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Watership Download: Jazz Jackrabbit 2.5

Ah. I was not previously aware that 90s platformer Jazz Jackrabbit 2 featured the titular bunny’s brother, a bug-eyed, drooling loon called – their name, not mine – ‘Spaz.’ Wait: Epic actually got away with that in a commercial game? Or is it just a term of abuse in the UK, not the US? Oh, CliffyB. The gifts you’ve given us over the years.

Anyway, the retromancers amongst you may be interested to fiddle with this fan-made semi-sequel to Epic’s old Sonic rival. It was huge in 1994 because the PC really didn’t get many of the platformers that were utterly pervasive on the SNES and Megadrive, but 1998’s Spaz-co-starring sequel was the lurid lagomorph’s last gasp, bar an unnsuccessful Gameboy Advance jobbie in 2002. Everything has its fans, of course – and that’s why, improbably, Jazz Jackrabbit 2.5 exists.

I’m not entirely sure which side of the legal grey zone this falls on, as it can be played without owning Jazz 2. Regardless, it’s up on Moddb and it features four new Jazz levels, playable as the green manrabbit himself, his sister Lori or, yes, Spaz.

It’s pretty enough despite the low resolution, but very early 90s in its presentation, music and mechanics. As in, idle curiosity probably isn’t worth indulging – this is likely only for those who played Jazz 1/2 to death, I suspect. As I didn’t, I can’t usefully comment on how it compares to the originals. Oddly, I experienced some nasty slowdown, which is either an incompatibility with Windows 7 or something, or 6Gb of RAM isn’t enough to run a platform game from 1998.

The standalone version’s here, at a cost of 22Mb, or if you have the original Jazz 2 installed, you can grab the teeny one.

Any fond Jazz Jackrabbit memories, goodly peoplefolk?

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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