Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
"Ellis, we need a review by 5:30pm." "No problem, boss. I'm on my way."
As soon as Disney revealed Touchstone Pictures (Disney's adult arm) were making the cult cartoon character Dick Tracy into a major movie, it was inevitable that a computer game would soon follow. Although, to hope that the game would appear "soon" seems to have been a bit to have been a bit optimistic, for the film is now almost a year old.
You play the man in the yellow flasher mac as he declares war on the mob. Dick has decided to clean the city of the disorder created by Big Boy Caprice and all his gangster cronies. But there are few people on Dick's side, and the corruption goes all the way to city hall.
There are six levels to battle through, each with its own sub-stages. When a level is completed, you'll be invited to take part in a bonus stage where you can gain extra credits. There are basically two types of enemy that you will come across. The first lot hide out in the background, appearing in windows, doors, etc, and can only be shot with your tommy gun. The second, braver lot charge at you, and these too can be shot. although on some levels you will have to punch them.
Each level has its own gangland boss, ranging from Lips Manliss and Pruneface to Flat Top and finally Big Boy himself. Sadly for us, Breathless Mahaney doesn't get a look in.
Although the game is essentially a shoot-'em-up, it does contain some innovative elements. For a start the control method is a bit weird, using button A to fire a pistol/punch (for baddies on the same level as you), button B to jump and button C for shooting the tommy guy at the background sprites. The system is very useable on the Mega Drive, but the Master System suffers immensely from its lack of buttons. This not only makes the MS game awkward, but combines with the poor graphics to make it unplayable, Both versions, though, have some superb cartoon sequences keep the "plot" going.
I don't think I can ever remember there being such a difference between Sega versions. But Dick Tracy is truly unplayable on the 8-bit, while Mega Drivers will be laughing themselves silly. The 16-bit computer versions have mysteriously failed to turn up at the RAZE offices for review, although the game has been in the shops for months. Word on the street, though, is that it's not worth bothering with. (The same palaver happened with Turtles..)
✘ Pathetically small and blocky graphics.
✘ Empty backdrops.
✘ No Oscaf-winning stuff here.
✘ Poor spot effects, no originality.
✘ Repetitive and boring
✘ Hopeless control method; too stow.
£29.99 • OUT NOW