Friday, January 20, 2017

Friday Night Rentals: Bump N' Jump

Image result for bump n jump


Can radical excitement be yours as you zoom along either crushing or pitying innocent drivers simply trying to get to work? Does the game have high speed chases as you rush to save your girlfriend you ask? Why yes it does and yes, it's time to bring the arcade excitement of Bump'n Jump to your home console, specifically, the NES.
When I rented this, I had no idea it was a port of an arcade game. As a kid, games like these were never re-rented, the purpose of renting was to beat a game so as to not feel like I had to buy. Or if I did buy it, that it had a high replay value.  Did it earn a place in my heart today and am I now glad to have it?

Gameplay and Control:

You race along, avoiding obstacles, collecting power-ups and smashing other vehicles off the road or hop-crushing them to death--and that's it.

Yes, you are racing to the end of the stage and yes, you eventually get an end to the game (of sorts), but really, most of these arcade to console ports never could match the excitement of a game made simply to pull more quarters from your wallet. A nice bonus of owning it at home means that you can play over and over again without the quarter-suck and get better at it. However, is it worth playing over and over to get better and better? I'll let you know at the end.

Graphics and Style:

Simple graphics, even for NES. However, they are bright and colorful. The cars, the grass, water, and bridges all zoom by at a decent speed so they don't need to really be defined that much, and they do have an 8-bit quality to them when they might have been able to get by with less resolution. Stylistically, this game feels like just another overhead racer with overtones of Spy Hunter. not that this is a bad thing, just that it doesn't really offer too much new in terms of setting itself apart from other, similar games aside from the jump mechanic.

Music and Sound:

It's cute really. Which when you look at it is really odd for a game where you are basically getting points for murder-smashing your way through those who get in the way of your quest save your one true love. The music is cheerful and well paced, and doesn't really get annoying which is great as you'll likely be revisiting the same levels over and over again.  The sound effects work okay, and I personally like that the music don't really get annoying. Here's a small sample of the music so you get an idea of the tracks:

Peppy, ain't it? Again, nothing too spectacular here, but for a game with repeat soundtracks, it's actually not too bad. Not saying I'll be copying it to my Ipod anytime soon though.

Memories and New Thoughts:

Did you ever rent a game twice thinking that perhaps the second time around it would click better for you? I know I did that with a number of games growing up, including Bump'n' Jump. I wanted to have missed something with this game. I wanted it to feel like it was more than just a novel variation on racing games where high score was the goal. However, it never really struck me as more than just an average game. I found out recently that this game was actually a port of an arcade game, and it feels like it. Not that all arcade ports are bad mind you. Donkey Kong remains one of my favorite arcade to NES ports to this day. However, I might have passed it by were it not for a friend finding it for me for cheap. As I played it again for this review, I was really reminded of Spy Hunter, but after a few minutes, I actually was starting to enjoy this more than Spy Hunter truth be told. I guess I find the way the difficulty ramps up each level more satisfying than the way it's done in Spy Hunter, although Hunter did have the better/more memorable music of the two. If you see it somewhere cheap I'd recommend picking it up.

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