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But as it is and despite the quirks, Graphic State and Majesco put together a fun action design for the Game Boy Advance And there is a positive to coming out fourth -- if you're already done blasting down imps in Doom and wiping out the SWAT teams in Ecks vs. Sever, you've now got 20 satisfying levels to blast a handful of genetic freaks in Dark Arena.
Dark Arena is an intense shooter game that succeeds on several levels. The plot may be a little worn (as in borrowed), but the environments are well done, there is a nice variety of weaponry to be collected, and you really don’t have to think about what to shoot – you just kill anything that moves because you are the only human survivor.
Dark Arena seems much like Doom in its game design and visuals, giving off an excellent look throughout each level. Anyone who has been playing Doom for Game Boy Advance may experience a bit of Deju Vu here. In the Dark Arena's defense, the game appears to be more bright and easy to see than its peers. As a known problem on Game Boy Advance, the screen remains clear when in the light, more so than Doom. Enemy types match up to be the same and the look of certain area seems very similar. Like in Doom, major pixelization abounds. However, a bit more detail in each monster can be made out when drawn closer to them. No matter how close you compare it to the likes of Doom, Dark Arena still presents some top-notch graphics.
Die aktuelle Flut an Ego-Shootern kommt THQ nicht gerade gelegen, denn Dark Arena ist zurzeit mit Abstand der schlechteste Vertreter dieses Subgenres. Dabei ist das Spiel nicht wirklich minderwertig. Officer Bradshaws Mission hat einzig gegenüber der starken Konkurrenz aus den Hause Activision und Ubi Soft das Nachsehen. Liebhaber guter Actionspiele werden aber auch an Dark Arena ihre Freude haben.
Troisième FPS à voir le jour sur GBA, Dark Arena est aussi le moins bon. Même si techniquement, le soft assure, il ne parvient pas à trouver sa propre personnalité et doit se contenter de jouer les doublures face à Doom et Ecks Vs Sever.
Dark Arena is almost a carbon copy of Doom - the only major differences are the characters, the plot, and the weapons. That's not necessarily a bad thing, what was fun then is definitely fun now, but Dark Arena seems to easily fall into the clutches of mediocrity. The multiplayer mode is nice, though.
It may be a blatant DOOM clone, but Dark Arena still manages to be a generally entertaining and mindless shooter. Solid controls, large levels, and plenty of evil mutants all add up to a fun time out. As far as portable first-person shooters go, this is certainly one of the better ones, just don't expect anything high tech.
In all, Dark Arena probably plays just like you'd imagine it to. But the fact that Doom has already been released on the GBA makes Dark Arena a much harder sell. It's technically competent in the end, and many of its little touches are quite impressive, but there are clearly more memorable shooters of its kind already available. The four-player deathmatch mode might warrant a look if you're already bored of Doom's, but otherwise, you're probably already covered.
When all is said and done, you’re basically playing Doom shaped by today’s gaming standard, for better or for worse. There are some good ideas here, but the lack of the frantic action that made first person shooters so popular so quickly really hurts the score. So think of Dark Arena as a good expansion to Doom, zone out, and get your killing on!
When DOOM was originally released on the GameBoy Advance, it set the pace for any first person shooter choosing to follow its lead. Ecks Vs. Sever found it difficult to compete, lacking the multiple skill settings and animal attraction of DOOM, and now we have Dark Arena, an above-average adventure through a substandard game world relegated to the ranks of the infuriating by technological dissonance and a password system from hell. I'm off to hunt some imps.