Vice Project Doom


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8

Here's a game of "ish." What exactly is ish you ask? Simple. Core gameplay is very "Ninja Gaiden-ish," while sub games are very "Spy Hunter-ish" and "Operation Wolf-ish." Make sense now?

Any of these sub games would be fairly standard fare if released on their own. Together, they make a great 8-bit experience. Things start off right with a great chase that will certainly seem familiar to fans of "Super Spy Hunter" here on the NES. The graphics engine looks awfully familiar.

Moving on, players go into the "Ninja Gaiden" portion that powers most of the game. Though the main weapon is a sort of sword/whip hybrid, our lead also has some grenades and a rather short-reaching pistol on hand. The latter two have limited use and should only be handled when desperately needed.

Finally, we enter into the "Operation Wolf-ish" portion of the title. Though is doesn't use the zapper, the cursor is a more than capable weapon, blasting the various bad guys into submission. Backgrounds are destructible and power-ups are plentiful. Graphics are really strong here featuring large sprites, though the animation does leave a bit to be desired.

Since the largest portion of the game is platforming, it's also the easiest to criticize. Things start off really easy and the difficulty ramps up quickly. Stage 5 introduces some birds that not only move quickly, but also begin an all out assault the moment they appear on screen. Most of the enemies follow the expected patterns (if you've ever played something like this that is), but there is a nice variety to keep things from getting too repetitive.

In-between each stage are some cinemas, yet again "Ninja Gaiden-ish." They even use the same font for the text and the graphical style used here is eerily reminiscent. They provide a nice backdrop to the action and give it some purpose unlike so many other faceless games in this genre.

There are a lot of nice details graphically packed into the cart. The opening car chase has the player barreling through roadside obstacles that are sent into the air towards the screen from the overhead view. Yes, a small touch, but it really does add to the atmosphere. Backgrounds during the side scrolling sections are the best part of the package, especially the opening level, which takes place next to a river complete with reflective water.

Most of the music has a nice, quick pace. It all works to keep up with rather frantic speed of the game. Sound effects are rather sparse and mostly forgettable, but the music more than compensates.

By the time you finish this one, you'll realize everything here is fairly standard. However, it doesn't do anything particularly wrong either. Each segment of the game is well put together and it all feels like the same title done by the same designers, somewhere that other attempts similar to this have failed. You really do get a lot for your money here.


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Last updated: Monday, January 03, 2005 08:19 AM