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System Flaw is a great idea for a game on paper.  Use the DSi’s built in camera to use your surroundings as the back drop for a light-gun style shooter game.  On paper this sounds really cool being able to sit in your room or on the bus shooting aliens or viruses or whatever it is that your are supposed to be killing in the game. On paper I’d give this idea a B+, maybe even an A. However, as we have all come to learn as we grow old and wise is that something’s that sound great on paper don’t necessarily mean they’ll work out great in the final project.  What System Shock results in is a dizzying mess of a light gun shooter that leaves the player motion sick and racing to the off button.

The game starts out with an opening animation that seems like the pulled it straight off of DeviantArt, complete with random unmoving blonde and a crashed ship that really doesn’t explain anything at all about the game.  It seems rather silly be bringing up the quality of the art but I feel the need to mention the scene because of one jarring problem that seems too be present throughout the game.  You can’t skip it.  Now granted it’s only a few seconds long but mix it in with the awful noise the game calls music and you’ve got a gut-wrenching few seconds.  I noticed that this inability to skip is present in a few areas, specifically when you want to quit a stage. There is no pause feature once you start a level you have to finish it or close the DSi. Its aggravating that such a feature, something so commonplace in modern gaming, is just left out like that.

I really liked the concept of this game, I did.  And I got to say to the people who made this game, kudos for you for trying something different like this.  It’s good to see someone trying to use the DSi’s camera for something, because I sure as hell haven’t been using it for anything.  The problem is this: the game forces you to constantly be turning around in circles to find the alien/virus/germ things that you need to shoot.  It basically makes the game unplayable anywhere, at least unplayable if you don’t want to look like a person with some sort of mental disease. The game has you constantly spinning to the point that I was forced to put it down after every few levels just to relieve the feelings of motion sickness and nausea I was experiencing. I found that the only real way to play this game was to find myself a desk chair that swivels 360 degrees and spin as I needed too.  It’s just down right inconvenient and a poor design.  It would have been just fine if the game would have taken a quick snap shot of the image in front of the camera and just used that as a backdrop for the level.  Control of the game is simple enough, swivel around and use the L and R buttons to shoot once you’ve located an enemy.  The problem here is the enemy isn’t always going to be in the middle of the screen, so now not only are you spinning around but you may also have to be holding the DSi into the air or pointing at the ground or holding it just about your forehead. 

Like I said, good job guys for trying something different; it’s always nice to see something new and innovative.  System Flaw is new and different, just not in a good way.  I just couldn’t in any good faith recommend this to anyone.  Perhaps a sequel could fetch out this idea a little further.

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