17th Feb2020

‘Jets ‘n’ Guns’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Phil Wheat

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Could a title be more simpler than Jets ‘n’ Guns? I mean, to quote that famous advert, it does exactly what it says on the tin. This is a game about flying a jet and shooting its guns at the enemies. Only Jets ‘n’ Guns is actually a little more nuanced than that. Yes, the basic gameplay is your standard side-scrolling arcade shoot ’em-up, however the game has a deeper weapon system than most. A weapon system that, in this particular case, cannot be ignored because if you do… well good look completing the games 43 levels.

Thankfully there are 70 different weapons to arm your ship with AND you can also upgrade your ship with 20 special devices. Which means you can be armed to the teeth to take on the waves and waves of enemies, in what is a fast and furious style shmup – complete with some over the top, gore-filled action. Gore? In a shoot ’em-up? I hear you ask. Well yes. Because not only do you take on other ships but you also take on enemy soldiers, both on the ground and in the air (as they leap to safety from the enemy ship you’ve just shot down) – and you know what’s satisfying about Jets ‘n’ Guns combat? Literally plowing through soldiers to see their bodies explode in a bloody mess! ‘Cause you don’t have to shoot those guys, ramming them with your choice of ship is more than enough to kill them… Though a good chain reaction ground explosion also makes for “fun” soldier deaths too!

Though don’t get me wrong, there’s a LOT of fun to be had in the traditional shmup sense too. For despite the obvious low-budget nature of this title, Jets ‘n’ Guns is just as polished as any big-name shoot ’em-up you played in the past and it has the gameplay to match. There’s absolutely nothing to fault about the combat – well, once you’ve figured out that you NEED to upgrade your ship, otherwise it wil be a frustration filled game for you – the only issue is the menu screens.

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It would seem that the menu system in Jets ‘n’ Guns was built for PCs rather than consoles, with a clear need for a mouse to select menu items. Instead, on the Switch, you have to make do with the control sticks to move the pointer around the screen, a la a mouse. Which is actually a very strange experience, especially when you can just hit buttons for other options. Perhaps some more thought could have been put into the menus to make them as fluid as the game itself is. Same with the story mode which, honestly, adds nothing to the game – merely existing as a series of “conversations” on static screens. And I got bored of reading the huge amount of text waaay too fast to actually pay attention to the story!

But where it counts, in the actual gameplay, Jets ‘n’ Guns is a real winner and a welcome (and also cheap) addition to the shmup genre. Well worth your time and money.

Jets ‘n’ Guns is available on the Nintendo eShop now.

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