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9. Coded Arms
2005 | PSP
Copies sold in US: More than 200,000
Average score: 59%

Coded Arms' sales figures might seem puny compared to some of the behemoths on this list, but clearing 200,000 copies is actually a pretty impressive feat for a PSP title - especially one that isn't a sequel or spin-off to an existing series. Coded Arms has the dubious distinction of being the PSP's first first-person shooter, casting players as a hacker tasked with killing bugs in a computer network. Naturally, it was hamstrung by the same control issues that plague every other PSP shooter, but what really should have sent gamers running was that Coded Arms is just so goddamn boring.

The company line: "Coded Arms is a visually stunning first-person shooter that places the gamer in the role of a computer hacker who infiltrates an abandoned virtual reality system. … Coded Arms will be one of the PSP system's premiere titles!"

What the critics said: Plenty of reviewers gushed over Coded Arms' impressive visuals, but most of the compliments ended there. GameSpot's Alex Navarro wrote that the game's design "simply doesn't have a lot to offer beyond a bland, unappealing corridor crawl with similarly boring multiplayer," while now-defunct Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine summed it up as "shallow combat meets nonexistent level design in a battle for FPS mediocrity."

It was Game Revolution's J.P. Hurh, however, who offered the most prophetic analysis. "Coded Arms is such a weak rendition of a first-person-shooter," Hurh wrote, "it makes us wonder whether such a thing is even possible on the single-analog PSP." After the steady trickle of PSP shooters released since, we're still wondering.



Why you bought it anyway: Chalk it up to Coded Arms getting there first. In the months after the PSP's launch, new owners were hungry for a game that would justify their $250 purchase, and this slick-looking first-person shooter - a genre that had never really been done well on a handheld - seemed like a perfect choice. It didn't really matter if it was bland - it looked better than people expected it to, and even if the single-player sucked, going head-to-head with friends in a generic FPS sounded like a nice change-up from bouts of Twisted Metal: Head-On.

What went wrong? It's common knowledge now that the PSP's controls make it a lousy platform for first-person shooters, but when it debuted, developers were too focused on the cool things they could do with its technology to notice. Unfortunately, one of those cool things also turned out to be Coded Arms' biggest flaw: the game's randomly generated levels, which were supposed to turn each session into a unique experience but instead turned out bland and repetitive. And because its greatest assets - portability and random levels - turned out to be liabilities, all we were left with was a mediocre corridor shooter we could play against friends.

Most infuriatingly positive quote: "The white-hot fire fights are so intense they actually made our underarms moist," wrote lad mag Stuff. Remind us never to play Black in the same room as Stuff's game reviewers; we'd hate to see what sorts of stains it might inspire.

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54 comments

  • Moosebomber - December 15, 2008 1:57 a.m.

    i liked enter the matrix. but then again, when i played it, i was 11.
  • aqibloz - July 30, 2009 2:21 p.m.

    "more focused on looking slick than on actual fun." u just described gta4. . .
  • FancyRat - October 12, 2008 3:45 a.m.

    "Aside from the Driver series having its own sizable (if by that point dwindling) fanbase..." What?
  • jingneji - October 12, 2008 5:20 a.m.

    marvel imperfects was a good games but it had it ups and downs but i still liked it
  • chilipeppersman - October 17, 2008 4:47 a.m.

    for the people who said they liked enter the matrix, that game truly sucked and you dont know good games if you think ENTER THE MATRIX was good, so good job GR. fuck all the company lines too, they are full of donkey shit
  • Patius - October 17, 2008 2:22 p.m.

    Eh, in 6th grade, Enter the Matrix was fun. Then again, there were lots of games that we enjoyed back then that suck now that I look at it.
  • twishart - October 19, 2008 1:15 a.m.

    I've purchased NONE of these games, and have only played Wii Play ONCE. Thanks GaymesRaider.corm!
  • thereaper52 - October 21, 2008 10:06 p.m.

    i loved enter the matrix only because of the slo mo wall kick fuckin A++ to the matrix
  • samboy218 - October 25, 2008 5:27 p.m.

    50 cent what?
  • Graham - October 27, 2008 3:36 p.m.

    I'm so proud of the fact that I've never bought any of these games and, to be honest, I don't know that I've even played any of them. I almost sat down with my roommmates copy of Spiderman 3 once, but after watching him get pwned repeatedly by that lame quicktime event against Sandman at the end, I thought better of it. Also, that other Matrix game, zymn, was Path of Neo. It had its fair share of bugs and lousy collision detection, but it was pretty fun overall. A good five-day rental type of game.
  • Jimmyjammy - October 30, 2008 1:31 a.m.

    When will 50 cent die? I can but dream. How pissed off would you be if you were one of the nine people who shot him and he didn't die?
  • oreomonkey - November 2, 2008 4:27 a.m.

    I liked Enter the Matrix but im sure if I picked it up again right now I would agree that its crap... Wii play was good for the remote
  • MacGyver1138 - November 6, 2008 7:39 p.m.

    Zymn, like graham said, the other Matrix game you were thinking of was the Path of Neo. It was still pretty buggy, and it had some weird fights (Giant, bipedal ants come to mind) but it was way better than Enter the Matrix. At least Enter the Matrix let you see Monica Belucci and Jada Pinkett Smith making out. That made the game almost tolerable.
  • BordersOfInsanity - November 23, 2008 8:13 p.m.

    i actually liked golden eye rogue agent, and driv3r was alright.
  • mugen_ - December 8, 2008 1:26 a.m.

    saw 50 cent's game for 99 cents, they had about a fifty copies.
  • zymn - October 11, 2008 12:47 a.m.

    fiiiiirssst. or, whatever. uhh... wasn't there a matrix game where u played as neo? and it was like you vs. vampires or somethin? anyways, great list. funny as always.
  • TheGreatHobbe - October 11, 2008 4:46 p.m.

    CURSE YOU COMPANY LINES, YOU TRICK US ALL!!!
  • Pablos102030 - October 12, 2008 6:49 a.m.

    Screw you guys, I liked rogue agent. The multiplayer was awesome.
  • bron1417 - October 13, 2008 8:06 p.m.

    back when "The Matrix" game first came out i actually liked it,i didnt buy it but i liked it enough to play it and at the time it was tight. but still it's a shame there are crappy games but that's why we have GR. nice article guys btw.
  • Rodrigo90 - October 13, 2008 8:35 p.m.

    "proving once again that no cliché is too stale for a writer who wants to see himself quoted on the back of a box." A Hilarious "Ouch" xD

Showing 1-20 of 54 comments

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