While 2017 marked the year when we finally got a respectable and definitive 5th & final season/ending to Genndy Tartakovsky’s fantasy-epic action series. It’s a risky move to sneakily insert another story into what feels like an otherwise complete ending. Thankfully Genndy’s involvement assures fans that the game itself is in good hands, but does the finished product commit to his words? I’d say a resounding yes!
The music is on point and there are also clips of the show utilized as cutscenes in combination with in-gameplay ones that use a cel-shaded art style that manages to capture the essence of Genndy’s cartoon. The gameplay kinda works as your standard by-the-numbers 3rd person 3D action game reminiscent of classics like “Devil May Cry” and “God of War” but will occasionally transition to a 2.5D plane. The story itself begins where the final episode ends with both Jack and Ashi up against Jack’s longtime arch-nemesis and Ashi’s sort-of father, Aku. But unlike the way the final episode normally played out, the two are separated, and Jack is once again sent back in time to a series of time portals by Aku to different points in time throughout the series which in a way kinda feels like a “Greatest Hits” of iconic moments from the show itself that provides fan-service while also giving the development team an excuse to have you jump into different points in time from past seasons of the show that has you meeting familiar supporting characters and bosses yet they don’t really connect on a consistent level and you know what? I’m kinda ok with this.
As you tangle with various baddies to earn power-ups, items, secondary weapons, and the in-game currency you can spend on for the usual character upgrades with the exception of Jack’s standard blade, other weapons you gain will occasionally require repairs (Yes your weapons can break unless you extend their lifespan through periodic spending). One of the only major things I find jarring is the fact that there isn’t really a life bar to indicate health when you’re damaged. Instead, it’s further indicated when Jack’s robe is torn or falls apart as he loses health, yet when fighting a boss or trapped in a room full of enemies to hack & slash to further progress to the next room, they have a standard life bar compared to you, and many of these enemies all can be taken down with specific attack patterns that encourage variety.
The controls are thankfully easy to pick up with your standard “strong & fast attack” buttons on-hand with the left analog stick to navigate you from point A to point B. The game does attempt to add replay value with it’s “collect-a-thon” aspect as hidden treasure chests full of new weapons and new move-set that also come with them further expanding Jack’s combat repertoire with different attributes beyond his standard upgradable sword. Also, every level has its own theme of enemy variety to break the monotony in a number of ways.
Overall, the Game as a whole is a welcoming addition from Adult Swim Games and I’m glad Genndy isn’t just doing this as a cash-grab as he shows he’s quite competent enough to squeeze out at least one more compelling story within this legendary franchise even if it’s within a video game. Its also, even more, rewarding for the completionists there as it also rewards players with a hidden ending exclusive to the game that can be only be unlocked under very specific conditions, and with the game ported to multiple platforms you have no excuse to pass this up, and that’s the fact, Jack!