GBA Review - 'Fear Factor: Unleashed'

by Nathan Mourfield on April 20, 2005 @ 1:00 a.m. PDT

The game puts the player inside the action of the hit TV show, and features 12 spine-tingling stunts that will test gamers' steadiness, stomachs and nerve. Players can choose to play Fear Factor: Unleashed single player mode, where they will face five other competitors in an intense three-challenge contest to crown a winner.

Genre: Action
Publisher: Hip Games
Developer: Arush Entertainment
Release Date: November 20, 2004

In my humble opinion, there is no television show as disgusting as "Fear Factor," but it obviously has a captive audience, or else it wouldn't air about 10 times a week, so the greats of Arush Entertainment have decided to bring this show to the Game Boy Advance. Going from crossing a rickety bridge to facing the classic swing blade of the Pit and Pendulum, the player must take his/her character to victory while overcoming any fears their characters may have.

Let me cover the important part. Do not try any of these stunts at home. You risk life or limb by attempting any stunt mentioned in this article or in the game. Not only that, but you have a chance to win a Darwin Award, which would mean you are both stupid and dead.

There are three modes of play in Fear Factor Unleashed. The standard play is just like the TV show, and three stunts need to be completed in order to win. The custom play allows for a player to customize a challenge series by difficulty, number of players, challenge order, and game type. The last mode of play is multiplayer, allowing a player to beat their friends.

The fears in the game come in the number of five:

  • Herpetophobia: The Fear of Insects
  • Hydrophobia: The Fear of Water
  • Tachophobia: The Fear of Speed
  • Acrophobia: The Fear of Heights
  • Claustrophobia: The Fear of Enclosed Spaces

The fears in the game are assigned to the player's character randomly. These fears are an additional difficulty factor to the game, since they affect the "fear meter," a gauge of how close the character is to freaking out and losing the challenge. The fear meter is controlled by the shoulder buttons, which needs to be maintained in the middle of the bar.

In addition, the player sets the skills of the character, which determine how well the character can do certain things. These skills can move up and down on the scale just like any other skills set from RPGs or Action Games. There are four of these skills:

  • Steadiness: The Ability to Do Such Things As Pick Locks and Balance
  • Nerve: The Ability to Control Fear
  • Stomach: The Ability to Not Vomit
  • Stamina: The Ability to Handle Strenuous Exercise

There are twelve stunts:

Hydro Terror: Water Skiing
Water Skiing might not seem too scary, but with Fear Factor Unleashed, we have a way of adding a little fun to the game. The character races behind a speedboat in a body of water with such lovelies as sharks and whirlpools.

Helicopter Havoc: Jumping from One Helicopter to Another
Hanging from a rope suspended under a helicopter traveling at a high rate of speed over water might seem to be scary enough, but not for the people of Fear Factor Unleashed. The character must climb up the rope, grab a flag, swing to another helicopter, climb up its ladder, plant the flag, swing back, and repeat as much a necessary. I know U.S. Army Rangers who wouldn't do this.

Straightjacket Escape: Escape from Straightjacket While Submerged
This stunt is pretty easy. Escape from a straightjacket while submerged in a tank of water upside-down. Since we think Houdini was a wimp, we added piranha. Don't move too much.

Gross Out Buffet: Eat Cockroaches
Eat hissing cockroaches, need we say more?

Hell-icopter: Pilot Helicopter through Obstacle Course
Cars, flamethrowers, and tunnels, oh my! The player must pilot a helicopter through an unbelievable obstacle course to land on a pad for the win.

Fright Train: Being Tied to Train Tracks with a Train Coming
The character is tied to a set of train tracks with a speeding freight train coming. Loosen your bonds and escape to not become the victim of a horrible cliché.

Runaway Train: Running Across the Top of a Train
The character has to run across a speeding train gathering flags. They escape from the train by jumping to a rope attached to a helicopter. We added iron bars and flamethrowers because we were bored.

Teeter Terror: Crossing a Bridge
Run across an unstable bridge, gathering flags, above the desert floor. You will love the wildlife.

Creepy Conveyor Belt: Move Maggots Using Your Mouth
Move 80 or more maggots from one conveyor belt to another in order to win. I hear from my U.S. Army Ranger friends from earlier that they loose this stunt because they were hungry.

The Pit and the Pendulum: Being Tied Down with a Blade Swinging Above
Undo the locks before getting cut by the swinging axe and paying homage to Poe. Where is Van Price?

Truck Relay: Jumping from One Truck to Another
Gather flags from one truck and jump to the other, while speeding down the road.

Verti-Go Kart: Race around a Raised Track
We want you to race a go kart around a track for three laps. The track is 300 feet in the air, is that a problem? By the way, Karl left some stuff on the track, hope you don't mind.

Again, trying any of these stunts in real life is not only dumb, but deadly.

Unfortunately, the technical features of this game are less than exemplary. It seems that everything was done in generic terms: the graphics are blurry and nondescript, and the music and sound effects were also generic. The cut scenes are from the show, which is pretty mindless on its own.

There is no reason to play this title again once all of the challenges have been beaten,. Since the challenges depend on hand-eye coordination and little else, most of the challenges are quite boring. I would not recommend this title for any discriminating gamer out there, but fans of the show who dabble in gaming might want to finally boast about eating maggots and roaches on Fear Factor (Unleashed).

Score: 4.0/10

blog comments powered by Disqus