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I've played in Jazz Jackrabbit 2 for the first time about 16 years ago (time flies like crazy!), but I had much, much later opportunity to play in first game in the series (I've bought retail version about year before GOG's release)

Now I've decided to finally finish the game, I've beaten so far 3 episodes out of 6 "basic"... And by some reason SP mode seems to be more entertaining, engaging (and harder :P) than SP in Jazz Jackrabbit 2 (additional episodes in Secret Files and Christmas Chronicles are not helping too much).

I've got an impression that the strongest points in JJ2 are all "additional modes" - competetive multiplayer, co-op in SP campaign and well, "beating time records" in SP mode (it's not separate mode, but it's rather about "style of playing").

Somehow, after all these years, I've noticed that SP mode is not as entertaining as I've thought it was. Seems a bit... bland? Which is kinda odd, because I've sustained almost all of my preferences regarding games made in 90'.

What are your thoughts in this matter?
Post edited December 18, 2017 by MartiusR
I agree. Personally, I find Jazz 1 to be a more fun experience than it's sequel despite the improvements that jazz2 made.
The only thing I like better in jazz2 is the boss fights. Otherwise, I agree with the levels generally being a bit bland and easy compared to the original. I also like the aesthetics of the original better too.

Also, Jazz1 has cooler levels in my opinion. Like Tubelectric and Medivo.
Post edited December 18, 2017 by Brewtal_Legend
I think Jazz 2's best features are its multiplayer, and the custom levels and such fans have made for it over the years. The base-game itself is good, but doesn't quite live up to the magnificence of Jazz 1.
Post edited December 18, 2017 by Robo4900
I like the addition of Spaz and the new moves. JCS is great: the possibility for new levels (and even tilesets) was and is very imporant for any game. IMO the game would be dead without it. Split screen coop is a killer feature as well.

Jazz 1 is too zoomed in.
It's a tricky one. I know what you mean, MartiusR, Jazz 1 is definitely livelier and more intense. These are two very different games though, and they compliment each other well I think, and it's nice to hop (no pun intended) from one game to the other.

They both seem to have been made with different goals in mind. Jazz 1 is more your typical 'me too' 90's platformer (no bad thing) that is a computer game attempt at the popular console platformers of the time (Sonic is the obvious inspiration that springs to mind). While not exactly massively original, it's just about different (and good) enough to stand out on its own merits nonetheless. It's kind of like what Zool and the likes of Yo! Joe! did on the Amiga - very much a console-style game, but pretty much identifiable as a computer game (Jazz could've easily been a good fit for the Amiga at the time come to think of it).

I agree about the difficulty; it is fairly challenging, whereas Jazz 2 is more about having a more relaxed, stress-free fun time. Jazz 2's laid back approach makes it great to just mess about with. Both games' design philosophies have their merits and place. Personally, I derive a different sort of enjoyment from each.

These GOG releases are the first time I've played either game and I haven't had chance to check out the multiplayer side of Jazz 2, but I am really enjoying the single player. Despite being reminiscent of Rayman with a bit of Earthworm Jim (and of course, Sonic) you can tell they're experimenting a lot more with the sequel. It's more 'physics-y' than the first game, and with more open areas it's a much more playful, less restrictive platformer than the first; it dares you to just kick back, mess about and have fun with it. On a side note: Ironically, I imagine the MP would be a bit like Rayman Origins / Legends.

The animation and overall presentation is arguably a lot better too. However, it really lacks challenge. I'm playing on hard, and even that is pretty trivially easy, but still fun and charming I reckon.

To me, that's the appeal of Jazz 2; it's so different from 1. They're both fun in their own unique way; Jazz 1 is quite typical of its era, but has that simple, challenging sort of appeal, whereas Jazz 2 has more imaginative, varied and quirky design and is a good game to relax to and be surprised by.

If I had to choose, while I do like them both, and love a challenging platformer, there's just something about Jazz 2 that gives it the edge for me (probably the level design and greater creativity). I can totally see how the lack of any real challenge could dull it for some though. Also, at times it does admittedly give the impression of being a bit empty in SP - like a MP game minus the other players. The zoomed out view emphasis this feeling too, although I still prefer that to the overly claustrophobic playfield / view of the first game.
Post edited December 20, 2017 by RetroCodger426
I think the issue in Jazz 2 is that the levels aren't as packed as in JJ1, which gives that emptiness feeling. Basically, levels in JJ2 are full of empty space without anything to look at, not platforms, no different background tiles to look at and so on.

Jazz 1, which had 2 layers (regular and foreground) does things better than Jazz 2 which has 8 configurable layers. And it's not like you can't make a good JJ2 level, custom content, even using default tilesets, proves that. It's like they've put an unpaid intern in front of Epic's internal version of JCS and said "Listen, buddy. You have one hour to learn it, then go making levels."
Currently playing Jazz 1 again and must admit I'm enjoying it a lot. I love both games, but neither has the perfect level of camera zoom; Jazz 1 is too close, 2 is too zoomed out. JJ1's view is the more problematic of the two though.
A happy middle ground would've been ideal.

I'd originally posted my thoughts just after playing JJ 2 (which at first didn't grab me right after playing JJ1). After a good few hours on JJ2 I'd decided I prefer it over 1. Since that post I've gone back to JJ1 and in the moment, a part of me almost slightly prefers that game!

It's a strange series as I see it, in that each game has something to offer over the other, whilst simultaneously lacking something the other has. I find the more I play both the harder it is to pick a clear favourite without some debate.
It's "win, win" in the end though as they are two great platform games I'm happy to own. Great soundtrack on both as well BTW!

Probably tomorrow I'll play JJ2 and go back to preferring that. ;-)

Getting back off the fence for a moment, I'm still going to say I think JJ2 slightly has the edge for me personally ... by a hair (I didn't do the pun). That's to say, I expect that when I go back to 2 that's how I'll feel - until I later argue with myself after again playing 1! I will concede that there is definitely more action and a tightness / more exactness about the levels in 1 though. Just wish the view was slightly broader as that is my only (slight) complaint.
Post edited December 20, 2017 by RetroCodger426
I've finished today 5 episodes and I have to agree with you Brewtal_Legend - bosses are definitelly weak point of first Jazz, they're much more challenging (and interesting) in Jazz 2.

What's quite confusing for me, is that Jazz 1 seems to have not only more interesting level design, but also bigger variety in terms of graphic object/themes/etc. In almost every episode you're fighting with different enemies, every episode has about 2-3 "levels" (divided on two "sub-levels"), and while some of them are quite similar, there is still more variety than in Jazz 2... Which is literally recycling some enemies, music themes and backgrounds from Jazz 1 (flying eyeballs, biting turtles, turtles in helmets, medieval theme etc).

It's like Jazz 2 is something like "Rayman Designer" - release of Rayman with pack of levels (without any plot between them) and level editor, advertised as the "biggest feature" of this release. While multiplayer modes are incredibly fun (I admit that it has one of the best deathmatch mode I've ever played in platform game) and level editor is surely a powerful tool in experienced hands, same SP seems to be made as a some sort of "introduction" to "your custom world of Jazz 2". In fact "customisation" is the second name of Jazz 2 - don't like deathmatch? How about time rush? Or maybe CTF? You don't want to play as green Jazz? Go ahead, make him yellow. You wish to have some hard as nails levels in medieval theme? Level editor is waiting for you.

Maybe I should try one day to mess a bit with level editor - it didn't seem to be very intuitive at the first glance, but perhaps I could give it a second chance.
The creative side of the Jazz Jackrabbit community is endless, if you want a challenge in JJ2. I would deffo suggest to check out downloadable content from