Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
Not a bad coin-op, SCI has finally weaved its way down to the Master System. How will it fare, an aging game in today’s hard-sell, dog-eat-dog console market? Don’t it make your heart BLEED! If you’re really thick, you’ll never have heard of SCI or the game that spawned it, Chase HQ. And you’ll want to know about them, won’t you? Well you’re going to anyway!
Those dastardly criminal types have taken to the roads in various getaway vehicles and it’s our hero’s job to bully them into submission using his fast car, smokin’ shotgun and ‘I’m a hard-nosed US cop’ ego.
He accepts some aid from the girl at HQ, however, in the form of a great big rocket launcher to go on the top of his flashy car. Lovely.
SCI couldn’t do without these big guns and two-seater convertibles but they make it all a mite easy — I got to the final 30-second race against time on my second go!
That said, there are a few good moments while it lasts, especially if you remember the arcade machine (nostalgia, nostalgia). The cars are well done, and there’s no confusion over which is the enemy — although that could have something to do with the big blue arrow hanging over his set of wheels (streetwise language, impressive or what?). One annoying thing is you can’t get rid of the other drivers. Completely innocent they may be, but it’d be good fun terminating them when you’ve nothing better to do, especially the bikers, who aren’t innocent at all — they chuck grenades at you at every given opportunity!
When you eventually catch up with the evil-doer you’ve been chasing, dispose of him (or her in one case) with your rocket launcher (if any of its five shots remain) then go to it with your trusty 12-bore.
Which brings me to gameplay variation — there ain’t none! You speed along a road after a villain, blow his car- up, then speed along another (more twisty) road after a villain in a better car, with less time.
In-game graphics are nicely drawn and move like a driving game should, although the scrolling and FX don’t create the feeling of driving. Funny thing about the scrolling, it doesn’t match your speed for a while (I’ve never suffered from premature acceleration before, honest!).
The still pics between stages are good, even if they do all look the same, and provide a much-needed break from the monotonous burning of rubber.
MS SCI (!) is just a simplified version of the earlier games on home computers, which were simplified versions of the arcade machine. I hate to say it, but the Amiga game looks rather good compared to this.
Some of the original detail is still there. Oil drums and such like are scattered all over the road; plough into ‘em and watch ‘em fly off the screen. Ifs only a little touch but attention to detail often makes a great game. It’s a pity this isn’t.
And that’s about all that can be said for SCI. Ifs simple, fun for a while and it’s ridiculously easy.
Similar to the arcade, but still too dated, ‘‘SCI’’ falls down mainly on the difficulty
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