Review by CityHuntr

"It goes from good to frustrated quickly"

This is an interesting game, let me assure you. It's definitely not another Tomb Raider, (Tomb Raider = BAD!) and we really needed to see less Tomb Raider clones around here.

STORY: 8/10

Hmm, I may be biased to the theme of the story, though.
The flow of the story is pretty normal, and the plot twists aren't very twisty, they're pretty obvious sometimes. I don't find this too much of a problem, though, considering what was in there wasn't so bad. From a typical training mission to being a fugitive, the story keeps on going with some cutscenes between mission.

GRAPHICS: 6/10

If you are like 99% of the gaming community, the people who care about nothing but graphics, then you may be upset with this game.
The game runs in what looks like a high resolution, and exhibits no real problem with it's graphics. Some people I hear complain about the simpleness of the levels, but really, are you going to pay attention to pixel-by-pixel details when the game is throwing 3 enemies at you? Not really. So I, and you, shouldn't mind too much about the simplicity of the levels so much.
Moving objects such as your character Konoko and your enemies are done averagely. They definitely are not Metal Gear solid 2 quality guards, but the quality spend in them is good enough, considering the comic book theme of the graphics.
A major problem the game faces are drops in framerate. While most of the time they are not severe to be complainable, there are quite a few areas where the framerate drops painfully. I'm saying less than, what I can make out, 10 fps. That's pretty sad. You can expect these losses of frames to occur in very large open areas, and when there are more than 3 enemies/friendlies fighting each other, even if you aren't looking at them at all.
Animations of characters during in-game sequences are exceptional and believable. However, during some of the cutscenes, the body movement of some characters are lacking or not even moving at all.

GAMEPLAY: 5/10

This is the best and worst part of the game.

Good:
The fighting in the game is pretty good and original. Konoko has a wide range of attacks and even throws that can do some nice damage (although in reality some of her special moves should be fatal..) Accompanying her set of attacks is are the exceptional evasion techniques, such as the forward, sides, and backwards roll. She can jump too, and they are nice jumps indeed, giving her a slightly bigger array of fighting tactics, but it's too easy to be knocked out of the air later in the game.
Bad:
The fighting. Considering that this is a single player game only, you'll have to deal with plenty of AI controlled men (and women) running around trying to beat you down. The AI is pretty average in the beginning of the game, it should only kill you if you're very new to the game, or are just terrible with action games. However, as the gamer progresses, the AI begins to get from average to annoying to impossible. And the fact that you must deal with more than one enemy doesn't help it either. Around the middle of the game, I was getting incredibly frustrated, and now I don't even want to play it anymore. You'll find that enemies block your attacks much too well, and you can't block their attacks at all, considering they also have throws and other unblockable moves which are a real pain. If you have incredible patience, you might be able to survive.

GUNS: 8/10

Now that I briefly told you about the hand to hand combat, I should tell you about the gunfights.
There's a good variety of guns available, and each has it's weaknesses and strengths like just about any game with weapons.
Each gun, of course, weighs something, and that takes it's toll when you hold them. The guns can either be unholstered and ready to fire, or you can put it away somewhere, perhaps Konoko's invisible backpack. The inconsistency here is that if you have your gun out, it's weight will affect Konoko's running speed and turning rate. However, if you put the gun away into the magical invisible backpack, you can run as fast as you could without the gun. Nice realism there, huh?

In accordance with the gameplay's AI complaint, enemies can pick up and fight any gun you can, and their accuracy is almost spot-on and very unfair, particularly with weapons that fire instantly like a rail-gun and do incredible damage to you. Luckily, if you knock the enemy down, they drop their gun (although it's the same story for you)

Replayability: The game is fairly linear and there is no reason to put yourself into the pain of playing it again.

There we are, I hope this incredibly in-depth review will help you consider whether or not you buy or rent this game.
I definitely recommend a rent, it'll give you enough time to reach the points where the enemies become too cheap.


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 04/24/01, Updated 04/24/01


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