App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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I’ve always been rather fond of the “Stealth Action” genre, but it didn’t progress into full-on love and devotion until the release of Metal Gear Solid 2. Why? Because it was the first game of its kind that I’d played that allowed players to go from start to finish without killing a single person. Not that I’m anti-violence in video games or anything, but I found it to be a fun challenge. The reason I bring this up is because VR Mission EXT gives players the same choice. Also because it looks like a colorful chibi-Metal Gear Solid.
The heroes of VR Mission EXT are on a secret stealth mission deep in enemy territory. After a brief string of tutorial stages players will have to guide their chosen warrior (two of which must be unlocked by saving up cash) through gauntlet after insidious gauntlet of traps, enemy soldiers, and security systems. Most of these bite-sized missions have four goals, in addition to simply getting to the end, that will bestow bonus greenbacks upon completion: finish without setting off an alarm, download intel from a computer tucked away somewhere on the level, finish under a certain time, and of course finish without killing anyone. That last one can be much easier said than done most of the time.
While the visual inspiration is obvious, VR Mission EXT’s superdeformed cartoon characters and environments still look great. They’re just different enough to feel like more of a light-hearted homage than a rip-off and they’re pretty awesome, honestly. The levels themselves also offer up some fun and interesting challenges that include blocking lasers with boxes, nimbly running over trap doors, and hiding in the shadows to avoid detection. Both of the extra un-lockable heroes can have fairly significant effects on the gameplay as well, since they each possess different special abilities such as silent movement or enhanced damage with firearms.
Unfortunately, the act of getting said heroes from point to point can be somewhat tricky at times thanks to movement controls that are both a little sluggish and a tad too sensitive. Characters move somewhere between a stroll and a fast walk, which is just too slow for my liking and can sometimes make traversal irritating. I’ve also often ended up moving them at slight angles thanks to the virtual stick’s sensitivity, which can (and has) result in getting spotted or simply killed when moving in a straight line like I’d originally intended would’ve yielded much more positive results.
Although the movement can be a bit finicky, the rest of the package more than makes up for it. VR Mission EXT does stealth action surprisingly well, gives players plenty of incentive to replay levels for higher scores, and looks great (and familiar) while doing it.