Game Review Data
Game Title
CT Special Forces
Light and Shadow Productions
1 - 2 Players. Password Save.
Andrew Blanchard



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CT Special Forces (the CT stands for Counter Terrorist) is one of the first releases by French publisher LSP. The company had only previously co-published games, but this and another recent release, Droopy Tennis, will hopefully see them take their rightful place as a quality publisher in the expanding GBA market. The screens from this game were previewed some time ago and it always appeared to be an ambitious project simply because of the amount of gaming modes that were supposedly available. Have LSP stretched themselves a little too thin? Read on and see...

Screen Shots


The actual gameplay in CT Special Forces can roughly be split into four different sections: a platformer-come-shooter, a sniper mode, a parachute freefall, and a vertical shoot'em up. The most remarkable thing about this is that they all maintain a very high level of quality throughout while remaining relatively seamless within the story line. They take place over four separate levels, in very different terrain ranging from snow-covered mountains to scorching deserts. Everything starts out with a "Metal Gear Solid" type of briefing by Central Control and then you're instantly plunged into the game.

The platforming section dominates most of the missions, and this is also your starting point. You'll find assassins coming from every direction and not only are they reasonably intelligent, but also well-armored so even the early levels demand three or four direct shots before they're disposed of. There's also a huge range of 'pick-ups' available, from simple health to some truly impressive firepower. The sniper mode adds a unique style of gameplay and here you must pick off the enemy and rescue the hostages before time runs out, and just as importantly, before they get you. You'll always know how you're doing here as the screen is full of information regarding remaining captives and assassins, not to mention your all-important 'health bar'.

The parachute freefall usually happens when you've reached the peak of a mountain with nowhere else to go. You'll automatically strap on the parachute, but during freefall you must make sure your trooper doesn't hit the cliffs or overaccelerate, and then release your chute at just the correct moment. Finally, the vertical shoot'em up sections see you piloting a helicopter while avoiding ground and air missiles. This is further complicated by the introduction of ground-based guided missiles that drain your health on contact. Fortunately, there's health dotted about everywhere, although the screen does scroll left and right, so exploration is essential.

For once the developers have actually made the password system a gaming feature where the four-number code is entered into a combination lock, which is both easy to record and even simpler to input. There's also a multiplayer mode, which remarkably runs from a single game pak. This lets you engage in a race against time with another operative and is really great fun to play; something everyone who has the game should try out.


The control system couldn't be easier and you'll find yourself instinctively knowing what buttons to press even when the gaming style suddenly changes. In addition, the sprite detection is excellent, which really cuts down on unnecessary frustrations that often befall platformers and shoot'em ups. You'll find everything so incredibly responsive that it becomes very evident the developers at LSP have spent some time on refining the controls in order to make actually playing the game that much more of a pleasurable experience.


The visual aspects of this title are outstanding and arguably feature the best character animation yet to hit the GBA. It's not so much the movement (which is both fluid and well observed), but the finer details such as snow or dust flying around as your character moves through various landscapes. You'll even see your player’s frozen breath in the snow sections. The backgrounds are also of a very high standard and everything's so well designed you never get the impression that it is being constantly repeated. Overall, a very good-looking title and one that other developers should at least aspire to match.

Sound & Music

As with the visual aspects. LSP's first outing also shines in the audio department, with every section of music and sound effects complementing the gameplay perfectly. This starts with an action movie-type soundtrack that pounds along as you try to negotiate the various levels. The sound effects are just as pleasing and often you'll actually hear an enemy before you see them, which in some instances is a real lifesaver.

Final Comments

For anyone who purchased the ill-fated Neo Geo Pocket Color to sample the delights of Metal Slug, this is going to be right up your street. It's hard to fault this title except for one minor detail--it's a little too short. If you can forgive this (and you should), you'll be treated to some of the best and most diverse gameplay the GBA has housed to date, and for that reason alone you should really check this out. There's also the real bonus with the two-player mode and it's nice to see at least one developer making this available with a single copy of the game. Gamers unimpressed with shooting things will find nothing really new here but the snipers among you should get ready for some heart-pounding action.

@ EAGB Advance 2002. All rights reserved.