Jazz Jackrabbit 2 is a curious launch for the heavily-hyped Łber publisher Gathering of Developers. Perhaps itís a shrewd move; rather than launch with a high-profile title thatís trying to compete in established genres, it goes out there with a small title for a small but loyal fan base. The game itself is actually pretty good, a well-executed but ultimately semi-hyperactive version of Segaís Sonic series, with fast action and vivid explosions of color and light. The initial í98 release of Jazz 2 lead to this rare í99 Easter special, featuring everything from the original plus one new playable character and bonus episode.
A truly guilty pleasure, Jazz 2 has an incredibly rich feature set for a platformer. Itís a typical side-scrolling run-and-jump platform title, featuring three characters, each with its own moves. The game delivers eight full episodes, encompassing both the original and subsequent bonus packs, each with multiple levels, plus a convenient split-screen mode, LAN and even internet play (a first for the genre). The included levels are quite varied and surprisingly complex, though you couldnít really call the combat difficult. Rather, navigating through the world and finding everything there is to find is where the real challenge lies.