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I love Konami as a developer; they have made many of my favourite all-time games, like Metal Gear Solid, but that doesn't mean I'm going to just give them a free pass with regard to this FPS misfire, Coded Arms. Like so many PSP FPS games, Coded Arms falters under poor controls and dodgy design.
The plot is quite complex and pleasantly so, dealing with corporate espionage along a mild sci-fi bent. You play a shady G-Man type who has to visit various locations and basically shoot anything that moves, and this is a little counter-intuitive to a plot that initially seems a lot more cerebral than that. Nevertheless, you won't care that much because you'll be so distracted by the shambolic control scheme, which binds moving to the analogue stick and turning to the coloured buttons. As you can tell, this makes for incredibly awkward playing, and firefights are more a laborious exercise in torture rather than the fun action setpieces they should be.
Graphically, it is easily to see why the game was touted as a potential killer app; the character models are especially well rendered, as are the lighting effects, but the environments are incredibly samey and fail to capitalise on the visual flair. Aurally the game isn't bad either, but the acid house soundtrack gets rather irritating after a while.
The game is redeemed somewhat by a multiplayer offering, but sadly it doesn't extend to WiFi play, and so you will have to attempt to dupe three of your hapless mates into buying the game too. Still, through and through it is a major failure on Konami's part, and also on the part of Sony that this FPS, and FPS games in general, disagree so much with the PSP's layout. Avoid.
Coded Arms was one of the first ever shooters to come out for the PSP console and at the time was a pretty good game. But compared to some of the shooters you can buy today, it doesn't fare very well. The levels are randomly generated and get very repititive and boring. You will end up fighting endless battles against the same enemies in the same looking rooms again and again.
It is set in the far future with you playing as a hacker searching for secret files worth a huge amount of money. You find these files by playing through various zones inside a simulated training program that was abandoned after the system failed. And as we all know, if you die virtually, you die in real life...
The weapons and upgrades are quite good though; with several choices such as armour, assualt rifles and various other weaponry. There are over 30 weapons, but due to the mainly uninteresting enemies you won't have a lot of fun using them. There are a few "battlefields" each containing seperate sectors with their own seperate levels.
The graphics are okay, and look pretty good, but don't make use of all the potential of the PSP. Barrels can be shot and will explode in a fireball. When enemies are killed, they explode into bits of computer code, which is one of the few original bits in this game. The game certainly acheives the intended ultra-futuristic computer feel with matrix style menus and interfaces.
The controls take quite a bit of getting used to as the PSP has no second analog stick. The face buttons are used to look up down left and right respectively. This can get annoying in the heat of battle as you clumsily whirl around attempting to shoot an enemy. Although there is a lock on function which helps slightly.
There is no online multiplayer, you can only play it over the PSPs WLAN with other owners of the game. But the multiplayer maps are the same boxy levels as in the single-player campaign.
Coded Arms might be worth a rent, but that's about all it's worth.
The story Coded Arms is basically a combat training simulator, which went haywire and took his own life. Hackers see the game is a challenge and go for rare files, despite the fact that the death of a simulator means death in real life (think that the Matrix), and there are big cash prizes to terminate the program, which has now spread to the Earth's online infrastructure. There are hackers, who supply them with special weapons and decides to take on the unbeaten system, you get to the core and re-launch. These hackers, known as Coded Ones.
You can play as Coded One. The entire game is presented in a computer program. You can take in three different regions in the game: A Town, the temple and the mine. Each of these locales properties of their own enemies and obstacles. As the play through these steps, you can collect new weapons and armor, as well as power-ups to add to your offensive capabilities. Each region consists of little more than 10 stages, which are randomly distributed. For end of each zone, you may need the boss, which is similar to that of the enemies you have fought for the entire zone in terms of weaknesses. When you have a defeat in all three areas, when you open an infinite space, which has an unlimited number of stages, as well as new weapons and power-ups to collect.