Jaws (NES)

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Written by  :  ETJB (450)
Written on  :  Nov 18, 2012
Rating  :  1 Stars1 Stars1 Stars1 Stars1 Stars
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Jump The Shark

The Good

The Jaws film franchise had basically "Jumped The Shark" by the time that the final film was released. What had started out as a groundbreaking and downright terrifying 1970s horror film had, by the 1980s, grown tedious, silly and downright stale.

This did not bode well for video game adaptions, especially when it was in the hands of the folks at LJN. With very few exceptions, no video game was ever released with the LJN label that was not an epic failure.

True, Nintendo had strict "family friendly" censorship polices for all games made on one of its systems. True, even without the censorship guidelines, their were practical limitations concerning what a cartridge-based video game for a 8-bit home console could realistic be in terms of interactivity.

However, even taking into account these realities, "Jaws" is one of many LJN games that seemed to exist to insult all gamers, especially fans of the film or comic book that the video game was based on.

The Bad

Jaws features substandard video game graphics, animation, sound, music. Even for the late 1980s, the game's visual and audio effects were below average.

Yet, perhaps the worst thing about this game is how LJN decided to adapt the film. Game play mechanics are not remotely entertaining and seem only vaguely related to the film.

The player controls a fishing boat with the singular goal of getting the boat from one port to another and back again. Each time this is done, the game rewards the player with particular upgrades that are needed to beat the game.

While moving back on forth between the two sea ports, the boat is randomly attacked by sea creatures. When this happens the player then controls an underwater scuba diver as he shoots sea creatures in order to collect items.

Sometimes Jaws attacks the boat, in which case the player can attempt to hit the nefarious fish a few times, before being taken to the underwater scuba diving sequence.

Assuming that you do not die, you will eventually have enough upgrades and items to defeat Jaws. If you die, well then you get to begin from the beginning of the game. If you manage to kill the shark, you get a lame ending and, yes, get to start the game from the beginning.

Frankly, you will probably want to quit the game long before you have beaten it.

The Bottom Line

By the late 1980s, the "Jaws" film franchise had "Jumped The Shark", and it would seem that the Nintendo game adaption of the, once great, horror film, franchise suffered a same fate.