by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
The PlayStation 2 has now been released in the UK for over 2 years but to Sony's credit the support for their original PlayStation is still going strong. There are still games released on a regular basis for the PlayStation and those who can't afford to upgrade to the PlayStation 2 will have been appreciative of this. To make things better the games that are still arriving on the PlayStation are mostly of a very good quality. Jinx is one of these and despite not looking as spectacular as other modern PlayStation 2 releases the standard of gameplay is still very good.
Jinx is a 3D platformer in which you control Jinx, the court jester. Jinx's light hearted role in the land of Ploog soon comes to an abrupt end though when Merkins tells Jinx that the royal court has disappeared. Not only that but a Chaos Hex has been cast upon the whole land of Ploog. This hex has turned the inhabitants of Ploog crazy and traps and pitfalls have appeared everywhere. It is up to Jinx to travel to the seven realms of Ploog in an attempt to rescue the royal family. Jinx must use the Wind Portals to travel between the seven realms. In order to use the portals Jinx has to locate the Chapter Seals that are used to activate them.
What makes Jinx so playable is that the gameplay mechanics are all bang on the button. Like Sly Raccoon and Crash Bandicoot the platform jumps and puzzles begin really simple and gradually increase in difficulty. It's a method that draws you into the game without frustrating you. When I first received Jinx I intended to only play the game for around 10 minutes to gain a first impression. Almost 2 hours later I was still playing and even though I was beginning to have to think about how to solve some of the puzzles, it was very enjoyable. Each realm is split up into different areas. When you complete an area you'll be given the chance to save your game. The game only uses two memory card blocks, which is nice.
The best way to describe the graphics in Jinx is colourful. After recently playing the excellent Sly Raccoon on PS2 the whole thing looks a little basic but while you could comment on the simple textures and low polygon counts it's worth mentioning that I didn't encounter slowdown or any real issues with the camera angles, which really is a plus. In fact the look of the game is very pleasant yet effective. The game looks light-hearted and feels light-hearted. It's also fair to say that younger gamers will probably appreciate the look of the game more than adults.
What did strike me about Jinx was that I didn't come across any speech. All conversations in the game were text only which means it's great for deaf gamers. You can also read the text at your own speed as a press of the X button is required to move the conversation on. You'll often come across characters in the game and pressing the triangle button will trigger a conversation, again solely in text. These characters will often ask for your help. It's a good idea to agree to help them because it usually helps you out too.
Jinx is definitely one of those games that grows on you the more you play it. It doesn't grab your attention immediately like Crash Bandicoot, Sly Raccoon or Tomb Raider (which is a platformer when it comes to the crunch) but the more you play it, the more engrossing it becomes. If you are a fan of the 3D platform game genre, then Jinx is definitely one to have a look at. If you have a PlayStation 2 then Jinx is still one to consider because despite being graphically dated the game controls really well, plays like a great platform game should, and it's less than £20.
Game Rating: 8.0/10