Jet Set Willy 2007 (XXL) Review | RGCD - Everygamegoing


Jet Set Willy 2007
By Xxl
Atari XE/XL

Published in RGCD #4

Jet Set Willy 2007

Immediately after completing their somewhat controversial port of Ultimate's Jetpac, XXL and his fellow Atarians set to work on disassembling Matthew Smith's Spectrum classic Jet Set Willy, again converting and optimising the code line-by-line for the 8-Bit Atari range of computers; their goal being to replace Tynesoft's god-awful 1987 conversion with something actually comparable to the original. And here's the good news - after spending all evening playing the finished conversion I'm relieved to say that (aside from a few necessary bug fixes) there are no unnecessary additional 'features' in this one...

Now I'd be lying if I said I was a big Willy fan (oo-er). In fact, back in the day I probably only played the game a couple of times; I was far more interested in exploring the watery depths of Scuba Dive and struggling to complete Mastertronic's often-overlooked Rescue to spend any time with what I thought was essentially a very basic platformer. However, for the purpose of this review I downloaded the Spectrum tape image and got busy with tidying up Willy's mansion - and surprisingly had quite a good laugh in doing so.

So how does the 2007 port compare to the original platform collect-em-up? Well, for a start the high-res graphics result in the game looking much closer to the Spectrum version, and although lacking colour, they certainly look nicer than those present in the official Atari port. The game-play is just about spot on too (although T.M.R assures me that the Atari version is a tad faster than the original), but of course the most important point to reiterate here is that there are no additions or extra features in JSW 2007. In fact the only major difference between this and the Spectrum classic is the soundtrack - instead of using Software Project's rendition of 'If I Were A Rich Man' the development team have wisely opted for Rob Hubbard's score from the Tynesoft release (the music is generally considered to be the Atari version's only strong point).

The end result of all this is that the Atari finally has a port of JSW to be proud of. With XXL and Kas' greatly improved working-knowledge of 6502 conversion and the AtariAge forum filling with requests, the question on everyone's mind is what's next? I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for a game-play intact Jetboy re-release...

James Monkman