In the beginning there is hope for the game. I mean c'mon, any game that starts out with an ass naked hottie getting suited with armor has gotta be good, right? Wrong... terribly wrong. As soon as the game starts, you will wonder what the Hell is happening, and why you starts with a pee shooter in the midst of super fast aliens that gang up on you before you can say "get off me, motherfucker!". When you grab some good guns (spread is the best), you gain a little on the odds, and you might even start to enjoy the game for a couple minutes. But that is until you fall off a chasm to your death because of the way over responsive controls. And the camera angles! For Christ's sake, just in level one there is a part where there is literally no way you can see the edges of cliffs until you are falling off them. Get past these major faults and there is almost a playable game hiding in there. There are some cool levels and some of the bosses are pretty smartly structured. It is just that if you have the right weapon firing, you are pretty much invincible, and Assault Retribution does not really give you a good reason to stop firing. There is a small meter at the bottom of the screen. When it reaches zero, you are out of ammo. The trick is that it regenerates so quickly that if you let off of the trigger for 5 seconds you will be ready to go before you can say "this game sucks".
The graphics in Assault are decent, but bland. I was not impressed with the gun effects, the enemy designs or even the lead character design which is very reminiscent of every other action game out there. It has got lame FMV that does not do a thing for your eyes (except the nude second character in the beginning, that was kinda....er....moving on...). The animations are also pretty poor. Overall, this game does look a lot like The Contra Adventure's 3D scenes, even though maybe a little more solid.
The techno soundtrack leaves much to be desired. Actually it makes you want to turn off that damn volume and pop in anything else that you (or your mom) might have in the house. I mean Michael Bolton is better than this shit. The sound effects might even be worse, with tons of generic groans and moans, making this game sound like a porn flick with even worse actors (I am guessing that porn flick actors are bad... not that I actually know). So basically while you play AR, all you hear are groans, moan, heavy gunfire, and some queer sound that is not easy to categorize.
The plot is an unheavenly mix of science genetic warefare and a wicked alien species bent on knocking out all human existence. Gee, ever heard that one before? The plot is carried about in a very uneasy manner through lifeless FMV and dialogue to read that is so small that if you want to have any idea whats going on, you had better grab those reading glasses. In other words, the story is as unfriendly as the rest of the game.
I am trying so hard to find some kind of redeeming factor in AR, but the bad outweighs the good so much that I really cannot think of much good to say about it. Even the control feels like it was programmed by your dead grandma's horse. It is analog compatible, but use the stick, and you will find yourself falling off of ledges that you did not even think existed. Actually you fall off those ledges without the help of the loose analog, but your odds will be increased by about 1% if you play digital. Also, aiming with the shoulder buttons is a bitch. One thing that should also be mentioned is the horrible easy challenge. I beat AR in one 5 hour sitting.
Not saying much for my opinion of The Contra Adventure, I did like Assault Retribution better. But if you want a REAL action game, turn your head to the newest contender, Apocalypse.
Andrew the Game-Master