To us, there are two types of shoot ’em ups. First you have the hardcore, technical type that are focused on obtaining high scores. These have complicated scoring systems and push players to take risks to score big. Then you have those that simply want players to have fun. These are often a bit more outrageous and have gameplay elements that are a bit out of the ordinary for the genre. Jets ‘n’ Guns 2 falls into the latter category.
As ever in these types of games, the universe is facing a great threat and only you can stand against it. What makes Jet ‘n’ Guns 2 stand out, however, is that it doesn’t offer your standard arcade mode. Instead, it features a campaign in which you’re free to repeat missions at will. And you’ll want to, in order to earn the money required to purchase a wide range of weapons and upgrades.
You’ll initially start with your ship equipped with a few weak canons and basic bombs. Earn some money, though, and you can peruse a wide selection of primary weapons, bombs, missiles, tools, and more, to customise it. More upgrades are unlocked as you make your way through the game’s campaign, too. With each upgrade not only affecting your damage output but also other aspects of your ship, you need to carefully consider your options. After all, your survival depends on it.
A set of canons with a high damage output, for example, may also generate much more heat – that’s not ideal in the middle of a firefight. To combat this, though, you could link the guns to a cooling device. There’s an element of strategy involved when it comes to outfitting your craft, then. And there’s much fun to be had experimenting with what’s on offer to find what works for you. Or basically, what puts the biggest smile on your face.
Ultimately, though, it’s the over-the-top nature of the gameplay here that is likely to win you over. Jets ‘n’ Guns 2 is a game that doesn’t take itself too seriously, with many elements being rather comedic. Hell, there’s even an entire stage themed around beer. As the screen scrolls left to right, you’re in charge of manoeuvring your ship, avoiding enemy bullets while unleashing your own arsenal. But what really stands out is the level of destructibility.
All shoot ’em ups allow you to blow up your enemies, but here, large portions of the scenery can be destroyed, too. Sometimes the number of explosions occurring on-screen can be quite overwhelming, but enjoyable to see nonetheless. Bosses, too, are also designed to be destroyed. You’ll obliterate bits of them piecemeal, until you put them down for good with a final mighty explosion releasing valuable credits for you to hastily collect. With your spoils you’ll purchase new gear with which to take them apart with again. It’s an addictive loop.
As fun as it is to play Jets ‘n’ Guns 2, however, it does have some issues. With so much happening on-screen, for example, it’s sometimes hard to spot enemy bullets making a beeline for your ship. We also had to fiddle with the audio settings to find a better balance between sound effects and other audio elements – by default they were way too loud. On console, navigating the main menu where you purchase upgrades and manage your ship is rather fiddly as well. These are all fairly minor issues on the whole, though.
With a large number of weapons and other upgrades to play around with, and many difficulty levels to conquer, you can have a lot of fun with Jets ‘n’ Guns 2. Though even without them, the explosive gameplay here is so enjoyable that you’d likely return to it time and time again anyway. Jets ‘n’ Guns 2 may not have any complex gameplay systems, but for those who just want to shoot things and watch them go boom, this does the job rather admirably.