||The truth is that all reviews are subjective. Critics, reviewers, and gamers all bring the weight of their experiences and tastes with them to every game they play. I point this out because Operation Darkness nearly overwhelmed my critical reasoning skills. It's a game that hews so closely to my tastes that it might well have sprung wholly-formed from my own mind...Operation Darkness belongs to that most Japanese of genres, the Strategy Role Playing Game (or SRPG). SRPGs are generally set in fantastical or futuristic settings, and replace the simplified combat 'two lines attacking each other' of JRPGs with methodical turn-based gameplay that focuses as much on strategic movement as it does on powering up characters. It's a niche genre even in Japan, and its fanbase is so small outside of Japan that a new, sub-'niche' word needs to be coined to describe their size and fanatacism...Operation Darkness succeeds for the vast majority of its 40-hour length. The audacious premise is incredibly fun all the way through, and right up until the last few missions the gameplay more than holds up its end. It's just too bad the game gets so frustratingly difficult right at the end. Beyond my insane, utterly irrational love for everything about the premise, I really enjoyed the vast majority of the game's levels, and the craftsmanship that went into building them. I was all set to recommend this game without reservations, only to have second thoughts when it so utterly dropped the ball. I experienced about 35 hours of good gameplay here, followed by five of hair-pulling, controller-throwing frustration, before I finally gave up, one mission before endgame. That's a ratio I can live with, but anyone who likes consistency, and, you know, actually finishing games, should think long and hard before diving into the most wonderfully ludicrously insane title to come along in years.