(WiiWare)

Game Review

Heavy Fire: Special Operations Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Jon Wahlgren

Rat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-buyer's remorse

There’s certainly no lack of lightgun games on Wii; in fact, one of the more vocal complaints about Wii shooters is that too many of them are on-rails. It’s a silly thing to complain about given the dearth of them in previous console generations and the relatively high quality of the Wii’s catalogue, and a great one can be an awesome source of heated, ridiculous fun.

Teyon’s WiiWare effort Heavy Fire: Special Operations, however, is not one of the greats. By the second stage, everything about it feels half-baked, but it does make a great first impression.

Taking place during a fictional conflict in Somalia, you play as a soldier in a unit sent in to shoot every person ever. It looks reasonable for WiiWare – albeit a bit muddied and generic video game Middle Eastern – and runs at a solid framerate with smooth cursor movement, and starting off with commandeering a mobile turret leads you to think that Heavy Fire ain’t so bad in that penny arcade sense. Then you trade the turret for a pistol (with a 30-bullet clip; that’s one hell of a pistol) and start running around the city; the pistol shot sounds tinny, unimpressive, but hey, it’s supposed to be the weakest gun in the game, right? So you continue shooting more dudes that pop up or audaciously sprint across your field of view for no apparent reason other than man, these guys just can’t wait to die.

By the end of the first stage, your combos, accuracy, time and level destruction boost your score, which in turn unlocks new guns for you as you go through the half-hour game. Next is an automatic weapon with a bigger clip. It sounds like a plastic toy; there’s no sense of power behind it. All six sound like plastic toys. Oh well. Back to shooting. Shooting shooting shooting.

Sometimes enemies even shoot back. Sometimes! Actually, they are always shooting back, but they are terrible shots. An exclamation point plinks up above an enemy’s head to warn you that they’re getting closer to hitting you and that maybe you should focus on them for a spell, but in reality it doesn’t seem to matter much as they pose just as much of a threat as those who are shooting because it’s apparently the cool thing to do. The few enemies that managed to hit us didn’t actually have an exclamation mark over their head, throwing the whole warning system into question.

Even reloading is handled in an odd manner. It’s awkward at first, requiring a shake of the Remote instead of shooting off-screen like an arcade-style on-rails game, but you get used to it. Later weapons allow you to reload by tapping the A button, which makes the shake feel like more of a needless handicap than anything else.

Would you like to save and resume from a stage later? Sorry, you can’t, back of the bus. Want to do a pistol-only run? Sorry, you have to use the newest weapon you unlocked. How about grenades or something? Sorry, all out. Would you like an online leaderboard? Write down the code you get after completing the game and enter it on Heavy Fire’s website. Want your money back? Sorry, no refunds or trade-ins for WiiWare.

Conclusion

Not even the 500-Point price tag can justify a purchase of the mindless Heavy Fire, because for a whopping double that you can get a miles better retail game like Ghost Squad or House of the Dead: Overkill. If you’ve already exhausted Wii’s rail shooter library, you’re better off deleting your save files and starting anew than playing Heavy Fire.

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User Comments (43)

BrazCanaMan

#6

BrazCanaMan said:

Something tells me that the reviewer doesn't play many on-rails shooters on the Wii, pretty much EVERY on-rails shooter requires you to shake the remote to reload, I think house of the dead 2 & 3 is an exception... can't remember. I'm going to pick this one up anyways, I like the genre.

JonWahlgrenAdmin

#7

JonWahlgren said:

@6: Ghost Squad, Overkill, HotD 2&3, RE: UC/DC and Dead Space: Extraction say hi. Just because everyone else is doing it doesn't mean it's not handled poorly here.

Kaeobais

#8

Kaeobais said:

Bah, yet again no good 600- pt game for me to get. Seriously, I've had 600pts saved up for the entire god damned year, when is something worthwhile gonna come out?

pixelman

#10

pixelman said:

Ow oww owowow ow! Sometimes seeing those scores hurt. Too bad this didn't turn out. :/

BrazCanaMan

#11

BrazCanaMan said:

@Panda
Ok, if reloading is handled poorly like a lot of delay or something then it should be said. From what I read, the reviewer had a problem with it because it uses a shake-to-reload control scheme.

grenworthshero

#12

grenworthshero said:

@BrazCanaMan what kind of on-rails shooters are you playing? All the games I know of (the good ones, anyway) don't require you to lose your bearings by shaking the Wiimote; that's one thing I hated about Onslaught. It made it even worse because the game isn't on-rails. Panda just mentioned a plethora of games that don't use that ridiculous reloading method, and those are--probably not coincidentally--the most popular on the Wii.

WolfRamHeart

#13

WolfRamHeart said:

I had a bad feeling about this game. I'm not surprised at all by the score. Thanks for biting the bullet for the rest of us Panda.;)

JonWahlgrenAdmin

#14

JonWahlgren said:

My issue isn't that shake to reload is in, it's that it feels awkward and that the better weapons give you/unlock the option to ignore it completely. To me, doing that is essentially admitting that it's not the best way to reload. And the ever increasing clip sizes means you'll do it less (largest holds 250 bullets, which is kinda ridic), removing the strategy of timing your reloads. Thus, poorly handled.

CanisWolfred

#15

CanisWolfred said:

Why am I not surprised? Seriously, there are far better games on Wiiware, VC, and retail DS or Wii that are fantastic for only a little more. Sometimes even a low price can't justify low quality.

BrazCanaMan

#16

BrazCanaMan said:

@Panda
Alright, I see. I guess I got the wrong idea from :"Even reloading is handled in an odd manner. It’s awkward at first, requiring a shake of the Remote instead of shooting off-screen like an arcade-style on-rails game, but you get used to it." Thanks for clearing it up.
@grenworthshero
I'm playing the good rail shooters, and I just put house of the dead 2&3, RE: UC, HOTD: OK and dead space (I played ghost squad a while back and I remember shaking) to the test and, with the exception of dead space, they all have the shake-to-reload. Also I never lost my bearings shaking (or more accurately "flicking") the controller, you can't shoot while you're reloading anyways and you always have enough time to point back at the screen in time to shoot.

Smoke39

#17

Smoke39 said:

Lots of Wii rail shooters do require shaking to reload (I know Overkill and UC use it), but flicking the crosshair offscreen and back is enough to register, so they still have that classic light gun feel. Apparently it isn't so responsive here.

Anyway, sad to hear this isn't so great. I was hoping for a new Ghost Squad-esque game. :<

Sylverstone

#19

Sylverstone said:

I saw the playthrough, and it was very boring to watch. 4/10 in my book, the graphics liked good enough.

SMEXIZELDAMAN

#22

SMEXIZELDAMAN said:

Hahaha that review is funny. Also i nthe first paragraph "dearth" was used and I think you meant to say "death"?

Mik

#24

Mik said:

@16/BrazCanaMan

Your definition of 'good rails shooter' is pretty rubbish:

http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/wii/houseofthedeadoverkill?q=house%20of%20the%20dead%20wii

http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/wii/houseofthedead2and3return?q=house%20of%20the%20dead%20wii

http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/wii/residentevilumbrellachronicles?q=resident%20evil%20umbrella%20chronicles

The House of the Dead: Overkill is an okay game, as is Umbrella Chronicles. House of the Dead 2/3 is just distinctly average, defining 80/100 or more as a good/great/class game.

Oh, and on a footnote, if you want a SUPERB rail-shooter then:

http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/wii/sinandpunishment2

You evidently haven't played it.

I think you need to get your gaming sense back, dude. ALSO, I can't believe you want waste your (parents') hard-earned money on a game so frightfully disgraceful that it puts (most) other games to shame!

CanisWolfred

#25

CanisWolfred said:

@Mik

We're talking more about Light-Gun style Rail shooters, which are distictly different from S&P2.

Also, no need to be a pompous @$$ telling people their tastes suck, especially since he did in fact list some great light gun games, whether you liked them or not. Besides, If you can't conceive that House of the Dead is a full-fledged classic, you shouldn't be talking.:P

BrazCanaMan

#26

BrazCanaMan said:

@Mik
Well, first off "dude", I don't follow metacritic because metacritic isn't always the authority on what is good. Video games, like music or movies, are up to personal tastes and opinions. If you need someone to tell you whats good, I feel sorry for you. But it's good that you think you're not wasting your parents money. Second, I live in Brazil. I could spend R$299.00 on a game I'll enjoy for a while or I could spend R$7.00 on a game that I might also enjoy for a while if I have different taste than the reviewer, I know it sounds crazy but it happens. Plus I like the genre, "dude".

Vinsanity

#27

Vinsanity said:

About the beginning of the article, I think it's perfectly reasonable to complain about the abundance of on-rails shooters on Wii. Mainly because they evolved into FPS's, and there are far too FEW of those on the Wii. Which is directly related to the amount of on-rails shooters - most publishers would rather do an on-rails entry in a series on the cheap than spring for the production of a full blown FPS. Of course, I'm talking about EA and Dead Space here, but you can see it generally this generation. Id software also did it with Doom 3 on iPhone. That sucks. Especially when ALL on-rails games are just like Heavy Fire: shoot, shoot, shoot, buyer's remorse. Even the best ones do the same damn thing, and get old very quick. We do not need so many damn on-rails shooters on Wii.

At the very least, we should have more where you control the characters. Besides Sin & Punishment 2, I mean. Where's Star Fox? Panzer Dragoon? Space/Planet Harriers? Its not much more effort than a dumb old first person on rails shooter, and yet it adds so much depth to be able to avoid shots.

Smoke39

#29

Smoke39 said:

@Vinsanity: FPSs aren't any more superior evolutions of rail shooters than 3D platforms are of side-scrollers. They're two different genres with their own unique appeal. If you want more FPSs or games like S&P and Star Fox that's fine, but there's no need to take it out on another genre just because you aren't particularly fond of it.

grenworthshero

#31

grenworthshero said:

@Braz
I didn't know that's what's considered "shaking"; the method of reloading in the games you mentioned are just meant to emulate pointing the gun away from the screen in an arcade cabinet. If that's how it's handled--just moving it off to the side--then that's fine; I just don't want to actually flail the remote around every time I need to reload.

OldBoy

#33

OldBoy said:

In HOTD:OK you can shake the remote to reload but you can also just press the A button.Also if you fire while your clip is empty it auto reloads so it dosen't cause a problem.
Shame about this game as I have just purchased a Nyko Perfect Shot.Thought this looked promising but looks like I'll have to play HOTD again!!

cyrus_zuo

#35

cyrus_zuo said:

Wish I'd spent the money on Ghost Squad (which I've played through many times and rented twice now).
The game is very unsatisfying in nearly every way. The environments are nearly indestructible, and the difficulty has weird spikes that go from 5 minutes of total boredom ease to a few seconds of getting pummeled and hoping you don't lose too many lives b/c there are only 2 continues before you're forced to start over from the beginning.
Why not allow 4 players? Why not vary the target reticule in both shape and color between the two players (it does vary in color). The game feels flat, and it's sad, b/c I think some more tweaking and level design would have helped make it pretty good.
It's not fun to kill endless hordes of idiots who seem to run out onto the screen for no reason other than to give you something to shoot at. It's much more entertaining if there are less enemies seem to be thoughtful in their approach. Taking more pages from Time Crisis would have made this game all right. As it is, it was only 500, but it felt like a waste at that price. Wild West Guns is a MUCH better game, and it's not a tier 1 rails shooter by any means. Wish I'd passed.

Junkface

#37

Junkface said:

Hey does anyone know about the double bundle light gun game Gunblade NYC and LA Machine Guns? I vaguely remember them from the arcade but never played them. Anyone know if they are any good?

MakeMyBiscuit

#38

MakeMyBiscuit said:

Wow. This is when I wish WiiWare had more demos for their games.

I usually agree with the reviews of games on this site but I decided to check this out anyways. I'm a huge fan of light gun games ever since House of the Dead 2 and my Dreamcast and I can say this game ROCKS!!! I would have given it a 8 or 9 easy.

It is almost as if the reviewer already knew he did not like the game before he played it and found reasons to make that come true.

Teyon did a great job with this game. They really packed a lot into this WiiWare title and it shows. I do have to say I use the "Nyko Perfect Shot" for all my gun games. Just using the Wii Remote alone does not cut it for me and the Wii Zapper just feels awkward.

Playing this game with the "Perfect Shot" felt natural. The big "shake to reload" was nothing more that a quick flip up with the gun and you are back in business. Seriously, it actually felt better than shooting off the screen and the game's difficulty does pick up.

You owe it to yourself pick up a "Nyko Perfect Shot" (if you don't already have one" and try out this game if you are a fan of light gun games.

Teyon should be commended for their efforts and 500 points is a no brainer. I would have easily paid 1000 points for this game. It certainly looks better than any N64 game for that price. It is amazing they packed so much into 40 MB! This game along with "Jett Rocket" and "Pearl Harbor" show what talented designers can do with WiiWare.

Way to go Teyon! I can't wait for what you come up with next.

SilverBaretta

#39

SilverBaretta said:

@Junkface: I've only played LA Machineguns and I have to say, it's a really fun game! The arcade version I would assume is more engrossing since it gives you force feedback for EVERTHING, but the Wii version should be an good port if done correctly. The game is difficult, but there's some cool effects and the gameplay is solid, so yeah, it's a good game. Haven't played Gunblade, though.

NovemberJoy

#43

NovemberJoy said:

I DESPERATELY want a rail-shooter. I'd be thinking about this one, because of the cheap price, but there are probably better ones on WiiWare. Does anyone have suggestions?

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