Undercover AD2025 Kei is an action-adventure game developed by Pulse Interactive. The developers had some talented minds among them - Arimasa Osawa, a popular novel writer in Japan, and Takashi Yoneda, who previously worked on Wonder Project J for the N64. The game looked pretty promising early on, but now that the game is on shelves, it's a complete and utter disappointment.
You take on the roles of Kei, her partner Lim, and a cat. The story begins when a murder occurs in a hotel. Your team is called to investigate the crime scene, leading you into a story shrouded with mystery, which delves into Kei's secret past - a past that Kei herself has no recollection of. The storyline is good and stands as one of the game's few strengths, but the gameplay manages to waste Osawa's well-written plot.
Still pictures of the game make it look fairly decent. But set those images in motion, and the low quality is immediately noticeable. The collision detection in the game is horrible, and the frame rate varies from a smooth 60 frames per second down to an extremely choppy 15 frames per second in certain areas. The characters' motions - whether walking, swinging a club, shooting a gun, or getting hit - are very limited, giving the game an even choppier look. The game's only nice visuals are in the CG cutscenes.
Adding more to the frustration factor is the game's abysmal control. Using the analog stick or the normal D-pad, the response time is slow, and the controls are too tight, which almost defeats the purpose of having analog control in the first place. In fact, you can move faster if you crouch and keep rolling instead of simply running. You can switch between third-person and first-person perspective, but it sometimes helps to play the game in first-person perspective, as the camera angle in the third-person perspective is awful.
When attacking, you use the R trigger on the controller. When you're holding a gun, pressing the trigger halfway will not shoot the gun; instead, it is used to taunt enemies and maybe trick them into dropping their weapons. Supposedly this is used for stealth, so you can sneak behind the enemies' backs. That would have been great if it had worked, but enemies activate when you enter their view range - which extends to behind their backs. So you are better off pressing the R trigger all the way in, which shoots your gun. There is no aiming involved; instead, a big dot appears on top of the enemy you're shooting. More damage is induced at closer ranges. When you are ambushed by enemies with guns, the instruction manual says to crouch so the enemies will take a few seconds to fix their aim. Most of the time you will simply crouch and then keep rolling forward until you are close enough to your enemies to shoot them.
The music in the game is passable, but the sound effects are atrociously poor. Every sound - from a gunshot to enemy grunting - is like something out of a bad Super Nintendo game. When the main character gets killed, she screams the name of her pet cat, but it actually sounds more like loud shrieking than anything else.
Undercover falls far below average as a game title and stands out as one of the worst games we've come across in recent months. Stay far, far away from this game.