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SummaryAn insanely addictive shooter for Dreamcast fans.
The GoodI have to hand it to the Dreamcast, on top of being one of the most beloved consoles of all time, it also managed to feature some of the most respected FPS franchises of all time despite the obvious flaw of only having one analog stick. While most Dreamcast shooters (including Outtrigger, but I like to play with a controller) took advantage of the keyboard and mouse peripherals that were available for the console other shooters, like Outtrigger, gave the player a pretty cracking set of customized controls to make playing an FPS on the Dreamcast controller a bit less of a chore.
Outtrigger is an adapted NAOMI game about a counter-terrorism unit. You have the choice between 4 characters with their own distinct weapon load out. You also have the option of mixing and matching weapon load outs with various character models to create your own unique character, which can be used in any mode. You could then take your character into the Arcade or Mission modes or head online (which you can STILL do if you have some like minded Dreamcaster's willing to create a server) to waste hours with this game. It's that addictive, even playing against bots (thank you sweet baby Jesus for AM2 including bots) you can find yourself just sinking hours into the frantic, over the top shooting action this game provides. There are also little touches here and there that let Outtrigger transcend any accusations of being simply another Quake 3 knock off. Every time you kill someone, they drop a coin, which is freely collectible by anyone. Collecting this coin adds one to your score. This means no one player can dominate a game, it's a great equalizer, if you can get the coin before the other player.
So, the game plays great, with tons of great modes and excessively customizable characters. How does it control on the Dreamcast controller? Pretty good, not perfect, but pretty good. My favourite configuration was using the analog stick to look around and pressing the face buttons to move and strafe. It's a little awkward at first, and you have to get used to not being able to look directly up, but once you overcome these quibbles you'll never scoff at single analog FPS play again. I'm fairly sure Quake 3 on the Dreamcast had this configuration too, but I haven't actually had the chance to play that game yet (don't worry I do plan on getting around to it) to find out.
I've seen some pretty good looking Dreamcast games, but Outtrigger has to be one of the best looking games in the library. On top of running at 60 fps (I'm not kidding) it looks insanely good with detailed character models, realistic textures with minimal blur and some great explosion effects.
The music and sound effects are fairly decent in Outtrigger. The theme for Library, Oedo and the Refinery level are pretty good but the rest is fairly stock, I think it's a matter of taste whether you like the music or not. The sound effects fare better, being better than average.
The BadThe control scheme is awkward, if you don't have a keyboard and mouse going from that or dual analog to single analog and face button control is awkward. It takes a while to get used to and before facing anyone I'd recommend running through some of the missions or just face off against bots to get an idea of how the game plays. The lack of vertical view is also a bit of a downer, meaning the difference between a kill in other FPS games to your quarry escaping in Outtrigger.
There are lots of modes, but they can be breezed through in a few hours if you're getting good at the game. Also some of the darkened levels are irritating, even with the presence of Night Vision Goggles (which are very cool.)
The Bottom LineOuttrigger is a great game. To me, it feels kind of like playing the FPS equivalent of Power Stone. It's a fast, frantic, insane experience with factors that can easily equalize a game and stop people from dominating. There are tons of modes and tons of customization options which translates to lots and lots of replay value.
The game looks great, sounds good and although it takes a little while to get used to, Outtrigger is one that shouldn't be missed by Dreamcast fans.