monmin's Perfect Dark Zero (Limited Collector's Edition) (Xbox 360) review

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Perfect Dark Zero - Fun, but not perfect.

Overview:
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Fun to play but does suffer from bad graphics, slow frame rate, and frustration.

The Good:
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Overall fun to play. The weapons are great and the secondary firing option on each weapon is pretty creative and fun.
The gadgets you use along the way are fun too. Threat detector goggles show all enemies and bad things with a red outline while good guys are outlined in green.   This is really useful because the red outline makes the enemies stick out and very easy to spot (super helpful on the jungle level).  I also found x-ray goggles that let me see enemies through walls.

The game play is straight up shooter action but without any randomness. To make it through a level you simply use trial and error method to find a pattern that works (ie. which path to take, learning the location of the enemies, what order to take out the enemies, and so on).  This is both good and bad.  Bad because of the repetition/frustration involved in learning a pattern.  But good because I did feel compelled to discover the most efficient pattern to get through the levels.  In some cases learning the easiest way through a level almost feels like solving a puzzle.

I'm going to diss the graphics in 'The Bad' section, but I must say some of the graphics look a little bit ok.

The Bad
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This game so clearly does not take full advantage of the 360's power.  The graphics overall are not up to par.  The frame rate is noticeably slow - turning your head quickly is not smooth.

Some of the missions become frustrating to play through because you can't save your progress and the checkpoints are very few and very far between.  Even if you make it to the checkpoint - if you quit the game and start again later you have to start at the beginning of the level.  It takes hours to learn how to get through a level. You basically have to master the level so that you can get through it without dying or doing something that causes you to fail the mission.
One example: there is a mission where you have to be stealthy.  There are cameras throughout the level and you have to shoot them out before they see you.
The problem is, the cameras are not easy to spot.  So basically you have to run through a level until a camera spots you, so the next time through you can look for the camera and take it out.  Rinse and repeat until you have learned the location of all the cameras.  It's a fun stealth mission, but it would have been better if you could save your progress so that each time you get spotted you don't have to start over from the beginning.

I had to consult the internet cheat sheet a couple times to get tips on how to make it through levels.  I just don't have the time or the patience anymore.

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