By Dan Zuccarelli . April 4, 2007 . 12:22pm
Another week, another retro title on Xbox Live Arcade. But wait! This isn’t just your average retro titled shoehorned into the XBLA universe. This one has been completely redone with fancy new graphics and a ton of new… everything. New enemies, items, weapons and levels. It’s really a complete re-imagining of the original title. Problem is the gameplay is still the same and like a lot of these old retro titles they’ve chosen for the Live Arcade, it tends to get old really quickly.
I had wondered why Rare was remaking an old school game that was anything but a classic. A good number of people (myself included) had never heard of Jetpac before the announcement that it was coming to XBLA. The game premise is simple, use your Jetpac for fly around the board to assemble your ship and refuel it. You’re beset on all sides by a ton of enemies which you’ll have to blast through to reach the fuel pods to bring back to your ship. Get enough fuel and blast off to the next world.
The control scheme is really the only thing that sets the game apart. The right trigger thrusts you upwards, and combined with swinging your body left and right, you end up moving around in a strange bobbing motion. It takes a ton of getting used to and once the enemies really start swarming, it gets old really fast. The thruster is either on or off is seems, so it’s nearly impossible to just hover by placing light pressure on the trigger. I found myself dying more often than not because the controls of the jetpac itself weren’t precise enough.
The game includes roughly 128 levels though so far I’ve only been able to make it to about level 40. It’s by no means an easy game, that’s for sure. The game includes multiplayer levels as well but so far I’ve been unable to find anyone else playing it online.
And as an added bonus, they’ve included the original version of the game as well. The original is pretty bad (and that’s coming from someone that still plays his original Atari 2600, so I appreciate the retro games) and only serves to show what improvements were made for the "Refuelled" version.
All in all I did enjoy it for an hour or two, but when I went back to it a few days later I was pretty much bored with it. That may have had something to do with the fact that I just started playing Shivering Isles, but either way this game doesn’t offer enough to be more than a distraction.
One last thing, You may be wondering why I’ve been misspelling refueled in the title of the game. I’m not sure, but that’s how Rare’s been spelling it, so I’m rolling with it.