Jets ‘n’ Guns 2 is a side-scrolling shoot ’em up with a plethora of upgrades and customisations, and I had the opportunity to review it on the Nintendo Switch.
Surely us gaming typists can’t know about every title out there in the world, can we? Looking at my Rolodex, my knowledge database is at about 43, maybe 44 games now and Jets ‘n’ Guns isn’t a title in there. When Jet’s ‘n’ Guns 2 hit my inbox, well, I thought to myself:
This must be a sequel.
My teachers always said I’d go far with my critical thinking. Anyway, let’s get out the notebooks and jot down some points about the game and whether it’s any good, yeah?
Jets ‘n’ Guns 2 Review
You don’t need a back story – it’s a shooter. All you need to know is it delivers in terms of expectations, and if you’re a fan of R-Type, you’re in for a treat.
Just because I said you don’t need a back story, doesn’t mean there isn’t one. The universe is facing an unknown threat and you, as the best darn pilot, are our last hope.
In between stages, there’s a narrative woven in with some text at the bottom of the screen, and, because we’re all friends here, I admit I skimmed over it a couple of times. Sorry, Rake in Grass – developers of this fine game.
It isn’t a bad story, it’s just a little cliche and not needed in this type of game, in my opinion. What is important is whether Jets ‘n’ Guns 2 is one of those games that gives you enough of a challenge to keep playing/coming back, or at the very least, a satisfying array of rapid-fire gracing the screen, followed by pixel confetti.
Keep Scrollin’ Scrollin’ Scrollin’
I love all games and all of God’s children (I can’t believe I kept this in), and while I wouldn’t say a shoot ’em up is my go-to genre, there’s nothing like the sheer enjoyment these titles bring when the difficulty is just right, and the weapons are satisfying.
Jets ‘n’ Guns 2 reminded me of Xenon 2 but in a horizontally scrolling variation. It has a similar line-up of excessive arsenal upgrades (excessive, but wholeheartedly embraced), and the customisations between levels and the thumping soundtrack are comparable too.
In the promo, the music was touted as face meltin’, courtesy of Machinae Supremacy. Perhaps I’m a little desensitised to face meltin’ through the devil’s music I listen to, but I wasn’t blown away by it. That’s a good thing though, as I wouldn’t want the highlight of a shmup to be its soundtrack.
It did complement it very well though and intertwined with the sounds of spaceships blowing up and men(?) screaming perfectly.
As a side-scroller, you go with the flow. There are a couple of moments where you might need to navigate around the environment to evade enemies or get to the next area, and this means getting into position before the screen cuts you off. In some cases, you can move underwater.
You can evidently die if you crash into the scenery and though it didn’t happen to me too much, bosses can one-hit-kill you (depending on the difficulty mode) when they ‘spawn’ in an area and it’s so bloody hard!
Give Me A Travolta And A Tesla
Your ship comes equipped with three front-facing guns, one rear, some bombs and plenty of slots for bonuses such as cooldowns for weapons or improved defences.
Other than the shoot button and bombs (which you can keep pressed down throughout unless you want a good accuracy stat), you have a forward-facing shield to protect you from danger. Like a knucklehead, I seldom defend myself, but this was a lifesaver when things got hairy when my weapons were slightly underpowered or overheating.
The initial screen to purchase upgrades was overwhelming as you have a list of weapon types and buffs in one long list. In handheld mode, it’s quite hard to pick everything out, but each one has a title such as my favourite bomb ‘Travolta’, their weapons heat efficiency and DPS.
Heat efficiency relates to whether the guns will overheat, so if you’ve opted for holding down the fire button, you might find a brief pause where you have no weapons – depending on the setup. A strategy is required, methinks!
In addition to buying the best and most expensive guns, you can also upgrade them to overpower your enemy and all sorts of screen estate. Finally, there’s my personal catnip – customisation.
The ship customisation in the game isn’t exhaustive, but there are just enough options such as changing the nose and wings of the ship to the decals, that makes it feel like a different game and give your stamp on it.
While I played through on various difficulties, every two or three stages or so I would change the appearance of my ship (and pilot avatar), that the game felt fresh each time. Plus I couldn’t help myself with all the options.
Guns Don’t Kill People, They Kill Unknown Forces
Jets ‘n’ Guns 2 is a fantastic example of how to do a shoot ’em up. Much like the recent Rigid Force Redux title that I gave a high rating to, it has everything I want in a shoot ’em up and let’s be honest here, this review is my opinion, so the score reflects that.
I haven’t played the first title, so I don’t have a comparison. Still, as a standalone game on the Nintendo Switch, I was impressed and fell into the target audience: as soon as I finished a playthrough, would immediately play again with all the equipment I had unlocked.
Levels did feel more on the short side than epic, but with all that carnage going on, I needed a break between stages for a brew and eyeball rest. Besides, nobody should pause a shoot ’em up mid-game, it just isn’t cricket.
The menu system was a bit cluttered, and at first, I dismissed the weapons system as honestly couldn’t be bothered to read through what seemed like a screen you’d see in an RPG. However, once I <ahem> applied myself, it made sense in the end.