When the Sony Playstation hit 19 years ago (come September 2015 it will be 20 years old) gamers really didn’t know what to expect. Sony was not exactly known for great games, their software division had a few hits (Hook being one), probably not enough to sustain a new, break away from Nintendo, console. In the early days of the PSOne, Sony took chances, lots of them. They gave a lot of developers the green light, as long as it was a 3D game since Sony had a problem with 2D games. One company that got the greenlight was Exact, located in Japan. If you are not familiar with Exact, then you are not alone since Sony bought them up and combined them with Team Ico in Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Studio. Back in the day though, Exact were making games on the Sharp X68000 (see issue #2 of RGM for more on this gaming computer).
Why reference Exact’s work on the X68000? Because it is there that they released a game called Geograph Seal, which was the game that caught Sony’s attention. Sony was looking for a new title to show off the power of the Playstation. Checking out Geograph Seal will reveal a lot of similarities to Nintendo’s Star Fox game (flat shaded polygons) but also the early trappings of what would become Jumping Flash.
For most gamers that played Jumping Flash when it was new the main thing that they took from it was a severe case of “fear of heights”. You can jump high, and higher and higher. Thanks to the power of the Playstation, especially compared to other consoles of the time, you can see quite a bit of the game world, even from the highest points of your jumps. Since you are running around in, what is basically, a giant robotic rabbit, jumping is an integral part of the game. Just like Geograph Seal you are able to shoot the enemies you encounter. The draw in is sometimes pretty bad but it hardly ever gets in the way of enjoying Jumping Flash.
Jumping Flash is available on the Playstation Network as part of the PSOne Classics series.