Review by blueninja4444

Reviewed: 04/04/06

Could've Been Better, Could've Been Worse

A First Person Shooter on the PSP. Very interesting, and quite a relief. When it comes to handheld systems First Person Shooters really don’t come to mind. They have always been too limited until the PSP came out and well, now here we are. It’s a First Person Shooter but is it a good game? Well, give or take, the main bragging point about this game is the randomly generated levels. Konami never mentioned how boring it is to play by yourself and how annoying the controls are, but hey, that’s why we write reviews....

Graphics: 8/10
I’m going to have to say that the graphics are great, but generally speaking, they could’ve been better. The first thing you’ll notice when you play this game is that everything is really dark. Sure maybe some games are good with that dark “where’s the next bad guy gonna be?” mood, but Coded Arms is not. On the small PSP screen it gets annoying with everything so dark, but from what you can see everything looks pretty crisp. The extra computer simulator graphics are a nice addition too. I wish I could give it a 10, but the lighting can be so bad at times.

Sound: 6/10
The sound is really sub-par for a PSP game. You can hear some nicely done bullets and explosions, but there’s no real background music to speak of. The enemies might make minor sounds, and your weapons emit unique sounds but let’s be honest, they could’ve tried harder.

Controls: 3/10
The controls in this game are horrible, albeit adjustable. The first thing Konami should’ve done when making this game is do everything possible not to make us say something like “The controls in this game are horrible”. Let’s admit it, there’s only so much they could do with the controls of the PSP, but pressing triangle and circle to aim is not only hard to get used to, it’s hard to control even once you get used to it. The first thing you’ll be tempted to do is switch the walking to the d-pad and move the aiming to the analog nub, but you’ll quickly realize it’s even more difficult that way then the default way.

Gameplay: 5/10
So how does the PSP’s FPS play? Well, it plays in a very repetitive way. If you have a buddy or two you can play with then you will find this game is much more fun and intense when playing multiplayer. But when you play by yourself you might find that the gameplay leaves a lot to be asked for, more enemies, more arena variety, etc. This game does have a wide variety of weapons, but you might come to realize that some of those many weapons lack any real usefulness and you will probably find one weapon you really like and stick with it as much as possible, making those extra weapons unnecessary. Of course when you have randomly generated levels that means the enemies can’t be placed any where clever, so what do you have? Cheap enemies planted randomly in unorthodox locations. Of course the only thing worse than those random enemies is rooms randomly not containing anything of use, such as power-ups and enemies. Just there to waste your time. Making your way through the randomly generated mazes and the sublevel mazes is hard. It might seem clever at first, but as the game advances you’ll be wishing for more, gameplay wise.

Replay Value: 5/10
This game has great replay value, if you got a friend who also likes this game. Playing with another friend can be pretty heart stopping and just plain fun, as you hunt for your friend through the coded levels. But if you don’t have a friend with this game, buyer beware, this game has no replay value. After as little as an hour or two of single player mode, you might find yourself questioning your motives on why you are even completing this game, and you may question yourself on why you don’t just change the game and play something a little more fun and less repetitive. In fact, you might even go as far as to label this game as one of those games you simply can’t enjoy by yourself and you will probably make this one of those games you only play with a friend. Since you can’t go online to face people across the world, the replayability is even more limited as the only people you can play with are those within PSP range. Very disappointing Replay Value unless you are a huge (and I mean HUGE) First Person Shooter fan, or something.

Overall: 5
I am a fan of First Person Shooters but this one just didn’t cut the cake. With the exception of looks and sounds this game really has a lot to be desired. But when was the last time you bought a FPS game because it looked good? There are better looking games on the PSP, there are games with a lot more replayability, there are games that are fun in both single player and multiplayer modes. But to be fair, it’s a decent FPS game. If you can rent it, then rent it before you buy it. It’s one of those games that’s fun to brag about “Yo bro, guess what? I got Coded Arms!” yet it’s very easy to put down and turn off.

Rating:   2.5 - Playable

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