Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
After almost two years burning around the arcade circuit, Chase HQ has finally motored onto the Sega Master System. And about time too! You'd have thought Crockett and Tubbs would have been sick of Ferraris - what with their appearance in Miami Vice and Battle Out Run - and long ago plumped for the plush Porsche 959 offered in Chase HQ.
Well, it seems the swoonie super sleuths have at last donned the shield and dropped the stallion. For once again those two boys in blue fight for truth, justice and the American way. (Monteiro, you're rambling! Ed.) You're right, Ed, I'll shut up...
(Monteiro come on, get on with the rest of the review! Ed.)
Oh all right... as you know Crockett and Tubbs aren't in Battle Out Run, and they sure as hell aren't in Chase HQ - but the yarn made for an interesting intro. Ah well, now for the truth.
The action starts with an options menu where you can set the sensitivity of the steering wheel and pick a mission. Other options are available - such as turbo and supercharge - but unfortunately these cost money, and since you don't gain any points until you've completed a level... yep, you guessed it. Catch 22.
After contacting HQ you're given your first assignment. "Stop the Idaho Slasher", slobbers the seductive Nancy. Well she says it saucily in the coin-op version. You have to read between the lines in the Sega conversion.
Your 959 has two gears: fast and faster. The idea is simply to put pedal to the metal, catch up with the villain vehicle and ram your hot rod into the back of the baddie's exhaust. (Cripes! Steady on, Monteiro! Ed.) Oh, and you've only got 60 seconds to do your dirty deeds.
Naturally hazards like plants, hurdles (?) and other motorists ensure you have a tough time catching the criminals. Even when you do reach the correct car, you must smash into it several times before it bursts into flames and careers off the road. You have turbo boost to help you along, but with only three boosts available it's wise to use these only when running out of time.
Chase HQ sports some very detailed and well animated graphics; sadly sound effects are left struggling at the starting line. The game's hugely playable though - and should definitely grace your software shelves.