Review by dokidokilove
"Even the sharks wouldn't touch this horrid game!"
First of all, bear with me, I know this is LJN and I shouldn't expect a good game from them, but it's important to tell everyone why these games are poorly made. If I don't, who else would. Let's get to the game...
When you start up the game, you see a fairly decent title screen reminiscent of the Jaws poster in ways. That's the only redeeming quality about this game, and there's also the title music, also from Jaws. LJN did this much right with this game, so how can it all go wrong? Oh yes... it can and did go wrong.
First of all, this game looks poorly drawn after the title. It uses a simple palette, but the world map ends up looking like a bunch of toys in a bath tub. Is that shallow water near the lands? It looks like bath bubbles or something. The two encounter maps are nothing special either, depends on if you're near the bath bubbles or not. They both look horrid, and they really could have tried making different looking shores relative to your position. Also, Jaws looks like he's got a smile on his face as if he's saying "I'm going to be in one of the best games ever!" Sorry Jaws, this is not the game I'm afraid. Of course there's your guy, who is so small, he's barely noticeable. I'm guessing they did this to make Jaws seem big, and you so small, but you're just way too small. The Manta Rays are some of the ugliest looking Manta Rays I've ever seen! What were they thinking??? The jellyfish are ok, but at times I looked at them and said to myself "They look too much like scaled down Metroids."
The music in the other parts of the game, are downright bad. They're just like the loop in Back to the Future, only this time there's more than one song, thankfully. You'll be disappointed to know that anytime you see Jaws on the world map, the Jaws theme does not play. Now this would have been a great addition and made the game more fun to know "Oh no! The giant shark is coming!" but instead, you have to rely on buying a tracker which makes a beep everytime you come near him. Slackers...
The game acts like an adventure pseudo RPG. You have a world map, and you go around it, having some random encounters. Anytime you encounter an enemy it will say "You hit something!" and take you to the battle screen. This is SO easy, it's pathetic. The Manta Rays only go one direction, so all you have to do is swim in front of them and blast away with your spear gun. The Jellyfish are also easy, and pose no real threat. They always swim upwards, but later learn how to move diagonal. Jaws himself is an idiot in this game, he always swims towards you, relative to your position. Somehow you're a better swimmer than him, and you can easily avoid him the following way: stay in the middle of the water, move down or up and go the direction opposite of Jaws, get behind him and spam your gun.
So why are you killing the Manta Rays and the Jellyfish metroids? To collect shells, which are currency in this game. I'm guessing that shells are the same as money... so technically with my shell collection, I'm a rich man. These shells get you the tracker, and more power levels making Jaws easier than ever. There are two docks on the world map, and each time you use one dock, you have to go to the other dock. You think with everything I said, it'd be easy, and it is... ridiculously easy too. An extra power-up in the map is a mini-submersible. This allows you to move faster, but does not necessarily affect your power. After eveyr few encounters, you're treated to a bonus stage where a plane flies by and you drop bombs on the Jellyfish metroids. For every certain amount of the little buggers you kill, you get shells. Death is not something to take lightly, if you get hit you lose a power level as well as half of your shells.
So, you have all the levels, let's go kill the shark. It's easier said than done, because truth be told, he can be beaten so stupidly quick at this point. If you somehow mess up trying to kill him, i.e. you took too long in an encounter, he will slowly regain his power until you next fight him. Using the strategy as laid out, we drain Jaws' power to nothing. Now comes a fine example of expected poor programming from LJN. After you've drained his power, you have to finally kill the punk shark. How? With your boat! That's right, you have to kill him with your boat. Jaws will swim your way, and you need to watch where he goes so you can line up your shot. In order to call Jaws out, you need to release a strobe to bring him up, and make him spin so you can ram him. Now this sounds simple at this point, but the collisions and such in this are TERRIBLE. You have no idea if he's in range of being sea kill, even though it looks like it. You have to hit him when his white belly is exposed, but you will most likely miss because he's not in range with the boat despite looking like he is.
So after you kill Jaws, what happens? He's dead, you fly off into the sunset, and the words "the end" pop up in the corner. This game gives you no satisfaction, and no ending that makes you feel like you did the impossible, it makes you feel like you wasted your time for nothing. But... what happens if you use all three strobes to call the shark out, but don't fail to kill him? Do you get an alternate ending like you did in Back to the Future? Nope! Instead, Jaws gets all his power back, and you've gotta spear gun him all over again.
You may think this is a great game just because it bears the name "Jaws", but this is based on Jaws the Revenge, the worst sequel ever. You can beat this game in 20 minutes, I kid you not, it's that easy. If you thought you would play through this game, expecting something big, sorry, you got screwed into a sales pitch. I tried feeding this to the sharks, but they spit it right out and said "This game is not appetizing." So 0 out of 4 sharks recommend Jaws. Me? Stay away from this game at ALL costs. Even if you have to have every single Nintendo game in your collection to try and consider yourself lord of all NES, you can skip this one, because if you do, you'll be taken seriously.
Long story short for that last paragraph... Do not play this game, avoid it at all costs.
Reviewer's Rating: 0.5 - Unplayable
Originally Posted: 08/03/06
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