV"), and so on. As well as upgrade the ship's shields and engines. Or outfit the ship with a direct link to a TV channel that will buy and broadcast the most entertaining massacres that happen around you. On a signpost on the way to the space-sector you can read: "No nuclear weapon tests between 08.00 and 16.00". It is probably too much to ask for.
The graphics and the drawing generally has the same improbable level as the plot, whether it is the slides that "explain" the missions, to the ships you shoot to bits, and the boss-encounters at the end of the level. With the non-static animations, it is a mix between hand-drawn and computer generated graphics that is simplistic, but creates a very smooth and visually pleasing look. In that it avoids the computer game object look, as well as the moving sprites that lack direction and purpose.
It's not possible to complain about the sound-effects either, which is a variation on the themes "death-screams from the entire galaxy" and to "lightning strike in the TNT-factory", in consistently solid quality.
The Music for this game is written by "Machinae Supremacy" - a crossover between heavy metal and alternative electronic rock (with effects reminding slightly of old arcade sound boards), which fits perfectly to the game's retro style.
But this is also the point where you suddenly see how thoroughly Jets'n'Guns is directed - the missions have minimal amounts of repetition, and the stages are made in such a way that they fit to the length, intensity and the alterations in the music. It's difficult to see whether the levels were made to fit the music, or if it was the other way around.
The pacing of the stages are also different, while the enemies and all ships and weapons are creatively drawn throughout the 40 level campaign. So while the core gameplay is good, with the ship moving with the appropriate speed and acceleration, and the objects around it exploding satisfyingly - this isn't the kind of shooter where the feel of the controls alone is what carries the game through the forty or so story-driven levels.
Meanwhile, you choose your playing style depending on the different weapon upgrades you use. Do you spend your money on upgrades for your existing weapons - or do you pick a lower level of a new, but more expensive weapon? What about spending the money on a few more flaps and wings sticking out in every direction (this improves the maneuverability also in space) - or perhaps an oversized cooling system would give you better results than another fifteen-barrel death ray? It's just the right kind of challenge to tackle in the short breaks between the increasingly deranged missions.
The rolling backgrounds and the lighting effects are also subtle and comfortably paced enough to avoid giving you epileptic seizures right away. So it is easy to recommend this game to anyone, not just to fans of other shooter games.
Jets'n'Guns was made by Rake in Grass. Machinae Supremacy who made the soundtrack also had a hand in making the soundtracks for World of Warcraft and Battlefield 2. The game is available for PC, and also Mac and Linux. The machine requirements are reasonable.
Community review by fleinn (July 02, 2010)
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