Speed upgrades became all of the rage during the early fighting game craze during the early '90s — Capcom practically made a living at it for a while. So when arcade gamers began complaining about the sluggish speed of World Heroes 2, SNK did the logical thing and borrowed a page from Capcom's book. When World Heroes 2 Jet burst onto the scene in 1994 it offered up not only a speed upgrade, but also a minute amount of minor fixes and upgrades. Sadly, it wasn't quite enough of an upgrade to get fans too excited.
You won't find a lot of differences in the core gameplay of Jet when compared to World Heroes 2. The game still uses the same three button play controls with one button controlling punch, one for kick and one used for throws and taunts. To make up for the lack of variable punch and kick strengths, the game senses the duration of the button press and determines the power of the attack. Jet offers up a nice dash attack that can be executed easily via two quick presses of the backward or forward direction on the joystick, something that can be particularly useful for mixing up your attacks and defences.
You'll get your choice of 16 characters with three new faces to spice things up. Each character features their own unique fighting style and special moves, but the game still does a nice job of keeping things fairly balanced. There are two modes to choose from, one being a standard play through a story mode and the other a special mode that allows you a choice to fight specific characters at your choosing. Of course, the two player mode is intact and if you want to truly appreciate the World Heroes experience, this is the go-to mode.
While the new tweaks are nice, it's difficult to overlook the jerky gameplay of World Heroes 2 Jet. The speed upgrade helps, but not enough to put it on a level with World Heroes Perfect. The simple control scheme is decent enough and allows you to focus more on strategy, but it still would have been nice if SNK had made the controls just a tad more responsive and smooth considering the other tweaks present in this release.
There's not much of an upgrade visually from the previous release, but you're still getting the same over-the-top vibrant visuals gamers have come to expect from the World Heroes series. The slightly choppy animation drags the experience down a bit, but it's certainly no worse than what was seen in the previous two titles. Still, if they were going to speed things up and tweak the overall package, it would have been nice to see SNK at least put a little time into the visuals.
Much like the graphics, the audio package has received very little work in this update. The tunes are still very much like those the series has featured before, but certainly not on par with those offered up in Perfect. The synthesized rock is fitting for the overall tone of the game, but there isn't really a tune that's overly catchy or memorable. At least the voice announcer is solid — something that seems to be rather hit or miss with fighting games of the time period.
World Heroes 2 Jet tries to make marginal improvements over its predecessor, but somehow fails to give the experience enough of an upgrade to warrant being a separate release. If you're looking to pick up a World Heroes titles, World Heroes Perfect is the pinnacle of the series and a fairly decent upgrade over this very average fighting title. It's nice to see SNK Playmore being thorough in releasing all titles in their various series, but this one is far from being an essential purchase, even for fighting game addicts.