So I'm playing JFG currently, and I have mixed reactions.
On one hand, the first half of the game is really good. It plays like a 3D Metroid (before Metroid Prime came out too!), having you collect many weapons and hidden goodies. There are a boatload of secrets and hidden paths you won't find on your first play through, and the level design is great.
On the other hand, the second half, while still fun, cranks up the tedious TRIBAL COLLECTING. To get the final boss, you have to backtrack to each level and collect all the ship parts and tribals needed to reach Mizar, the antagonist. They really went overboard with this. I really hate that the pistol has charging capacity, preventing you from rapidly firing. Machine gun Ammo is lost pretty quickly, and you're doomed if you don't use strategies to conserve your ammo.
JFG is flawed, but still a very fun game (for the most part). The production values are AMAZING, with incredible graphics/backgrounds and art style (huge environments and lighting effects), and when combined with the music (possibly the best soundtrack on the N64), makes for an incredible amount of atmosphere.
If you're more patient, you'll enjoy this game. You'll hate it if you're not used to the N64 controller. Personally, I really like this game despite its many flaws, and it's strikingly original.
Tell us about games you are currently playing. "Quick hit" reviews.
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All I remember about JFG was getting hopelessly lost back when it was released. I don't know if I missed something obvious or if the game was that way, but I had a ton of fun with the game up to that point. I wasn't the best gamer back then (I think I was 8 or 9) but I did get really frustrated and eventually gave up. I'd like to go back to the game someday. You're right the production values are really good for N64.
Playing this game again, and for some reason I just keep coming back to play it. I love exploring the environments, which look amazing. The vast amount of secrets and adrenaline pumping gameplay (in addition to the unreal orchestrated soundtrack) make this a quality game in my opinion.