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JadeDragon's reviews and playing tips: Pocket PC games

Rocket Elite Gold by Digital Concepts, $18.99
Reviewed August, 2003 by Howard Paw

I am constantly disappointed at developers who bombard the Pocket PC platform with every known puzzle, card and word game variation. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against those type of games (I do enjoy playing Bejeweled and Text Twist) but it seems like a waste of processing power when you have a million re-makes. What I want to see is more original action games with good graphics and animations, thank heavens for game developers like Digital Concepts who has produced, what has got to be one of the most popular Pocket PC game ever, Rocket Elite Gold.

An action game with an attitude, Rocket Elite Gold is one of those rare games that successfully combines loads of action and solid game play while still maintaining a good mix of challenges in a game. In Rocket Elite Gold, you are sent blasting to outer space, visiting several planets and completing various mission objectives. One can say that this game belongs to the action/shooter category, but unlike the typical space shooter where the ship constantly moves forward with you evading and returning gunfire, Rocket Elite Gold features an environment where you are free to explore.

Variety is the spice of life and Rocket Elite Gold has this in abundance. Each level has you completing one or more mission objectives, ranging from easy reconnaissance missions, to more mundane task like picking up and dropping of droids for repair to some really difficult enemy clean up missions (My favorite mission is the dropping of experimental monkeys) you’re guaranteed that no 2 missions are alike in Rocket Elite Gold. Graphics in Rocket Elite Gold is good, not spectacular, but good nonetheless, the animations on the other hand are what sweet stuff is made of. Animations are very smooth and flawless on both my iPAQ 5450 and iPAQ 2210, no slowdowns even with lots of action going on. Complimenting this was the cool sound effect that’s featured all throughout the game.

Intuitive and easy –to-use controls are one of Rocket Elite’s strong points. In the game, you use the stylus to maneuver your rocket. The farther you tap your stylus from your space craft the strong its boosters will propel it. With this control method alone, you can do a lot of crazy maneuvering and stunts with your rockets. While you are controlling the ship with stylus, you need to press the hardware buttons to select weapons, engage the tractor beam or fire the weapons. All of the controls are customizable and you can remap every action to whatever hardware button configuration that you are most comfortable with. You can even set the directional pad as the control method for the space craft itself though I think it’s better to use the stylus for ship navigation purposes.

Rocket Elite Gold comes with a multiplayer module where you can go online and search for other “Elite” players. Once you’re online and logged into Elite.net, you have the option to either create or join a game, the performance of the game during online play depends on how fast and stable your internet connection is. For the single player mode, you can upload your high scores to Elite.net so you can see how good you are in the single player mode against other people.

It’s really hard to put down a game this good, Digital Concepts has managed to incorporate every aspect of what makes a game great into Rocket Elite Gold, from the graphics to the game play and controls, this is just one sweet game that every type of player will enjoy.

 

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Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics Graphics are nicely done and every movement is very well animated, I especially like the particle blasting effect.
Sound The sound effects are top notch with 3 music tracks accompanying in the background.
Fun Meter With various mission objectives and stages available on the single player mode, you won’t get tired of playing this game anytime soon. You can even get online and look for players to knock heads with.
Addictivity Cool single and multiplayer modes coupled with intense graphics, sound effects and very tight controls make Rocket Elite Gold one of the most enjoyable and addictive games for the Pocket PC ever.


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