Reviewed: June 21, 2002
Released: May 16, 2002
The fight between good and evil forces has always been a constant theme in many genres such as fiction, movies and video games – as seen in Spy Hunter for the Game Boy Advance.
In this remake of Midways 1980’s action-racing game, you are employed by IES (International Espionage Services) to thwart the world domination attempt that Daemon Curry and his company Nostra International are enacting. It is with the use of the G-6155 Interceptor and its computer called “Leonie” that you will fight to save the world. Check out these great GBA features:
Spy Hunter allows Game Boy Advance gamers to go through eight missions that put you in exotic world locations in your quest to save the world. It is with your Interceptor, which is capable of morphing on the fly into a deadly high velocity speed boat, a turbo jet watercraft or a supercharged motorcycle that you use to escape the barrage of enemy fire. Your Interceptor is armed with weaponry that aids your attacks including a 25mm cannon machine gun, unguided missiles and counter attack weapons such as oil slicks and smoke screens.
There are a few different options you can choose while playing. While you are a special agent you can test your driving and shooting skills. This agent mode allows you to see the various missions without the Nostra enemies breathing down your neck. Your challenge as a special agent is to activate sitcoms and most importantly…eliminate chickens. You can eliminate the chickens by either using your cannon gun, missiles or the old-fashioned way, by running them over.
The normal agent mode is the default mode of play. It is with this mode that you complete mission objectives, collect power-ups and unlock features such as arcade mode and the super agent. The super agent mode is much more challenging than the normal agent mode. Your enemies are much tougher and the objectives completion areas have been relocated. Arcade mode is also very challenging. This type of allows you to race down an endless road while destroying your enemies and collecting points. It is your objective in this mode to collect power-ups along the way to help you complete your mission as well as getting your initials in the Top Agent Hall of Fame records.
The game opens with a slide show of game screens that combined with the “Theme from Peter Gunn” shows us the extent Midway went to provide above average graphics for this GBA game. Each mission provided fast pace action that also provided fast moving graphics.
The GBA was able to keep up with the morphing of the Interceptor as well as the sheer number of enemies you encounter during each mission. It is when you fire your weapons that a graphical weakness is apparent; your enemies show no damage until they explode into a small ball of fire. Your shots also do not show that they are connecting with the enemy either, so you must hope that your shots have landed. Other than these weakness’ I was impressed overall, as the game was able to keep up when I shifted directions quickly as well as when I was putting along.
As with the original Spy Hunter, the “Theme from Peter Gunn” is the audio backbone in this game. There was also a great blending of missile and gun fire sounds that do not interfere with the game’s background soundtrack. Although the GBA has a small speaker this game’s audio did not distort that much through either this speaker or my headphones. I especially liked the noises the chickens made while I was obliterating them. Also of note was the sound that the Interceptor made while morphing, which sounded like a higher pitched whishing noise.
Spy Hunter is comprised of eight base missions in normal agent mode as well as special agent mode. These missions will provide many hours of game play as at times it is difficult to meet your primary objective(s) on the first try. The special agent mode also provides you with the chance to go through a level to get a peek at the layout as well as the chance to kill the chickens. The super agent mode as well as the arcade mode also provides more game play time.
Two-player games are possible with the link mode. You will need a GBA link cable to join the two systems together. To play this type of game choose link mode and do take note that player one will be the only player capable of navigating the menus. Two copies of Spy Hunter are required to play in the link mode. Players in link mode can only play in special agent mode. Each mission’s objective is to activate the most satcom’s or to eliminate as many chickens as possible.
In your quest to save the world from Daemon Curry Midway has provided a GBA game that is worthy of purchase. By being able to provide a good blend of graphics and audio that kept me wanting to solve each mission they have turned me into a Spy Hunter.
The eight missions found in this game were the perfect amount. You can expect many hours of enjoyment from this game as it provided me with a blend of racing and the ability to among other items…kill chickens.