Reviewed: December 13, 2004
Released: November 20, 2004
Fear Factor is the show that loves to show people squirm in the scariest situations. Every week, random people from across the country compete against each other in sometimes horrifying stunts in order to win. Or eat something absolutely disgusting. Enter Fear Factor: Unleashed for GBA. A mistake if you asked me. This game is on the wrong platform. Basically, you compete against five competitors in three events; a skill competition, a gross-out and and a high-speed competition.
Stunts are not very unique. Many of them use the same mechanics. Move the line to the slot or something close to that nature. The controls are too complex as well. You have to move around and control a panic bar at the same time. It's extremely difficult. The panic bar at the bottom of the screen corresponds with different phobias as well. If your phobia is present in a mission, you will be easier to freak out.
The lack of missions makes the game go stale quickly. You'll do the same missions over and over (there's only 12 in all), and you'll grow bored quickly. Many of the missions are very boring anyways. One mission is like playing Frogger, sans the frog and the directional movement. Like I said, this isn't the right platform for this game. This is a console game.
The graphics are okay. The characters are very blocky. There are cutscenes from the show, which is a nice little touch. This is probably Fear Factor's biggest accomplishment and shows what the GBA can do. The backgrounds are not too creative. You feel like you're in a TV studio 75 percent of the time. Most of the show's stunts are done outside. This detracts from the game's realism. Not made for GBA. I'll keep saying it.
In terms of sound, Fear Factor Unleashed doesn't do too bad. Pulling voices from the show was a very good idea, and it gives the game a little sense of realism with show's host cheering you on. That's where the not-to-badness ends.
All of the others sounds sound contrived. The male and female vomiting sounds are the same! And when you panic, it sounds like Jaws is coming after you, when in reality, the only thing that's close is the Pirahna Tank mission. The music is not catchy at all. Yes, there is music. You learn to zone it out because it's not that good.
Simply put, the show does not translate well for GBA. The GBA's engine just can't give you what you're looking for in a game like this. This is more of a console game, like I said before. Game shows just aren't meant for the GBA (well, maybe the Wheel). Fear Factor could be more enjoyable on a console. Save yourself $30. If you are a die hard Fear Factor fan, rent it.
Fear Factor Unleashed is extremely easy to beat. Even in hard mode. Difficulty makes a game challenging. The game also has little replay value. The game is more frustrating than fun.
As mentioned before, the stunts are repetitive in nature, not very difficult and very hard to control. I take pity on this game. It could probably be a hit on a console, just not on a GBA. Like I said earlier, for die-hard fans of the show only. Sorry Hip Games, maybe next time.