|System: X360, Wii, PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Red Tribe||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Brash Entertainment||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Feb. 12, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Adam Brown
Video games that are based on movie franchises usually end up being less than stellar. There can be a variety of reasons for this, but in the end most movie games are just completely disappointing. Perhaps the most typical reason for a movie game's lack of quality comes from companies having to release it simultaneously with the movie's release whether it is complete done or not. That being said, Jumper: Griffin's Story was released at the same time as its movie's theatrical release.
The storyline involved in Jumper is a fairly interesting one. Jumpers are born with a genetic anomaly that allows them to instantaneously teleport anywhere they wish to go. Paladins have been fighting a war with the Jumpers for centuries, trying to wipe them all out. Instead of controlling Hayden Christensen's character in the game, you will instead be given control of Griffin, a lesser character from the movie. Jaime Bell, who also played Griffin in the film, voices Griffin but there are no other authentic voice talents present in the game. As Griffin, you will need to combat the bloodthirsty Paladins while trying to avenge your parents who were brutally murdered before your eyes.
While the storyline is interesting, the game itself really isn't. Griffin's Story is a third-person action game that heavily focuses on melee brawling. Each of the controller's face buttons corresponds to a teleport attack from its specific direction. Hitting the X button will have you teleporting in from the left side and striking your foe while pressing the A button will do the same but from the front of your enemy. Each of your enemies will have a segmented ring around their base that covers all four directions. If the ring is blank or green in a direction, it is okay to attack from that side but attacking on a side that is highlighted red will result in an enemy counterattack. These segments will continually change but will also frequently follow set patterns. You will really need to pay attention to these patterns to succeed. Because of this, the game's combat feels oddly similar to playing a more violent version of Simon.
Throughout the game, you will also be able to unlock combos and discover new weapons that will aid you in taking down your enemies. The combos are fairly straightforward, but they aren't especially useful. You won't really be able to make use of them because of your enemies' innate ability to hit you right in the middle of performing them. This can make playing Griffin's Story incredibly frustrating, especially since you are fighting large groups of enemies most of the time. Finding new weapons will help you defeat your enemies quicker, since each one you find does a little more damage then the last. Unfortunately, they are all fairly generic and can't be upgraded in any way.
Perhaps the highlight of this game comes in the form of its Drop Zone kills. Randomly, while fighting an enemy, you and the enemy will suddenly disappear. Next, the game gives you a lovely cinema of whatever terrible way your character decides to dispatch the enemy. These will range from dropping an enemy next to an active volcano and watching them burn to leaving them in the atmosphere to suffocate. These are all pretty interesting and entertaining the first time around. Regrettably, there are only a handful of different Drop Zone kills so you will get a ton of repeats in no time at all. At least you are given the ability to click through them once they become old hat, which happens very quickly.