Second Look: If we hadn't played the PS2 version, Midway might have been able to fool us.
As an arcade game Spy Hunter gulped down many a coin. Relying heavily on fast and furious action thrills coupled with sweet vehicles and mission objectives aplenty, the title was recently?yes, I do use that term loosely?revived on GameCube.
Way back during the ?80s, the original Spy Hunter was a blast, but how does it hold up? Well, if the player is previously unacquainted with the new game it might grant some thrills, but if the question is if the port can provide anything beyond what the PS2 incarnation offered, the answer is no. One had hoped that Point of View, the company that handled the conversion, would have been able to cram some goodies in, but sadly the only part where there are noticeable changes are in the graphics department and it's not for the better. It had been reported that the original arcade Spy Hunter might make it onto the disc, but we can only regret that Midway and Point of View apparently didn't have enough time to make it a reality.
So how does Spy Hunter play? Well, pretty much the same as the PS2 version though with the odd framerate hiccup here and there. What that means is that Spy Hunter will probably not strike anyone as particularly great at first, but will immediately convey the feeling of a cool game that for some reason just feels good to play. The smooth gameplay physics of the PS2 version have thankfully been left intact and help to augment this feeling.
While touched upon briefly above, the graphics in Spy Hunter for Nintendo GameCube demand further attention. While the visuals in the PS2 version might not have been anything to write home to your mamma about, it was still a good-looking game. Oddly enough, the GameCube version doesn't look any more polished and it seems as if there are even more framerate problems and more of a jagged look this time around. There are lighting effects aplenty, but if they are more advanced on GameCube than on PS2 is left undecided.
Storyline and everything revolving around it is cheesy but gets the job done. When booting up the game there is a small albeit very real feeling that overcomes you of actually being James Bond. Of course, in my case that's because I [i]am[/i] James Bond. Being a part of an international espionage organisation, you set out to stop Nostra and its wicked plans. Nostra is an evil corporation with the intent of shutting down Earth, so to speak, by way of four satellites sending rays of electromagnetic pulse towards our planet.
To help you in your quest you will have a nice G-6155 Interceptor, which has as many tricks up its sleeve as any James Bond car. Guided missiles, GPS trackers, and pulse cannons are only some of the weapons available to you. In case your car takes a lot of damage, in spite of the impressive arsenal of both offensive and defensive weapons, you will be able to witness the Interceptor turning into a motorcycle. Furthermore, if you jump out into a river the Interceptor will turn into a slim speedboat. Spy Hunter for GameCube is overall quite a cool game, it's just that its shortcomings are a few too many.