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SpyHunter

Developer: Paradigm Ent | Publisher: Midway
Players: 1 Player Game | Release Date: 09/24/01 | Genre: Action

I was looking forward to SpyHunter last year on the Playstation 2. However, in the end, it was very disappointing and did not live up to the expectations I had for it after playing it at E3. When I heard that Midway was teaming up with developer Point of View to port it over to the GameCube, I was hopeful that they might change up the game a little bit--correcting some of the problems in the PS2 version. Unfortunately, the final product ends up being worse than the PS2 original.

SpyHunter begins with the player taking control of the G-6155 Interceptor, the vehicle you drive during the game. You start off on a training mission. Before you take control of the action behind the wheel, you are shown every mission objective you must complete in order to complete the level with the maximum number of "mission points." On every level in SpyHunter the brief introductions showing the mission objectives is displayed on the screen. This helps the player see exactly what they must do in order to maintain the important "mission points."

What exactly are "mission points," you ask? Each level in SpyHunter requires a certain number of "mission points" in order to play them. Instead of defeating a level and moving on to the next level, you have to accomplish a certain number of tasks in each level in order to gain enough points to move on to the next level. While this seems to be an interesting approach when you first begin the game, after playing a level over ten times--trying to get enough "mission points" to continue on to new levels, you will probably get frustrated and stop playing.

However, if you can look past this major problem, SpyHunter is a rewarding game with lots of variety. The G-6155 Interceptor can be a cool sports car or transform into a motorcycle or a boat. I hope that the next incarnation will provide players the ability to transform into some sort of flying machine and an underwater submarine.

One major problem with this port is that the graphics are much darker and grainier than the PS2 version. This was completely disappointing to me since I was hoping developer Point of View would take advantage of the GameCube's superior hardware. Even worse, there is some popup and slowdown found within the title--a big "no no" for any next-generation game. However, once again, I must go back and stress the problem I had with the "mission points." This was a horrible decision made by the development team and took a great deal of fun out of the product.

SpyHunter is a good title but the GameCube version is plagued by graphical and slowdown problems that make it even less playable than the PS2 version. While you may find this version enjoyable, I suggest picking up the PS2 version and taking it for a spin. This proves once again that straight ports do not work well.

By Kaleb Rutherford - 03/25/02
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Screenshots for SpyHunter

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