OK, I know what you're thinking: "Paul, I can understand why you played Tactical Assassin 2. After all, it had badges. But after discovering that it was pretty mediocre, why would you go back and play the first one, which doesn't even have badges?" Well...I don't really have a good answer to that question. Mostly it's because I was curious, since the Tactical Assassin games consistently rate high in their category, and for all of its flaws, Tactical Assassin 2 is not bad mindless fun, so I decided to try the original.
So, the basic concept is the same: find people, shoot them in the head. Unlike the sequel, there's no buying things in between missions; you just have one weapon, and no worries about accessories or ammo. The random jitter is also gone, which is kind of a relief. The game is a little shorter -- seven missions divided between two chapters. The spelling is still amazingly poor, and the missions are still as simple as before, if not simpler; one frustrating thing is that in several missions, you will lose if "an alarm is raised", but it is very unclear exactly what the trigger conditions are, so you'll need several tries to get through. Still, it's by no means a difficult game.
Anyway, playing this one second reveals just how unnecessary most of the improvements added to Tactical Assassin 2 are, and it's kind of a nice experience stripped down to the basics. Still, there's just not enough actual game there to make it really interesting.