Jump King (PlayStation 4) Review

By Athanasios 05.07.2020

Review for Jump King on PlayStation 4

Jump King is quite the meta 2D platformer. It takes one of the genre's progenitors, namely Super Mario Bros., and keeps just a couple of elements. More specifically, two. You jump around, and the purpose is to save a princess, or "smoking hot babe." Don't come in expecting a typical platformer, however. Nexile's creation actually plays a lot differently, and is mainly aimed at those who enjoy punishment. What about the fun factor, though?

Jump King begins, and the hero is greeted by an old man who claims that there's a smoking hot babe at the top. The valiant knight just got all the necessary incentive to start his journey upwards, and what a journey that will be! Do things correctly, and you'll reach the finishing line in less than 10 minutes, but it's almost impossible to do so, especially in your first couple (or hundred) of tries. The main reason is none other than the way the knight controls. While in any other platformer you would just push X to jump, here you basically propel, or catapult the protagonist.

This needs some getting used to. For starters, there's no indication, visual or otherwise, of how long you need to press the jump button before letting go, thus the most common result of that is the player over/undershooting a leap, usually falling down and losing quite a bit of progress - and that is simply not very enjoyable. On one hand you have a level design that's extremely strict, with no room for failure, and on the other hand you have an annoying control scheme that you need to learn to "feel," with no way to alter your trajectory once thrown up.

Screenshot for Jump King on PlayStation 4

Weirdly enough, this can be quite entertaining, addictive even, but as you move closer to the top you begin to notice more flaws. One of them is that the whole game is one level. This might sound like nitpicking, but it really hurts the experience, because it makes what is a repetitive game even more repetitive, whereas a campaign divided between a series of - thematically different - levels would probably help in softening the blow. The worst thing in Jump King, however, has to be how it punishes failure.

Missed a platform? Then there's a pretty big chance of falling to a lower part of the map... which occasionally means going back two or three screens... which also means that missing your step there can lead to even more progress lost. Long story short, Jump King will break you, and not in that "I'm being tortured and a like it" way of games like, say, Cuphead. This just isn't fun, and like a great deal of super-challenging indie titles, it strongly feels like a game aimed at [enter name of YouTuber with annoying voice], and the ones who enjoy those kind of videos.

Screenshot for Jump King on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Difficulty should always work in unison with the fun factor of game, and not overshadow it, which is exactly what happens in Jump King, where trying to "guess" how much power you need to apply to your jumps is combined with a level design that doesn't tolerate failure, with the end result being constant aggravation. The smoking hot babe at the top isn't worth the trouble.

Developer

Nexile

Publisher

UKIYO Publishing Limited

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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