Jaws, the “classic” for the Nintendo Entertainment System, is one of my guilty nostalgic pleasures. The game wasn’t particularly grand and the movie tie-in was loose at best, but there was a certain thrill to sailing the seas and, uh, collecting conch shells. Conch shells that you could trade in to buy a submarine. Ok, so it wasn’t particularly good either, but when you’re that age you have to deal with the cards you have been dealt. And at that age, I had Jaws for the NES.
The reason that Jaws has endured with me is simple: it was the only game that had I had lost possession of without my own doing (trade, sell). To be precise: it was stollen. Not from me but from a friend that I had lent the game to. He got robbed and lost my copy of Jaws along with his 50 or so games. Bummer. With that, it was hard to care about Jaws being lost. The grieving was all about the many superior games that were unjustly taken from us.
With such a connection with the video game version of Jaws, I really, really don’t know what to think of Majesco’s new Jaws game announcement:
In Majesco’s Jaws, players assume the role of a Great White shark driven to a predacious frenzy by the sonic emanations of underwater oil drilling equipment. To defend their underwater territory, players undertake a campaign to drive the raiders away while simultaneously solving a series of action-based puzzles designed to thwart the player.
A Jaws game, 20 years after the movie, where you take control of the shark Ecco the Dolphin style to defend the environment from undersea raiders where you, as a shark, have to solve puzzles?? I haven’t been this confused about a game announcement since Seven Samurai 20xx.
In the context of the current market, the game versions of Scarface and The Godfather make a modicum of sense. Still tactless and stupid, but hey… if the games industry knows how to do one thing well, it’s how to rehash successful ideas. But Jaws!?
I’m going to bet that the 30-second, re-enacted by bunnies, version of Jaws will be a hundred times more entertaining.