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Quick Review: Jazz Jackrabbit 2 – The Christmas Chronicles

This is supposed to be a rerelease of Holiday Hare 98, the notable difference in single player being that Lori is added as a playable character, but if I ever played a Jazz Jackrabbit game it was probably only for a few minutes and almost certainly not one of these “specials”, so it’s my first actual experience with it and I just finished its three levels with Spaz, whose double jump makes him so much better at platforming that trying to use the others felt like choosing the hard mode, and I don’t see how they could even reach all the places.
It’d have been frustrating if I’d have had to just rely on the checkpoints, as it’d have likely meant missing some areas and taking a long time to finish, if I’d have even finished it at all, considering how quickly the end boss initially wiped away the six lives I had accumulated by then, so it was such a relief to see that you can save anywhere. Otherwise, it’s pretty much what I’d expect from a platformer of that time, just with a Christmas theme and probably intended to be on the easy side.
However, since I mentioned saving, it’s strange and rather annoying that the selected weapon seems to change whenever you save or load. But at least you can plan for that, once you realize that it’s happening, what’s more frustrating, especially early on, being the fact that when you first pick up a new weapon it’s automatically switched to. And another issue is that you can’t store over 99 shots for any weapon, and since picking up ammunition also grants points, you’ll eventually need to waste shots just to be able to pick up more. And then there’s the matter of the hidden items, some requiring you to know where they are without really having a way to find them on your own. And you also need to either already know or just happen to stumble upon the the characters’ special abilities, since they’re not explained in the game, though the basics are.


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