Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
This it a coin-op conversion of Taito's Special Criminal Investigation.
Negotiate the twisty roods and bump criminals cars off of the road!
Does anyone remember David Mellor? Naughty naughty. It just goes to remind us what our elected guardians can be up to without our knowing it. As special patrolman of the Special Criminal Investigation unit you too know first-hand evidence of corruption. In your case it's the city's mayor cavorting round the city's highways in the company of known criminals, kidnapping pretty young girls and strapping them to bombs. Come back Antonia - all is forgiven!
Of course, rather than investigate the drugs deals and abductions you are far more concerned with the flagrant disregard for the suburban speed limit that these crooks are showing. With advice from HQ, you set out onto the freeway, with the sole intention of stopping the marked car, but it has a good start on you. So race after it, smash it off the rood and keep your channel open for further development,
Hurrah for guns! The reason being they make it so much easier to dodge the traffic. Strap a gun to your roof rack and the jams just seem to evaporate (into steaming wrecks by the roadside). The SCI vehicle comes equipped with such a weapon, which can be used on moving enemies and obstacles. Occasionally, at fortuitous points a helicopter of lawful persuasion hovers above you, and drops an improved gun-mi-bob on your bonce. For five shots you have superduper rocket launcher powers. Useful or what?
SCI drivers face all the complications thrown up by a deteriorating transport infrastructure (ie. bad roads) which stand in the way between you and your 'collar'. The highways in this game are uniformly deadly. Roads tend to narrow without warning, and plenty of objects litter them like work signs and bushes in desert areas. Off-road is even more dangerous. There you can wrap yourself round a lamppost or a cactus whilst avoiding the embrace of a greyhound bus.
Chase HQ wasn't too bad, but this is a veritable skid pan - and I'm not talking oily roads. The sprites are flickery, the 3D update is poor and the landscapes are bland and featureless. As well as looking crap, it plays crap as well. Let's ignore the general faults such as the naff collision detection, rubbish controls and the fact that the car careens through objects and out of crashes at top speed and concentrate on the real problems - the difficulty setting. For a start you're given lashings of time to race down the simplistic roads. Then, when you reach the enemy car you discover it's about as robust as a wet paper bag and smashing it off the road takes little or no effort. Even hopeless players should be able to finish the game within a few hours - experts should take a couple of goes! Put a couple of quid in the coin-op and buy something else.
Pah! So many bad things to say; not enough time to say them. Once again a nonsense of a game arrives to add to the Master System's blushes. Just about everything here is unsatisfactory. The graphics are dismal, flickery affairs - creating such scenic delights as "Pathetic lake" and "very empty desert". At one point you are advised to avoid a landslide. What landslide! It's physically impossible to have one when the courses are flatter than Fanny Craddock's pancakes. Fans of equal proportion will be glad to hear the gameplay is directly comparable to the look - pure smeg. You slip and you slide in a fashion more becoming a toboggan than a high-speed sports car, and find yourself in ludicrously unavoidable crash situations. Not to worry! You can continue at top speed most of the time after crashing. What a comedy of errors of Dick Emery proportions. The lack of challenge is normally a down point, but here at least it means the whole debacle is over with as quickly as possible.
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