Jumping Flash is a dated yet still good 3D Platfomer
After picking up a PSClassic recently I thought it would be a good excuse for me to replay and review some games that could be hard to go back to. Might as well start off with a game I look fondly back on. Jumping Flash stars a robot rabbit named Robbit who is the last hope in the galaxy to stop Baron Aloha’s evil plans. Which is just a silly excuse to make some weird stuff and fit the fact each world is just a bunch of floating platforms. This also leads us into how it looks.
Going back to the world of early 3D is very hit or miss on whither still style still looks good today. While Playstation games did get better as the years went on this one came out on launch day. Thus it is a big old polygons put together in a way that sorta looks like the thing it is trying to be. Although I didn’t pay too much attention to this fact when I played through it originally the fact everything is a robot does at least fit the visuals a bit better. Even though I still like the look it is certainly a big old blocky mess. Lucky the gameplay ends up holding up a bit better.
Likely one of the first games to do first person platforming in a way that makes it easy to judge your jumps. After Robbit jumps up he looks directly down so you can judge how close you are to a platform. Doesn’t hurt that for most areas you won’t have to worry about falling to your death. Also means it is really easy although I can't judge if that is just thanks to how many times I’ve played through this. Anyway other than jumping around areas to gather up the 4 rocket carrots to leave each level Robbit can also shoot lasers and 3 special weapons. Combat isn’t really twitch based so it feels fine. You can shoot things a lot and they blow up in a pixelated fashion. Bosses of each level do challenge the player bit more but they move slow enough that I doubt they are much of a challenge. Yet that also means it’s easily possible to beat this in less than 2 hours.
The developers did put in a second playthrough that changes up the locations of the carrots and some minor layout changes for each level. Not a huge difference but if you enjoyed playing through it the first time it’s worth going through it again. An extra Super mode is also unlocked that gives Robbit the ability to jump 6 times in a row. In this extra mode his health starts out lower but it really didn't add any challenge to the gameplay at all. Additionally since the version on the PS Classic is the European version it has a few extra CG scenes of the Mu’s complaining about Robbit beating them. Guess they didn’t really want to translate the 5 lines of dialogue for the US release.
Looking at this with modern eyes the weakest point really is the visuals. For most I’m sure it’ll be hard to look at. But if you can get past that you’ll find a fun little adventure. At the time it stood out for being unique and that fact carries on to this day. FPS platformers isn’t something you’ll see a lot of at all. If any of this makes you curious about it then it is worth checking out.