Jet Force Gemini (Nintendo N64, 1999)
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|Rare's sixth game on Nintendo 64 has you playing as a young man, his twin sister, and a robotic dog in an effort to stop an evil tyrant named Mizar and his insectoid army. Not all characters are playable at once, however. The three members of the Gemini Squadron have been separated from one another, so it's up to you as Juno, the male hero, to find Vela and Lupus somewhere on the planet. The protagonists feature separate routes throughout the game as well as unique abilities. You'll eventually explore all routes with each character to attain special powers, reach new areas, and fight more powerful enemies.
The action is played from a third-person viewpoint as you fight swarms of insects using your standard-issue Jet Force pistol. As you make your way through the game's 15 worlds, you'll acquire more powerful weapons like a rapid-fire machine gun, sniper rifle, plasma shotgun, heat-seeking shuriken, and devastating cluster bomb. The battles with the alien insects, referred to as drones, are a key part of Jet Force Gemini, since you cannot progress unless all hostile threats within the area are eliminated. Once you've defeated the remaining drones, a sealed door will open up and you'll be able to explore more of the level.
n addition to the shooting action, players will have to solve various puzzles, leap across platforms, and converse with characters such as Floyd, a flying robot. Once activated, Floyd can be controlled by a friend in the two-player Cooperative Adventure mode. The 256-Megabit cartridge also features three multiplayer modes: Battle Mode, Racing, and Target Practice. Battle Mode has up to four players hunting each other on a split screen, while Racing features hovercraft competitions across multiple laps and timed scenarios. The third multiplayer mode, Target Practice, is played from a first-person viewpoint as you quickly shoot down drones emerging from the scenery.
Jet Force Gemini received generally positive reviews from critics. Scott McCall of AllGame felt that the game "pays homage to 8- and 16-bit games with its emphasis on high-intensity action and level design that requires skill with the controller." Wiriting for GameSpot, Nelson Taruc said that Jet Force Gemini "easily joins Rareware's already impressive stable of hits" like GoldenEye 007 or Banjo-Kazooie, stating that the game is so varied that "it could be broken up into four separate games - and still get strong reviews." IGN reviewer Matt Casamassina praised the game's originality and concluded that Jet Force Gemini "has much more good going for it than it does bad".
The audio and sound effects were lauded. IGN pointed out that the music was "some of the very best ever put into a Nintendo 64 game" and described the sound effects as "dead-on and crystal clear". Johnny Liu of Game Revolution said that the game "goes for a more operatic feel than the generic video game techno". Nintendo Power credited the game's "visually stunning" settings and "state-of-the-art" animations and special lighting, while Game Informer noted that the game's "enormous" explosions help intensify the action. Despite the praise, critics remarked that the frame rate can drop significantly when the action increases.
While the gameplay was highlighted for its depth and length, some critics reacted negatively to the insistence on having to save every Tribal to fully complete the game. According to GameCritics, "Going through each level three times becomes majorly tedious [...] and finding them also lead a lot of pointless legwork". IGN felt that this task was "far too tedious to truly be enjoyed", even though Game Revolution admitted that it "is countered by the pure fun of running around tearing through giant bugs with lasers". The game's challenging artificial intelligence and variety of weapons were also highlighted positively. According to IGN, "It's old-school gameplay brought into 3D and it's all extremely satisfying."
|Game||Jet Force Gemini|
|Genre||Third Person Shooter, Action/Adventure|
|Number of Players||1 - 4|
|ESRB Rating||T - Teen|
|ESRB Descriptor||Animated Violence|
|Game Special Features||
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