Review by dwashbur

"Some Good Parts, But I Couldn't Finish It"

First, let me say that I constantly have trouble with the C-stick on the Gamecube. I have heavy thumbs, what can I say? And that particular stick's response is just weird. For a good game I can endure it. And if a game will give me the option to reduce its sensitivity, i.e. slow it down so it moves the view in a way that I can actually see what's going on, I'll keep playing. This is how it was with MOH: Rising Sun. I got that one because 1) I love FPS games and especially those having to do with World War II, and B) I wanted a game that took place in the Pacific, since everything I had done to that point was in Europe. (Yes, I did that on purpose; my little tribute to Archie Bunker.) Rising Sun came through, and I had a terrific time playing it. So when I saw that my game store had this one on the shelf, I figured, why not. Same company, same series, same system, should be good.

Boy, was I wrong. For starters, the setup is more concerned with fancy graphics than with actually letting me adjust the controller the way I need it. Then in the first mission, hitting the beach on D-Day, there's so much rumbling and camera-shake going on it was virtually impossible to tell what to do or where to go. Once past that, the level was challenging but played fair. So far, so good. On to the next level.

This was where it started to get frustrating. There are several spots where you grab an enemy machine gun and blast away. The trouble is, there's no crosshair and no sight, so you have no idea where the bullets are going. I tried changing the crosshair setting several times in setup, but it made no difference. What in the world is that all about? Then there's the fact that enemies just appear out of nowhere, and as often as not you hear shots zinging past you and there's no way to tell where they're coming from. So you wander around like a blind dog in a meat locker trying to figure out where the enemy is while your health goes down more and more. When you finally spot the guy, he's about 3 miles away, behind a tree or building or pile of boxes, hitting you with pinpoint accuracy but you can't do the same back to him. That's not playing fair. Above all, I rate games based on whether they play fair. The difficulty level I chose said that my foes and I were about evenly matched. Not so; apparently, they can see through walls. Unless I can, too, we're not evenly matched. Not playing fair.

I saw another review that talked about the "realistic" way the bad guys die. Come again? Sometimes they go flying off their feet, but most often they wobble, shake their heads, reel back and forth, and finally go down. More than once I watched a foe take at least four seconds to fall. Is he dead? Idunno, I fell asleep waiting for his big dramatic exit. Call me when he's done. I'm going to lunch. It's often just that ridiculous. Then, of course, there's the fact that no matter where you hit them, these guys don't bleed. They just rock back and forth, drop to their knees, sit there for several seconds, and then plop down and promptly disappear. This is called "realistic."

I finally gave up on the game once I got to the shipyard. Here again, enemies can see through walls and shoot around corners. The sighting with the sniper rifle is inconsistent; for one shot the crosshair might be right on the enemy's chest, fire, and nothing happens; for the next shot, aim a little to his left or right and down he goes. It makes no sense at all. Another time, I was hearing shots and couldn't figure out where they were coming from. I finally spotted a soldier, kneeling behind an iron railing. One of the horizontal bars of the railing went right across his eye line. Had that been my character, I would have seen nothing but the bar. Yet, this guy could shoot accurately and hit me unerringly without moving his head (I watched him do it 3 times before I shot him). The final straw came when I was standing less than 10 feet from a German soldier who was firing a pistol wildly in my direction. I hosed him down with all 32 shots from an MP-40 submachine gun, and not one bullet hit him. His next shot took me out. That was when I decided to return the game and get something that plays fair.

The worst part about this game, though, especially in light of Rising Sun, is that there are NO SAVE POINTS AT ALL. What the heck?????????????? In Rising Sun, you had to hunt for the save points, but at least there were some periodically along the way so you could save your progress in a mission and not have to start from scratch every time you got killed. This game doesn't do that; if you don't make it to the end of the mission, you're completely screwed and have to start all over again. What kind of nonsense is that? No save points, no checkpoints, no way to save your progress, and meanwhile an enemy can fire straight up in the air and still somehow hit you. I don't have time for this kind of absurdity. If you want a good FPS based on the Big One for you Gamecube, get Rising Sun. Don't bother with this one, it's more of an annoyance than anything else.


Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 05/18/09

Game Release: Medal of Honor Frontline (US, 11/07/02)


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