Latest Game Reviews

Coded Arms Review - PSP

7
Gameplay: 8 stars 8
Graphics: 7 stars 7
Audio: 5 stars 5
Multiplayer: 5 stars 5
Innovation: 5 stars 5
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Introduction


The PSP launch title that best showed the system’s potential had to be Coded Arms. It compares favourably to other launch games such as Wipeout Pure and NBA 06, but when held up to the standards of today’s PSP titles, there’s really no comparison.

Gameplay


Coded Arms has a complex storyline, filled with sophisticated and slightly nonsensical language like “mega conglomerate”. The basic gist is that you’re a virtual military fighter – you take training lessons in the beginning – that fights people from the dark side of the Internet (viruses and such). There are three main areas which each contain multiple levels. They all follow the same structure: find exit key, kill enemies, and continue to next level. The only difference is for the final stage in the area, where a boss confronts you. Unfortunately, this has a negative effect on the replay value of the game, because even the first time through it gets awfully repetitive.

On the flip side of the longevity coin is the fact that each time you play through the story, the environments (outside of the boss battles) are completely different. These “randomly generated maps” that supposedly provide “limitless replay value” are a clever idea, but the generator sometimes gets muddled up and creates convoluted and twisted levels that are overly difficult to navigate.

After you finish the main three levels of the basic storyline, you’ll gain access to the Infinity setting. In this mode, you just keep slogging through rooms until you die, with bosses every ten levels and increasingly smarter enemies. This adds a dynamic not often seen in PSP titles – it’s a mode that is easy to pick up a play for short bursts. That ‘P’ for ‘portable’ isn’t for nothing, fellas.

While progressing through the game, you’ll find discs that unlock new armour, weapons and health. You also can get upgrade keys to level up the current weapon you are holding. The futuristic setting carries over to the guns, with pulse rifles and handguns that can be rather excessively powered up. In total, there are about thirty weapons that you will acquire over the course of the game, with each having its pros and cons.

The difficulty level of Coded Arms is actually quite respectable, and is one of the more appealing aspects to me personally. I enjoy being challenged, and the game really steps up to the plate on that front. I quickly learnt that I needed to be very conservative about the ammunition, because it does not get replenished after each level; the same applies to your health. As you can imagine, this causes some of the later Infinity levels to be quite intense, making it imperative that you are able to use all your weapons effectively.

The inclusion of an auto aim makes for some frustrating experiences. It takes away the ability to quickly adjust to the enemies around you. For example, it becomes annoying when your enemies ...

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