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Portal Runner

Developer: 3DO | Publisher: 3DO
Players: 1 Player Game | Release Date: 09/10/01 | Genre: Platform

Portal Runner is about the evil Blue spy Brigitte Bleu, who has discovered a new kind of Portal. The Portal gives her access to many mysterious worlds. Within only a short matter of time, Brigitte proclaims herself the Queen of these new realms. However, being the Queen isn't all it's cracked up to be. It's a very lonely and boring job, causing more than a few headaches for Ms. Bleu. Longing for someone to spend her life with, she set her sights on Sarge. Unfortunately for Brigitte, Sarge already has a girlfriend, Vikki G. Of course, if something were to ever happen to Vikki, Sarge's heart would be eternally broken, allowing Brigitte to quickly swoop in and make Sarge hers forever.

The best way to trap a hungry bear is by leaving a mangled carcass in its path. Vikki is a star reporter for the GAN (Green Army News), so her "carcass" would be a news story she couldn't resist. Brigitte knows just what to do. She uses the new worlds she's discovered as bait, giving Vikki an exclusive story about them. Or at least, that's what Vikki thinks. A WarBot named rage is secretly hiding in the Lost Caves Portal. The WarBot attacks Vikki, throwing her into one of the Portals. He then destroys the portal, trapping Vikki in the new world with no way back home. It won't be long now before Brigitte moves in on Sarge...

Fortunately, the Portals are guarded by a mysterious lion. He risked his life to follow Vikki into the Portal without a second thought. Vikki decides to team up with the lion, naming him Leonardo. Leo is extremely helpful in battle, though he has quite a temper. The game starts now...

Portal Runner has some unique play mechanics that aren't available in any other game. Some levels are strictly for Vikki, but in others, you may call Leo and hop on his back or have him be by your side. When an enemy is near, press the L1 button to make Leo attack. If Leo isn't around, hit R1 to call him. Want to go out on your own? Then you'd better be prepared. Press the square button to shoot an arrow or two or however many you want. There are eight different types of arrows in all -- the Basic Arrow, Fire Arrow, Lightning Arrow, Trident Arrow, Explosive Arrow, Water Arrow, Piercing Arrow and the Golden Arrow. To cycle through the different arrow types, press triangle button. Of course, you must collect the different arrows first before you'll be able to use them!

The left analog stick controls your character's movements, while the right analog stick is used to control the camera. L2 and R2 (no relation to R2-D2) are used to strafe left and right. Even the Select button has a function in Portal Runner. Simply press the Select button to zoom the camera in and out. Tap R3 (the button inside of the right analog stick) to re-center your camera. Finally, hit the circle button to switch the HotShot mode and press X to jump.

Portal Runner is an action game with the same level of quality you've come to expect from the creators of the Army Men franchise. The character variety is great -- controlling Leo is a blast. You will have to jump across many platforms to conquer some of the levels, which brings back memories of both Tomb Raider and Mario 64. Did I mention the graphics? They're impressive, too. Portal Runner is out now for the PlayStation 2. Head over to your local game retailer and check it out today.

By Louis Bedigian - 09/10/01
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Screenshots for Portal Runner

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