Perfect Dark- 10 Thumbs Down Version

User Rating: 2.5 | Fighting Force 2 PS
This is one of the first games I've ever played- and granted, it is by far no where near the greatest. In fact, it just might be amongst the worst. But I do have fond memories of playing this little title, blowing up chairs, and adoring the lack-a-do attempts at cliche action-movie tropes.
As for why I called it 'Perfect Dark- 10 Thumbs Down', unless you happen you have been born in the Chernobyl region, it might seem odd why I'd compare the games with such imagery. Consider this: that particular game had a particular 'feel' to it- dark colors with shadows in the corners, black, shadowy abysses, closed levels in futuristic and industrial-esque spaces with computers everywhere, and lights and shadows and conspiracies- in this case copying it from the Gameboy Perfect Dark, with biomutants. This game has the exact same feel, although it's in third person and is much more cheaply done. Much more.
Imagine the Falcon 2/Magsec now the 'Pistol'; the CMP-150 now the 'SMG; the Grenade and N-Bomb now the 'Grenade'; the AR-34 now the 'Assault Rifle'; the Sniper Rifle, the, yeah; the K-12 Devastator, the 'Grenade Launcher'; the Rocket Launcher, the, yeah... Anything missing? The shotgun, the shotgun... The knife, the knife- both throwable... Yeah. Except FF2, there are a boatload of melee weapons and heavy weapons added.
So there's that. For me, it was always easy to draw some comparisons to Fighting Force 2 and Perfect Dark and then subsequently contrast them, the almost 32-bit and blocky, ugly, poorly built, ultracheesy high-explosive-grade Fighting Force 2, and the very obviously 64-bit, good looking and still cheesy Perfect Dark.
After the evil corporation and the abysses and shadows and passingly familiar weapons, there then are few similarities. Fighting Force 2 is obviously meant to be a fighting game, and the guns feel as if a cargo plane carrying prototypes for Perfect Dark weapons crashed near SI-Cops (SY-Cops? SCI-Cops?) and Knackamiche Corporation (Nackmichi? Nackamichi? The game itself doesn't seem to know) headquarters. Perfect Dark is a shooting game, with melee features only barely featured.
Controls are sloppy. Try to move correctly without falling off a cliff- even if there isn't a cliff in the room- and you deserve a medal. The guns have no magazines- but they have a limit that you can surpass, although if you do, you can't switch to any other weapon unless you throw the first weapon away. For example, you can hold 8 grenades, but you're holding grenades and come across another one, you can hold 9. If you try to switch to your pistol, you have to drop the extra grenade. Why? Just 'cause! And Fighting Force 2 predates Perfect Dark Zero's "can only hold a limited amount of weapons" by 7 years- you can hold an indefinite number of weapon types, but if you, say, have a pistol and then pick up an SMG, you can only switch back and forth between those two. Want your rocket launcher or beatin' stick which happens to look like a skinnier version of the rocket launcher? You must drop the gun in your hand.
The guns are ridiculously overpowered. That, or the enemies are incredibly weak- two hits with any non-explosive/non-heavy weapon kills them. Only the SMG and knife are weak, but the SMG is so fast that it doesn't matter. Aiming is rudimentary. There are checkpoints, and its easy to return to any point you died at. However, levels sprawl on and some become confusing for such linear stages. Many bosses have no clear objective- the early ones, you just shoot to kill. The second level's boss (back to PD, very much resembles a battle in that game), you can deal with in less than 5 seconds. Then the fourth boss smacks you for one by having an unclear weakness- which is the trend the game continues until the end.
By the way, BOOM.
Punch a light- BOOM. Punch a computer- BOOM. Punch a chair- BOOM. Punch a pillow- BOOM. Punch a feather- BOOM. And then the enemies blink away- I've never seen something so disturbing in my life than seeing these grown men... these mutant men in blue jump suits or carrying giant scythes fully rendered in 3D... die on the ground and blink in and out of reality several times before disappearing. It's almost as disturbing as Perfect Dark Zero, where you explode out of reality. You see, that would've been more fitting for Fighting Force 2- you punch a man to death and he explodes. That really would not be out there for this game. I'm surprised the air doesn't explode in your wake. You take a step, why doesn't the floor explode? You punch, you should throw an explosion out in front of you. Turn on the game, it explodes. An explosion for me, an explosion for you. An explosion for every man, woman, and child. Now if only said explosions actually looked good! Instead, they're just these small-ass wastes of electrons that barely take up more than 20 pixels. The pixels should have exploded.
It's almost like Mercenaries 2 in here, with explosions meant to occur anywhere and everywhere. Explosive air? Why not- BOOM.
And I love the 'money' as a score. It's a score, but the '$' dupes you into naively believing your hard earned efforts at blowing up every atom in the world is going to be rewarded. Have nearly a million dollars? Good for you. Actually, it's the damage you cause. That, or the insurance you gain by pummeling all those blinking scientists and blowing up chairs and tanks with your fists. And be careful- you blow up too many things, you might blow up!

Overall, it's not worth a rent, but if you're like me, it grew on you over the years. I still love popping this game in the PS2 on occasion, although it's always and only to convince me to play Perfect Dark.
"Why are you mentioning Perfect Dark so much?" As I've said, both games share so many æsthetic similarities that it's funny. What makes it worse is that Fighting Force 2 feels like it ripped Perfect Dark off- even though it came out a year before it.
So that's the reason why. It's like this game was an early beta of Perfect Dark when Rare decided to make the game in 3rd person, add more combat, and barely finish the game beyond that before giving it to Eidos and running away as fast as they could in zig zags.