Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
25 April 2008
Review: Impossible Mission (NDS)
I just finished a game I never finished almost a quarter century ago: Impossible Mission. My original experience was with a pirated copy (yes, pirated) on the Commodore 64. I just finished it on the Nintendo DS. Frankly, it's a little depressing.

Here's the gist of the game: collect pieces of punchcard keys from rooms guarded by lethal robots and then make it to a special room to stop a nuclear weapon launch. You can run, jump, search for keys, and use the computer terminals to reset lifts and disable the robots temporarily.

First, the very fact that this game is still being sold -- practically unchanged -- is alarming. I understand nostalgia, it's my personal excuse for playing this game, but how can this game be on store shelves in this day and age? My guess is that it's just simple enough to appeal to the casual Nintendo DS player. After all, the game involves only a few platform-mechanics in several barely-randomized rooms and some 30-odd puzzle pieces to find.

Second, the game is easier for everyone now because you can save at practically any moment and then reload later. Messed up a jump and lost 10 minutes off the countdown? No problem. Reload that save and it's like it never happened. You can (and I did) save-crawl the game to completion.

Additionally, the only novelty aside from the save game option, is a set of improved graphics. Purely cosmetic. The game even offers the option of playing with the original 8-bit graphics, which are strikingly neon-looking. I guess I've become accustomed to "realistic" graphics after all this time.

Finally, after all these years, I'm disappointed in the end-sequence. I thought there might be something significant to facing the madman, but here it's just a cut scene. SPOILER: He presses the button to launch the missile and you press another one to stop it. What drama! END SPOILER.

For $10, Impossible Mission for the Nintendo DS isn't bad. I'll settle for the comfort of striking this title off my list of uncompleted games.

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--Matt Matthews at 13:18
Comment [ 1 ]

Comments on this post:

First, the very fact that this game is still being sold -- practically unchanged -- is alarming. I understand nostalgia, it's my personal excuse for playing this game, but how can this game be on store shelves in this day and age?

And you call yourself a retro gamer? The question is why aren't ALL the games of my youth easily available on everything? Is there really a significant difference between "casual gamer" and "person who'd play Space Invaders?" :)

By Blogger Bob, at 26 April, 2008 23:45  

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