Jet Force Gemini Review

For Nintendo 64

By Contributing Writer Jimmy Payne

Rating: Good
   I truly believed that I was experiencing another masterpiece from Rare 
when I first started playing Jet Force Gemini, but I started to enjoy it 
less and less once the game's flash and glamour wore off.
   First of all, let's go over what made me think it was a must-have game 
when I first started playing it.  One of these things was the graphics, 
which look a lot like Zelda 64 would look if Link had a space suit and an 
arsenal of guns.  The graphics in Jet Force Gemini do more than give you 
something pleasant to look at, they make the game fun.  The first time you 
take your "Gemini Pistol" or machine gun and take out a couple of mutant 
ants with it, you're not only going to be amazed by the splatter effects, 
you're going to be hooked for the next couple of hours.  In addition, the 
weapons are very well-designed, the story line is much better than you 
would expect from this kind of game, and the creepy music will make you 
wonder how they managed to get such high-quality audio on a cartridge.
   Control is yet another strong point in Jet Force Gemini.  It may take a 
while for some gamers to get used to the manual jumping if they're used to 
Zelda 64's automatic jumping, but the jumping control is generally not a 
problem.  Neither is the shooting control, since all you have to do is fire 
your gun without aiming and your character will automatically aim at the 
nearest enemy on ground level.  You can also hold down the R button to 
bring up a cursor that you can move around the screen if you want to aim at 
something in particular.  This could very well be the best control set-up 
found in any Nintendo 64 action game.  I shudder to think what this game 
would be like if Rare had decided to use Turok's control set-up.
  As many things as there are to like about Jet Force Gemini, the negatives 
eventually out-weigh the positives.  The game first started to irritate me 
during the pointless chats I found myself having with a green character 
that looks like a cross between Yoda and a koala bear.  This character 
doesn't do anything useful except for offering you keys that you need to 
progress through the levels.  Strangely enough, the game gives you the 
choice of saying "give me the key" and taking the key, or saying "goodbye 
for now" and not taking the key.  Hmm... I think I'll say "goodbye for now" 
and spend a few hours wandering around aimlessly in my quest to get past 
that blasted red door...
   The multi-player mode is one of the biggest jokes I have ever witnessed 
on the N64 (not counting Yoshi's Story, Mario Party, and Superman, of 
course).  For one thing, it's completely unbalanced.  All you have to do is 
grab a few easily-acquired weapons and start shooting them in all 
directions.  It doesn't help that the arenas are laughably small and 
lacking in strategic hiding points (not to be confused with camping 
points).  The characters' voices in the multi-player mode are also horribly 
over-done and annoying.
   There aren't enough puzzles in the game, and the puzzles that are here 
aren't very good.  Most of the puzzles are either so simple that they're 
too easy, or so poorly-designed that they will leave you staring at the TV 
screen for 15 minutes trying to figure out what you're supposed to do.  
Take away the puzzles, and what's left is just a 3D platform game with a 
lot of shooting and power-up collecting.  
   This game is great fun for about five hours, but then it starts to get 
incredibly repetitive and boring.  What's even more sad for N64 owners is 
that Jet Force Gemini is supposed to be the N64's second-biggest game of 
the year.

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