Member Log In or Register


Columns & Editorials
Podcast (RSS)

Twitter Feed

reviews info and tools

Tron 2.0: Killer App Package Art
  Digital Eclipse
  Buena Vista

Tron 2.0: Killer App

One of the more revolutionary movies of all time has made its way to the small screen. Made in the 1980s, Tron was the first animated movie to use CGI and dazzled audiences with visual splendor and audacious themes.

After PC and Xbox releases, Nintendo fans get their chance to experience the world of Tron on their GBAs. While the GBA doesn’t contain the visual style and awe of the other versions, Tron 2.0: Killer App provides a complete package with both modern and old school entertainment.


While not the visual feast that the other games or movie are, the “modern” portion of this game is able to hold its own. Players spend most of the time traversing the environment in an isometric 3D perspective. Since the world of Tron is set inside a computer, the environments are appropriately designed. There are plenty rectangular and other regular shapes that make it look as if you are playing on top of computer circuit. Enhancing an otherwise boxy presentation is a color scheme like no other: it’s like neon light heaven.

There are also portions of the game that display a particularly robust 3-D graphics engine. While it will send some people back to some very early PC days, the fact that it can be pulled off on the GBA is quite a feat. Cutscenes, while not animated, use stills that have fantastic art direction and do a good job moving the story along.

The “old-school” portion is faithfully recreated but a problem stems from the fact that they’re adapted from arcade games. The GBA screen is too small for the gameplay requirements and inhibits the experience a bit. A big problem with the other portions is that there are a lot of reused animations and character models. Nevertheless, the visuals are solid and do quite a good job on the GBA.


Audio is very good. Both music and sound effects are very well done and not out of place. The most impressive part is the amount of voicing that was fit into the GBA cart. Not only is the story driven with a strong amount of voicing, but with high quality Hollywood voicing as well. Both Bruce Boxleitner (from the original movie) and Rebecca Romjin-Stamos have lent their talents to this game and it is all the better for it.


Production values this high for a GBA game are unusual, but how is the gameplay? Tron 2.0: Killer App plays like an action game that’s a sort of Jack-of-all-trades, with a few extras.

Firstly, you have the choice of playing as either Tron (Bruce) or Mercury (Rebecca) in two intertwining stories with two different endings. Though they both have the same kinds of controls, there are significant differences. As either character, press A to jump, B to attack, R to strafe and L to block. It’s simple yet relatively effective.

Each character plays through a series of levels involve some exploration, limited platforming and quite a bit of action. Due to the isometric perspective, the platforming can be cumbersome at times-- expect a few accidental deaths. Combat action actually requires some thought rather than button mashing. It’s fast paced and requires taking on quite a few enemies at once. Numerous power-ups are available along the way that can help a lot.

Levels aren’t that big, but as a break up between each level, your respective character has different kinds of intermissions. As Tron, you’ll either be playing a quasi 3-D FPS in either a tank or recognizer (a kind of plane). In these missions, you’ve got two basic objectives: destroy everything and make it to the goal. While it shows off the 3-D capabilities of the GBA, it also provides a decent amount of entertainment. As Mercury, you’ll play light-cycle missions. The best way to describe this mode is to liken it to the game “snake” or “anaconda,” often played on cell phones, except at a tremendously high pace against multiple opponents. The objective is one of pure survival.

There are also a number of old-school mini-games to break up the pace of the main game. They're essentially ports of the '80s arcade titles Tron and Discs of Tron. While they are faithful to their source and addictive, playing them on a small screen isn't effective.

At the end of the day, the main game mode of Tron 2.0 is solid but not much more. It has its share of control difficulties and repetitiveness. However, as an overall package, the game is commendable.


Tron 2.0 has a few multiplayer modes based off the aforementioned tank and recognizer levels as well as the light cycle.


Anyone who is a fan of Tron or is fascinated by what it has to offer will find plenty to like about this title. The game may not be on as grand a scale as the PS or Xbox version, but the GBA version offers a solid package for a portable title. The main game is rather average but when put together with the presentation, extra modes and minigames, there is a lot of value to be found. Tron 2.0: Killer App succeeds where a lot of better games fail, a complete and varied package that has something for everyone.

final score 7.2/10

Staff Avatar Jeremy Jastrzab
Staff Profile | Email
"I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer."

Bookmark and Share
This Story in Printer Friendly Format

E-Mail This Story

Search Our Website:

All original content ©1996 - 2010 Nintendojo is an independent website and is not affiliated with Nintendo of America or Nintendo Co. Ltd. All third party images, characters, and names are property of their original creators. About | Contact | Hiring