Gratuitous beam cannons, arcadey goodness, and enough snacks to make Jebediah Kerman proud. JAD:XA: What's not to like?
I played this for a bit right after release, and was promptly distracted by FRED. With some prodding by General Battuta, I decided it was about time I returned to this excellent campaign!
JAD:XA's gameplay is all the classic fun of Freespace distilled into four fast-paced, gut-wrenching missions. From tackling endless waves of drones, to attacking the weak spot for massive damage, to racing as fast as possible through a deadly gauntlet of explosions and BEAMZ, JAD:XA has something for everyone - no one will leave disappointed. NO ONE, I say!
Rip and tear! The introduction of powerups and berserk mode to FS makes for delightfully retro gameplay. Zooming around to pick up scattered powerups to replenish my energy reserves, I was reminded instantly of Descent. Besides being a callback to some amazing and nostalgic games, powerups provide a unique, quick risk/reward scenario that's difficult to achieve in FS otherwise - it got me thinking about how similar systems might be implemented in more serious campaigns.
After playing through the missions several times, I haxed some tbls for the lulz.
If I had one complaint to make about JAD:XA, it would be the oft-repeated cliche for any small nugget of perfection: it's short! After repeatedly trying my hand at the four missions, I was left wanting much more. If JAD:XA was meant as a teaser for JAD 2.22's gameplay, then it has definitely achieved its goal. In the meantime, I can only wait and play other amazing Axem campaigns, such as Shadows of Kraken...