Monday, December 13, 2010

Jim Power

Loriciel / Micro World
Super CD-ROM

Much-maligned Jim Power has more going for it than most reviews of it would lead you to believe. To be sure, it's an imperfect title, with its most significant flaw being horrid jumping controls. Expect to experience plenty of mid-air misadventures when you first start playing the game. But you can develop a feel for the initially awkward leaping mechanism, and once you have that feel, you can start to notice and appreciate all the good stuff.

The adventure is a bit too short at five stages, but each level can take a while (not an irritatingly long while, mind you), and variety is definitely present, as three of the stages are run-and-gun fare while the other two play like side-view shoot 'em ups. The former aren't nearly as intense as a typical Contra board, but they do make you deal with plenty of tricky platforming sections, and you've always gotta be on your guard, as swift, bizarre creatures roam the grounds.

The shooter boards toss more strange foes your way. These guys are typically too strong to face head on, so mindless blasting won't cut it; you've gotta come up with plans to get by.

The music is very good throughout, and the graphics are great, particularly the shooter-stage backgrounds and the boss sprites. Speaking of the gargantuan bosses, they're pretty awesome looking and fun to fight, even though they're basically jokes.

The jokes don't end there; the game displays a fine sense of humor with amusing opening and closing bits. And really, as long as you don't give up on it early, the adventure itself should give you plenty to smile about.

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