Review by y2mckay

"Great game - IF you have infinite patience and the reflexes of hummingbird"

Unfortunately, I have neither, so this game has turned ended up on my infamous top-ten list of ''MOST ANNOYINGLY #$%& FRUSTRATING GAMES IN THE WORLD''

The idea for the game is cool, and the graphics are pretty decent. It's basically an anime' type ''gundam'' game that borrows a lot from Heinlein's ''Starship Troopers''. You get a suit of power armor, some big guns, and a cool jet pack to fight an enemy race of space arachnids. The first half dozen or so missions are fun, as you fly around and shoot up alien bugs. As long as you don't have to do anything to fancy in the control department, it's okay.

But then the game starts making ridiculous demands on your patience and skill. Like when you have a scant 30 minutes to clear out a HUGE level of the big bugs, which are naturally protected by hundreds of littler bugs, with more popping out ever few seconds. This level, as huge as it is, is a nightmare to finish without a time limit. But 30 MINUTES?? It took me about a dozen tries to finally beat it, and I did that with mere seconds to spare. But that was nothing compared to what follows. How does a huge chamber with ''stepping stone'' platforms and a toxic swamp at the bottom sound? Yes, it's the old jump from platform to platform routine, and if you miss one little trick, down you fall into the swamp, where you not only take damage but have to start all over again. This wouldn't be so bad except for one tiny little problem - The jet controls absolutely SUCK whenever any kind of complex maneuvering is required. They are so unbelievably touchy and temperamental, that unless you hit those thumbsticks with perfect timing and agility, you'll be flying all over the place and end up doing things like taking a backflip off of the platform you were just trying to land on when you try to hit the brakes, or doing side flips when you meant to do a forward burst. It is the most aggravating thing you will ever experience, and having to come to a sudden stop and try to land on some platforms the size of a postage stamp certainly doesn't make my disposition any sunnier.

The game could have been consistently fun if a)The jet pack had more than 3 seconds of fuel at a time and b)you could actually control the damn thing. I still want to like this game, in spite of it's many flaws. But it seems that game developers can only make their product more ''challenging'' these days by saddling you with a cumbersome control scheme and then expecting you to leap like a gazelle with it. There's a difference between challenging and just plain infuriating.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 07/01/02, Updated 07/01/02

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