Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex Review

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Graphics: 8.0
Sound : 8.0
Gameplay : 6.0
Multiplayer : 6.0
Overall : 7.0
Review by Joshua Smith
Any of this sound like fun? Running around as Motoko Kusinagi the sexy rad main character of the Ghost in the Shell series? Being able to have her jump around the screen in fluid animation and execute all kinds of cool looking jumps and flips? Kicking the crap out of everyone that you don’t shoot to death? Do these things sound like fun? Well, they’re not really. Oh, how I so wanted them to be though.

I really wanted to enjoy this game. And, well, you can, if you just watch someone play it. Because actually playing Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is pretty boring. It seems like it has so much going for it at first, but that all strips away to reveal one unfortunate fact: it’s not actually fun to play. At all, well for a little bit... maybe...

The good points of the game, though, are numerous. The only part where it fails, being the part where it is supposed to be a game that’s enjoyable.

The cut scenes in the game are beautiful. Fully rendered CGI cut scenes help fill out the story as you play through the game. The art, of course is in line with Shiro Masamune’s work, so it is beautiful. The in game graphics are pretty great as well. The Animation for Motoko’s movements is very fluid and the various acrobatic stunts are always fun to watch, using the different leaps and flips to jump around a group of enemies taking them down one by one is pretty cool looking. The animation is so great, in fact, that it’s fun to just sit and watch Motoko jump off of walls and the like.

You can switch around weapons by grabbing things off of guards that you take down while playing. So no problem with the selection of weapons. You can kick the crap out of people with your fists and feet. You do this in totally cool slow motion, super cop neat-o style.

So the problem? It’s boring. It is just not fun to play this game. There are a lot of really great things going for this game. But the game play gets very repetitive that it’s not worth putting in a great amount of time to play though the game. Wandering around through pretty generic, linear levels. Fighting completely unimpressive AI that it’s pretty easy to trick. None of the combat situations seem to be designed to actually offer you some sort of challenge. You just choose how you’re going to kill everyone, and you go ahead and kill them.

There is a multiplayer mode for up to 4 players, where you can go head to head in combat with up to three other friends. You know what? This isn’t fun either. Boring level design. Not a whole lot of variety in game types and settings. It’s there, but, you know, it’s not... I think you get it. It’s just not all that interesting.

So unfortunately it’s hard to give Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex too great of a review. If you’re a huge fan of the series, you’re probably going to get some enjoyment out of the game. Visually it’s stunning; it’s a cool companion piece to the cartoons. Outside of that, well, you could also just sort of stare at a wall for a couple of hours and get about the same thrill out of it.