Multiplayer battles get downright explosive in Meggic’s new title JJBoom. There are certainly enough missiles, bombs, and nukes to make an impact, but this title quickly proves to be a dud.
Combining platforming with fighting, the gameplay of JJBoom might be familiar to those weaned on titles like the Super Smash Bros. series. There are no lifebars, complex motions, or super abilities here – rather all players are equipped with a double jump and a grab ability. The ultimate goal? Be the last person standing amidst all of the explosions and objects threatening your livelihood.
However, what Nintendo was able to do is not exactly pulled off too well in JJBoom. There are no moves to speak of – this is not one title where players can engage in fisticuffs or do anything of depth. Rather, the key to victory is to grab a bomb or an object and hurl it at your opponent. If that fails, players also have the ability to hoist their opponent above their head and toss them around all willy-nilly.
This was not balanced though, which quickly becomes apparent after a short amount of time. The “grabbing” field of view is limited, pointing only in one direction. This cannot be changed, and there are some frames of animation missing from when the object is on the ground and when it is above your head. There is no way to adjust the trajectory – all throws come out the same way. As a result, it can be pretty sloppy when the action gets heated – it lacks strategy and any form of depth.
There is also the opponent AI to deal with. There is no way to change their difficulty setting, their bandana color, or anything else. As a result, there are anywhere from one to three same-looking commando guys hopping around, all making the same sound effect and killing themselves with their own explosions. Battles tend to drag on, despite both friends and foes going down in one hit. The winner is chosen for coming out top for a set amount of rounds, so expect to play with the same parameters for a while.
This lack of choice extends to the level selection as well. It would make sense to have the levels in a list or a grid, but that is not how it is done in JJBoom. Rather, players must choose from one of three different stages at random. There are no descriptions for these stages either – rather, they simply feature an object and a portal that players can jump into. Some gimmicks play out better than others – the weight gimmick shakes the ground when thrown, while the portal one comes across as messy. Even so, there is little balance to be had in its paltry stage selection. More variety in the character types, the AI, the stages, and even the cosmetics would have given this title some sort of personality.
JJBoom is a one-note title that lacks any semblance of balance or character. Not only is there a lack of things to do, what is here proves to be far too underdeveloped.