Friday, March 07, 2008

Flashback Friday: J.J. & Jeff

Back in the day, when everybody and their brother had a Nintendo, I had a Turbografx-16. Why did I have a Turbografx-16? Because it was supposed to be better than the Nintendo. And it was cheaper. More the latter. Unfortunately, the one thing the Turbografx-16 didn't have was good games. Perfect example: Nintendo had Super Mario Bros, the ultimate platform game. The Turbografx-16 had its answer for Super Mario Bros, and that answer was J.J. and Jeff. Which kind of explains why the Turbografx-16 no longer exists.

Whereas Mario Bros put you in the shoes of a plumber named Mario, J.J. and Jeff gave you two detectives named (wait for it) J.J. and Jeff. They were supposed to look cool, if your idea of cool is sunglasses and toothy smiles. I never really figured out what the game was about, to be honest, because I never played it past the first level. I thought the game was boring, frustrating, and odd, particularly the enemies like birds that would eject large droppings (seriously, like half its size) onto you. Turns out the Japanese version was heavy on toilet humor that was taken out in the American version. Those wacky Japanese.

Trivia:
* As I always suspected, the game is actually a Westernized version of a Japanese game, Kato-Chan and Ken-Chan. That game was based on a popular Japanese comedy show, Fun with Kato-Chan and Ken-Chan. The show had a segment where they would air funny homemade videos. That segment was the inspiration for America's Funniest Home Videos.
* Even though the game was J.J. and Jeff, you could only choose one of them to play. And there was no difference between the two characters at all, other than their appearance. The unplayed character would pop up throughout the game.
* J.J. and Jeff had a spray can they would use on enemies. In the Japanese version, Kato and Ken used their own flatulence. The original game also featured the unplayed character urinating and defecating in the background. That was also cut out. Thankfully.
* The game was recently re-released for the Wii, for some unknown reason. I guess the rights were cheap.
* The game was really hard to play, especially since the characters would build up speed and then glide to a stop, so it was hard to keep from sliding right off of platforms, etc.
* J.J. and Jeff was part of a genre of games that started with Adventure Island. Never heard of it, never played it, but apparently it was quite popular.

Links:
MobyGames goes into some of the censored bits of the game. Wikipedia, of course, weighs in on the game, but it needs to be fleshed out. I'll work on that. IGN.com has a fairly spot-on review of the game. So does CNET. Nintendo Wii Fanboy actually liked this game...no accounting for taste.

BONUS: Check out this video of the original Kato-Chan and Ken-Chan game on YouTube.

Related Posts:
Flashback Friday: The Black Hole
Flashback Friday: Platypus Man
Flashback Friday: Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs

2 comments:

Mauricem said...

Man oh man talk about a blast from the past. I remember hating the game but being too young to figure out why. I thought it was just me. It's funny to see the over-the-top Japanese version and imagining Asian kids falling all over themselves gleefully farting and throwing poo around.
As for the Turbo-grafix I agree. I don't remember one decent game accept for a monster game (my imagination?).

Mauricem said...

Dear Sir,
That reminds me. We're coming out with a game next year that's just like Kato-Chan and Ken-Chan! It's called "Jackass: The Video Game".
Signed,
Steve-O