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Which Console Did You Buy/Receive Over The Holidays?

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Game Profile
GENRE: First Person Shooter
PLAYERS:   1-4
July 25, 2001
 Written by Matt Swider  on July 30, 2001

Review: Don't you dare spell it with one ?t'!

Despite the fact that Quake III Arena released last year, and Infogrames ported their slightly superior Unreal Tournment to Dreamcast just a couple months ago, AM2 brings yet another shooter to the system along with Sega. The result is a straightforward, simplistic game with fast paced action, taking both the third and first person perspective. Though some might not venture past that third person viewpoint, both third and first equally work well, especially when comparing to many titles that offer a default perspective along with one that is seriously lacking.

Outtrigger pits gamers as a counter-terrorist, whose job is to complete a number of tasks within the game's Arcade and Mission Modes. To keep everything at a fast pace, the environments are kept quite small, creating a rather intense match with each game. The detail shown throughout the levels is quite remarkable at some points, containing things like famous paintings along the walls, which are instantly recognizable. The opening movie sequence seems captivating and thrilling, but it's not until the extra clip from the options menu is unlocked, showing off the Japanese version's intro, that displays examples of some great looking gameplay.

Though many guns found within Outtrigger seem uninspiring, there are a few exceptions, one being the proton cannon, that are really impressive effects wise. There are a number of options to setup a controller scheme that players can test out. Though some, including the default, might seem awkward for one perspective, it just may suit the other. Personally, the scheme labeled D1, was the most appealing to me, giving the overall Turok style control configuration.

The Arcade portion of the game is good for a simple time-ticking frag fest, with varying degrees of difficulty; yet the real element of Outtrigger's single player lies within the game's Mission Mode. A great deal about the Mission segment reminds me of the Crazy Box setup from Crazy Taxi. Though a few mission modes are more than challenging, I would describe most as fairly easy to complete. Within the actual gameplay of these modes, you will come across a variety of objectives, and in finishing certain missions features will be enabled within the game. Weapons, characters, and other levels are just some of the items that can be unlocked while progressing through the mode.

Outtrigger's score system is setup in a relatively unique way. Rather than limiting the count to the amount of kills, AM2 decided to take an approach of points. As you might have predicted, it's still possible to earn a point per kill, but once an opponent dies, there is also the chance to collect a silver medal for an additional point, or gold if that opponent is in the lead, for two. One instance to make things quite interesting, I entered an online game, and intentionally decided not to fire any weapon once, but instead, collect health and pick up the fresh medals of victims from recent kills of other enemies. And believe it or not, in conclusion, I was able to snag first place with this scavenger act.

In settings where players are placed in the dark, there will be special night vision goggles scattered throughout the level enabling better lighting to see further into the distance. Also, other wear that's available to pick up are the thermal vision goggles that allow gamers to seek opponents behind walls, and through other structures throughout the game. Combined with the proton cannon, you'll be able to bounce blasts off walls and detect where players are to get a clean shot without any immediate danger. This quite innovative gameplay can be found in the game's mission mode, as one of the objectives and also a technique that can be used often in fragging foes in multiplayer mayhem.

One painful complaint about Outtrigger's online play I must make is the broadband support. Yes, you heard correctly, I'm actually complaining about the inclusion of the broadband option. Gamers who use their broadband Adapter seem to have an uncanny edge over every other dial-up player. If combined with a strong weapon like the flamethrower, a broadband user can hit players again and again by seemingly cutting clear across the board, and always be right behind you as you begin a new life. Although I'm pleased to see that Sega provided support for BBA users, it doesn't seem to mix well with dial-up players, as a massacre initially takes place. Ryan, never ask to play me online in this game. I know what you use!

Regardless of that fact, as a Dreamcast online game, Outtrigger ranks along with the top titles out there. A game with six players, though laggy at heavy action points, is fun and can slightly become addictive. Those who still opt to play other friends at home, can chose the game's versus mode, which supports the four players in a split screen battle, containing just as much excitement. Though it can't really compare to Unreal and Quake in this fashion, it comes close enough with it's own unique style. Lastly, you have the ability to create your own character, using different options from diverse players in the game. Now, my fierce gunman has a little self-personality?if only he had my skills!

I must say the game's attempt to match the music with the setting has been done well. However, doing this results in a lack of a memorable or even tasteful soundtrack. Many of the songs have little to them, and even seem quite eerie at points. Strange voices will more than likely freak most out, as they mumble on along with the tech music. There are a number of decent sound effects and some helpful voice clips that are all short at to the point, giving the overall audio an above average boost. Though, that's adequate for any shooting title that's worth playing gameplay wise.

Bottom Line
While Outtrigger is somewhat parallel to shooters like Quake III or Unreal, it will provide a different experience for Dreamcast owners. However, this is why this game may not be for everyone out there. Although once players allow themselves to get into Outtrigger, each will sure to realize what fun this shooter can be. Like the announcer says about exercises, I'm afraid this review is over!

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