Review of Portal Runner
Let me start off saying, I really dig this story, “there is nothing better than a good CAT fight”, right? Well there is plenty of that going on in this story. Portal Runner is all about a love triangle - Vikki G, Brigitte Blue, and Sarge. The Sarge is no ordinary man; he is the courageous hero from the Army Men series. Vikki G lives on the Army base with her dad and is a star reporter. Sarge is her main squeeze. Vikki’s downfall is her curiosity. You know the saying “curiosity killed the cat”. Well Brigitte will surely try to use this against her. Brigitte is one twisted chick. She is now a retired spy who used to work for the Blue Nation and is now exiled from the Army Men world. With time on her hands, she ended up discovering the mysterious portals and now sees herself as the Queen of the portal worlds. This Queen now wants a King and her eyes are on the Sarge. Let the games begin!!
Brigitte came up with a diabolical scheme to get rid of the innocent and beautiful Vikki so she could have the Sarge all to her wicked self. This will be accomplished by baiting Vikki thru one of the Portals and destroying it so there would be no way out. She now has to find another way home, perhaps thru a different portal. Unfortunately, these worlds are not very friendly. To describe a few; there is a dinosaur world filled with nasty Raptors, a Space world with wicked aliens, and a toy world filled with evil Gingerbread men. There are also many other foes to deal with like spitting bats, rockmen, and crossbowmen.
Luckily, missy Vikki finds a companion along the way. His name is Leo. Make no mistake, Leo is not a cowardly lion. He is fierce, unpredictable, and also loves a good caca…CAT fight. Together they will battle and try to find a way out of this mess.
The relationship between Vikki and Leo reminded me of the story of The Beauty And The Beast. Both of these beauties were able to calm the beasts. You see, Leo has a temper and can get out of control at times to say the least. Vikki is the only one with the power to simmer him down. There is a “Fury Meter” that tracks Leo’s mood. The player can use this tool to manage Leo. She can also call Leo. These capabilities are accomplished by using the L1 and R1 buttons.
There were a few negatives with PR that I thought were worthwhile mentioning. One is with the camera view. There is really no option to look upward unless you are utilizing the first-person view. The player can use the joystick to look left, right, and down but not up, what is up with that? You also cannot run while in first person view. This can be annoying at times especially when your fighting with a Rockman and he is blasting you with boulders, diminishing the characters health, and you can’t move. Of course, you run out of ammo at the same time, BUMMER! The other issue I thought the gamer should be aware of is you need to finish a level completely before you can save it. There are various checkpoints throughout the level so if you die, you can go back to that checkpoint but it cannot be saved until the level is completed. On a positive note, there are infinite lives.
Vikki may not look intimidating but she can certainly defend herself. She utilizes her trusty Bow and a pretty cool selection of arrows with different power levels. There are explosive arrows, fire arrows, tridents, etc. She can also ride Leo when the need arises. As gameplay progresses, the player has the option to play as Vikki, Vikki with Leo, just Leo, or Vikki riding Leo. My personal favorite was riding that hairy beast!!
3DO did a good job pushing the powers of the PS2. The graphics are loaded with Polygons, special effects, awesome CGs, and plenty of detail. The levels are huge, imaginative, and colorful. The female characters display beauty and enough sex appeal to drive any boy/man crazy. These girls had it all; long hair, 2 inch. waists and Double D breasts. I thought to myself, “what the hell do they see in that green plastic guy anyway”?
The music and sound effects of PR set the mood flawlessly. The music was pretty versatile ranging from mysterious, to enchanting, and sometimes even childish. When danger is approaching the player will be warned. You will hear different sound effects like water falling, objects shattering, and stuff exploding around you. The characters also slip in some good one-liners.
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'Portal Runner' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by Loretta Mattie © Absolute PlayStation
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