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SummaryMore fun than regular 3D version.
The Good| From tale to eternity |
My first experience on the little miracle now enhanced and knows as Game Boy Advance SP. I didn't know what to expect of it, but I was pretty sure about one thing - this cannot be the same Splinter Cell I played on my PlayStation 2. Intriguing as it may seem, I was correct, but only to enter the mystique world of a newest titles' conversion into a retro, nostalgic blast! I lost all the fancy 3d effects and cutting-edge graphics, but I gained a new little cubic friend of mine that promised me a lot of fun in those deep sleepless nights, and with no necessary noise of a big fan that should otherwise be required to cool whatever hardware I might be holding in my current computer configuration.
| The name's Samer, Fish Samer |
So, not much of voice-casting was added (none to be exact, unless you can count words such as "aaargh", "ugh" and "huf") nor dialogues otherwise encountered in the PC/XBOX/PS2/GC version, just the basic intro dialogue basically your boss just telling you "go in there, use your stealth, and accomplish the given goals or we're screwed". So we can't hear an attitude of our character as he never talks back, but his moves talk alright. If game such as this came out for DOS back when it was in a popular age, it would be considered top-notch alright. I still remember back in the time of Flashback when some magazine showed motion pictures (about 16 or so) that were making your character jump ahead. Well that was then, this is now, but it's looking like it was then, so what you get to play is a dream time game from the finest nostalgic ages of... well, at least my gaming history. Although this is nothing but a mere platform arcade, the character movements (and I'm specifically referring to Sam) are as detailed as you can imagine them. From holstering the silencer and climbing over some steam pipe, to running and rope hanging. It's just too... well assembled to compare it to oldies of a platform genre, too smooth, everything seems to be in place, and of course, there's more than meets the eye... or should I say, that meets the 8bit color standard.
| The ray of 2D |
It is only logical not to expect the same quality or style as original game version, as for one thing, GBA doesn't have any 3d accelerator (duh, hence pixelized graphics, but believe me, very smooth and assembled you cannot tell unless you're sniping), but otherwise, for anyone who played the original version before, he or she can see the resemblance and that this game isn't that far from achieving the same effect for GBA players as the original for rest of the world. Fire effects, explosions, water, extremely detailed backgrounds (wether static or dynamic), smoke, night/heat vision, movements, it's basically the same pleasure to observe as the PC version, for example. It is close to being a flat version of the original, and that stands. Only thing that I've noticed original had over this game is the fact that Sam could pull that cool stunt move and bounce from the walls in narrow passage to stand above his pray. Well, hard to achieve that in a perspective view, isn't it?
The Bad| Running 'round the clock |
I have no idea how the whole GBA thing works and wether it's hard to make the program for it, but this game shows it's not. Which brings me to one observation... if there were no difficulty levels, why are foes so... well, let's just say they tend to find refuge in impossible precisement instead of thinking. They will either just shoot at you the moment they see you, or run to trigger the alarm and call for reinforcements, or shoot down if you're crouching instead of standing but basically, that's the whole intelligence they possess. If you're standing behind the box and you are spotted, they'll shoot, and the moment you crouch they'll leave as if nothing happened. There isn't any searching involved. They just guard left-right-left-right or just stand still, not even having conversation or anything. It's just as in those typical platform games that places enemies at exact places and they would have their line of duty to exactly predefined movement. This does look great for machine-gun turrets but not quite for trained soldiers. Okay, I admit it is irrational to expect something like MGS2 out of the guards, 'cos after all, they do react on sound, they will turn around if you run behind them instead of sneaking. Bust still for such a bestseller type of a game, UbiSoft could've tried to improvise a bit.
The Bottom Line| Platform inheritance |
'Tis a game to try, no doubt. It catches your attention from the moment you hear the music and start to play. It slightly leads you to more difficult situations that basically need only reflexes and good timing which is probably one of the major fields if you wanna stay cloaked while doing the damage. The game is 99% platform, and the smallest bit that isn't is either sniping or taking photos from first person perspective. Usually requiring very precise and impeccable timing from a player. Graphically, this game is really wonderous, and sets in motion with an ease, and nice set of sound effects and puzzles (e.g. safe cracking, turret dismantling, or computer hacking). The music if not that noticeable, but then again, nor was it in other versions of Splinter Cell, but guess they wanted to emphasize stealth part by being mute as well. One thing goes sets this game a bit backwards... it's length, it's relatively short, and although very detailed in all that, they could've make a bit "more of the same" for this one, if only to prolongue the gameplay and compensate for the loss of cinematics.