Review by KasketDarkfyre

"Dun dun.....dun dun....dun dun..."

Movie to game conversions has always had a problem capturing the real feel of the movie inside of a video game. In recent years, there have been better attempts at performing such a feat and actually getting the game to come off as a half way decent reproduction for the video game system its featured on. Jaws is an example of movie to game conversions in which you take on the role of a sailor looking to kill the monstrous shark in a one on one battle to the finish! Well, so you would think anyway. The game pretty much revolves around collecting power up items and killing of whatever looks aggressive in order to earn money to buy more power up items. Really, when you look at it and after playing it for about an hour, you’ll find that the game is more or less geared towards younger gamers with some base action and uneventful game play to really round it out!

The game play works a little bit on the level of shoot and destroy whatever comes your way. You’ll be playing most of the game in a side scrolling fashion, but you really won’t be moving but from one side of the screen to the other while shooting harpoons. The weapon of the game is the harpoon, and you’ll kill plenty of sea creatures even if they are non-threatening in order to collect conch shells and stars, both of which will help you to buy, power ups from a shop! The difficulty of the game is more or less restricted to how fast you are with the firing button and how well you do with the bonus rounds that come up from time to time. Speaking of bonus rounds, you’ll find that dropping bombs from a small plane and killing off more non-threatening creatures is a way of life in the game of Jaws. Fighting the big fish doesn’t take much effort and anyone with enough action gaming experience will have this figured out in just a few short minutes on what can and cannot be done in the game!

The controls of Jaws are simple enough that anyone can pick up the game and play with only five minutes being their time of learning the controls. This makes it especially easy for younger gamers who haven’t graduated to games such as Ikari Warriors or Metroid yet, and are looking for something addictive and fun to do in their spare time! You move your character around the screen, and use one of the buttons to fire off the different harpoons in order to kill off your enemies. Picking up objects and items isn’t that hard, and you’ll find that getting to them while avoid whatever comes your way is a piece of cake. Again, this is key for younger gamers who aren’t used to heavy action or precise control!

Visually speaking, Jaws is a decent looking game that has some different aspects going for it. While the size ratios are so far off the chart, it isn’t even funny, the different creatures that come at you and even the way that your character moves isn’t that bad to look at! Simplicity is bliss, at least in Nintendo games, and Jaws doesn’t feature any super high definition of detail nor any real flashy effects for the eyes to witness. Even though most action gamers would like to see some detail, the game features a few brief scenes that really stand out, mainly revolving around the final battle with the devil shark herself! Fluid and rather quick, the game suffers from the slightest of image break up and slow down, but they occur so little that anyone not paying attention won’t see any of it in any case. Definitely a plus in my book.

Audio wise, the game features some adventurous music that can be rather intriguing in some points and droll in others. Some of the more memorable pieces are when you are moving in your ship from place to place and the music seems to take on a mysterious tone. The tone really comes forward when you get close to Jaws, in which the music fades out and this creepy tone comes up that warns you of the eminent battle that is about to take place! While not a huge feature, it is nice to hear that there are some mood effecting music that takes place through the game and in key points. The sound effects on the other hand aren’t anything special and after awhile, they will grate on your nerves. With the different effects that could have been placed in the game, you’ll hear plenty of firing off the harpoon at whatever is in your way and the dull thud that the harpoon makes on impact. This can be enough to drive a gamer up a wall, and in my case, it almost caused me to whip the game into the wall!

Overall, Jaws isn’t a bad game if you’re looking for something to give a younger gamer as a start out piece to action gaming. Featuring easy to learn and simple to play game play, you’ll find that Jaws is the perfect starting point for gamers under the age of ten. The visuals aren’t eye popping enough to warrant calling this the best looking game that I’ve ever seen, but they are enough to make you stop and take a look for a few minutes! The audio is creepy in some spots, but overall, you’ll find that it is enough to make you scream in frustration when having to listen to the same audio effects over and over again. Control wise, the game is aimed at beginners, in which there isn’t anything especially advanced that you have to learn in order to make your way through the game! Something that does come across as strange to me is that people claim to have beaten the game in fifteen minutes, which tells me that they either didn’t play the game much, or they are outright lying. However, you may find that the game is easy enough to beat in an hour sitting if you do it right and anyone who owns an NES and is looking for a decent action game to play, should pick this one up just for the hell of it.


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 12/02/01, Updated 12/02/01


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