Review by GunPanther



Graphics: 7

Sound: 6

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8

To tell the truth, I never expected a GBA version of Namco Entertainment's "Kill.Switch" to be released. I found out about the game when I was shopping at a local electronics/software store and I saw the familiar XBox / PC / PS2 cover sitting on the shelf in the Game Boy Advance section of the store. Not only was I thrilled by what I had just discovered, but I was also please with the price: only $19.99. That was more than enough for me to buy it since I enjoyed the XBox version immensely.

The first thing I said to myself when I popped in the game was "Yeah... like they'd be able to pull off the same gameplay experience I had with the XBox version of "Kill.Switch," especially when you see the bad looking screenshots on the back of the cover. That changed to "Whoa, this isn't half bad considering that it's on Super NES / PS1 / Sega Saturn type technology." once I started playing the game.

Yes, it's the same exact type of game as its XBox, PC and PS2 counterparts, complete with the same moves and abilities that Bishop had on the 128-Bit consoles. Bishop can crouch, sneak around in that same position, perform an evasive roll in all eight directions, attack with numerous weapons, and finally hide behind cover and attack using the 'blind-fire' technique that the 128-Bit counterparts did so well. Think of the GBA version as a shortened version of the home console versions, but with major differences.

Obviously, the main differences are the following:

1) The game's graphics engine is similar to the first-generation PS One / Sega Saturn efforts. It moves just as slow, but not too choppy. There is major slowdown when you have many things going on at the same time on the screen. If you've played GBA translations of "Doom," "Duke Nukem 3D," or any other FPS for the GBA, expect the same type of scrolling to occur with the environment in "Kill.Switch." It simply uses polygons instead of sprites.

2) The control scheme has been adapted for the GBA. The "B" button acts as the 'roll,' 'crouch,' and 'hide' button. The "A" button is used to attack, the "Select" button is used to select your weapons, the D-pad is used to control Bishop for strafing or moving forward or backward, and the "L" and "R" trigger buttons are used to pan the camera left or right.

3) The sound department is obviously lacking due to the technology when compared to the 128-Bit counterparts, but the voices, music and sound effects all fit this title very well. You can clearly hear the enemy soldiers shout "Intruder!" and "Grenade!" when you are either detected prematurely or chuck a grenade in their direction.

4) The gameplay itself is not too glitch filled in terms of collision detection. However, there is a serious glitch which allows the player to kill almost anything from the safety of certain types of cover, hence, making the game 'unfair' to the computer and way too easy for the player (there's also no difficulty selection for this game).

To use the 'unfair' glitch, simply find cover that allows Bishop to kneel down in front of it (I.e.: crates, couches, cars, waist-high walls, etc.). Instead of doing the expected "hug the wall with your back" maneuver, crouch in front of it and target your enemies using the L+R button combination. Strangely enough, this common sense defying skill will allow you to shoot at your enemy targets from the safety of your chosen cover, without ever having to expose yourself for possible harm (in other words, you're able to shoot through the cover you're hiding behind).

5) The enemy AI can be either too difficult or too easy, depending on your situation (even without using the 'glitch' that I had discovered). There are times when the enemy soldiers simply do nothing at all when you start attacking them. Other times, the soldiers relentlessly pursue you, trying to take you out in a quick fashion.

6) At a $19.99 MSRP, you can't really go wrong with this game, especially if you're looking for a unique title to add to your GBA library.

Overall, the game is surprising. I like it, so I'm giving it a solid 8. I can honestly tell you that I didn't think that the developers could pull it off, but they did. Most people will have to get used to the controls, but if you liked the 128-bit versions of the game, you'll most likely enjoy the GBA version as well.

It's not perfect, but for a GBA title, it's better than most of the other similar titles that fall into this genre. Actually, I can't think of any other GBA titles that feature a 3rd person view, behind the character. Even the popular "Max Payne" for GBA couldn't pull off what "Kill.Switch" for the GBA has.


If you have never played the original "Kill.Switch" game for the XBox, PS2 or PC, but you feel like trying it out for the GBA, feel free to do so. Once you've finished the GBA version, upgrade to the home console/PC version and be impressed by how the developers were able to duplicate the same action and feel for the GBA version of the game. If you didn't enjoy the original "Kill.Switch" game for the home consoles, then avoid this game completely. (Your mind should have already been made up about this title once you heard it was made for the GBA).

Finally, if you're a fan of the original "Kill.Switch" for the home consoles, then this might be up your alley. Do yourself a favor and buy this game ASAP. Then you'll be able to bring the action to "TAKE COVER. TAKE AIM. TAKE OVER." wherever you take your GBA.


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Last updated: Sunday, May 01, 2005 09:33 AM