Jumanji The Video Game Enhanced Edition
Jumanji Enhanced Edition Is An (Unwanted) Unexpected Surprise
When Jumanji The Video Game was released in 2019, it lined up with the release of the sequel movie Jumanji: The Next Level. In the previous movie, Jumanji was a video game itself. Much like the original classic released in 1995, Jumanji's players are trapped in the game until they reach the end by going through several grueling trials. It would sound like a match made in heaven, then, to make a video game adaptation of a video game movie right? Not exactly, for the Jumanji video game was notoriously bad upon release. So much so, that it was a surprise that a PS5 "Enhanced Edition" was greenlit, much less released silently.
Some of the game's major critiques were the lack of replayability, the graphic quality, inconsistent framerate, and repetitive gameplay. Of the four characters, none of them bear any likeliness to their original counterparts. The Rock, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Karen Gillan are "present" in appearance only. This becomes evident when their voices come into play, with Kevin Hart and Jack Black's voices sounding nothing alike. While a budget game such as Jumanji The Video Game wouldn't be able to afford the names to the likeliness, everything else within the game fell flat.
Only Four Levels? No bonus content? Just extra skins?
The gist of Jumanji The Video Game is that the player controls one of the four characters, getting from point A to B. The player must find four keys to open a door which will lead to a "Hardpoint" style arena. The arena forces the player to fight waves of enemies as they power up a stone artifact. As the artifact powers up, the door to the next passageway opens and the cycle continues. Each character has a trademark weapon ranging from an aim-assist rifle to a shotgun-like gun.
Certain special abilities also range from Hart's ability to summon a monkey that assists him, The Rock ground pounding the area around him, and Jack Black's healing aura, After each session, the player earns experience, leading to an increase in rank. The only incentive to play Jumanji The Video Game is to unlock more "costumes." By "costumes," I mean they're just reskins of each character's default outfit. No bonus gallery items, levels, or even clips from the movie. Just default outfit reskins. So when an "Enhanced Edition" of Jumanji The Video Game was announced, surely it would add some content to make it complete right? Right...?
The "Enhanced Edition" Of Jumanji Offers Literally Nothing New
Absolutely not. Of course, it's the "OG" after all and I expect nothing more from "Outright Games" either. The better question is what does the PS5 version add that the other versions don't? According to the official website, the PS5 enhanced version boasts 120fps, 4K visuals, and improved loading times. I'm not too sure about the first two points as the game looks decent from a distant. However, upon close inspection, certain details like foilage appear pixilated up close. The framerate was also similar to its previous-gen counterpart. In the game's defense, the loading times are improved. What is the point, however, if a number of the game's glaring issues still remain? It's still lacking content, it's still the same repetitive gameplay, and there's almost no incentive to play the game.
For ten extra dollars, as the "Enhanced Edition" is $30 compared to the previous-gen $20, it's not worth it. For the morbidly curious and the achievement hunters out there, the previous-gen is enough. It's impossible for me to recommend this title with so few improvements made to the original. If the original was a masterpiece, it'd be fine, but obviously, this was never the case. That said, this stealth release should have stayed in the vault. A real-life game of Jumanji is more exciting than this pile of trash and probably less dangerous too.
Jumanji The Video Game: Enhanced Edition (in air quotes) is released on the PS5.