Jazz Jackrabbit 2
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|Jazz Jackrabbit 2|
Robert A. Allen|
|Platform(s)||Microsoft Windows, Mac OS|
|Genre(s)||Side-scrolling platform game|
|Mode(s)||Single-player or multiplayer|
Jazz Jackrabbit 2 is a platform game produced by Epic MegaGames, now known as Epic Games. It was accidentally confirmed by Arjan Brussee in 1994 and released in 1998 for PCs running Windows, and later for Macintosh computers. Like the first game, Jazz Jackrabbit, Jazz Jackrabbit 2 is a side-scrolling platform game but features additional multiplayer options, including the ability to play over a LAN or the Internet. On November 30, 2017 it was re-released on GOG.com along with the first game.
Jazz chases his nemesis Devan Shell through time, in order to retrieve the ring with which he planned to wed Eva. Jazz's brother, Spaz and (in the special edition of Jazz Jackrabbit 2, The Secret Files) Jazz's sister Lori, were introduced as new playable characters.
Just like its predecessor Jazz Jackrabbit, Jazz Jackrabbit 2 is a 2D side-scroller that incorporates elements of shooting and platforming. The player must venture through a series of levels populated with enemies and environmental hazards that may hinder the player's progress. The player's goal is to reach the level's exit, usually indicated by an exit sign, whilst overcoming obstacles and hazards through the use of running and jumping as well as removing enemies and obstructions through the use of shooting and stomping.
The Player is given a selection of characters to choose from, namely, Jazz, Spaz, and eventually (in the subsequent expansions) Lori. Each character has certain traits that are exclusive to each other. For an example, Jazz can launch himself vertically higher than others, Spaz can double jump, and Lori can dash across the screen whilst eliminating almost any enemy or obstacle in her path. Each Character is equipped with a gun that can fire an inexhaustible supply of projectiles in a straight manner. During the course of the game, however, the player can encounter additional ammunition that can provide the player with greater fire-power and range but with limiting ammo. These ammo types can result in different effects from flamethrowing to firing ice shards (that freezes almost any enemy or object on contact).
In addition to ammo, players will usually come across certain items and power-ups to aid the player. Some of these may include a 1-up (that gives the player an extra life), a massive variety of food (when enough is collected gives the player a short period of invincibility in the form of a "sugar rush"), a variety of diamonds (when enough is collected gives the player an extra life), a carrot (that boosts the player's health), a bird in a cage (once it is liberated by the player will follow the player around and will automatically fire at any nearby enemy, until the player takes damage), and rapid fire (which decreases the delay between shots with every pick up, without the player being required to rapidly tap the fire button. Although, this power up will reset itself every time the player loses a life).
Scattered throughout the levels are coins that the player can pick up. These are used as currency for when the player encounters the merchant. If the player has collected enough coins throughout the level the merchant will teleport the player to a secret location in the level that is usually filled with power-ups and other goodies for the player to collect.
Players can also participate in multiplayer. The game's Splitscreen mode supports up to 4 players, where as the Online mode can support up to 32. The game also has local TCP/IPX network support. In Multiplayer there are five game types that players could participate in, namely, Cooperative (where players could work together in the game's single player campaign), Battle (which is basically Deathmatch), Race (in which the first to complete all laps wins the race), Treasure Hunt (in which the first to collect 100 diamonds and find the exit wins the match), and Capture the Flag.
Jazz Jackrabbit 2 was produced by Epic MegaGames, now known as Epic Games, as the sequel to Jazz Jackrabbit. It was accidentally confirmed on August 24, 1994 by Arjan Brussee  and released in 1998 for PCs running Windows, and later for Macintosh computers.
Jazz Jackrabbit 2 has a bundled level editor called Jazz Creation Station (JCS), allowing players to create their own levels. The level editor was not included in the Mac versions or shareware editions.
There were several variants and releases of Jazz Jackrabbit 2.
- Jazz Jackrabbit 2 - Shareware Edition
Released on April 9, 1998, this is a promotional shareware game. It featured three single-player levels and two multiplayer levels. It was released to promote the game.
- Jazz Jackrabbit 2 - Holiday Hare '98
This Christmas edition was released on November 6, 1998 for the PC, but only in North America. Unlike the previous holiday editions, this game is commercial rather than shareware. It includes three single-player levels as well as a new boss and additional multiplayer levels.
- Jazz Jackrabbit 2 - The Secret Files
This Easter edition was released on March 15, 1999 for the PC, but only in Europe (with a subsequent release in Poland by LK Avalon on June 19, 1999 which added Polish language in the options). This game introduces Jazz's sister Lori as another playable character. When Lori dies, her face is immolated and she falls over. It also adds an extra episode to the original Jazz Jackrabbit 2, called "The Secret Files". This episode consists of three different zones, each one with three levels. New tiles are also added to The Secret Files, most of them from the first Jazz Jackrabbit. The LK Avalon release can be found in the GOG.com re-release.
- Jazz Jackrabbit 2 - The Secret Files Shareware Edition
Released in 1999, this is a shareware game to promote The Secret Files. It is identical to the standard shareware version, but it includes the ability to play as Lori, as well as two new single-player levels in addition to the standard shareware version's levels.
- Jazz Jackrabbit 2 - The Christmas Chronicles
This Christmas edition is an enhanced version of Holiday Hare '98, featuring Lori as a playable character. It was going to be released on November 25, 1999 for the PC, across Europe. However, the publisher, Project Two Interactive, went bankrupt before the release date. It was eventually released in Poland by LK Avalon. A limited European release followed shortly after. This version is based on the engine of The Secret Files and can be found in the GOG.com re-release.
Jazz Jackrabbit 2 received positive reviews. On MobyGames, the Windows version holds an aggregated metascore of 77 of 100. MacAddict's reviewer John Lee praised its fluent gameplay, but criticised the game for not adding anything new to the genre, which he considered "old fashioned". Trevor Covert described the gameplay as "addicting" and praised the graphics.
In the United States, Jazz Jackrabbit 2 sold 29,000 copies by October 2001. Despite good reviews, sales were insufficient and resulted some financial loss for Gathering of Developers. As a consequence, the would-be sequel Jazz Jackrabbit 3D was unable to find a publisher, prompting the developers to abandon the project which was less than 50% complete.
- MIKE MINOTTI (November 30, 2017). "Jazz Jackrabbit hops back to life on GOG". Venturebeat.
- Jazz Jackrabbit 2 - MobyRank on April 4, 2014
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2014-06-01.
- Keighley, Geoff (October 2001). "READ.ME; G.O.D.'s Fall from Grace". Computer Gaming World (207): 30–32.