Men In Black The Series: Crashdown
Intergalactic terrorists are trying to kidnap the President of the United States and take over the world. As agents Jay and Kay, from the cartoon series based on the motion picture Men in Black, it is your job to stop them. You will begin your quest by foiling their attempt to use the rocketship ride in a theme park to get off-planet, and continue through various locales spread out over 26 levels.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
The game in presented in first-person shooter fashion. You move your character around with the D-pad or analog stick, following your disembodied weapon or other implement. You can manipulate your viewpoint, the positions of your weapon/tools, and adjust your aim by using the right joystick. Shoulder buttons allow you to duck and strafe. The topside buttons let you switch your weapons, fire and manipulate various objects.
There are numerous power-ups, weapons and various tools scattered throughout the levels for you to collect. You start out with a pistol-like weapon and progress upwards to increasingly more powerful weapons, including the infamous "noisy cricket" from the movie. In each stage you will have specific goals to accomplish before the stage is complete. Wiping out the aliens is always a big part of it, but there is some amount of puzzle solving to be done as well.
Instead of having an ammunition clip, you will have to refill your gun at various charging stations, which are usually quite plentiful throughout the level. You will be faced with aliens that walk, crawl, fly, hang from the ceiling and shoot at you from annoying angles before you can tell where they are. I found it hard to avoid being hit, and the aliens take multiple shots to kill in most cases, so unless you're real good at shooting, running backward and shooting again, you'll probably spend a lot of time repeating levels until you know where the aliens are going to pop up. These maneuvers are made more complex by the controls, since unless you're more coordinated than I am, it's really hard to run, aim and shoot at the same time.
The levels are generally well designed and many of them are large enough for you to actually need those level maps to find your way around. MIB isn't an extremely long game, but you probably won't finish it in one sitting.
The game doesn't have much of an actual storyline, but you will be treated to amusing cut scenes between some of the levels. For the most part you will shoot a lot of aliens, complete some fairly simple puzzles as part of your mission objectives, then move on to the next stage where you will complete slightly different missions, while shooting slightly different aliens.
Men In Black The Series: Crashdown has no multiplayer support.
The graphics are decent, but not spectacular. They have a cartoony look to them that fits with the television series. Some of the levels do a good job of creating a creepy atmosphere, particularly the levels in the amusement park. The crawling aliens are very reminiscent of those in the Alien movies; some of the others look like a Mario game gone horribly wrong.
The frame rate stays pretty smooth, but the game does suffer from some pop-up, jaggies and weird collision issues at times. The first-person perspective also makes it difficult to tell when you've cleared some of the obstacles in the game.
The audio effects are pretty good. In the ghost train level there's a lot of haunted-house-type audio effects that really add tension to the gameplay. The voice acting sounds like it's straight out of the cartoon series, but is only used in the cut scenes and mission briefings.
This is one of the few Men In Black games that manage to capture successfully some of the quirky humor and neat gadgets from the movie. The game loses some originality points for stealing a lot of elements from the Alien movies/game, from the enemy designs to the radar detector.
The best part of the game is definitely the atmospheric elements and the "straight out of the movie/series" aspect. The gameplay itself is ok, but is not groundbreaking by any means.
This game is not the best shooter out there, but it is solid. It makes good use of the MIB license, and fans of the movie and cartoon should enjoy this game if they like first-person shooters at all. Hardcore FPS fans and folks who don't like the genre at all should probably steer clear. This title is perfect for MIB fans who enjoy an occasional round of Doom, but is not really fresh or difficult enough for FPS fanatics or those who just don't get what all the fuss over first-person shooters is about.