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Rated T for Teen for Mild Violence Developed by: Trainwreck Studios (Now 2015, Inc.) Published by: ValuSoft Learning Curve: 5-20 minutes System Requirements: OS: Windows 95/98/2000 (It worked on my XP as well) CPU: P166MHz or better (200MHz recommended for software mode) Memory: 16MB (32 recommended) HD Space: 40MB CD-ROM Drive Audio: Windows Compatible Sound Card Multiplayer: TCP/IP or IPX support 3D Accelerator recommended, but not required.
The fun of laser tag is now yours to enjoy wherever and whenever you desire. This non-violent game throws players into arenas using lasers to \'tag\' opponents out. None of the gore, all of the fun! The object is simple...tag or be tagged. Can you handle it? Fifteen stunning multilevel environments serve as futuristic playgrounds for your laser tag matches. Look, listen, anticipate, then attack! A real player\'s best weapon is his mind...and a quick trigger finger.*

Gameplay

In LA, even from the beginning you can choose from more than ten arenas to play in. The modes of play are as follows: Team Match, Free-for-All, Mega Target, Domination, Duel, and Ladder. Team Match is the root of laser tag - there are two teams that try to shoot at each other with their laser guns, to put it in one sentence. You can be on either the red team or green team, and have anywhere from four players to eight players. Then you go to the arena, and battle it out. The team with the most points at the end, or that reached the point limit first, wins. The Free-for-All is exactly what it sounds like: every man for himself - shoot everything that moves! The person with the most points at the end, or who reached the point limit first, wins. I?ve found that this is the most challenging, but, like all the modes, you have complete control over how hard the bots are. Mega Target is a different sort of game. You?re on one of two teams - red or green. You have a very large arena, with a protected room in the center. Then you have several different places in the arena where you can shoot small targets on the wall - a triangle, a Greek-looking ?E,? and a horseshoe-shape. If you shoot all of them without getting ?taken out,? you are allowed into the room with the ?Mega Target.? When you shoot it, you get a bonus of five thousand points! The team with the most points at the end, or that reached the point limit first, wins. Domination is a very interesting game. There are three different floating panels that have shapes on them - the same shapes as the targets in Mega Target - interspersed throughout the arena that change to your color when you walk over them. (You, again, can be red or green) When you walk over them you get five hundred points. The team with the most points at the end, or that reached the point limit first, wins. The last mode of LA is Duel. This is where there is one more person in the arena with you, and you battle it out with them. There?s not much to say here; I?m sure you get the idea. But, for the last time, the person with the most points at the end, or who reached the point limit first, wins. In the Ladder mode, you make your way up in the laser tag world in thirteen levels, which have all the different kinds of modes. You can be anywhere from Beginner to Elite. And the AI is accordingly. This is a very tough mode, and will keep you playing for weeks, if not months. Now, LA is in first person, which means you see the gun as if it were held by you. This is an extremely effective way to present a laser tag game. The advantage for this is over a third person view (where you see the person you?re playing) is, you can aim well and shoot more people. The gameplay itself is very nice. It?ll hold your attention for a while, the Artificial Intelligence is great (you can have them from a level 1 to a level 10), and it takes a while to beat the Ladder mode. The last thing is that it has online multiplayer. Now, I tried, and tried real hard, but no one does it anymore. So, I finally gave up. Overall, I?d give the Gameplay of Laser Arena a 16 / 20.

Graphics

The graphics of Laser Arena are very good, if you have decent hardware. In the options, you can either use the software graphics renderer or your own hardware graphics renderer - the latter is the better. I had mine on the software at first, and it was very, very blocky. Then I switched it to the hardware, and it was almost like a game from today! The graphics look very good for five years ago. We?ll start with the characters themselves. The ?armor? is done well. It has little ridges and nooks like the real thing. The only complaint I have with it is, it doesn?t look ?neon? like it should; it just looks like a flat color. The faces are sort of flat, and the movement of the characters themselves is not too convincing. The targets in Mega Target mode is done okay; again, they don?t look like they?re giving off light. I didn?t know I had to shoot them when I first played! The rest of the graphics go about like this: OK by today?s standards, must?ve been pretty good then. The graphics for Laser Arena gets a 7 / 10.

Sound

The sound for Laser Arena has two words describing it: cool, repetitive. That pretty much sums it all up. There are a few scores that make up the game. They?re sort of a funky techno rock, and fit in very well with the environment. They are definitely something that would be in a laser tag place. The sound effects are next. They are done well. The lasers sound futuristic; very similar to what Star Wars lasers sound like. When you land on a ?space-age spring,? it sounds like a cartoonish spring. When grenades bounce off the walls and other things, it sounds realistic. When people join the game, it makes sort of a portal-type of sound. The sound is something that you?ll not miss too much if you keep it off. After listening to it, I think the sound for Laser Arena deserves an 5 / 10.

Stability

The only problem with the game was that I accidentally made it where my AntiVirus program wouldn?t let it work in full-screen mode, so every time I tried, the AntiVirus would shut it down automatically. So it wasn?t the game; it was me. There are no patches that I could find out there, so that?s a good sign. The stability of Laser Arena gets a 5 / 5.

Controls / Interface

The beginning menu is very easy to navigate. It?s pretty obvious: Ladder, Quick Game, Multiplayer, Character Setup - you get the drift. The controls are very responsive, and are easy to get the hang of; if you?re no stranger to FPSs, you could probably get it in five minutes, otherwise it might take fifteen or twenty. The best part about the controls is that you can customize them to any buttons you want! The only problem I had with this is that I experimented with the controls and tried to make it a button to look around, instead of the mouse, and it went extremely slow looking around. That was it. The controls / interface for Laser Arena needs a 4.5 / 5.

Appropriateness

Non Deadly Violence (-2.5 pts) No Blood (-0 pts) No Foul Language (-0 pts) No Sexual Content (-0 pts) No occult or supernatural in the game. (-0 pts) The only thing that was wrong in the game, per se, was the violence issue. The weapons are lasers and laser grenades (which emit little lasers). If you get hit by one, you lose a ?power canister.? When you run out of ?power canisters? you disappear and reappear at another place in the arena. This is the point where you need to decide for yourself if it?s good or bad to shoot people with fake lasers for sport. It doesn?t hurt the people in any way, and there?s nothing in the Bible about it. So, this is your personal convictions time. I personally see nothing wrong with it; I like playing the real thing. But now it?s just up to you and the Lord. The appropriateness for Laser Arena gets a 47.5 / 50.

Closing Comments

I have found this game to be very challenging and fun. The gameplay is great, the graphics are good, the sound is decent, and the controls are good - this is a superb alternative to violent games like Halo and Half-Life.

Game Ratings

Gameplay - 16 / 20 Graphics - 7 / 10 Sound - 5 / 10 Stability - 5 / 5 Controls / Interface - 4.5 / 5 Total - 37.5 / 50

Appropriateness Ratings

Non Deadly Violence (-2.5 pts) No Blood (-0 pts) No Gore (-0 pts) No Foul Language (-0 pts) No sexual dialogue. (-0 pts) No Nudity (-0 pts) No Sexual Content (-0 pts) No occult or supernatural environment in the game. (-0 pts) No occult or supernatural in the game. (-0 pts) No authority issues involved with this game. (-0 pts) No prejudicial bias in the game. (-0 pts) No gross humor in the game. (-0 pts)

Final Ratings

Appropriateness Rating - 47.5 / 50 Game Ratings - 37.5 / 50

Total - 85 / 100

*Taken from http://www.gamespy.com

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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