Some games have a great knack for causing extreme aggravation when being played; Data Jammers: Fast Forward is one of those games. Data Jammers is a game where you play a computer program trying to hack into the Military Industrial Complex called the Vaults of Ouroboros. To accomplish this you must, as a computer program, enter the “network behind the network” and destroy The System to shut down the dark powers controlling it.
Gameplay consists of a virtual racer moving from virtual highway to virtual highway fighting your way through to The System’s core. Each track you race through is randomly generated so there’s never any repeating or memorization involved with the game, only reflexes. Unfortunately, this can result in an extreme amount of aggravation when going through stages. Since enemy and track spawns are completely random, it feels some times like you are simply throwing yourself through the track over and over again until you get a favorable track and hoping you don’t get hit with an unavoidable game over.
After every level, the game will finish with a leaderboard and then shoot you back to the level menu. Doing so really puts a damper on the fluidity of the story and the intensity that the game play tries to put forth. Game menus are convoluted and arbitrarily busy when trying to pick between stages and are accompanied by a single song that gets old after finishing the second stage; it makes you want to spend as absolutely little time as possible in them. After the third or fourth stage the game feels less like an experience to enjoy, and more like a trial you’re forced to complete.
At the beginning of every stage a new enemy will be introduced and given a description of what it does in the data stream. While some of these enemies are completely capable of being ignored, others will make levels the absolute worst experience imaginable. When these enemies are introduced they will randomly show up in different levels, though the game doesn’t seem fit to warn you of what enemies to expect in any level, so you find yourself hoping that the troublesome enemies will stay as far away from your stages as humanly possible…and then they come to destroy you four times, just to spite you.
Whether it’s the stage, the menus, the enemies, or the pathing throughout the entire game, you find yourself flailing your arms in frustration over simple details that are completely unavoidable, making the thought of punching your monitor more and more understandable. Frustration isn’t always a bad thing though, with some frustrating games it makes you want to continue and show the game that you won’t be beaten, that you can go the distance. With Data Jammers this frustration is such that it makes you want to drop the controller and run away before an aneurism occurs.
Overall Data Jammers: FastFoward is a game that, without the patience of Buddha, can seem impossible to get through, despite the game only consisting of three chapters, each with a mere five, four-minute levels. With a terrible control system and distracting menu, completing the game seems arduous enough, which is probably why the developers decided on one difficulty with no bonus stages or almost any reason to replay the game was necessary. With nothing but a leaderboard and a meager twenty one achievements, trying to find a reason to go back through this game seems futile.