Review by Jules Rules

"Welcome to paradise, soldier. Well.. paradise for me was playing Frontline over and over again, unfortunately."

The Medal of Honor series has become a well-known name in the First-person shooter market as of late. In 2002 we saw the immensely popular Medal of Honor Frontline release, which opened up with a tremendous first level, 'D-Day', accompanied with great sound and excellent visuals. The game turned out to be a huge success, and it finally looked like things were picking up, until a few experienced coders left the MoH team and started working on a new project, 'Call of Duty', which turned out to be an excellent game for the PC. So, we're here with Medal of Honor Rising Sun. The game takes you back to 1941-42 and places you in the heart of a Marine. How well does Rising Sun draw? Can it match up to the success that Frontline possessed? Will the few experienced MoH coders who left the team affect the game's turn-out? All will be answered in my review of Medal of Honor Rising Sun.

The graphics, in my opinion, are pretty good. As you may know, some of the levels contain you in jungles and most of the time they are bright and well-colored. Each level is highly detailed, whether it be the city of Singapore or the dark jungle of Guadalcanal. The visuals will just add another part to your attraction while fighting off the might of the Japanese army.

As you may know, in Frontline everyone's face looked pretty similar, like it was a trademark for the MoH team or something. I can say that in this game, their faces are pretty much the same (except for the Japanese, of course, and maybe a few others). This isn't really a big problem, though, I'm just thinking out of the blue. It's just quite funny to see everyone's face looking pretty similar.

The visuals seem a tad bit improved from Frontline, which is a positive. It maybe because most of the time you're fighting in jungles and enjoying the tropical feel to it, but they do seem a bit more crisp.

Everything else are also done to par. Some of the weapons may look a little bit weird at first, as a few are Asian weapons, but the quality that is produced is good. The usual Thompson and M1 Garrand guns are still in there, and it's just an excellent feel when you're shooting down hundreds of people with them. Overall the graphics leave me impressed, and a tad bit improved from the previous game.

The sound produced in Medal of Honor games are simply a delight to listen to, and really adds to the War feel. Whether it be calm and fitting music, to a group of soldiers being blown up with a grenade and landing with a thud.

I've always liked listening to the background music while playing Medal of Honor games, and Rising Sun is no different. There are a couple of Asian-type music pieces on the levels and it really adds to the whole Pacific feel. In Frontline the music fitted the Nazi image very neatly and with Rising Sun the music is just pure excellence. I would of liked some of the tracks in the previous game to have a bigger role in Rising Sun, though. I heard them a few times, but only for a short proportion of seconds. Top-notch on the music.

With the music aside, soldiers' speeches are occasionally un-timed and heard when you don't really want to hear it. So you might miss what they're saying to you at times as you're so deep into the action. It's funny when a character is really talking to you but you're 10-15 meters away from him, however. But I'm not spending all day gibbering on and on about that, as the speeches are often very good. Even though the character you play as never speaks, he doesn't really need to.

The sound of your machine gun blasting out can be quite refreshing at times, but also pretty annoying. Sometimes you'll be shooting at a Japanese soldier and he simply won't go down (especially at far distances), and you will be wasting your rounds as the sound keeps irritating you. Most of the noises the guns make are nicely done, though.

This is normally where the Medal of Honor series shines (with the Sound aswell), but I feel differently about Rising Sun. There's just something that doesn't pull me in as much as Frontline did, but I'm not sure what. Rising Sun just doesn't feel like a MoH game at times. I'll explain why if you continue to read on.

Even though you may feel a bit let down at times with Rising Sun, the game is relatively exciting and a huge thrill. Accompanied with some fun levels and death-defying ones, it seems like the game just missed out on being something special.

The controls are extremely awkward, especially at first. I found this because they are actually different from the previous MoH games. It's a damn good job you can create your own control system for the game, or I would of disliked the game even more. I found myself throwing Grenades when I didn't want to, and I found myself missing the target quite often as the aiming mode is difficult. But as I said, you can create your own Custom controls, which I did and finally got used to the game with the classic MoH control scheme. New players who haven't played a MoH game before will get used to it, but I doubt that experienced and veteran players will.

There is a brand new 2-player Co-op mode in the game, which is a big bonus. So people who were tired of playing MoH games on their own can now play with their friend/family member, and they don't just have to watch you. Also brand new is the Multiplayer mode, where you can choose up to a maximum of 6 bots (computer controlled characters), and play up to around 5 different levels. This mode is really exciting, and a major plus for the game. Something to do once you've completed it, but after an hour or so it may get slightly boring due to the small-terrained levels.

Back to Single player now, Rising Sun has a short amount of levels in the game. People have completed it within a day and never played it again. This is pretty new to a MoH game, seeing as all of the previous ones had a mass amount of replayability and tons of missions.

Obviously if you're a die-hard FPS or Medal of Honor fan, you will love what the game has to offer, but most are a little disappointed at Rising Sun's Gameplay elements. Still pretty good, though.

You take the role of Marine Corporal Joseph Griffins and must endure some of the toughest battles fought during World War II. Can you survive the attack on Pearl Harbor?

Well, once you've completed the game I doubt you'd replay all of the missions over again (unless you're extremely bored). The addition of 2-player Co-op mode and Multiplayer with bots included also bring up the replayability factor, but on Single player it's pretty limited.

Buy or Rent?
Die-hard FPS or MoH fans will enjoy the game and believe it's worthy of a buy, but newcomers to the series or the genre may wish to give it a rent just to see if it's for you. I'd recommend a Rent to nearly everyone, as Rising Sun is too big a disappointment.


I had much more enjoyment out of Frontline. Rising Sun is a big disappointment considering the hype it got, and only die-hard FPS or MoH fans should consider buying it. Seeing as I was hooked on the previous MoH games, I enjoyed Rising Sun slightly. That's why it got the score I gave it, but if it was longer and hooked me like Frontline did, it would of got extra points. PC gamers should go and buy Call of Duty, but if you haven't got a gaming-quality PC, you might as well pick up Rising Sun, or wait until Call of Duty reaches the consoles. Or, in fact, buy Frontline for $20. A big disappointment for me.
Overall: 7/10

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 01/05/04

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