The Final Say!
SpyHunter 2 - reviewed by Andrew B
Review Date: March 2004
Review Score 7.2/10
Distributed By: Red Ant
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Midway's classic arcade game SpyHunter returns in an all new sequel that promises faster cars and more powerful weapons. I must admit that I was never really impressed by console revival of SpyHunter, whether it was on the PlayStation 2 or the XBox... something was missing from the original concept of the game. So where does SpyHunter 2 fit into the grand scheme of things? Read on!
SpyHunter 2 is extremely reminiscent of its predecessor but the three main differences that I have noticed are the improved graphics, the introduction of a sexy female secret agent and the all new G8155 Interceptor that makes James Bond look bland. As to the gameplay? Well, it's almost identical as SpyHunter 1 where players must race on a variety of locations and destroy anything that gets in their way.
To make things easier for the player, the gaming interface contains a mini raider on the bottom right hand corner of the screen that displays where the enemies are located in the map which not only assists you in avoiding large clusters of enemies but is also handy in assisting to dispatch them with your firepower.
The control system of SpyHunter 2 is brilliant on the PlayStation 2 and uses a combination of the analog sticks to control the G8155 with the other buttons used for weapon systems and also looking behind your craft to see what nasties are on your tail. The developers have also included the addition of a rear view mirror that shows you what may be sneaking up on you.
If your craft receives too much damage from enemy firepower, it eventually morphs into a smaller vehicle that helps you avoid enemy firepower but also makes targeting the enemy more difficult. The G8155 interceptor is also equipped with a variety of new weapons, shields and gadgets that are automatically given to you, depending on what mission you are playing.
Another new feature of SpyHunter 2 are the extended level designs that are almost doubled when compared to its predecessor. Although this does make for a more enjoyable gaming environment, it can become extremely frustrating because if you manage to get yourself killed near the end of the level, you must restart the game from the beginning of the level.
Graphically, Spy Hunter 2 has had a huge facelift with improved frame rates, more detailed backgrounds and a variety of new special effects that have been fitted flawlessly into the game. Depending on what level or mission you are playing, the backgrounds vary from highly detailed gaming environments to a few bland backgrounds that look extremely two-dimensional such as the jungle missions. Fortunately these missions are far and few and the other areas of play make up for the lack of detail in the jungle areas.
The star of the game is the G8155 interceptor that contains a fairly high polygon count with some nice realistic textures. The developers have done a great job at how the G8155 moves throughout the gaming environments in the game such as water, land or air. The most noticeable difference to this version of SpyHunter are the realistic explosions and fire effects that are littered throughout this title. The only down side to the game is that I've noticed that the frame rate does drop every now and then and some levels use the backgrounds as walls to prevent the player from accessing parts of the game that you shouldn't.
Although SpyHunter 2 doesn't contain the classical Peter Gunn theme song from the previous games as per se but rather it has been incorporated into the modern hip hop soundtrack of title that sounds very modern and fitting. As usual, the game contains all the sounds of the sleek interceptor from the roar of its engines to the powerful weapons it fires and add the explosions from your damage and the sounds of enemy firepower and it's the perfect arcade game... sound wise anyway.
SpyHunter 2 is a strange game that takes me back to the gaming of the 80's where cars with built-in weapons were the norm. The game itself is sturdy but unfortunately the levels becomes a little repetitive and match that with 16 levels, it does become a fairly long game, especially for an arcade game. This game is strictly for fans of the original series or for lovers of good old fashioned arcade fun!
- Andrew B Copyright ©2004 www.impulsegamer.com