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Live Arcade: JetPac Refulled

April 1, 2007

This little gem comes courtesy of Rare.

The game is a remake, and port of the classic Rare title JetPac (which also featured on Donkey Kong 64 as a bonus game). The aim is to collect parts of your ship and then refuel it by picking up items that are dotted around the screen, while avoiding and destroying enemies with your laser (as well as nabbing treasure, naturally).

This is a brilliant little arcade title, and unlike most 360 shoot-em-ups, control is not a duel stick setup. Instead you use the trigger to thrust, A to fire, X to use a nova bomb and the stick to move. The only time you will be aiming (in other words, not shooting straight) is with the third gun.

This limited control works perfectly to test your reflexes in that it demands precise control and a good amount of judgement, as some enemies are very unforgiving. Graphically the remade ‘refuelled’ version looks nice with bold characters and items, while the backgrounds are quaintly handrawn. These are accompanied by a healthy dose of particle effects when kiling enemies and the now standard screen warble with a bomb.

While the game feels typically arcade esque, the new refuelled version has a stage select which allows you to start from levels in intervals which create a checkpoint system for the single player, and with achievements for clearing up to specific levels this gives a player enough drive to push through the harder levels in which you will be struggling to breathe.

Throw in enjoyable two player support (including live) as well as a port of the classic JetPac, and at 400 points this game is a steal. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, do so now.

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