Classic Retro Video Game Reviews

LJN's Jaws -Nintendo NES
Retro Gaming Review

 Nintendo NES console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game ReviewLJN's Jaws for Nintendo NES Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Title: Jaws
Manufacturer: LJN Toys
Platform: Nintendo NES
Release Date: 1987
Part #: NES-JA-USA
Rating: 3 out of 5
ESRB Rating: N/A

Rating: LJN's Jaws Classic Retro Video Game Review Rating
LJN's Jaws Screenshot:
LJN's Jaws for Nintendo NES screenshot Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review Jaws screenshot

The iconic movie from the 70's inspires fear just from the soundtrack alone. That sound has become synonymous with impending doom. Over the years we've been exposed to decades of Shark Week, so the sight of a Great White isn't as imposing as it once was, but it's still a great movie.

There was a time when game developers felt that any game based on a movie would be a success. Jaws came out for the NES 12 years after the original film. Developers were buying rights to films in the hope of cashing in on this trend.

Jaws for Nintendo's NES has a tough job of following Roy Scheider's obsessive belief that the shark was targeting his beach. Psychosis is a difficult game concept compared to Spielberg directing it with Roy Scheider. In the end LJN puts you aboard a boat that can visit ports for power ups and take to the ocean's depths to battle the massive shark.

Jaws Story Arc

Holy shit! Check this out...
Jaws was directed by Steven Spielberg and was released on June 20, 1975. Based on the book by Peter Benchley, it was primarily filmed on Martha's Vineyard. Jaws became the highest-grossing film in history at the time, a distinction it held until the
release of Star Wars. In 2001, Jaws was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry, being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

A Great White Shark has appeared in your unusually warm waters. With repeat appearances, you begin to think this shark is targeting your beach... hunting for you. It almost seems personal!

Regardless of your situation, the shark will come for you whether you're in the Mini Sub, Sea Plane, sail boat, or scuba gear. grab your explosives and weapons, he's coming for you!

Jaws Game Play

Your journey begins aboard a boat that you can navigate through the ocean. You can reach distant ports or go scuba diving. As you travel, you might accidentally bump the shark or another item. This will change your view to underwater where you shoot at fish and collect shells for power ups.

Those are 2 of the areas you can explore. There are five main areas: navigating the ocean, underwater, bonus scene, and the finale wither you battle Jaws himself. As the game warrants, you will be transfered to the underwater view where you fight off sea creatures and collect various shells.

LJN's Jaws for Nintendo NES screenshot Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review

As you maneuver the ship around the overhead map, you may "bump into something" and the game takes you underwater. Similarly, you'll have to battle Jaws if the ship bumps his fin. He is invisible to you unless you get very close at which point his fin appears. Once you get a transmitter, you'll be alerted to his presence.

There are 2 harbors where you can bet a transmitter or increase your energy. the number of conch shells determines the outcome. There are a few ramdom mysteries to this game where it seemingly does things based on it's own internal workings. Nothing you can do but play along. This is true of the bonus screen that might appear.

The bonus screen appears at different times each game - very random. In this setting, you bomb jelly fish from a sea plane. This is a pleasant change from shooting fish while swimming around.

You'll notice a Jaws power meter at the bottom of the screen. As you progress, his power diminishes. When it reaches zero, you are taken to the final battle against the Great White Shark! You must drive the shark to the surface so you can run him over in the boat - a nice touch. Collecting strobe lights increases the number of times you can make Jaws surface and break the water so you can slam into him.

I still like the movie more than the game, but it's not too bad as movie tie-ins go. You'll find a lot of repetition as you gather up shells to trade for stuff and fight underwater to reduce Jaws' energy level. The map and bonus areas are nice breaks in the repetitiveness of the underwater fish hunt and shell grab. You may tire of this game long before reaching the final shark fight.

 Nintendo NES console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Final Judgement:

LJN's Jaws

has loose ties to the film, but it's also a hard film to develop a game around. Although you do get to mow down the shark in your boat. Alas, you'll need a lot of patience to progress to that stage. You may rather watch the film followed by Sharktopus!

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