The time has come to go through the PlayStation Classics again. Once again, our featured title this week is a PSOne Classic for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, and PlayStation Vita. It is also going to be on the PlayStation Classic. It is Jumping Flash!, a game that was not born in a cross-fire hurricane or raised by a toothless, bearded hag. (What, no The Rolling Stones fans?)
I’m Jumping Jack Flash!
What do you do if you are an evil genius who wants to make a lot of money and happen to have interstellar technology in your hands? If you are Baron Aloha, you take a peaceful planet and use it to turn a profit. He used his machines to take some particularly choice bits of Crater Planet and turn each one into a resort. Which is a terrible thing to do.
The people cry out for a hero, and the Universal City Hall dispatches an agent named Robbit. Robbit is a robotic rabbit who will use his power of hopping to save the day! Really, that is the kind of goofiness you can expect from Jumping Flash! After all, it also happens to be a game where the first major boss is a fire-breathing dragon, Aloha’s minions are aliens called MuuMuus that look a little like squids with palm trees growing out of their heads, and a circus world with clown bosses that could trigger people with Coulrophobia. This is a bright and colorful game that does not take itself seriously.
But it’s all right now
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take it seriously, though. Jumping Flash! is notable for two very important reasons. One is for the graphics. Sure, this bunny may be a bit old fashioned, but it was revolutionary in the day. It even holds the Guinness World Record for “first platform video game in true 3D,” due to being the first game to be made that used such graphics in 1995. Think of it as a precursor that may have helped other games find their footing.
Speaking of finding your footing, that is another way Jumping Flash! was pretty cool. This is a first-person platformer which, as anyone who attempted to get through the original Half-Life will note, means that finding the right places to stand and jump to reach new areas can be rather challenging. But there are many times when this title is forgiving.
For one, Robbit can execute double and triple jumps when needed, ensuring you won’t fall short of a platform. In addition, whenever you execute either of those extended jumps, the camera automatically shifts to show you Robbit’s shadow and give you an idea of where you will land. Funny to think that back in 1995, people were getting something right that some developers can’t even nail today.
It’s a Gas, Gas, Gas
Jumping Flash! is a piece of gaming history. It did a lot of things right in a time when people were just finding their footing in the realm of 3D gaming. It was simple, but still well defined. It involved first-person platforming, but was usually pretty manageable. It also had quite a bit of personality. This is definitely a PlayStation game all Sony fans should know.
Ready to give Jumping Flash! a try ahead of the PlayStation Classic plug-and-play system’s launch? It is on the North American and European PlayStation Stores right now. It will only cost you $5.99/£3.99