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Mission Impossible
Platform:  Gameboy
# of Players:  1
Developer:  Nintendo
Publisher:  Nintendo
Ratings:  Teen
Memory Req.:  
There is something really cool about a game starting with, "Good morning Mr. Phelps. Your mission should you choose to accept it" It makes you feel important like you are the only one in the world that is skilled enough to complete this mission. And as you play through Mission Impossible for the Gameboy Color you will realize that there is a good reason why the IMF (Impossible Mission Force) is so choosy. These missions are hard.

Based more on the 2 games that have previously been released and less on the movie that came out ages ago, Mission Impossible is a overhead stealth adventure game. Getting a jump on the Metal Gear Solid, which is supposed to be released soon on the handheld system, M.I. hopes to capture those seeking a smart adventure where a gun won't save you.

Each mission involves an external scene and an internal scene. You have to run around a location until you find the right building to enter. Once inside there is a list of tasks that must be completed before the hasty exit. Usually this involves finding some secret something or other and copying it. Then you must exit without being seen. Sounds easy right? Well it would be if the places weren't crawling with so many damn guards. It seemed to me that most of the missions were exactly the same following the format that I just described. Though that was interesting, it got old really quickly, especially when I kept getting caught.

Speaking of getting caught, this would be a good time to talk about the use of stealth. Stealth plays a very important part in this game. Since it is always better for a secret agent force to go without being seen instead of blasting up the place, that is what you are expected to do. If you are seen then an alarm will go off and you have to decide whether to hide or start shooting guys. You score for each completed mission is based on how sneaky you were. If you never shoot your gun or set off an alarm, you will get big points.

Though this is a logical, realistic aspect of the game, it makes for some frustrating gameplay. I was constantly conflicted. The quick and easy route is to start capping guys you know are going to give you trouble. However, getting penalized for that makes it seem so wrong. Plus just shooting everyone can lead to big trouble if they gang up on you. One advantage to having this conflict in the game is that it does nicely put the focus on the actual mission instead of a meaningless run and gun. Unlike games where you are looking for people to shoot, Mission Impossible has you trying to find the goods while not shooting anyone.

Aside from the actual game there are a ton of little goodies on this one little cart. You can use it as an address/phone book, a remote control (although I couldn't get it to work on any of my TVs), a notepad, and a calculator. Plus you can trade your data with a friend's, or print it out. It turns your Gameboy into a virtual IMF data keeper. Or you could say that it makes it more like a Neo-Geo Pocket or a Game-com. Another great feature is that it automatically saves your game. All Gameboy games should do this. Who wants to write down passwords?

If you are into the stealth and could do without the action then this is your Gameboy game. Me? I could have used a little bit more suspense. The enemies seem to come out of nowhere and immediately spot me. Then boom, I am dead. There should be clearer paths and hiding spots. The way the game is angled you can never really tell if you are behind something or not, which makes for some easy deaths. Also, the game does not get that much more creative in its missions. Run here, do this, get out, don't get caught. I have to say that I enjoyed the creativity of the console versions of Mission Impossible but the handheld version seems like it could have used a bit more thought. Still it is worth checking out just because there isn't really anything else like it on the Gameboy. Of course you know that if you do play it and it kills you, the government will disavow any knowledge of you or your mission. Good Luck.

Chris Shade

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