December 19th, 2012 | By Miyuki Hata
Beatshapers has finally ported the Halfbrick Studios hit Jetpack Joyride to the Playstation Network. But how does it stack up?
The story is pretty straightforward, you play as Barry right after he steals a jetpack from Legitimate Research. As you escape from the lab, you have to avoid rotating zappers, missiles, and lasers. Tap/hold down the x button to control your height in jetpack mode or use the special abilities of the other transports you pick up. If you purchase any one time use items with coins you pick up, you use the other buttons to activate them.
Jetpack Joyride rounds out the game by including various missions and achievements to work towards when playing. Achievements are always fun, but when you finish a certain number of missions your ranking goes up and you receive a coin bonus. The coins collected in game and from missions can be used to purchase upgrades, bonuses and new outfits for Barry. There’s also a high score table based off of how many meters you traveled and how many coins you collected.
The graphics are cute, I really enjoy watching all of the different poses and reactions of the scientists as you shoot them or run into them. There’s one song that plays in the background over and over, but it’s a very well composed song that doesn’t get tedious at all. If you are tired of the sound effects or background music, just go the menu buttons and use the L and R shoulder buttons to mute them.
Some of the missions are very frustrating, like the ones that require traveling or collecting a certain amount within a single game, but the difficulty does scale appropriately. The missions are designed to be just challenging enough, at least early on, that you keep playing just a little longer because it doesn’t seem that hard to achieve. Before you know it, you’ve been listening to the game’s catchy tune for ages and you’ve collected more coins than you thought you would. I appreciate the little details in the game play, such as letting you know in game when you’re completed a mission or gained an achievement so you can strategize your playing style more appropriately.
There aren’t many things that need to be worked on with Jetpack Joyride, since the original version has already been out for over a year. The loading time is longer than I expected, considering that it’s originally a smartphone app, but that also could be because I played it on a PSP 2000. The Vita and PS3 both have more internal ram. I also felt that it took too long to die and start over again. I understand that the extra distance from falling after the jetpack explodes adds to the high score, but after several rounds of this, it gets tedious. I wish I could skip the animation.
Overall, this is a very simple but addictive game. It’s well suited to be played on the PSP with the simple button controls, and I actually can’t imagine playing it with a touchscreen without it being awkward. I think it’s well worth the money and can’t imagine playing it on my phone after playing it on the PSP.
Jetpack Joyride costs $3.99 on PSN for the PS3, PSP, and PS Vita. Or, for a limited time, you can get it for free by participating in the IGM Forums giveaway. For more information please visit its official PSN site or its Facebook. To keep up with updates, make sure to follow Beatshapers and Halfbrick on Twitter.