EVERYTHING'S EITHER DRIVING OR FOOTBALL THIS MONTH, ISN'T IT, VIEWERS? THIS TIME MARK CASWELL TAKES TO THE ROAD IN A SMART, FAST CAR TO SMASH A DRUGS RING (FUNNY FOR A FOOTBALL GAME, BUT THERE YOU HAVE IT!)
The drug lords are expanding their empire to include five major cities so it's time to call in Crockett and Tubbs. Erm, no. Hang on, this isn't Miami Vice, it's Miami Chase (I'm a silly sausage, aren't I).
Cue the arrival of Lieutenant Ferrari, an undercover Drug Enforcement Agency operative with a very fast Ferrari F-40. The game starts with an APB being called on a pusher called Diago 'The Jackal' Angelo. Leap into your dream machine and burn some rubber (vroom, vroom).
The action viewed from above so all you can see of your car and the computer-controlled traffic is the top of the roof, bonnet and boot. In order to get Angelo, you first have to apprehend several of his gang members, who all drive red cars (colour-coordinated hoodlums, how sweet! - Sub Ed). This is achieved by either ramming into them or shooting them.
When they explode, villains' cars often leave useful items behind: these include a turbo charger, wheel blades, oil cannon and more.
But time is very short. A timer counts down from 499 and should you fail to catch Angelo and his gang within the time limit you lose a life. An added annoyance are the police cars that chase you around. They don't arrest you but you lose a precious few seconds when they stop you for questioning (the thickies).
A life is also lost if you crash into too many buildings or other cars - an energy bar slowly decreases every time you have an argument with a hard object.
Once all the red cars are out of the way you can chase Mr Angelo in his very distinctive yellow vehicle, and with him out of the way you can move onto the next city (level).
COMING OR GOING
My first impressions of Miami Chase weren't good. The difficulty level has been set way too high. I found it amazingly tough to control the car, and when I finally managed it, both ends of the vehicle look so similar I didn't know whether I was coming or going (story of my life).
The cop cars are the biggest pain as they hassle you continually. You would have thought that an F-40 is pretty unforgettable but they stop you so often it just gets silly.
In short, even though the game is graphically pretty good, the dratted police cars quickly crush any impulse to continue play.
MARK ... 45%
'Oh, I see. Miami Chase is impersonating All Points Bulletin. (Shame it forgot about the great jokes and smooth graphics, really.) The layout of the scrolling city streets is pretty plain but the way the cars move around it is unbelievable. If you turn a corner, the car is rotates through 45 degrees twice. The most annoying thing is that if you accidentally bump into any of the buildings or cars - and it's almost impossible not to - a cop car pulls you over to the side of the road and apologises for doing so! It wouldn't be so bad but half the time it the dratted cop that pushed you into the building in the first place!'
NICK … 40%
Miami Vice, eh? What a programme. But this has got nothing to do with it. Honest. It's just got a name that sounds slightly similar. And it looks a it like it. But that's it - really! The Codies have probably never even watched Miami Vice, being much too busy thinking up original scenarios for their games.
The fact that you're a renegade cop cruising round in a big white Ferrari is, of course, puce coincidence, and if anyone suggests anything to the contrary I suggest you blow them away with your car's built-in gun. Although what you should really be doing is mopping up Miami's bad guys before tPe 48 hour amnesty that the mayor's given runs out. There are five of them on the loose (baddies, that is) and they'rr all highly dangerous.
Have a quick peek and the screenshot (go on) and you'll quickly spot that this is a standard Codies bird's-eye-view driving game. Ho hum. You've got to drive round in your difficult-to-control car avoiding walls, innocent traffic and other perils while trying to spot the baddies on your radar. The only other things you've got to worry about are police cars, who keep stopping you, holding you up for ages and then letting you go.
The graphics? They're okay, and give a fair impression of scrolling smoothly (even if they don't). The sound? Typical Codies music. Any good? Generally? No, not really. Miami Chase isn't actually bad as such, but it simply isn't any fun to play. Sorry, but it isn't.
I've never figured out how Miami cops can afford to travel around in Lambourginis while your average London bobby has to make do with an Austin Metro with no wheel hubs on it.
The police Lieutenant (Loo tenant - he's American and apparently lives in an oak outhouse) in Miami Chase is quietly driving his lilly white sports car around the seedy streets of Miami when he receives a call to apprehend an arch drug dealer in the Miami docks. He must go to it, guns blazing, avoiding innocent motorists and showing little regard for the paintwork on his supercar! The game isn't too difficult to control, just a little annoying and as far as this goes I must say I prefer keyboard control rather than joystick as it's marginally more accurate.
Miami Chase is quite a long game and the graphics are actually better and more colourful than many other vertically viewed shoot 'em up chase games but the level of action won't really sustain interest for a long time.
Label: Hit Squad
Reviewer: Steve Keen
Big Al: More impressive graphics than APB but not half as much fun. Miami Chase lacks the killer instinct with which other games bowl over their fans.
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