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Urban Strike

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Reviewed by Diane Cote The Strike series appears to be transportable to any game system. It doesn't seem like long ago that I was reviewing the impressive Jungle Strike for the Sega Game Gear and now here I am, lost in the ravaged cities of Urban Strike on the Game Boy. Obviously, there have been many compromises made to bring this gigantic chopper adventure down to the four shades of the Game Boy screen. But thankfully, the integrity of the gameplay is preserved. The first hurdle portable gamers will have to overcome is the blurriness in the game. The Game Boy is notorious for causing eyestrain with basic 2D scrollers but when you bring a 360 helicopter game to the party, you're just asking for trouble. Strike gamers on the 16- and 32-bit systems are all aware of the level of detail in those games' background environments. Unfortunately, the Game Boy has a very difficult time with this kind of detail. In Urban Strike, those little bazooka toting henchmen that spring out to blow you away are incredibly difficult to spot. And because of the limited use of shading, stationary objects like armor and ammo crates can be almost impossible to find. I can't tell you how frustrating it is to blow up while trying to locate a tiny fuel canister against a confusing and blurry jungle backdrop. I played this game on Nintendo's new Game Boy Pocket. It features a much sharper picture resolution than the original Game Boy. I couldn't imagine playing Urban Strike on that system. The other gripe I have with the game is that the control and collision detection is less precise than it is in the 16-bit world. Finding the right angles when you're firing at rooftop aggressors or spacing shots out between a number of enemies can be very tricky. The diagonals especially, seem less forgiving than they could have been. In all reality though, I wasn't expecting Urban Strike to be as solid as it is. There might be a few flaws that you'll have to adjust to while you're playing this game in the palm of your hand, but I think it won't take you too long to realize how cool it is to be playing a game of this caliber IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND. Urban Strike features seven different levels that have been outfitted with more than 40 different missions. Over jungle foliage, ocean water and various urban landscapes, you'll be taking out enemy installations ; saving green berets; knocking out radar stations; picking up MIAs and other prisoners; hijacking and transporting important technology back to your base; rescuing passengers of a sinking luxury liner; taking on streams of enemy tanks and other military machines, and basically doing everything you can to screw up (and blow up) the plans of the evil media mogul, H.R. Malone. You'll even have the opportunity to hop out of your chopper and get into other assault and rescue vehicles. In fact, there are also opportunities to get into the thick of battle while on foot. Despite the game's diminutive size and edited action, I think you'll be surprised by how engrossing it really is. I had a lot of fun playing Urban Strike and I got lost in the missions, in spite of myself. I could definitely see this little cart taking up a whole bunch of my travel time. There aren't a lot of military themed action games like this on the Game Boy, so this change of pace might just be what the doctor ordered. One thing's for sure, it feels darn good blowing away drug pushing bad guys, after being stuck on the 20th level of Dr. Mario for a while.

I'm giving Urban Strike 7.5 out of 10

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