July 30, 2002
Endgame - Review
Endgame has snuck onto the shelves in Australia with little more then a whisper. Is this an indication of the quality of the game? Well it's a light gun game, so there isn't a huge scope for new features or alterations from so many classic Namco light gun games. Then again Namco has been the leader in the genre, with Sega, for the last decade, so it's not surprising to see this game stealing more then a few ideas from past hits. But the developers of Endgame, Cunning Developments, have included many cutscenes to tell a story.
|Red circle = enemy on target.|
The world has finally succumbed to the once-lauded technology of Virtual Reality. Young and old, rich and poor now use this technology for leisure and business. No one need leave the comfort of their homes. Virtual Reality is about to be updated, and there is something very wrong. Tyler knew what, but EuroDream Technologies found out and during a phone call to Jade Cornell he is attacked. Fortunately he tells Jade to grab a gun and get out, but it's too late and the guns start blazing. In a dual bid to track Tyler and activate Octavian, Jade blasts across the United States of Europe. The deeper she gets, the more ruthless EuroDream security becomes. And Jade still doesn't know the secret behind the security chief's identity, or even realise that Octavian is more complex than he seems.
As with Namco's great Time Crisis series this light gun game includes the ability to duck while reloading your weapon. If your quick enough you can even duck out of the way of enemy bullets about to hit you which flash red. You begin the game in Jade's appartment which is stormed by enemy soldiers, but the game soon moves outside. Gameplay sections are split up with small cut scenes to flesh out the story but they can be pretty abrupt. One minute you're getting off a train and the next you are walking into a house. It's almost like a part cut scene or game has been skipped. Surely the house isn't right outside the train station. Unfortunatly while playing the game you only have one weapon, a pistol. There are now power-ups to be collected such as new weapons, lives or power ups which is a shame as it makes the game a little bland.
|The graphics are fairly clean.|
Completing the game unlocks several new modes. The first of these is "Mighty Joe Jupiter" which is apparently the main character, Jade's, favourite game. Sadly it's doubtful that this game could have ever been a favourite game of anyone at all - it's horrific and really degrades the entire Endgame package. Other bonuses that can be unlocked include new weapons including a shotgun and a mirror mode where the screen is basically flipped horizontally so everything on the right now appears on the left hand side. The problems is that you're unlikell to want to complete the game enough to reach these extras.
|In the subway.|
Unfortunately, Endgame isn't without it's problems. The first is with the accuracy of the game. I'm not sure if it's just me but the game seems to lack the accuracy of Namco's Time Crisis 2 and Sega/Namco's Vampire Night, even when using the Gun Con 2. Also disappointing is the bonus game called Mighty Joe Jupiter. I'm not sure where it's come from but it looks like a light gun game from the early 1990's, and is horrific. Why even include it in the package at all? Another problem is the loading. Normall I can cope with a couple of loads during an hours play, but in this game the game has to load data every couple of minutes, and often for around 10 seconds. Why can't more developers take notes from Naughty Dog's Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy which has no loads during the 10-15 hour game.
|It's time to duck, quickly.|
Cunning Developments have done an admirable job with the graphics in this game. The levels are detailed with many objects reacting to being shot by either exploding, falling, shattering or just being marked as appropriate. The enemies aren't overly detailed but are animated fairly well as the run around the screen and try to dodge your bullets. The variety in the levels is also fairly impressive with missions taking place from home appartments to corporate headquarters to trains to warehouses and forests.
Sound in Endgame is also middle of the road. The gunshots are solid enough, as is the music, but the use of surround which should be applauded isn't very well implemented, especially when you look at the DTS sound quality in EA's titles. When it comes to the sound in the Mighty Joe Jupiter game, don't even get me started. I know it's meant to be a retro type game, but please, at least make it sound interesting.
|It's a ermmm.. tennis match.|
This is such a hard game to review. Light Gun games are always very short experiences and Endgame is no exception with the main game able to be completed within a couple of attempts. One of the nice things about this game is that almost anything in the game world can be shot and damaged or destroyed. Unfortunately unlike Namco's efforts the bonus games provided here are quite unremarkable. Mighty Joe won't keep you interested for very long at all while playing through the game several times to unlock everything may become rather tiresome. Endgame is possibly worth considering if you have Time Crisis 2 and Vampire Night and you need something a little more to do with your light gun. If you don't have the other games I would recommend them above this.
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|GRAPHICS||Backgrounds are adequate and the animation is fairly solid as well.||73%|
|SOUND||The gunshots are good. The surround is weak. Mighty Joe is pathetic.||61%|
|GAMEPLAY||Adequate. No more, no less. Sadly, the load times are very annoying.||68%|
|VALUE||A few extras to unlock, but you won't bother playing several times. ||55%|
|OVERALL||Endgame is a fairly good light gun game, but isn't as good as Namco's efforts, or Namco's extra modes. Inaccuracy with the gun is also somewhat concerning. If you love light gun games then you should enjoy this, for others you may want to test first.||68%|