Review by funkymonkey
"This game just reels you in!"
JAWS is among hundreds (okay, maybe not hundreds)of old NES games that have been long since forgotten since appearing on shelves in the local toy store. It's a perfect piece of 80's nostalgia: one of the most popular video game systems of the decade meets up with one of the most popular movie series of the last two decades. Now, don't take this review the wrong way. JAWS really isn't a GREAT game, it's just so addictive you can't stop playing. I mean, when you compare it to the likes of ZELDA, SUPER MARIO BROTHERS, and CASTLEVANIA, you realize that, while being a totally original game, it's not really worth of rediscovery. But that doesn't mean it can't be fun!
Okay, okay, so there's really NO story. And most of us have seen the movie, so what's the big deal? Well, it's just that, for starters, you don't see games about a giant great white shark terrorizing an island community that often. And second, the fact that there is really no apparent plot to speak of, makes it even funnier! So this is what happens: You start off as a little boat on a large screen mainly consisting of large islands and lots of water. You travel around aimlessly until you finally ''hit something'' (it never tells you what!). You then must go down into the water with your scuba gear on, supposedly to fix your boat but mainly to shoot up innocent manta rays and jellyfish in order to collect stars (which give you extra points) and also shells (which you need in order to buy the Jaws tracker and the power ups). Then the screen switches back to the island area where you continue on your merry way. Once you have five shells you can buy the above mentioned Jaws tracker (which helps you in no way at all) and eventually power ups (which you need in order to defeat Jaws). Every once in a while that friendly fish with the really bad over-bite will make a guest appearance too, although he's not threatening at all since all he does is swim back and forth across the screen! Did I forget to mention the baby sharks? Oh yeah, and the awesome submarine? Well, I'm getting ahead of myself. Maybe I should just move on . . .
The gameplay in this is simple and quick to learn. Just how I like it! It's just the average up, down, left, and right moves, with a press of the A button sending off a stream of arrows, er, I mean ''spears''. Like I mentioned countless times before, this game doesn't need a complex plot, lots of levels and a couple challenging bosses: it relies on the good old fashion technique of simplicity. By the first ten minutes of playing you'll have it down pat. I swear, it's as easy as heck, but who cares? Only the final stage, in which you have to kill Jaws once and for all, is challenging. It doesn't matter though, since you'll be too hooked on collecting all of the shells to worry about that!
GRAPHICS (in NES standards): 5/10
I've seen some good and bad graphics in my day, and I must say that the graphics in this game are pretty average. Kind of colorful, pretty eye catching, and virtually no detail whatsoever.
Like above, the sound is pretty average. Nothing special at all. Only the opening credits scene, which plays the famous ''Jaws tune'' is impressive, and it stops after like ten seconds. The rest of the music is okay, although it can get pretty annoying.
This is one of those games that just keeps bringing you back to your television set. It gets you hooked from start to finish. Even if you have beaten the game you might want to come back later and try again.
BUY OR RENT?
Buy. If you're just planning to buy a NES system, and want a couple of neat, simple games to start out with, this is the one for you. Even if you already own a NES, you'll want to buy this. Not that you really have a choice. I can't imagine any video rental store still having this in stock! Doesn't matter though, since it's a pretty common game and only costs up to $3.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/05/01, Updated 04/05/01
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