Name: JumpingFlash! 2: Big Trouble In Little Muu
Developer: Exact Inc., Ultra Co., Ltd.
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Year: 1996
Platform: Sony PlayStation
Genre: Platformer
Players: One Player
Rarity: Very difficult to find new, very difficult second-hand

The sequel to the amazingly good, but not-so-popular PlayStation game, JumpingFlash!. Robbit returns with an upgraded Kumagoro, ready to save the world, again!

The Story

Continuing from the last game in the series, Baron Aloha has been defeated by Robbit, and returns to his secret hideout situated on the tiny planet of Little Muu, which is inhabited by a race of creatures known as MuuMuus.

While Aloha is planning his next plot to take over the universe, a dark shadow is cast over Little Muu. Giant hands grasp onto sections of the world, the hands of the massive Captain Kabuki, a "220 bazillion ton" human-like creature, who travels the galaxies looking for planets to add to his collection. Picking up parts of Little Muu, Kabuki places them into glass bottles, trapping MuuMuus inside of them.

Baron Aloha, and one of his fellow MuuMuu servants escape onto a nearby asteroid, that, by some amazing chance, is home to a telephone box. Needing help in his grave situation, he has no option but to call the base of his own enemy, Universal City Hall. Willing to help, no matter what the situation, Robbit is assigned to save the planet of Little Muu from the hands of the evil Captain Kabuki. Go, Robbit! Jump, and go!

The Game

Following the same game mechanics as the original game, the player controls Robbit from a first-person perspective, similar to the viewpoint used in Doom. That's where comparisons to your typical first-person shooter end however, as JumpingFlash! 2 is just as cute and colourful as its forebear.

Instead of reiterating gameplay details that exist in both games, I'll point out the new features of the sequel.

One of the first major differences in the second game is the introduction of a number of new bonuses and combos. In the first game, the only major bonus that was achieveable was the Extra Bonus, that required the player to collect four lettered items known as Jetpods, to spell 'EXIT'. At the end of the level, a score bonus was awarded to the player.

In the sequel, Robbit has to save four MuuMuus, who are each holding a sign, one with the letter 'E' on it, and the others with 'X', 'I' and 'T' on them. Collect them in order to spell 'EXIT', and you'll receive the Extra Bonus. As you travel through the level, you can also rank up points by performing various tasks. By killing enemies in certain ways, you can gain extra points. Enemies can be killed by either shooting them with your shot beam (Robbit's gun), or by jumping on their heads. If you defeat a combination of enemies (usually of the same type, and moving in a group), you will receive a points bonus. Kill four or more enemies by jumping on their heads without touching the floor will earn you an ever-increasing bonus, depending on how many enemies are destroyed.

As well as these bonuses, there are also a number of other bonuses which are awarded when certain conditions are met when the level is completed. These are displayed on the stage select screen as you progress through the game. Completing the level without loss of health, completing the level under a certain time, and finishing the level without using the shot beam are some of the conditions that warrant a reward. Collecting all of these bonuses will unlock new modes and features.

Kumagoro 2:
He's back, upgraded, and his voice has broken! Kumagoro is Robbit's AI support robot, who hangs from the top of his vision. He prompts and supports Robbit verbally, indicating items and time-limits as needed. Kumagoro is not the only AI support, however... others can be unlocked and found...

The level sizes have increased dramatically since the first game, introducing a major aspect of exploration and searching into the equation. This can be a slight frustration, because a lot of the levels are sparse and similar, meaning you can lose track of your position in the world easily. Their design is definitely not as diverse or as visually interesting as the last game, which is a bit of a disappointment, because the themes of the levels in JumpingFlash! were a large part of it's charm.

Other Information

JumpingFlash! 2 is the sequel to JumpingFlash!, which was also released on the PlayStation. There is also another game in the series, known as Robbit Mon Dieu. Similar games include Spyro the Dragon, Crash Bandicoot and Klonoa, and the JF! series is also similar to first-person shooters, such as Quake.