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Friday, December 02, 2005

Game of the week: Spy vs Spy for Xbox

I remember when I picked up my first copy of Mad Magazine as a child, and skipped right to the back page for the fold-ins. That was the last I saw of my innocence. To make things better I flicked to Spy vs Spy for some light hearted, yet violent, comic relief. Aah nothing quite like watching Black Spy try to get White Spy. Thanks to Globalstar, we can play out our favourite comic strip in all its console glory.

The graphics, while being nothing to write home about, are very colourful, and definitely jump out at the player, giving the game that classic platform feel, as felt in the classic Toejam and Earl, and Rayman games. Backgrounds and floors could have done with some extra texturing, but overall I think the graphics suited the tone of the game - superficial and simple.

As fun and bright and colourful as this game is, it still belongs in the genre of enfuriating platform games, with the typical 'start back at the beginning of the level after you die' rule. And don't be fooled about the seemingly never ending life: All your deaths and restarts are counted against you in stats at the end of each level, so if you're like me, and strive to get 100% of each game, try and do each level in as few lives as possible.

I completed 4 levels before writing this review, and one long multiplayer game. The multiplayer isn't too bad, and has a sort of 'Capture the Flag' feel to it.
We played Multiplayer Classic mode, where the winner was the first to collect all 4 objects and hold them at once, the problem being that when you die, the player to kill you gets your goodies, and if they are left out in the open for too long, they respawn in their original homes, behind various laserbeam traps and axe yielding suits of armour.
My biggest grip about multiplayer, was that at no point during the game was this explained. Not so much as a popup screen before gameplay, to explain the terms of the game. And who can be bothered reading a manual from cover to cover? Certainly not I, but this the game expects of the player. I imagine playing this game Live would certainly be fun, if you can find anyone that plays it.

Overall this game is definitely fun for a laugh, but perhaps not worth buying. Definitely for rental on a rainy day.