Konami's latest action game, Cy Girls, is based on a Takara-produced toy line in Japan (which also has its own cartoon series), which features a number of comely, ultrafuturistic-looking girls designed for one sole purpose: to kick ass. The toy line, cartoon, and game are all titled "Cool Girl" in Japan, but for the game's stateside release, Konami apparently decided to give the game a hipper, more-stylish name. Or maybe Konami just realized that there's actually nothing cool about this near train wreck of an action adventure game. Whatever minimal amount of sleekness the game has to offer is completely overshadowed by unimpressive graphics and sound, sloppy combat mechanics, and an almost nonstop assailment of long, boring, and mind-numbingly frustrating puzzles.
Attractive female action heroes? Cyberspace? Futuristic weaponry? This game must be great, right? Well...
Cy Girls has two main, playable characters: Ice, a tough, blonde hacker with a penchant for guns and things that blow up (think Raiden from Metal Gear Solid 2 if he actually were a girl instead of just looking like one), and Aska, the silent-but-deadly ninja type with an affinity for bladed weaponry (essentially a combination of every generic female ninja character you can think of). Each of the girls actually has her own storyline, and the respective adventures are contained on two separate discs, similar to Devil May Cry 2's one-disc-per-character setup (and we all know how well that turned out). Both girls live in a sort of postcatastrophic future where megacorporations rule the world. Aska's and Ice's stories start out predictably enough, with Ice on a hired mission to hack into the database of a company called Net Justice and Aska on a personal mission to avenge the death of her father. Both characters' stories run parallel to each another, and neither one is particularly comprehensible, let alone entertaining or interesting.
But, hey, if Cy Girls' action were any good, the story wouldn't matter, right? Regrettably, no such luck. Cy Girls appears to be using the Metal Gear Solid 2 engine, but outside of a couple of decent stealth mechanics, such as being able to dive behind and shoot around corners, the gameplay absolutely fails to ever be anything more than pure, uninspired mediocrity.
Though Aska's and Ice's methods of combat differ, their basic controls are the same. You can use your basic weapon--either one of Ice's guns or Aska's sword--by pressing the circle button, you can jump with the X button, you can use a secondary weapon with the triangle button, and you can perform miscellaneous actions via the square button. When engaged in combat, you have the option to manually aim at a target or have a targeting reticle automatically lock onto a specific enemy. With Ice, this is more useful. Pretty much all of her weapons are projectile-based, so it's helpful to have a specific enemy locked. Aska, on the other hand, doesn't really need any special targeting, because in most situations, it's unbelievably easy to just kill off every bad guy in sight with her. In situations with multiple attackers, if you hit the attack button, Aska will simply launch into some sort of contextual special attack that pretty much kills everybody in her path without any real effort on your part. Granted, this is really only applicable when you're facing generic enemies, but you'll be facing more than enough of them to leave you with a pretty dull, oversimplified combat experience throughout Aska's portion of the game.
This is not to say that Ice's section is much better, however, and really, both parts are just an absolute bore to play through. Save for occasional boss fights, the combat is never particularly tough, and enemies really only become a nuisance when they show up off camera and start shooting at or clubbing you. What's much more irritating is the game's unrelenting obsession with horrible puzzles--specifically, puzzles related to the finding of and the use of keys to open doors. It seems like nearly ever mission is specifically related to the task of finding a way into or out of a level, and to do that, you will have to walk across and back across that level upward of four or five times.