SYSTEM
PSX

PRICE
$44.99

DEVELOPER
Sunsoft

PUBLISHER
Sunsoft

RELEASE
05/99

T.R.A.G.: Mission Of Mercy Review

By: John Doe


T.R.A.G.: Mission Of Mercy could very well be described as Resident Evil meets Die Hard Arcade. Unfortunately there is a reason why these two genres don't work well together and playing TRAG will make every one of them become evident. TRAG does bring some innovation to the table with the ability to play as multiple characters that need to help each other out in order to succeed. However this tends to confuse the issue, leaving you to wonder if the reason you are stuck is because it's time to switch.


Highs:
Lows:

This game sounds like a great idea on paper. Take the exact gameplay control from Resident Evil and make a futuristic action/adventure game. Who could resist it? Hell, even throw in the bad voice acting from RE1 while you are at it just to make sure. In it's defence TRAG does try to expand the boundaries set by RE but the problems that plague the RE series such as camera angles and control issues are especially troublesome in this more action oriented game.

Right off the bat the most frustrating thing about TRAG is hunting out items. In games like Resident Evil when you walk into a room you'll most often then not, see an item blinking on a shelf or table. To the video game educated this means there is an item just waiting for you to pick it up. Sunsoft thought TRAG would be more fun if you just had to walk up to bloody everything and see if something was there. What a horrifying way to drag out a game. I got smart however. I dialed up one of those psychic hotlines and asked them questions like, "Okay I'm in the library. Do I have to check for something by the first book shelf? No? Okay, how about the second bookshelf? No? Okay how about the third bookshelf? Yes? Okay." Sure my phone bill was over $9000 bucks but it was worth it just to beat this game. Unfortunately those without the cash to spend on such frivolities of life such as psychics and deodorant are in deep deep trouble. Good luck beating TRAG is all I can say.

Controlling one of the four characters although not impossible is frustrating. TRAG throws in some time limit based puzzles that are killer. The reason they are so difficult is twofold: The control and the camera angles. You'll be smashing into walls, doors, desks...pretty much everything. Imagine Die Hard if Bruce Willis was really drunk. I don't mean a little smashed, I'm talking blotto. That's pretty much what my hero's looked like, in their mad panic to succeed before the time was up. This I don't need.

Graphically the game is very nice and impressive. Pre-rendered backgrounds can't be beat. The one problem with is however is that if the camera angles aren't tweaked to perfection then it's very easy to miss important things like doors for example. I don't know how many times I had to guess at where a door may be. And I'm not talking about a door I've been through (although those were hard enough to find), I'm talking about doors that I basically found by accident. This I don't need either.

TRAG has some interesting enhancements though. The characters have more moves at their disposal then your average RE hero. More than likely you'll stick to the tried and true weapon be it sword or gun (depending on whom you've chosen). Of course each character does have their own strengths and weaknesses due to their weapons, so choosing the right one for the job is important. However, you won't know whom that is until you've played through the game awhile, and by that time you could be screwed. And no in their right mind would want to go back and play the" find the item game" again.

Complaint Dept. How can I have a complaint department when all I've been doing is bitching, you ask? Well there's more so sit down, this review ain't over yet. The thing that cheesed me off more than the bad control, more than the bad voice acting, more than the awkward camera angles and yes, more than the hard to find doors and items was the enemy that looked and moved almost exactly like the Licker from RE2. Come on Sunsoft! Blatant copy right infringement alert. That was too much. Luckily he was much more of a pussycat than those evil S.O.B.'s in RE2. How fitting that everything, right down to the enemies are RE wannabes.

If you dig frustration and spending hours hunting for doors and items that just might be there, then TRAG is your dream game. Any self respecting RE fan has got to see right through this lame facsimile. Perhaps others may enjoy it. Hey, some people like Hanson, so what are you gonna do? Any hate mail on the Hanson jibe and I instantly forward your email address to the countless thousands on our site that know what good music is, okay? So don't bother. That being said, man this review just fell apart didn't it? Aww who cares… Anyway as always try before you buy. And if you like it, then great. I'm happy for you. Don't spend your time e-mailing me and extolling the virtues of TRAG. Just sit there like Forest Gump and try not to drool into the Dual Shock. Me and the others will be anxiously awaiting Dino Crisis and RE3: Nemesis, because we prefer the real deal.

OVERALL
4.0

GRAPHICS
7.5

CONTROL
4.0

MUSIC/FX
7.0

FRUSTRATION
10.0

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