The storyline starts off with an ordinary day in the life of Jackie Chan (Jackie Chan) working as a courier for his grandfather; however, there is nothing ordinary about the situation unfolding as a result of the package he must deliver to the Shaolin Temple. Elsewhere, Jackie is doing exactly what his grandfather predicted, stuffing his face at the local diner when he should be delivering packages, most importantly, the package to the temple. Midway through his meal, Jackie spots a limousine with his grandfather surrounded by the sub-bosses in the game. Jackie takes off with a high-octane chase, and the scene ends with the crash of the limo and his grandfather being taken away by the bosses, whereupon, Jackie loses them at a nearby junction.
Publisher: Midway Games
Developer: Radical Entertainment
Genre: Beat’em Up
Release Date: March 29th 2000
ESRB: T (Teen)
The scene ingeniously shifts from the cutscene to the layout of the level select area, where players can freely control Jackie and run through the relevant start points.
In true Jackie Chan style, the game features a number of creative and hilarious combos that the player can unleash upon the mobsters. Least of which, is the ability to pick up a huge fish and smack someone with it, along with chairs and other environmental tidbits to experiment with.
Largely inspired by Jackie’s choreography in his movies, the player can also achieve the same improvisational effect of picking up a nearby pool cue or back-flipping off of a nearby wall to escape a sticky situation, adding a lot more fun and diversity to the previously tired genre.
Stuntmaster provides a generous amount of combos for players to lavish in, as well as the personality of Jackie Chan being translated well into the combo system of the game. Players will be able to perform Drunken Master Punches, as well as perform counters and hit enemies with their rear, while the Chan-man ad-libs throughout the game with cheesy lines akin to those in his films. With the many combos and hilarious comments made throughout the gameplay experience, players can expect to be immersed in the make-believe that is Jackie’s exciting courier job.
The soundtrack, composed by Craig Robertson, sees dynamic changes throughout the game and is heavily influenced by the setting of the level and bosses featured in each respective territorial level they are set in. The factory levels feature mechanical sounds and metallic elements in the composition, whilst the boss fight with characters such as, Disco Danny or Terry Clown, feature disco music elements and goofy backdrops respectively. Perhaps the most appreciative feature of the soundtrack is the lack of rehashing the same musical techniques and components throughout the game, as each area has their own atmospheric feel with the level design, complemented by the unique music found in every level in the game.
In order to fully capture the motion and accuracy of all the attacks in-game, Jackie Chan donned the ping pong mocap suit and performed the moves in order for them to be translated into the game as animations. With all the work put into the game from an animation perspective, there was also the addition of giving a face to the protagonist, thus, his face was layered onto the model of his in-game counterpart.
Although never receiving critical acclaim and not even having a well-known release, Stuntmaster still provided the Beat’em Up experience that all players deserved, and hadn’t received since the earliest innovation of the genre, and all the clones that followed with little initiative or expansion on the fighting category.
Jackie Chan Stuntmaster was a game that provided many laughs, awesome music and an exciting fighting system; however, it was overshadowed by the release of the PlayStation 2 and had an uninteresting plot that left little to expand upon, in terms of developing the plot and any potential sequel.