Once you get a handle on the controls, though, the game becomes much, much better. Now instead of just rushing into a room and gunning down your targets, you are actually using some thought to get through each mission.
The core of the Sum of All Fears involves familiar territory for Tom Clancy related products. In fact, if you watched the 2002 film of the same name, you will already know that the story revolves around a band of terrorists who steal, and plan on using, a nuclear device. Needless to say, it's your job to disrupt this terrorist plot, and keep everybody safe from a nuclear disaster.
In all, there are fifteen different missions, each with their own objective. You lead a team of four counter-terrorists in each mission to defuse the tension, save hostages, and hopefully save the day. Before each mission, you are able to select from a number of characters, some offering better player stats, others just using different weapons. As in real life, once one of your teammates passes away, you will not be able to choose him again.
If your team is able to both kill all of the enemies in the mission, and complete the specified objective, the Sum of All Fears will open up an extra mode called Lone Wolf. This mode enables gamers to try to take on the levels without a team backing you up. This is a little more challenging, as you can imagine, but doesn't really change the game all that much.
While each of the fifteen levels are extremely big, they are fairly uninteresting for the most part. The graphics are extremely small and not very detailed. They certainly do what they need to, but you may become tired of seeing the same landscape distractions from level to level. Compared to most GameBoy Advance games on the market, the Sum of All Fears really lacks that graphics edge.
It's also extremely dark. Now, I understand that this is almost a given on the GameBoy Advance, but recently companies have been learning ways around this problem. Games like Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance, Yoshi's Island, and Tactics Ogre can all be played without a lot of light, but the Sum of All Fears requires you to be directly under a sun lamp.
This just isn't a very fun GameBoy Advance game; especially consider what is already on the market. It's hard on the eyes, and not especially easy to play or get into. But still, I have to admit that it got better as I played it more. I still can't recommend it, but I feel I must give credit where credit is due. This is the best game of its kind, but that's not necessarily a good thing.
It may not seem like it at first, but given enough time thereís actually a fun game underneath the rough exterior. If you canít get enough sneaking around and strategically planning your attacks, this may be the portable game for you. Everybody else need not apply.
This product was submitted by the publisher for review. As a rule, Defunct Games does not review games we spent money on. However, that does not always apply to classic/retro games. This specific product, however, came straight from a PR guy for the purposes of being reviewed!