Originally posted September 1st 2014 on the Seafoam Gaming forums
A LONG time ago, before the Wii U even launched, I heard of a game called Jett Tailfin. It was set to be in the launch window of the Wii U, and… It never came. But then, out of the blue (Literally) it has appeared via the Wii U eShop. Was this strange looking mobile game worth waiting for a Wii U port? Find out!
Title: Jett Tailfin
System: Wii U (eShop)
Release date: 8/07/2014
The main game/story
This is a racing game similar to Mario Kart… In fact, it’s pretty much a Mario Kart clone. The story revolves around Jett and his friends who see a contest is starting, and the group of friends decide to enter to try to win the shark trophy. It’s pretty simple, but sadly it’s not really engaging to the point you care about it much.
Being a enhanced port of a mobile game, it looks OK at best. The menus are a bit cluttered with the colors of the text looking a bit bad, but the tracks themselves look OK. Though the character models on the character select screen look very fuzzy and strange when in the actual game they look fine… The cutscenes that show off the game look decent enough to work, which is nice that they put effort into the cutscenes.
Music and sound effects:
And here is when it begins to get ugly. The main music for the game is pretty upbeat, and it loops constantly. It changes off and on, but it mostly just sounds the same. After a few minutes you’ll get REALLY annoyed at it.
The characters actually have voice acting, which while surprising and seems like a nice addition, is actually really bad. The characters all sound either like they are tired, bored, or reading every single letter off of a script on their first go. With the exception of Jett I couldn’t seem to find any character who sounded OK at the very least, the main one who drove me insane being the Surprisingly, again the best voice acting is in the cutscenes, making me think they focused more on the cutscene quality than the rest of the game…
Being a Mario Kart clone, you’d expect it to at least work and be entertaining for the target audience (Kids).
The first odd thing I noticed is that when entering my name for the challenge mode, it wouldn’t accept “Connor” as my name. It would always prevent me from typing the first N for some reason, no matter how hard I tried! It wasn’t a character limit either, as other longer names worked fine. I have no clue why it happened but I had to resort to using TDH as my name.
The first problem with the actual gameplay however is the controls. They are a bit strange compared to your standard racer. Normally you hold A to accelerate and B to brake, or you hold ZR to accelerate and ZL to brake… But this game maps them to R to accelerate and L to brake, while mapping the boost button to the ZR button and the Item button to the ZL button… It just feels strange and requires getting used to. You move with the analog stick left and right, and evade with the D-pad.
Speaking of the D-Pad, you will be using it to go into first person mode on complete accident A LOT. Trust me, even though it’s mapped to UP on the D-pad, it feels so sensitive to the point I ended up going to first person when trying to evade an item.
So with the first track out of the way, you feel pretty confident that it’ll be a good game for your kids, with unlockable characters, unlockable tracks, and time attack! Sadly, you realize the problems that this game has in the second stage.
The first thing you notice is that quite a bit of the courses are big. Some of them are so big to the point you’d think they would be segmented like Mario Kart 7 and 8. Well, no. The second course is a complete nightmare, with a very long and seemingly never ending track that isn’t segmented, but lapped. Add in the frustrating controls and you have a game that gets way more difficult and boring that it could have been.
The multiplayer, while local only, at least does it’s job, but with the Wii Remote being the only option in multiplayer besides the gamepad, it doesn’t make it quite as fun as it would have been, though it’s a tiny bit better than the single player mode.
In the end, the mysterious delay of Jett Tailfin seemed to have done barely anything to this game. True, it may be greatly expanded from the mobile version of the game, but the bad controls and poor track design in some areas, along with the ridiculously high price tag of $34 dollars (And yes, it’s going to be lowered to $24 but that still is too expensive when you can get Mega Man X, Mega Man X2 and Mega Man X3 together for that price), makes this incredibly hard to recommend to anybody with much better options on the eShop. So therefore, I give Jett Tailfin a 4 out of 10
Thanks to HR games for the review code.