Review: Jumper: Griffin’s Story
There was no blanket.
Oh, Lord what was I thinking?
I was eager to get this game reviewed (ask them, it’s true). I was eager to get this game (actually physically buy â€“ with real money) and play it, and see how well it played. And when I started playing it, I was eager to get it over and done with ASAP.
Again I say – Oh, Lord what was I thinking?
Well, this is Peoww’s first teleport-em-up. A genre that doesn’t get nearly enough attention (seriously) and do you want to hear something ironic? There is no jump button in this game.
Teleporting (or â€œJumpingâ€ as it’s called here) isn’t really something you often get to take control of in a computer game, despite it being totally cool (imho) and impressive when used in combat – the start of X-Men 2 the movie showed us this. I got a lot of JOY from playing as Nightcrawler in X-Men Legends and X-Men 3. If it’s not apparent by now I absolutely love the character of Nightcrawler and the idea of having the ability to teleport.
What I was hoping this game would be like was the Nightcrawler sections in the X-Men 3 game, a game that was blaverage at times, really fun at others (told you – Ed).
Ok so what is this game? It’s a movie tie in (*shudder) with the movie Jumper (an OK movie for all intensive purposes). Like the box says, this is Jumper: Griffin’s Story. You get to control the titular Griffin – played in the game and movie (rather enjoyably) by Jamie Bell â€“ I’m still trying to determine if his accent is from Ireland, Wales, Newcastle or that general â€œMiddle-Earthâ€ place Americans seem to place English speaking Europeans.
Anyhoo, the game starts off with the Rome section of the movie, after which the game takes a fairly long stroll away from the events of the film.
The main problem with most movie based games, is that they must tie directly in with the events of the movie but here, there weren’t really that many limitations. Like I said there isn’t much direct relation to the events of the movie. The designers had a lot more scope, than say the designers of the Star Wars movie games. But still this comes off feeling like a hashed movie game that had to tick X number of boxes before the suits gave it the A-Ok!
Some of the many, many cheap things this game does are as follows. Crappy, Cheap comic book style FMV (much like X-Men3). Crappy, Easy achievements (I’m not a whore). Crappy, Collectables (more on this later). Crappy, Frustrating end bosses, etc. Are we learning yet?
Ok let’s get grooving – the combat system… Saying that combat was simplistic would be like saying Paris Hilton is a spoiled-rich-bitch-skanky-whore â€“ quite an understatement. You approach an enemy dude and use the face buttons to perform teleportation attacks. Press Y for teleporting to the back of him to attack, B for the right, A for the front and X for the left. Piece of piss, non?
The difficulty with combat will come later when you will lock-onto enemies to attack them and there will be red markings on the lock on reticule around them showing at which side they will counter from. If there is a red mark to their right and you press B to attack their right, then they will promptly smack you down to the ground (be-atch). So you need to choose a side that is clear and free from any potential counter-age. From this point combat becomes less of a frantic mish-mash, twatting bad dudes in an almost fun manner but instead more like a Simon Says QTE mini-game. Bollocks.
So you fight a gang of dudes (practically only able to concentrate on one at a time), staring right at the ring around your attackers feet so you can see where you can attack him with out being smacked-down. To make things more interesting combat is made all the more difficult when the camera will frequently position itself so that you can’t even see the ring at your targets feet and therefore you have to mash the buttons and hope you’ll get lucky.
Rinse and repeat for six levels.
Arghhh! This is fucking horrendous. Sure, 95% of film tie-ins are bleak examples of man’s inhumanity to man but this game goes beyond that into the realms of depravity.
This game really is the sum of it’s shit constituent parts so I’ll list them so that I can get back to doing something less horrendous like tax returns or exercising.
Graphics. Shit. It looks like a 2001 PC game. No detail, no style. Just functional, boring graphics with horrific animation and a mixture of 3D and fixed backdrops that warp the perspective of everything (much like Tekken Tag Tournament on the PS2). Also, all the characters in the game look the same. Apart from Samuel L Jackson’s because he’s wearing beige. Beige-wearing motherfucker.
Sound. Worst ‘Oirish’ voice acting since you encountered those damned sploicers. Horrible dialogue, appallingly acted. Jamie Bell? Yes. He is.
Presentation. A film tie-in with no movie sections? Just some shitty comic-style cutscenes, no extras to speak of and no additional modes. Horribly basic.
Gameplay. The worst combat system ever made even worse by the need to know exactly what direction you are facing (if you attack the wrong side of an enemy he’ll counter you) which is pretty difficult when you’ve got a camera that actively stops you from playing the game properly. Add to that a rush of boss-characters and you’ve got a recipe for misery.
Essentially, it’s all just a drawn-out QTE stretched over the entire game. At no point do you feel like you are controlling a badass (like Chuck Liddell) but rather just a shit twat from Billy Elliott with a shit accent. This wise-cracking fuck reminds me of the Peter Parker from the fairly awful Spidey games which is then reinforced by the lightweight combat.
This game’s only saving grace is that it is mercifully short weighing in at a painful three hours. Add a couple of hours if you want to replay it to rinse the achievements. I didn’t. Which, for a whore like me, says it all really.
Secondary Score: 1/10
There are powered up attacks of each of the 4 attack buttons, I’ll let you use your imagination to ponder on how exciting those might be. A nice little twist (as seen in the film) is the ability to teleport enemies away as a sort of â€œFinishing Moveâ€, you do this and get an amusing little FMV â€“ there’s 9 of these and it will usually happen a few times each level. As I was playing I didn’t feel that there was anyway to consciously trigger these â€œFinishersâ€. Why the feck were they included then?
In fact the more I think about it this game does have a lot of things that made me ask â€œWhy’s that in thereâ€. Unfortunately no one was around to answer me.
As you kill bad dudes, you get experience. If you go longer without being hit I have been informed you get more experience. And when you get enough experience you can â€“ do fuck all with it. It serves no purpose (aside from two experience based achievements). Another thingâ€¦ COLLECTABLES! Proceed through the game and you may find little blue collectables dotted around the levels (around 20-ish in total). These range from sceptres, treasure chests, bottles of wine (wtf?), briefcases etc. The real beauty is that when you find a collectable you can go back to your hideout and look at it. Shit, I’d have thought they might have held back this exciting feature for some future DLC. Again the only purposes these serve are for two achievements.
Throughout the game you’ll find your standard health pick-ups which are unsurprisingly inconsistent. In the beginning the game gives this out like some all to eager to please nympho but as you proceed the game becomes less reluctant to â€œhelp you outâ€, like a chaste maiden.
As you proceed through the game you may be lucky enough to pick up a new weapon (automatically equipped when you find them) but to be honest I really didn’t notice a difference in your attack power seeing as the enemies get tougher as you proceed.
For my reviews there’s usually a fair amount of nonsensical structure, off topic comments and general inconsistencies, but for this review I feel that I have covered actually everything that this game has to offer.
If you do wish to play this and honestly it’s not as mind-numbingly-headache-inducingly bad as some other movie tie-ins that have spawned, then by all means give it a rent. Alternatively if you know some kindly online chum who would possibly oblige you, you can always ask for a loan of his copy.
In short, don’t buy this game. If you can get it for free there’s no harm in completing it. It’s probably even enjoyable at times. In this case add a few more points onto my score. Otherwiseâ€¦ It’s too damn short (a few hours if you are looking for all collectables), quite frustrating and you will never learn the secrets of teleportation from itâ€¦ not that I was hoping to, although it would be cool, right?