Review of WDL Warjetz
War Jetz is a cool concept. You get to fly various aircraft on missions of destruction where blowing practically everything up is a good thing and leaving a site barren and destroyed will get you enough bucks to upgrade to even more potent aircraft.
Starting off the game we get greeted by the two broadcasters that host the Wednesday Night War Jetz event. Throughout the game we will be treated to Jimmy Jacksons irreverent (make that idiotic) humor and Kate Maxwells more stable approach.
After listening to the incessant co hosting banter, the first place that you will want to visit is the training area. Here gamers can learn how to control their aircraft, collect bux and generally blow stuff up. This is indeed a great place to hone your skills.
Next on your schedule is the Campaign Mode. The object here is to visit different locales and follow the missions for each site. Locations range from the hot and humid trenches of the Panama to the frigid environment of Antarctica. Each site has three sub missions that can consist of total destruction of the enemy, collect the most bux or capture flags and bring them back to your home base. The primary goal though of each place is to defeat the head gang that resides there. By doing this you get to add their aircraft to your burgeoning arsenal. Be careful though, the planes cost money and if you continue to get blown up during your battles your cash will run out shortly there after. You can collect bux in the game buy flying over them as they appear (either after blowing up a building or being on a bux mission) on the screen and also for completing mission objectives.
The missions are set up as so: Go into the menu screen and select (and pay for) your primary aircraft and then select (and again pay for) a secondary craft. When you play the game you will encounter many types of icons for power-ups, health, weapon improvements and an icon that will enable you to switch between your two selected rides. The number of aircraft you can choose from is rather limited but impressive non the less. You can obtain helicopters that are highly maneuverable but low on armor, bombers that have weapons up the wazoo and there is even a UFO that you can win when you complete the Antarctica missions - does this remind anyone of the movie The Thing or an X-Files take off? Pretty clever reference I thought.
As any true gamer knows though, any game worth its weight needs to have gameplay and War Jetz certainly delivers in this category. The controls are intended to be pick up and play and here they succeed magnificently. The game is very easy to get into and start playing and the more you play you more moves you will learn. You can perform barrel rolls, loops, hairpin turns, etc. Starfighter (another PS2 title) can only dream of controls like these. There was never a time in this game that I felt shortchanged because of bad controls. If there was a mistake made, it was always mine and not the fault of poor programming.
The weapons you can use are pretty awesome. Aircraft start out with a primary weapon and a secondary super weapon that can be improved by a factor of 3, by collecting the weapon up icon. Some planes have cluster bombs while others have laser rays that in addition to destroying the other aircraft will sap their armor and transfer it to your plane. This basically amounts to a health boost. The best weapon though was the tactical nuke on the Marauder II plane. Upgrade this baby and its lights out for anything you drop it on. Of course, being so powerful has a price to pay - the weapon takes a long time to recharge - ah well, the price for superiority!
Visually, War Jetz is merely functional - this is not to say the game doesnt look good, it is just not going to win any PS2 awards for its graphical brilliance. The display comes across as rather grainy and muted with the color palate consisting of mainly grays, olives, and washed out reds, greens and blues. There are also some stair stepping issues (I hate the word jaggies now) here and there, but for the most part the game has that trademark PS2 sharpness. Finally, we get to the water... blah. It looks like PSOne effects in use and is most under-whelming in its presentation. Other games have proved that the PS2 shines in this department, so its a mystery how they managed to make it look so poor.
Now on to the good stuff - The frame rate is rock solid. Regardless of how many objects where on the screen, how many bombs or explosions were going off there was never any slowdown. And there is a LOT of action going on in the game at any given time. The animation is also very well done for the aircraft and the explosions. Buildings, bridges and signs all blow up and crumble very satisfactorily. The particle effects are also rendered splendidly with great walls of fire and explosions that you can navigate through. The utter destruction that you leave behind at the end of a mission can be mind numbing... but quite satisfying.
Sound effects are sweet with varying degrees of aircraft, bomb, explosions and power-up sounds. When you are in the thick of battle you will really appreciate all of the marvelous sound effects going on around you.
The music is very appropriate and blends in well with the game giving a feeling of war, yet not so distracting to cover over the more important sound effects.
The game may tend to get somewhat repetitive for some people though as the same types of challenges are repeated over and over - just in different locales. Personally I didnt have a problem with this as the locations are very different and besides, I was just having to damn much fun blowing stuff up... but still it needs to be considered when buying the game. There are also other modes of gameplay that will add life to the title and there is a fun two-player mode that will have you and a buddy bombing and shooting the crap out of each other.
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'WDL Warjetz' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by Tom Rooney © Absolute PlayStation
Click here to view our 13 WDL Warjetz in-game screenshot slideshow
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