It’s no surprise that the best selling platforms get the most amount of games. This means there’s a whole slew of bad ones. We’ve seen it with the original Nintendo, the Super Nintendo, both PlayStations, the Game Boys, and now the DS and Wii. Now some of these bad games are purposely poor. They’re just shoveled out for cheap costs and a small profit is made; Hence, the term shovelware. Other bad games weren’t designed to be bad they just had some kind of gameplay error or errors in them that made them less than stellar. Elite Forces Unit 77 is one of those games.
Elite Forces Unit 77 has twelve campaign missions to blast away enemies through, but once it’s all over, there’s no reason to return to the “action”. No high scores, no unlockables, no longevity. The game uses an isometric camera view during its gameplay with some commendable 3 D visuals all with a steady framerate. However, perhaps the most damning feature of Elite Forces is that the game is played totally with the stylus. You point at a part of the screen to move your characters around, you tap enemies and boxes to shoot them, and you tap your right side menu to change weapons and characters. This is all fine until you’re tapping like a mad man at enemies and only half of your taps are actually registering as shots. Furthermore, your characters move around the long levels like they’re covered in molasses making the game play much longer than it actually should be. Thankfully there are in level save points.
You’re put in control of four characters. Each of which play nearly identically save for one special skill each person has. One can detect hidden mines, one has a sniper rifle that can pick off far away targets, one has a giant bazooka to shoot down heavier foes such as helicopters, and the other can use electrical work to open up gates and turn on machinery. In some levels you’ll start split up while others you’ll be together. You’ll constantly have to switch between characters to conquer each level which is a cool idea. Nothing revolutionary, but cool nonetheless. That is, if not for the whole team system. You can either play as a character individual or have your squad follow you. For some bizarre reason, a character in their secondary function (e.g. sniper mode) won’t follow you and will stay still. It’s frustrating to not have your squadmates actually follow you and only figure it out when you’re already halfway across the level. It should be as simple as walking near your guy, hitting the button, and having them follow you, but it’s far more convoluted.
If that isn’t enough, there is no form of multiplayer whatsoever. Online would have been pushing it for such a small developer, so that’s forgiven. However, no local play via two DS’s is just unforgivable. You have team based gameplay. Four characters to control. No multiplayer. It would have been awesome to be able to have four friends control one character apiece for some fun local cooperative “action”. Instead we’re only left to dream of such.
Elite Forces Unit 77 just might have been a great title that most of us would have missed. We would have cried ourselves to sleep knowing we missed a gem. As it is, however, we will rest easily as the game is far from good at its current state. With botched touch screen controls, a lack of multiplayer, and a lack of longevity, Elite Forces Unit 77 is a DS game to pass on. I dare not think of how horrible the past 76 Elite Forces Unit games are! P.S. That was a joke.
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