In the heyday of the 16-bit home games consoles, owners of the Super Nintendo and Sega Mega Drive enjoyed many superb games. Amongst them were some great action and superb role-playing titles, including one called Flashback.
Released in 1993 by a game developer called Delphine, Flashback took tried-and-tested RPG elements and rolled them into a fantastic action game. With smooth animation, jaw dropping cut-scenes and a distinctive visual style that was years ahead of its time, it was an instant classic.
Since then many console and PC games have tried to emulate Flashback's gameplay elegance; some have been successful but most have not. Today, on a mobile phone and 14 years on, CyberPunk Arasaka's Plot manages to pull it off.
While it's in reality based on a role-playing game from R.Talsorian Games, CyberPunk is very reminiscent of that classic Delphine title. The cut scenes are similarly rendered in cel-shaded 3D and the animation is silky smooth.
You play a lone soldier who works for a mega-corporation called Arasaka. As a veteran of a previous war, the corporation practically rebuilt your body from the ground up, giving you cybernetic upgrades to improve your effectiveness as a soldier. However, something is wrong at Arasaka; there's been a murder and all clues point to you being the culprit.
Armed with a gun, some nifty moves and a friend who'll phone you with occasional hints, it's up to you to fight your way to the truth.
The gameplay takes place one screen at a time, like a theatre scene, as opposed to the usual scrolling scenery seen in most action games. This approach adds an extra level of tension, as you'll often find yourself low on health and edging across into the next scene, gun drawn and ready to fire.
That said, the hair-trigger difficulty can get a little tedious after a while, especially considering that when you die, you have to start the level over again (thankfully, all the enemies are in the same places as before).
Which brings us neatly on to the difficulty level of the game. This game is like granite in it's toughness, make no bones about it. Mercifully you are blessed with unlimited ammo, because both the drone and soldier enemies you face will often take multiple shots to bring down and, on quite a few occasions, you'll face more than one at a time.
Later on, the soldiers get riot shields to hide behind and you'll face stealth ninjas that teleport behind you and follow up with a nasty sword attack. It's at this point where playing tactically becomes less important than sheer luck. You'll find yourself restarting levels many times over because you just couldn't land enough shots on the pyjama-clad fiends before they finish you off.
Yet regardless of the effort required to progress with CyberPunk, there's still a great deal of appeal for fans of action RPGs. As you're playing you'll find computer terminals that can be hacked, enabling you to access weapon and personal stat upgrades, and though these have negligible effect in the game itself it all adds to the atmosphere.
The story, meanwhile, is lightweight but accessible enough to work as a mobile game, feeling as well fleshed-out as other licensed titles. At points you'll be provided with links to more back-story on the game's website, but this is entirely optional and you don't have to read any of it or hack any machines to continue with the game itself or get the most out of it.
If you're looking for a challenge to get your pocket gaming teeth into, then CyberPunk is properly tough. You'll undoubtedly get frustrated at having to restart those levels when you weren't fast enough to dodge an attack or after falling off a ledge, but you'll keep coming back to try again because CyberPunk Arasaka's Plot is just one of those games you'll want to beat.