Review by iceman505
"A pretty decent game, but not for everyone."
You might remember a little game called Ecco: Defender of the future on Dreamcast. Well, it's creators are back, Appaloosa now serves up a game some have been dreaming of. A game where you play as a Great White, the most feared Shark in the Oceans.
The gameplay varies from mission to mission. Some have you just attacking, and eating people, others have you attempting to take out certain facilities around the island. The story missions are pretty short, and there is only 11 of them, so this part of it is a bit short. There are also various side challenges spread about the island to complete. There are also collectibles in each mission, and spread around the open ocean. It can't be expressed in words how fun it can be to cruise the beaches and pull people under for a mid-day snack. You can also hunt just about everything, Whales, other Sharks, Humans, Sea Crocs, and even tiny fish. The freeroam mode is what saves this game from mediocrity though.
There are problems though, and they can be annoying for those not willing to give this game a real chance. The camera for lack of a better explanation stinks, though there is a follow option that helps things out. Also, Jaws, aka Bruce, can be quite difficult to control at first. It certainly takes some time to get the controls down. You also start out pretty weak, and this can make the first two missions a nightmare for some. There is also the tendency for the game to sometimes slow down a bit when the action gets really hairy. Also there is also on rare occasions the chance for the game to completely freeze up. Score: 8/10
The story in the game is just about paper-thin, and has you doing some ridiculous, but still very cool things in the story missions. It revolves around a company called Environplus, which is polluting the Ocean, and putting out machines that make other Sharks extremely aggressive by starving them to death. It's a bit far fetched, bit it is at least a bit interesting. Score: 6/10
This is where the game will stumble for most. The controls take some time to learn, and are horrible until you learn the ins, and outs of them. But, there are some pretty cool moves to be pulled off. You can charge boats becoming a battering ram, you have a tail-whip which is useful, an ability to dive out of the water about twenty feet in the air and land on boats. The body bomb can be difficult to use accurately though. There is also the most powerful move in the game, the Corkscrew attack. Most gamers will turn this game aside with the odd control scheme, but if you can battle through it, and learn them, there is a really fun game buried underneath. Score 7/10
Rent or Buy?
If you can find a place that has it for rent go for it, but it's a limited release due to Majesco's current financial troubles. I'd say this is more of a buy, and you should get it ASAP as it will probably be hard to find after awhile. Besides, it's only $29.99, so they aren't asking for the full $50 price.
All things considered this game is pretty solid, despite the difficult to learn controls, the not so great camera, and the occasional framerate slowdown. But, it must be said it is truly the freeroam areas that save this game from the fire, you can terrorize the high seas as much as you want.
Overall 7/10 *Not an average*
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 08/01/06, Updated 05/22/09
Game Release: Jaws Unleashed (US, 05/23/06)
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