Review by KFHEWUI
Lack of replay and cheap difficulty hold the game back from perfection
Men in Black the series: Crashdown, based upon the cartoon show, has the player take the roles of Agent J and K as they investigate any unlawful acts carried out by aliens. The game has several short stories, and each one is entertaining rather from stopping aliens from making an illegal planet break or protecting the alien godfather.
Over the course of the game, the player will swap between playing as Agent J and Agent K, and the game plays the same for each character since the game is a first person shooter there really is no difference between each character. Each character controls the same, and the controls are responsive however the layout is awkward and takes time to get used too. "L1" and "R1" are used for strafe while the D-Pad is used for movement and looking. Having movement and camera in the same area is strange, and this game would have been a lot better if the face buttons would have been used for movement while D-Pad is used for looking around that way shoot and crouch could have been mapped to the L and R buttons. Even more strange is looking around which is performed by hold "R2" and using "UP" and "DOWN" on the D-Pad. This means the player has to come to a dead stop just to look up and down, and this is a huge problem in the heat of combat. The game does support analog sticks, but it suffers from the same problem of awkward layout since the game developers put movement and camera on the same sticks. Left stick moves forward while looking left and right, but the right stick can strafe while looking up and down.
Graphics look great, and each level has its own unique look rather it is from the carnival level, alien spaceship, subway, and hospital. The textures are crisp and clean however from time to time I did run into some textures disappear when too close to a wall and/or corner. Also I noticed several textures seem throughout the game. CGI cut scenes look great, and they are nicely animated although some of the aliens look glossy like they were just waxed.
The music has a cartoony feel to it that fits the mood of the game, and the entire sound track sounds great. At certain points in some levels, the player will be ambushed and a different track will start playing to signal it, and the track sounds ominous and is great. The game is also voice acted, and the voice actors are not bad except for J who sounds whining. Sound effects are great, and the guns have cartoony sound effects. Some of the aliens when killed will make a popping sound.
Men in Black the series: Crashdown is a first person shooter, and the levels in the game are linear with a few branching paths that usually lead to a dead end. There is a map for almost every level, but one issue I have with the map is that it has to be found instead of the player starting with it. The levels themselves are usually narrow corridors connected by a large room every once in a while, and this is okay for most of the part except for one level. J has to escort an alien prisoner through a subway, and the prisoner can block the way so when a large group of aliens attack the player it is extremely easy to get caught on the prisoner and take some cheap hits.
There are twenty-six levels in all, and there are a variety of different objectives to be performed from killing all enemies, go from point B from point A, escort mission, and protect mission. Most of the levels are nicely design except for one notable level which takes place in an operating room where the player must protect the alien godfather. There are three doors where aliens will run out from, and the player must kill all the aliens that come in several waves. The level is not fun at all, but the developers repeat the level near the end of the game. The first time was annoying, but the second time is a headache. The level is designed so that walls can block aliens allowing them to do massive damage plus there are more enemies than before, and it would have been a lot better if this level was removed.
Men in Black boasts some interesting weapons with humorous names like Noisy Cricket, Carbonizer, De-Atomizer, Rocket Launcher, and Awful truth yet despite the name they still act like pistols, sniper rifle, shotgun, and machine gun. Aside from weapons there boosters that can be picked up which either give the player speed, increase health, or invulnerability, and these all work for only a limited amount of time.
The game may be long however it does have a few issues. There is only one difficulty which is okay until around level fourteen when the difficulty sky rockets which feels cheap. There is no replay value since there is only one difficulty and no multiplayer which I feel there was potential for multiplayer in this game. There are cheat codes for the game that can be found hidden throughout the game or they could easily be looked up on the internet now.
Men in Black the series: Crashdown is a decent first person shooter that is held back by the lack of replay value and cheap difficulty.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
Product Release: Men in Black - The Series: Crashdown (US, 11/01/01)
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