Confidential Mission Hands-On
Hitmaker's next arcade-to-Dreamcast port is Confidential Mission, a "Virtua Cop meets James Bond" light-gun game. We spent some time with a near final version of the game to see what Sega has in store for shooter fans.
The company responsible for Crazy Taxi and Virtua Cop is hard at work on its latest arcade-to-Dreamcast port, Confidential Mission. An odd mix of Virtua Cop gameplay and James Bond-inspired plotline, Confidential Mission is a Dreamcast port of the arcade light-gun game.
In Confidential Mission, you play as one of two operatives in the Confidential Mission Forces, an elite government team of superspy sharpshooters. Your confidential mission is to intercept a terrorist organization known as Agares that has taken over a weapons satellite. This mission will take you through three stages, each one set in a different exotic location. The game also has a training mode where you can improve your skills and a mission select mode that lets you play any one of the game's three missions. The game also had a secretive mode called another world--we were unable to open or unlock this mode to see what it does.
The main mode of the game is pretty short. The three stages are actually three separate missions. The first mission takes place in a museum and has you gunning your way past several terrorists and museum guards with the objective of finding and killing an Agares agent who has stolen a special satellite disk. The second mission takes place on a train and has you rescuing and escorting a kidnapped satellite programmer through a terrorist-ridden train. The third mission takes you to a secret Agares base and pits you against the evil Agares leader in a duel to the death. After you beat the ringleader, you play a tiny minigame where you have to line up the satellite's laser targeting sights on Agares' evil submarine. If you fail to line the target up, your game ends. If you succeed, you're treated to a hokey ending sequence, then the game ends. The training mode isn't much better. There are four different training options, but each one of them has only one or two actual levels to them.
Confidential Mission plays amazingly like Virtua Cop. You progress through the game on rails and use a light gun, a Dreamcast mouse, or the standard controller to take out the masses of villains who get in your way. You'll start the game with three lives--if you get shot or shoot an innocent person, you'll lose a life. Villains who can actually shoot you will have Virtua Cop-style targeting rings around them--if you don't take them out in time, they'll pop a cap in you. Also, like in Virtua Cop, you only have to put one bullet in every enemy, and you can even shoot the guns out of your enemies' hands for a point bonus. Mixed in with the missions are several small mini-missions that require you to perform some difficult feats, such as shooting a small target with one shot or mashing the B button to fill a gauge before a timer expires. At the end of each mission is a boss who takes several shots to kill.
The graphics in the game look only slightly better than the graphics of Virtua Cop. The character models look very clean, but almost all of them are oddly proportioned. The levels themselves look pretty good, and some of the interactive backgrounds really help polish off the game. The game has a mediocre techno soundtrack that sounds heavily influenced by the James Bond and Peter Gun themes. The voice acting in the game is so bad it's simply hysterical, and the game has several memorable one-liners.
At this point, Confidential Mission is an average light-gun shooter. The shortness of the game, combined with the lack of first-party light guns and the game's lack of support for the Japanese first-party guns, really makes Confidential Mission a game that only die-hard fans of the Virtua Cop series would be interested in.
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