Sunday, 16 September 2012

Jackie Chan Stuntmaster: Game Design Review

Released for the Playstation 1, Jackie Chan Stuntmaster is an action fighting platformer similar to games like Final Fight. In the game, you control Jackie naturally who has to rescue his grandfather and deliver some package.

The game starts off okay and you have quite a number of interesting moves which were motion captured from Jackie Chan and other stuntman. Overally, despite the low graphics, it feels very authentic and true to a Jackie Chan movie. You can even use walls, brooms and other objects in the environment to attack enemies.

However, as you play through the game, there are many frustrating things about the game which ultimately make this a below average game.

Game Issues: 
More attacks- Jackie has plenty of attacks but after a while you realise that most of the attacks are pretty much the same and you don't really need to use most of them to defeat the enemies. The basic punches and throws are all you need. This is a real shame because I think there are plenty of additional attacks or fighting styles they could have thrown in such as the 'drunken master' fighting style in the bonus secret level.

More destructible environments- The best parts of the game are usually when you get the use the environment against the enemies such as flipping chairs and tables just like in a Jackie Chan movie. Unfortunately you pretty much see all of them in the first three or four level which is a real shame. There are very few games which allow you to use a broom, giant fish or foot stool to fight off several enemies at once so even more variety would have made the game much better!

Even more variety in gameplay and movie sequences- There are some fun gameplay varietions in this game mimicking a Jackie Chan movie such as running away from a truck or fighting on trains, these were some of the most fun and memorable sequences. We just need more of in the game while at the same time reducing the difficult of the existing sequences especially the train sequence!

Better level design with less jumping- Jackie Chan doesn't handle like a platforming character and has a really low jump. A lot of his jumps require a high degree of precision and split second timing. This results in many unfortunate deaths and like in many old games losing all your lives means restarting the entire level again. This gets especially aggravating in the final two areas of the game. So much so that I can't really recommend people play this as a result.

Jackie Chan Stuntmaster, it promised to be a fun action Jackie Chan game but in the end, the horrible jumping sequences ruin the fun. Overall I have to recommend against playing this game. It's simply too frustrating for anyone but the most dedicated action gamers. Go watch the Jackie Chan Adventures cartoon series instead.

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