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GameBoy Advance



Sidescrolling Action



Hip Interactive



Hip Interactive



T (Teen)



Q4 2004



- Solid side-scrolling action

- Big graphics

- Has a familiar vibe

- Two-player challenge



- Password saves

- Some will see it as a Metal Slug rip-off



Review: Earthworm Jim 2 (GBA)

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CT: Special Forces

Score: 7.5 / 10

Sidescrolling games as a genre are pretty much dead.  Everything is 3D-this, 3D-that.  But in a throwback to the tried, tested, and true, Hip Interactive brings us CT: Special Forces.  Itís an ode to the likes of Contra and Metal Slug, with just a dash of Metal Gear Solid for good measure.


ct special forces          ct special forces


In terms of content and style, CT doesnít differ much from Metal Slug Ė cartoony figures blasting the hell out of each other (no gore though).  Thereís more to do in CT, including parachuting and much jumping, but most objectives boil down to shooting (or blowing up) all the terrorists.  To close most sections, you have to shoot a flag Ė just touching it wonít do.


You have access to different weapons and equipment, including a grappling hook, which can only be used at very specific places.  Managing your inventory is handled with the left should button, which is not easy to do on the fly, so you have to find a quiet moment to switch to the appropriate weapon.




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Unleashing your arsenal on the terrorists is easier than you might think.  The enemy AI isnít that smart.  If youíre shooting from a lower platform up at them, they wonít shoot down at you.  It makes some sections very easy.  I know the GBA probably isnít capable of handling human-like AI, but they donít even feign interest in the fact theyíre being filled with holes.  Itís a complete throwback to the sidescrolling shooters of the 8-bit era, where enemies just ran at you in the hopes of catching you unawares.


Last time I whined about passcode saves was with Iridion II (GBA). 


Passcodes are better than nothing, but are they needed anymore?  Canít we just put that feature in an empty grave somewhere?  CT features passcode saves, which gives the bonus of being able to ďcheatĒ by looking up the passcodes on the Internet.  Thatís the only upside.  If you donít have a pen and piece of paper handy, youíre screwed when the passcode comes up.


ct special forces          ct special forces


To extend the play time a little is the two-player challenge mode via the GBA link, which is good for long car trips; however, you need two game packs.


CT: Special Forces is a solid sidescrolling action game.  It may not be an instant classic, but it might bring back some good memories and it's good for some time-killing.


- Omni

(January 24, 2004)

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