Reviewed in 2011 by Tibe

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Die Hard à la Japonaise

by Tibe (2011)

If you liked Die Hard with Bruce Willis or you're a Chuck Norris  and Delta Force fan , you'll love The Super Spy. Awful terrorists blew up a bomb in the Southtown's subway. The government suspects the Zolge King group of plotting this action, and to prepare new actions... Having collected information about the organization, the CIA sends its best agent, Roy Heart (YOU, of course) to dismantle the network during two missions: the first takes you to the underground factory in which the terrorists make their bombs, while the second mission will lead you to the floors of the Tadoya tower , a car manufacturer, whose entire staff was taken hostage in their office. To fight, the range of moves is simple, but complete: A is used to give punches, B kicks/knees, and C chooses a weapon. Left and right are used to move laterally while the down direction can be used to avoid a blow or enemy fire. Top allows to progress along the corridors (with a striking effect of kitsch zoom) or to enter a room when "IN" appears.

Fighting with bare hands is great, it's noble! But luckily for you, weapons can also be used, and it will not be extra options, for the enemies they don't hesitate to attack you three or four, and armed! The knife is always available but the blade wears out quickly (probably made in china) and after ten successful strikes, its effectiveness decreases. Beretta gun packs twelve shots, and as you are a big fool, you took only one charger to attack a building full of terrorists. You'll also find on your way brass knuckles, which will boost the efficiency of your punches. Uzi, the best weapon of the game, is not in your possession at the beginning: you'll have to recover it from the hostage who managed to steal it to the bad guys (who apparently have a higher weapons budget than the CIA, or are maybe helped by them). So yes, it will be hard! Your superiors have sent you there under-armed and under-equiped ... Your ass will be kicked, be warned! Fortunately, the game features infinite credits, for those that the game won't have bore before... For if the game has some technical background - with some timing and dodging ability, you come to fight with class and efficiency - Super Spy is still damn repetitive. The action is linear and offers very few freedom of movement. 

Super Spy is nag, romp, enjoyable even when it comes to shot down large muscular guys, cut with the Rambo knife, give strong punches in faces with great impact sounds... Anyway, the enemies are often the same, with just different colors, and fights all look like each other, despite the various moves and weapons. There's nothing special to punctuate the action or change the gameplay a bit, we  only have some scenes and monologues, and levels maps hidden on each floor. SNK has nevertheless introduced an EXP system in the game which make evolve the character. The more enemies you kill, the more points you score and become strong and accurate. Nevertheless we would have preferred to find chargers for the Beretta, or other weapons. To fight with bare hands against armed terrorists is nice, but not too much please! Most of your enemies are all kinds of ninjas, and also some atypical characters. As for the Bosses, they are the least original and fun, no doubt about it! The game's graphics are far from being ugly: you walk through the corridors most of the time, and stages are correctly detailed and colorful... but here again, it's damn repetitive! The same can be said for the enemies. Besides, they are well drawn and colored, it's clearly the best feature.

The highlight of the (good) animation are the numerous effects of zoom and scaling, particularly with enemies or weapons hugely designed deliberately, to signify proximity with the "face" of the player. The soundtrack is insignificant, maybe the composer was not particularly inspired - he was more for Ghost Pilots for example - but the sound effects are successful. You're probably not going to believe me indeed, I might be repeating myself (!) but in this regard too, The Super Spy is quite repetitive. The voices and sounds effects are good, but not varied enough. We often hear the same voice shouting, sometimes not really matching the big guy which is supposed to utter this cry! A game which realization is beneath many honorable games of the same era, such as Magician LordTop Player's GolfNinja Combat... The concept of Super Spy is at least original and kitsch, but my, it's REPETITIVE! Graphics, audio, enemies, gameplay ... everything is linear and boring in this game. And that's too bad, because the two hours challenge is attractive. With the Universe Bios, it's possible to activate some cheats that make the game more fun! Everlasting knife, infinite ammo, brass knuckles, uzi always available... you can even get the max EXP level right from the start! Those few cheats give a little more fun to gameplay... Shall you try it? 



Enemies are beautifully drawn, but not varied enough, like for the stages: a little dull and repetitive.
Quite  a blow in 1990, the animation is full of zooms and successful scaling effects... but it has aged a lot!
Musics are lazy and uninspired, but effects are doing good.
The Super Spy is long, and ending it without infinite credits is a challenge. This said, the game is tedious...
The weak point of the game: Super Spy is veeeeeeery repetitive, and after twenty minutes we are exhausted. Not enough diversity in action, boring linearity.



Here's a kitsch game for  nanar lovers!


The Super Spy can be found on the internet for usually less than fifty euros, which is not expensive for a Neo Geo game. Nevertheless, if we look it from a strictly "gamer" point of view, it's not worth it... except if you're a fan of kitsch videogames!

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