Main
     

 
 
 
 
     

 
8800gtx/Intel e6600 Upgrade
 
Matrix VX Mod
 
How much can you put up with from a game?
 
     

Hosted
 
 
 
     

 








 
 

Reviewed May 10.2005 by Dave "!FT!Marauder" Kratky

Publisher Rake in Grass
Developer Rake in Grass
Genre Side scrolling arcade space shooter
Requirements

500MHz CPU, 3D card 32 MB, DirectX 9.0b+, 64MB RAM, 100MB HDD

We Recommend

If you like old sk00l shooters, you can't go wrong with Jets'n'guns.

Test Machines

AMD 64 3200+/1gig Corsair 3200 DDR/MSI Radeon x800 Pro 256 meg/Creative Labs Audigy 2 Value/Windows XP Home

The Good

Wow. Talk about adreneline rush. The graphics, sound, music (Machinae Supremecy!) and gameplay are all amazing. Constant frantic action.

The Bad Nothing. Co-operative play (as with most games) would make it truly amazing experiance.
Downloads

Demo (Purchase to unlock!)

Replay Value

You can play again from the start with your improved ship once you beat the game, it's worth a few run throughs.

Cost

$19.95 USD for download version. $24.99 USD (incl. shipping) for CD version.




If you've been reading FRAGtopia for long, or you know me, you'll know that I've got a real thing for the simpler things in life. Well, when it comes to games anyway. I'm big on the old school, and I've got a real soft spot for the little guy. That being said, the majority of independent games I've played either totally suck, or are just lacking something that makes them fun. I'm happy to report that Jets'n'Guns from Rake in Grass is neither of these things. In fact, it's an action packed adrenaline rush of a game, and a hell of a deal for the money.


Premise

You're a mercenary. You have a plane. You kill things. There's a right bastard called Xoxx who out to destroy the universe. As per usual, it's up to you the player to stop him. There's thousands of Xoxx's minions in your way. It's not much of a story, but then again we're not exactly playing a space epic here are we? Let the carnage commence.


Gameplay

If you've ever played R-Type, you know the basics of JNG. It's a side (and slight up/down) scrolling space shooter. The arrow keys, alt and control are all you need to use. You can play with the mouse if you like, but the keyboard is much more responsive. Killing enemies, destroying buildings and picking up money will all give you money to spend at the end of the missions when you have the options to upgrade your ships equipment and weapons. You can also pick up cargo and use a special tool you purchase to "hack" the container and get at the goodies. Personally I never bothered, I just sold the containers as I found the hacking process to be a little annoying and I usually failed.


Graphics/Environments

Awesome attention to detail. The graphics are rich and colorful, with lots of nice detail work on the environments, enemies and your ship as well. The weapons effects and explosion when you really get going sometimes fill the entire screen, which is very eyecandyalicious, but it can be a little hard to keep track of your ship in these circumstances. The terrain you'll be flying through will vary from asteroid fields and frozen worlds to lava worlds and enemy bases. You also get to attack a Machinae Supremacy concert, which was a great deal of fun. You can destroy pretty much everything in this game, other than the ground itself, and there's few things in this world better than raining death down on enemy infantry, and seeing them blow apart, or run around screaming on fire. It's also quite entertaining to shoot down enemy aircraft, and have the wreckage crash into more enemies and damage or kill them. To get a true idea of the loving attention put into this game, just check out the screenshots.


Sound and Music

Machinae Supremacy! I've always liked these guys since I downloaded a remix of the Great Gi anna Sisters music from them a few years back, and they did a great job on the in game music for Jets'n'Guns. They're a swedish alternative rock band, and the music they've made really gets you pumped for destruction. Some nice metal, some more ambient tunes, overall one of the best soundtracks I've heard for a game in ages. The in game sounds as well done as well, nothing mind blowing, but they work. :)


Hmmmmmmm... Firepower.

What would a space shooter be without tons of firepower and eye candy to throw around? Creating waves of explosions and death is the best things about these sorts of games. The initial ship you start is really quite useless, and not much fun as it's quite fragile. A few missions into the game however you steal yourself a sweet experimental fighter that will be your ride for the rest of the games. One of the interesting things about JNG is that the new weapons aren't pickups. (There are however still power ups that you can pick up) As you gain money through the game, you purchase new equipment and weapons at the end of each mission. In addition to new devices (such as a sensor that identifies wanted pirates that are worth extra bounty in the missions) and weapons you can also update all of the equipment on your ship. For instance, most weapons have at least a few levels of upgrade you can purchase that increases their firepower and destructive potential. You can also upgrade your ships ability to dissipate heat (Critical, always do this first), your engines and hull strength. As you upgrade your ship, you can see the changes in your on screen ship, which is very cool. You can also sell back your gear if you're not happy with it. There's a test mode you can enter when you're equiping your ship to try out your new toys before you actually get into it with the enemy. I had a few bad experiances where I jumped right into the fight and found that the new weapons I bought were massively overheating my ship. Shoulda tested em out first!

Your main ship has three main forward facing weapons, one rear mount, (generally best to equip the tracking gun here, it's great for taking out things above and below you), rockets/missiles and bombs. When you fully equip and upgrade everything it's amazing the waves of firepower you can put out. Most levels will offer you at least one new type of gear at the end, so you always have something to work for.


Bugs

None found. Hah. I'm always so happy when I complete and a game and nothing stupid happens.


Conclusion

If you like side scrolling shooters, or maybe even if you don't, Jets'n'Guns is well worth playing. The graphics, music and gameplay are all outstanding and the attention to detail the development team has put in is simply amazing. It's certainly the best offering in this genre I've seen in many many years, and with some of the new things they've introduced they've certainly raised the bar on the side scrolling shooter. I can't wait to see what Rake in Grass comes up with next. They obviously truly love what they do.

As a side note, I sent an email to their tech support requesting the system requirements for JNG, and I had an email back within an hour with all the information. Thanks Pavel! One advantage of buying games and software from smaller companies is that the customer service is generally quite good, as opposed to the larger companies who usually don't even want to talk to you.

One thing I would like to see on JNG (and someone commented on their forums about this) is co-operative play. But then again, I say this about pretty much every game I play.


Overall Rating (5 frags outta 5)





 
Screenshots
(click it!)