Jett Rocket II: The Wrath of Taikai

Jett Rocket has been munching on the same breakfast cereal as Sonic The Hedgehog. Either that, or this plucky space explorer is just a massive fan of the blue streak.

The Wrath of Taikai is clearly inspired by Sega's mascot, although there's a little bit of Super Mario and Ratchet and Clank in here too. And as hard as it is to believe, Mr. Rocket actually manages to show his elders a thing or two.

Time to Jett

The evil robot Kaiser Taikai has returned, and kidnapped Jett and his friends. It's your job to guide Jett through dozens of 2D and 3D levels, save your robot buddies, and generally cause Taikai some pain.

As mentioned, Jett Rocket II has a mixture of 2.5D levels (2D levels with 3D backdrops) and full 3D levels - and there's some really lovely level design bundled into this platforming package.

Variety abounds in The Wrath of Taikai. Switching between 2D and 3D levels keeps the action fresh, but then the game goes one step further, providing driving levels, shooting, freefalling, diving under water, and more. There are plenty of great ideas to be found.

And this is a game that relies heavily on your sense of exploration. While you can just follow the set linear path, there are secret passages and bonus levels to discover - again, much like classic Mario.

But Jett Rocket II is more Sonic that anything - it sees you rolling up into a ball to attack enemies, and you break open glass containers at the end of levels to save your friends. Those people waiting for a decent Sonic game may well want to check out Jett in the meantime.

Kaiser chief

Jett Rocket II is a fairly challenging game, which is pretty refreshing in light of the many sub-par platformers on the 3DS eShop. It's not frustrating, thanks to nice checkpointing, and later levels will really test your bounding and jetpacking skills.

But the game suffers from many of the same issues that can be found in its Sonic The Hedgehog-based inspiration. For example, Jett feels far too slow for his own good, and you're constantly willing him to just move that little bit quicker.

This lack of pace means that you'll often mistime tight jumps too. Jett Rocket II would benefit hugely from a bit more velocity.

And the camera is awful throughout. It regularly swings around, in principle allowing you to travel along straight lines with ease. But in practice it just as often causes you to fall off ledges just as you're about to tackle them, which is a sizable pain in the backside.

In the absence of a good Sonic game, Jett Rocket II will do you right. There are plenty of secrets to uncover and cool boss battles to overcome, and hopefully a third title in the Jett Rocket series will sort out the niggles.

Jett Rocket II: The Wrath of Taikai

Taking cues from Sonic, Mario, and other platforming greats, Jett Rocket II is an enjoyable, if flawed, variety-filled adventure
Mike Rose
Mike Rose
An expert in the indie games scene, Mike comes to Pocket Gamer as our handheld gaming correspondent. He is the author of 250 Indie Games You Must Play.