Video Game Review

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  • Platform: PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube
  • ESRB: Teen
  • Genre: Action
  • Players: 1-8
  • Developer: EA LA
  • Publisher: Electronic Arts
  • Suggested Retail: $49.99
  • Graphics: B
  • Sound: A
  • Gameplay: D
  • Replay: C
  • Fun Factor: C
  • Reviewer’s Wild Card: C


After an amazing opening level, things take a turn for the worse

By James Stevenson     January 14, 2004

© Electronic Arts

The MEDAL OF HONOR series quickly shot its way up to being one of the most respected first-person shooter series on a console. But after countless European campaigns, the Electronic Arts decided to take the game in an entirely new direction, actually, a new hemisphere.

The game begins aboard a ship, it seems to be a normal day. Suddenly, explosions are heard. The attack on Pearl Harbor is underway. The game teaches you all of the basic moves as you escape from the burning ship. From jumping to ducking to grabbing a fire extinguisher and putting out fires, there is plenty to learn yet it doesn't feel contrived at all because of how it is set.

The game then takes to the deck, where you must battle the Japanese Bombers and shoot the torpedoes out of the water. As you look around, smoke fills the sky that is ablaze in a Hawaiian sunrise. The level is one of the most amazing that I have ever seen. In fact, it redefines cinematic levels in games. The first time I ever saw this level, my jaw was literally on the floor.

The first level sets incredible expectations for the game to follow. Unfortunately, the game doesn't quite live up to the expectations that are laid out in front of it. In fact, the rest of the game doesn't really offer much more than any of the other games for the PS2.

Once you get into the normal first-person shooter area of the game, you'll start to get annoyed by playing the same game you've played before except now there are quite a few glitches. The worst of this is the fact that the enemy AI has taken an absolute turn for the worst. I don't know what really happened here, but it's not that great. It seems as if someone forgot to put the final coat of polish on the game and that the team slacked off in the game.

Quite simply, the game offers nothing that you can't get in the other games, and can't have a better time getting in the other games. The only part of RISING SUN that is above average is the level to which the game is presented like a good World War II movie.


A little sailor action in this screenshot from MEDAL OF HONOR: RISING SUN.

much better World War II games when it comes to simple playability, and while it might not be quite as cinematic, those games are quite a bit more entertaining and fun to play. It seems as if EA has forgotten that there needs to be a good game under the World War II surface.

The graphics are good, but nothing fantastic. Some areas of the game look awful, while others are great. It's a real mixed bag. The strong suit on the technical side is the sound. The score, as always, is excellent although typical, war movie stuff. The sound effects are decent, but similar to the stuff you've heard before.

Besides a new cinematic experience, there's nothing new with RISING SUN. The gameplay hasn't been improved, in fact, it is worse. A game for MEDAL OF HONOR fans only.



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