Epic MegaGames’ classic action-platformers of the cute but gun-heavy bunny return with the Jazz Jackrabbit and Jazz Jackrabbit 2 Complete Collections on GOG.
The 90ies were a time when console gaming offered lots of jump-and-run or gun-and-run fun, but the PC also had its fair share of great games, one of the most memorable being the Jazz Jackrabbit series. I already reminisced about this in the Happy Easter with Jazz Jackrabbit article and wished GOG would get the license and bring it back, and now both the original and sequel together with all the add-ons and specials are finally here. The first game takes place in a world where the evil tortoises and good hares are at war, and it’s up to hero Jazz to rescue Princess Eva Earlong of planet Carrotus from the clutches of tyrant Devan Shell. The second one is about Jazz and Eva getting ready to be married, but the evil Devan steals their wedding ring, and so the bunny with a violent attitude has to chase his nemesis through time. As you can see, it’s all rather silly and over-the-top, which also holds true for the fast and furious gameplay, a mixture of Sonic the Hedgehog-like running and jumping and pure shooting, but without the carnage designer Cliff Bleszinki would later be known for in his Gears of War series, so unlike the Mario series, jumping on enemies doesn’t kill them, but only depletes Jazz’ health bar. There are many gameplay ideas to spice things up, e.g. a bonus stage that is similar to a Sonic 3D run-and-collect-athon in the first game and being able to choose between two other playable characters (Jazz’s space cadet brother Spaz and their sister Lori) with different abilities in the second one.
The first game still looks and sounds great, even if the sequel’s higher resolutions make traversing the levels easier due to a wider screen, in addition to some prettier sprites. The soundtrack is awesome, and there’s just something about the art style that makes it timeless and even stand out from the rest of the animal/human-like imitators which would follow the Sonic boom. The Jazz Jackrabbit Collection includes the Jazz Jackrabbit CD-ROM version and Jazz Jackrabbit Holiday Hare’95, a very cool Christmas-themed compilation of snowy levels accompanied by Christmas rock tunes, while the Jazz Jackrabbit 2 Collection has The Secret Files and The Christmas Chronicles, which should be a lot of fun in multiplayer, as it has a 4-player-splitscreen mode.
Jazz Jackrabbit Collection and Jazz Jackrabbit 2 Collection are now available exclusively on GOG with a 10% launch discount that will last until December 7, 2PM UTC. Buying them together with Epic Pinball: The Complete Collection (I wrote about in this news article), grants you a launch promo discount of 25%.
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