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    jp's Jack Bros. (VB)

    [November 22, 2021 11:46:30 PM]
    Ok, played some more and made it all the way to the 32nd floor! This is in area 4 meaning that I beat 4 bosses!

    From what I could tell, the game only has two more areas (Area 5 and 6) which is promising, but area 4 was starting to get a bit more annoying with a cyclops enemy that makes the whole screen shake.

    I think it's interesting that, even this far into the game, the little tutorial fairy still shows up with explanations about what's new/different and genuinely useful gameplay tips. For example, I hadn't noticed that you could use the right hand cross-buttons to fire in the four directions (instead of turning and then firing). It makes firing a lot easier and was, I think, one of the main reasons I was able to make as much progress as I did.

    Here's things I've noticed:

    a. The main character is done in two layers with the head sprite closer to the eyes than the body.

    b. Some levels (I think floor 11 is the first) have multiple exits/drop down points. This makes things a lot more interesting (at least in principle) since you might prefer certain paths through the labyrinths.

    c. Starting (I think) on Floor 19 there are "dark zones" that are really lame visually (it's a rectangle made up of thick diagonal lines that look completely out of place with the rest of the game) but that are sort of like a "cloud" obscuring what's underneath - you just have to wander under them blind. They didn't come up too often, a few floors at best, but they were visually so out of place that I was pretty sure the cart was glitched or something.

    d. The three started characters are different! They each have a different "super" ability (different effect) and also behave a little different. This is from the game's manual (as reported in a FAQ I looked at).

    Here's the area codes I've unlocked so far, I think they're the same across different games:

    Area 1: 4965
    Area 2: 5923
    Area 3: 0919
    Area 4: 2827

    I'm not sure if I'll have the stamina to get to Area 5 - I keep on running out of time at the very bottom, which is disheartening since you have to start over all the way at the top of the area. And, this area has quite a few floors. Or at least I experience it that way.
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    [November 17, 2021 08:36:39 PM]
    Played for maybe 30 minutes the day before yesterday, so here's some quick notes.

    The game has the same aesthetic feel that Wario Land has in using sprites and different layers, but the top down perspective makes things different. It is neat how you can see the next level (maze) below you, with a little bit of detail, so the sense of potential depth (you only drop down to the next level when you've cleared the current one) is real. Also, the borders of the maze you wander around in are RAISED (another layer) so it's more obvious they are obstacles.

    I made it to the first boss, barely defeating it - but I'm surprised by how challenging the experience is mostly due to the time limitation. You have X seconds to beat the boss - which includes clearing all the levels above it. Sometimes enemies will drop time boosts (5 seconds or 10 seconds is all I've seen so far)...I'm not sure if the drops are random or pre-determined, but I guess I'll find out?

    Also, you can choose one of three characters, but I have no idea if there are gameplay differences between them. I picked the one on the left, but I'll try out the other two soon enough.

    There's also an intro cut-scene - which is interesting, there's a sunset and all (changing the background art) which is quite effective visually (given that it's in shades of red!). The whole cut-scene is also done in the diorama layers style. The more I think about it the more I'm convinced that this might be the VB's "signature" aesthetic - to the extent it can have one in only 22 games made...

    Finally, like an idiot I forgot to write down the level code (no saved games here)...
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    jp's Jack Bros. (VB)

    Current Status: Playing

    GameLog started on: Monday 15 November, 2021

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    No comment, yet.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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