Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Review: Confidential Mission (Dreamcast)

Sega's Confidential Mission is basically Virtua Cop meets James Bond. The everyday criminals have been replaced by spies, the barrel-tossing strongman's been traded in for a short fat guy who uses a remote to control missile launchers hidden in museums, and the completely lacking in personality heroes have been tossed out for a well-dressed couple of super-spies(who also happen to make bad jokes). 

For those not familiar with Virtua Cop, that game used an interesting target system where enemies that were considered a threat had cursor appear over them that doubled as a countdown to when they would fire(which as typical with gun games getting shot costs a life). Confidential Mission carries this over along with other aspects like hostages(shooting them also costs a life) and combination/justice shots(where you can hit a person multiple times for more points and/or shoot their right arm thus disabling their ability to attack as well as get more points)

As far as gun games are concerned Confidential Mission is quite well done. Even though at it's most base it's simply hitting targets quickly the game also does a number of things to mix it up. In one level you'll have to take out enemies on snowmobiles. Aside from being fast moving they can also go over hilly terrain thus making it more difficult to get a shot in. The game also throws in a couple of tiny mini-games(like aligning a satellite to destroy a submarine shooting blobs of some gooey substance to block out poisonous gas). They're nothing of great importance but they certainly help in terms of points. Despite the game's relatively simple design Sega has still managed to provide a good amount of variety to the gameplay.

Like with any other arcade port Sega has added a number of new modes. A training mode is included that goes over the various aspects one can get into over the course of the game. Being able to shoot enemies hiding in a crowd of hostages, getting justice shots & combos, and so on are important skills to master for the main game. This is a good set of training missions. They're relevant to the main-game and reinforce things the player needs to understand in order to get the high scores.

The mechanics of this game are especially good. Trickier shots like nailing an enemy lying between the legs of a hostage quite possible. One could even perform a justice shot in this same situation. Mechanics are imperative in any game and it's expected that Sega would get it right(I'd expect no less from a developer behind so many quality gun games like Ghost Squad).

The best way to get the most out of any gun game is by getting a gun. In fact for Confidential Mission it's essential because many of the training missions are simply impossible with a pad. Being able to move from one side of the screen to the other to make an accurate shot is a constant in this mode and a pad just won't cut it.

Anyway it's a solid game. Not much else I can say about it.

Next I'll have to look at Death Crimson OX...which is well...yeah it's about everything that Confidential Mission isn't.

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