reviews\ Mar 24, 2002 at 7:00 pm

SpyHunter - GC - Review

The G-6155 Interceptor is unlike any vehicle you have ever seen. Part boat, motorcycle and high-powered sports car, this vehicle can roar down the road with precision steering, and what it can’t outmaneuver, it can blow apart with an array of weapons stashed aboard.

Spyhunter, developed by Point of View Software and published by Midway, is a GameCube program that is action packed and addictive.

The program originally debuted in 1983 as an arcade program. For a product that is almost 20 years old, this game still is a pleasure to play.

Though set up in a linear, multi-level format, this game does have a plot. Daemon (that name alone should give you a clue to his motives) Curry is the president of Nostra International. He is intelligent, powerful and intent of ruling the world. How he plans to accomplish that is diabolical. Four satellites, which he calls the four horsemen (as in, four horsemen of the apocalypse), are being positioned about the world. On his command, they will destroy the world.

Only the International Espionage Service is capable of stopping him. And that job has fallen to you, as the driver of the Interceptor. But before you can begin dealing with Nostra’s band of terrorists, you’ll have to prove yourself at the training facility in Texas.

Can you drive the Interceptor around a course tailored to test your abilities on land and water, keeping civilian casualties to a minimum while blowing apart preset targets?

If you pass the driver test, then it’s off to battle the forces of evil.

Each level has a predetermined path, which you must drive. If you attempt to backtrack, you will get a ‘wrong way’ warning. But just because there is only one way to go, doesn’t mean that the path is easy. You have a mission to accomplish, and there are plenty of bad guys in black cars out to stop you.

The control elements of this game are very simple to use, and somewhat intuitive. The A is for accelerate, while B is for brake. Of course, the control stick is how you steer. The Z button toggles between offensive and defensive weapons, the L selects weapons and the R fires them. Y locks onto a target and X launches GPS trackers. The control pad toggles the view and rearview mirror.

The music is true to the original game. It still features the Theme from Peter Gunn (a Henry Mancini tune), and the entire audio track is very good.

The graphics are solid as well. Explosions do seem a little pixilated around the edges, and the game has a two-dimensional look, but the animation is wonderful.

Spyhunter may be a throwback to that original arcade game, but this old friend never looked so good, or was as welcomed. Perhaps there is a bias toward the game because of fond memories, but this game is a joy to play.

Install: N/A
This game uses two blocks on a memory card.

Gameplay: 7.8
While you can take some different roads to the end mission of each level, this game is very dedicated to keeping players heading in the right direction. But once into one of the 14 scenarios, there is nonstop action.

Graphics: 7.2
There is some pixilization in the graphics and some clipping problems with enemy foot soldiers that fly up in the spray of bullets and then part of them disappears into the ground. Skid marks though are well done.

Sound: 8.2
This is solid and enjoyable.

Difficulty: 7
The controls are laid out very nicely. And though the game is challenging, it still leaves room for players of any skill level to compete.

Concept: 7.5
This is an old friend delivered nicely to a new platform.

Multiplayer: 7.5
This is head-to-head action, and there are three games to choose from: reach the finish line by doing whatever (as in shooting) it takes to beat your opponent; collect the most SATCOMS during a race; or eliminate as many chickens as you can to win. Not the most original, but still fun.

Overall: 7.8
This is a game that is still enjoyable. Though some of the elements cannot compete with today’s incredible three-dimensional look (like Gotham Racing for the Xbox), this game still has appeal and entertainment value. Hey, it’s good, old-fashioned fun.


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