Jaws: The Revenge was the third movie of the Jaws franchise, seeking to once again capitalize on the monster (no pun intended) success of the original, record-breaking film. The video game that was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System was arguably better than the big-screen version.
The game follows a character that is seeking the kill the giant Jaws shark.
Although the looks of the title were somewhat pixelated and crude, in certain instances (such as the jellyfish bonus levels, etc.) you can tell this is done intentionally to create a comical, cartoonish effect. In a way, this is a brilliant, albeit weird idea: Create a dichotomy between friendly, cartoony under-the-sea creatures against the dark, sharp, jagged features of the Jaws bosses.
Excellent song tracks here, with atmospheric synths featuring the ever-familiar suspense-building theme of the series. Even the between-levels music is upbeat and catchy. The overworld view, when the boat is directed, drones on repetitively until it becomes aggravating. However, this may have been intentional, simulating the long days at sea.
Usually, movie-themed video games are developed too quickly, as they seek to capitalized on a film’s popularity as rapidly as possible. While this may have been the case with Jaws, it does not show; the game is actually decent on its own merits, with some interesting themes. For example, there are a few modes of play: The overworld view, where the boat seeks upgrades while trying to avoid Jaws; the diving scenes, where the diver attacks creatures while collecting items; and bonus scenes, where bombing jellyfish (yes, bombing jellyfish) earns extra points toward upgrades; and a special section, whenever Jaws’ energy is depleted in the diving scenes. There is even a “hidden” mini-sub upgrade for the diver, making him faster and providing more firepower.
Ultimately, this is a fun, quirky, rewarding movie game, worth a respectable three-point-two-five stars out of five.
Eric Bailey is a retro gamer on a crazy quest to write a quality review for every single American-released NES video game over at NintendoLegend.com.