N Amer - 09/17/2003
The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius: Jet Fusion Review
Through the ages we've had a number of memorable Jimmies. There was a vehicle that bared that name. There have been several bands with Jimmy in the title, including the spellbinding artist Jimmy Eat World. And who could forget about Jimmy Dean sausage? It may not be the best in the world, but it's still sausage!
When a child thinks of Jimmy, he or she likely pictures the boy genius that is Jimmy Neutron. His title says it all: he is a genius. He invents incredible things that no other kids can. He goes on wild adventures, and he always seems to find a way to evade a boring classroom. What kid wouldn't love that?
In Jimmy's first PlayStation 2 adventure, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius: Jet Fusion, players will enter a 3D world that will instantly remind them of the titles that first carried video games into the third dimension. Games like Mario and Crash Bandicoot, and maybe even Croc. These were kid-friendly games that provided enough challenge to keep the older players hooked. And aside from Croc's cheesy antics, these games were anything but childish.
For players of those games, Jimmy Neutron has big shoes to fill. However, the target audience seems to be somewhere in the 6-10 age group. If you're six years old, then you weren't alive for the release of Mario 64. Problem solved.
Going into this game with an open mind, you'll find a simple action/adventure game that starts out slow. You've got a collection of weapons that's different from the Game Boy Advance version. Sp if you've played it on the GBA or plan to play both versions, you don't have to worry about getting the same experience twice. Both titles are VERY different from each other. The GBA is a side-scrolling adventure. This one's in 3D and is a bit more laid back.
The weapons include guns like the Pulse Light Ray, which uses its power to stun bullies (one of Jimmy's evil enemies). The Bubblegum Splatter is similar to the one in the GBA version, except that here you can have the fun of really sticking it to the enemies. No, I mean really sticking it to 'em! The gum will burst, causing a sticky mess that holds enemies in their place. Better yet: Jimmy can use the Bubblegum Splatter to encase himself in a bubble. The purpose: to cross areas that couldn't be crossed without the protection of gum.
Some weapons have side effects or weaknesses. The Magnetic Turner can spin mirrors and wheels and push or pull levers, which comes in handy at certain points in the game. That's a healthy side effect. The Pulse Light Ray, however, has a weakness. Foes who wear sunglasses, hats or masks are impervious to this weapon's stunning rays. Not a pretty picture for Jimmy when he's in trouble.
Luckily, most weapons have good side effects. It's not necessary to list them all, but one more couldn't hurt: the Gust Buster Fan. Its main ability is to slow down enemy movement. It can also send attacks back at the enemies! Its side effect is that it enables you to push boulders. It's not comparable the power of Link's bracelet (in The Legend of Zelda), but it'll do.
The game's downfall is that none of this is particularly entertaining. You can do a lot, but it's not very exciting. The medium-sized worlds almost feel too big since most of the space is wasted. It gets better as it goes, but it never reaches that level of entertainment where you don't want to stop playing. Without that level reached, what's there to keep kids coming back? Jimmy Neutron is there, and surely some kids will stick it out – and maybe find it fun – just because of him. But most kids, even young kids, are more serious about gaming than you think. I've got a seven-year-old niece who has already tackled Sonic and Mario. Both of those games are faster and more involved than Jimmy Neutron. That being the case, it's hard to recommend this game to anyone except the huge fans of the series. Got Jimmy Neutron sheets on your bed? If yes, then you're a big enough fan to find this game worth purchasing.
Mellow. This game is a very low-key action/adventure. It's not hard, and it's not very long, but the tiresome gameplay makes it hard to tell at times.
The worlds are kinda cool, and the enemies are sufficient, if not a little inefficient. In one area you'll encounter a fire-breathing dragon. It's not an easy call, but the best world is probably the third. The fourth world was cool with its pirate theme and how it gave you a boat to explore. But the third world drops Jimmy Neutron into a crocodile-filled jungle.
That's more than acceptable, but the world objectives are a drag. We've been through the collecting game before, and when it's done well, no one can deny its addictiveness. Jimmy Neutron will ultimately fail to make an addict out of anyone who doesn't already love the character. Even that love might not be enough.
What's a synonym for generic? You don't spend $200 on a new console ($300 in my case since I got it at launch) to play games that look like they could have been made on Dreamcast. Jimmy Neutron is only slightly above Dreamcast-quality graphics, and that's only if you exclude its most visually breathtaking titles.
Jimmy Neutron's problems must've been there form the start. Although most problems turn up once the game is half done, that couldn't have been the case here. The developers did their jobs the best they could. They made the controls functional, the camera manageable, and they constructed the levels so that players could navigate them without going insane. But the gameplay just isn't exciting, and it isn't any different from everything else that's out here.
Jimmy Neutron-lovers: rent it, or if you really want it, buy it. You'll probably enjoy it more than most. "Most" being the rest of us, so if you're a part of this category, be advised that this is a monotonous game.
GameZone Review Detail
Jimmy Neutron fails to make an addict out of anyone who doesn't already love the character.
Reviewer: Louis Bedigian
Review Date: 10/14/2003