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Danger Girl (PlayStation) artwork

Danger Girl (PlayStation) review

"When Danger Girl sashayed past me offering not one but three hyper-gynoidal heroines to play, and hot lashings of stealthy action-adventure, I groaned and almost fell over at the prospect. "

When Danger Girl sashayed past me offering not one but three hyper-gynoidal heroines to play, and hot lashings of stealthy action-adventure, I groaned and almost fell over at the prospect.

Danger Girl comes to the Playstation from the cult comic series which mercilessly wields the eye-opening breasts and derrieres of its Charlie's Angels team of good gals - The Danger Girls! - as they fight the world-conquesting Hammer Empire. In buying it, I'd already been seduced by the spell that many reviews have denounced (some with awful desperation) as being the sole weapon of an undernourished game...

But joy of joys, I found Danger Girl to be as juicy a game as everything else about it is juicy! Super addictive and highly challenging in spite of numerous technical lumps. It may borrow stealth, sniping and espionage features from 1000 different spy sources (Metal Gear Solid, Syphon Filter and the rest) but damn if it doesn't make its own thrilling cocktail out of them. AND it's an unprecedented sexy onslaught with a few well-placed twists of James Bond-esque humour to hold things tantalisingly in check. Trust me, if you've not seen the Danger Girl artwork and you've not visited a risque comic store lately, you've got no idea of the psychologically damaging power of these images.

Exploitative? Of everybody? Yep, but Tomb Raider and its two-faced ilk have wimped around with the fruits of this kind of bounciness for years whilst pretending they were not. Danger Girl glories in its crucial breasts and backsides! It drives them straight through an adventure of contrasting savagery for a total intoxicating effect.

Meet the Danger Girls!

Abbey Chase - The leader of the pack is the All-American Blonde Boobed Shirt-Bursting Babe. In fact, Abbey is so 'straight arrow' blatant even by the standards of this game that she bores me a little, and her voice-acting is erratically sultry.

Sydney Savage - YEAH BABY! She's Australian! She's from my hometown Sydney! And she's a whip-cracking raven-haired sniping expert in a blue leather catsuit, with enormous cleavage and map of Tasmania! For all of the above reasons I wanted to love her the most, EXCEPT that when you hear her open her gob - oh the horror. Instead of getting a real Aussie gal with a real Aussie voice to deliver the dialogue which would undoubtedly have made my knees crumble, they got some American fool who recreates the abomination of Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady. EEEEEEEEEEE!

JC - Ah JC (Eyes: Green, Hair: Chestnut, Boobs: Enormous), the new girl and definitely my favourite Danger Girl. She's a red-singletted Canadian maintenance expert and heavy pistol packer. She's got the solidest voice-acting, actual physical tics to build her character (cute and corny airpunches), contagious catch-phrase - 'I'm on fire, baby!' - the spunkiest wardrobe AND all the coolest levels and music in the game too!

Rigged to Blow!

Having three heroines who alternate levels is Danger Girl's trump card, tripling the fun in every dimension of the game, especially in two particular dimensions. The feel of each girl.. uh, feel of playing each girl!.. The dynamic contrast in mission styles which exploit the different skills, tricks, weapons and abilities of each character, is truly thrilling stuff.

There are tense guerilla runs, hectic gunfights, stealthy infiltration missions, security-system challenges, sniping and head-shot oriented levels, hostage rescues and demolition sorties. You'll trot the globe and hop scenery, from jungle to oil rig, from swiss chalet to ancient temple, and you'll get a great feel for what makes an Abbey level (automatic weapons mostly), what makes a JC level (hostage trauma and spunky Magnum action)... You'll get downright antsy waiting for your fave Danger Girl to bounce around again ('JC! JC!'). And there's a cool ensemble feeling that each team member is doing her part with her special skills, something I've not experienced before in this type of game.

Caution: Curves Ahead

The first thing to seize you when you play is going to be the mouth-watering splendour of the Danger Girls in motion. They're so lovingly animated and lit as the camera chases their bouncy backsides that they suck up a lot of processing power. That's right, THEIR ASSES MAKE THE WORLD MOVE MORE SLOWLY! But there's genuinely foxy attitude pouring out of their Lara Croft-outdoing inventory of actions. Nor have I ever seen so many idle animations, each woman with her own loving tics. Twist that waist, JC. Controls are very precise, the trade-off being a decrease in the girls' overall speed (their run is leisurely and the turn speed is slow) and...

What's that? You say you were expecting this game to be some kind of pneumatic rollercoaster of easiness? FORGET IT!

Danger Girl is a high-gunfire low-health guard-saturated slaughterfest complete with instant death breast-traps for the unwary, such as tripwired bombs, and there's almost nil environmental protection - E.G. In the oil rig level, the game will allow you to walk off any girder or fall through any little gap in the gangways straight into the ocean. Slain hostages, undefused bombs and wounded innocents can all end you in a splitsecond as well.

The coup de grace? You can never save the game during levels, only between them. Death takes you back to square one of any level. And these are huge breasts with tough multi-part objectives.

I've seen savage action-adventures where this start-again approach can make you suicidal (Pax Corpus? Deathtrap Dungeon? Bueller? Bueller?) but in Danger Girl they got it right on the knife's edge. The result? Excruciating tension and addiction from the old school. Knowing that one more shot could end your life when you're very deep in a level will have your heart chiselling a hole in your ribs.

Frozen Assets!

What you've got on your side is a wicked stealth engine. Prised from the kung-fu grip of Solid Snake (or maybe he was just lectured about the perils of smoking again, and dropped the device out of boredom), Danger Girls have radars complete with vision cones and colour-coded alert statuses. Stealth isn't the binary life-and-death function that it was in Metal Gear Solid, and I love the fact that you can use almost anything you see to hide behind if you think it will cover your ectomorphic but prodigious bod. This chair? This rubble? This statue? But if the baddies hear you or see a part of you sticking out (Danger Girls are always sticking out) they will come-a-shooting.

Auto-targeting crosshairs skip from one enemy to the next, and physics of different weapons are well handled. The THUMP of bodies flying away from your shotgun is one of the best I've experienced in any game. Your acrobatic moves aren't just for show, either. It's so cool how they're all figured in, and I will say with a straight face that they make you feel like a Real Secret Agent. You might roll along the floor to pass by a window-sill unseen. Cartwheel sideways into a room with guns blazing, or creep unheard in 'tiptoe mode' right up to a guard's backside, then whip him. As the manual says, 'It's always fun to see a Danger Girl use a whip.'

Regarding the handling of the audio in Danger Girl, women have made me lie before, but I won't lie to you now: It's sloppy. The music cuts out to make way for dialogue, and I've zapped plenty of guards then heard them cry 'Damn!' from beyond the grave. Otherwise, the voice acting varies from cornball to ripsnorting (the 'Sydney to JC' scale) and there are great incidental jokes like the squealy voices of the male hostages:

''Ewwwww, a gun! Ewwwww!''

As for the ditties, when I first saw JC straddle an oil rig, my honest reaction to that strange wailing starting up in the background was: 'What the hell is THAT?' But this drizzly piece of grindcore turned out to be my favourite theme from Danger Girl, and went on to be hummed by me in the course of my days. Well, to the extent that anyone can hum grindcore. Also, the Danger Girls title track, with seventies style string flourishes over a spy's groove, is as classy as a shaken Martini. Though the scrolling montage of women on the title screen might already have crippled you by that point.

A day in the life of ABBEY CHASE

It was freezing in the Swiss warehouse, but Abbey stood by her decision to wear nothing on this mission except her G-string and the transparent blue dress left over from the party. If anything, maybe it would perk her up.

Then they chuck that gratuitousness back into your face by having your health drain rapidly due to the frost until you can find some proper clothes. Whoa, I can see the condensation as all the characters breathe out, and Abbey shivers if she stands around! Watching her grapple with a rocket launcher from the confines of one of the most unforgiving dresses ever worn is excellent.

Snapshot: JC

'Now I'm defusing bombs too? Wasn't today my day off?'

She's pretty nice when she's wearing a singlet, but JC is in fact even more galvanizing when she rugs up. She's got attitude to burn with that back-to-front baseball cap, khaki pants and a snow-jacket with the hood bouncing behind her. She sneaks around a Swiss military compound at night doing completely un-cute things like shooting open skulls and lifting people with a grenade launcher. Something about the intense foxiness clashing with the sharpened violence here (I once contrived to shoot a guard through his fireside shot glass) and the cat-and-mouse games in the snow, really gives me the goosebumps.


Splayed over a clifftop vantage point, Sydney had been watching the guard work his way around the courtyard below through the scope of her sniping rifle for ten minutes now. The concrete-stripping sun's heat was turning her catsuit into a portable sauna, but Sydney was a pro.

'Just a few more seconds,' she muttered in her delightful Australian accent as the guard moved into range.

But at the instant her finger teased the trigger, a single rivulet of icy perspiration rolled right down between her...

Lovely eyebrows has our Sydney. She's the long-legged mistress of sniping and 'weird missions'. She'll dance through a grid of security lasers, then line up a sniper shot through a museum case for a set-piece death in a shower of glass. The first-person gunning mode is pixel-perfect.

Bustin Out

What's funny is how the least erotic bits of this game are a couple of the more blatant (and plasticky) ones in the CGI cut-scenes. But the loading screen comic artwork stills, one per level, are so horny that they make me flat out queasy, yet without being explicit. They're beautiful.

I must also say that this game looks to be more faithful to its source comic than any other licence I've seen. The Danger Girl creators bound the plot tightly to the comic story arcs, and a coup for videogaming is that they actually introduced the new Danger Girl, JC, in this game, before she was set to appear in the comic!

Crossing the Line

Danger Girl has the perfect balance of controllable features and edgy gameplay (with no save points) absolutely ripe for challenge-setting, and did in fact make me go 'challenge-setting crazy'. First I'd turn off the auto-aim and play the level, which is a HUGE deal. Second I'd turn off the radar as well, and play it again. Finally I'd do it allowing myself only to use a pistol. As much fun as I've conjured up on my own with the Danger Girls, I still think it's a pity that there isn't some 'Super Hard' mode on offer.

But there are some awesome and downright weird cheat modes you can unlock, which you'll actually want to play with for a change. Consider Danger Girl Slow Motion. Achieve the supernatural bullet-giving and taking skills of Max Payne whilst enjoying the physics of hair and flesh settling into place after every stride. I also dig the Pick-Ups Randomiser, and Invisibility opens the door to much hilarity.

Catfight to the Finish

Certainly Danger Girl has its share of rough patches. Choppy audio channels, intermittent slowdown, and situations so diabolical they're guaranteed to kill and frustrate you on the first pass are the main offenders. There's even an awful bug on one level (DON'T use the noisemaker grenades on the 'Swiss 1' level - you'll crash). But I hardly care about these things in the end, because Danger Girl has truly got it going oooooon! Nobody has ever made a game as purposefully sexy as this one which is also so ambitious in its gameplay, and the Danger Girl universe looks and feels terrific. Nor do I care if Syphon Filter and friends are infinitely more consistent - it's the fact that Danger Girl does veer wildly all over the place that makes it such an enthralling experience for me. JC's oil rig and snowfield levels are two of my most replayed and enjoyed levels for any game I've bought in 2001. Danger Girl is addictive in that classic way where you're drawn to attempt one level over and over again, just trying to string all your moves together and triumph.

I love this game. It's bracing, it's funny, it's edgy, and it's foxy beyond belief. Don't be tight-lipped, hug the Danger Girls!

-- Danger Girl -- 8/10 --

bloomer's avatar
Community review by bloomer (March 07, 2004)

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