Friday, September 7, 2007

Silent Scope Complete

Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Release Date: Feb. 10, 2004
Systems: Xbox
ESRB Rating: M
Official Web Site

In honor of my broken Xbox 360, all this week I'll be going through some old original Xbox games I have lying around.

In a nutshell: A unique light gun game without the unique light gun. Yes, another one.

0:01 "Don't shoot innocent people" the game yells at me as I fail out of my first training course. Words to live by.
0:03 Already I can tell the game really suffers without the gun. Without the scope activated you can barely see what's going on. With it on, it obscures a large portion of the screen. Why was this game sold separately from the gun? 0:04 "The president and his family have been attacked by an armed terrorist group. They are demanding freedom for their leader." It's concise, I'll give it that.
0:05 In the main game, the interface is helped somewhat by flashing arrows that point towards your target when you're zoomed in. Follow the leader!
0:07 "I received information of the enemies. What's your next move." English class?
0:08 OK, this is hilarious. A terrorist is running around a football stadium with the president's daughter over his shoulder. He's being CHASED BY FOOTBALL PLAYERS. In full padding and uniforms! I'm falling out my chair here.
0:10 "Cobra" manages to survive five direct hits, then he hijacks a truck and comes right at me. So it's one of those don't-even-bother-suspending-your-disbelief games, eh?
0:12 Cobra doesn't even flinch when I hit him. He's like Superman or something.
0:14 The controls are getting a little easier with practice. I'm getting better at pinpointing my target before zooming in.
0:16 The "air battle" answers the old adage about hitting the broad side of an airplane with a sniper rifle. Apparently, you can, but you have to do it 30 times to take out the plane.
0:18 You know what's nice. Having a voice on a walkie talkie tell me to "calm down" practically every time I miss. Wait, nice isn't the right word. Annoying. Yeah, that's the word.
0:21 "The enemy's spotted you. Shoot them! Shoot them!" This line is delivered like a seven-year-old said it.
0:22 I do much better my second time through, pretty much by having an itchier trigger finger. Who said snipers need calm and patience. Just keep firing!
0:24 On to Silent Scope 2, the second of three complete games on the disc. Hopefully the story will make more sense this time.
0:26 The sequel is pretty much the same as the first with nicer graphics. The story is just as ridiculous, but now there's two snipers involved.
0:27 My partner is "extremely dangerous and can't be trusted." Oh goody. Just who I wanted to work with.
0:28 You know what else is nice. Having the game tell me to "hurry up" over and over again as my time remaining bounces around 10 seconds. I just LOVE that. It's not IRRITATING at all.
0:30 OMG, tell me my character did not just say, "Now let's play Metal Gear for real." PLEASE tell me I misheard somehow.
0:31 This section is made incredibly simple by close quarters combat. The whole point of snipers is to battle from far off, isn't it?
0:32 I think I've gotten as proficient as possible with this control scheme, and I'm still having real trouble centering my aim quickly enough. I wish I had the light rifle.
0:33 Apparently Tanya's weak point is her head. Yeah... bullets to the head tend to be my weakness as well.
0:34 Faulty hit detection is a big problem in a game like this. I've had things that look like nearm isses hit and things that look like direct hits miss.
0:36 Hey, computer voice, how about you stop constantly telling me to "watch out, the enemy is going to shoot." How about I can just assume that the enemy might shoot at any time. OK? OK!
0:39 The shooting gallery is full of innocent people that look remarkably like the bad guys. Forces you to look throug hthe scope for the little details. Cute touch.
0:41 The Mission mode's mission of "destroying all enemies with ten seconds" isn't really that different from the main game. Plus it's near impossible to move that fast with the controller.
0:45 On to Silent Scope 3/Ex. The controller moves more smoothly in this one, and the presentation is much more polished. Still the same basic gameplay though.
0:52 More things I like about #3: A "magnet" option to help you target enemies and finer control on your shots; bosses that realistically only take one shot to kill; the lack of an oppressive time limit; finer gradations on the health gauge.
0:54 Interesting twist... in stage three, you have to find terrorists in plain clothes. "We have learned of a plan to commit indiscriminate terrorism." That's the worst kind of terrorism!
0:57 Ivankov Life: "Haha, my muscles are harder than steel." Um, who are you talking to?
0:58 "Failure is not an option. All humanity is being held hostage." Wow. This game's not one to shy away from hyperbole.
1:00 After being remarkably easy so far, the final mission is painfully hard. Makes me want the light gun again.

Would I play this game for more than an hour? No.
Why? I like the concept and love the game in the arcade, but playing with a controller is just too much work. If I had the sniper rifle, though...

This review based on a used, retail copy.

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