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1989 Acclaim (Midway)



"Winners don't do drugs." Remember when life was that simple? Remember back in the day before we had madmen shooting Amish children, high school kids massacring each other in school cafeterias, religious fanatics crashing airplanes into buildings? Back before America became a right wing police state, when you could believe what was on the news because they actually like, reported the truth once in a while? When Crack was our biggest problem and the cops were supposed to be your friends? Anyone remember that? Man, those were the good old days huh? What's really sad is this was like, ten years ago or so. It's just so goddamned embarrassing look at how much our society has degenerated in so little time... But I have a game review to get to here.

You play a cop who either wears all red or all blue and you go out to clean up the 'hood and take down Mr. Big. You do this by blowing away an endless supply of slimebags with an automatic rifle with unlimited ammunition. When things really get hairy you can take down a whole group of assholes with a well aimed blast from your rocket launcher. I've never actually seen a cop armed with a Rocket Propelled Grenade before, but dammit if it's in this game then it must be true. Inbetween blowing people away you also raid and destroy drug labs and confiscate tons illegal cash and cocaine bags.

Anyway the big deal about this game was that it used digitized graphics (which was ultra-super-realistic at the time) and it was incredibly violent. Thus as pansy-ass parent group-people always do they tried to shut this game down. Never mind the fact that the only characters in the game that went down in a splash of gore were scumbags who deserved it. So what if you can blow up a whole crowd of dirt-balls with a rocket launcher and see their limbs, entrails, and assorted body parts fly all over the place like wet spaghetti? They're crooks, you can tell by the way they all look like the same guy. Hey, in video game land if there's ten thousand other guys that look just like you then you're meat, that's all there is to it. They're askin' for it. Dammit life on the streets is tough, these scumballs deserve it. You don't want to look soft on crime right? Plus we're teachin' the kids a good clean Christian lesson: You use drugs and somebody in a red leather motorcycle suit and helmet is going to shove a bazooka up your ass and blow you to kingdom come. I'm sure thats in the bible somewhere. Hey, there ain 't no nudity in the game so all you moral majority people can shut the hell up.

Anyway it's not all blood and guts because your cop has the ability to bust crooks instead of just offing them. Which is funny because in the game all you have to do is walk over a guy for a few seconds and he peacefully puts up his hands and the words "Busted" appear over him in Cop-font. This game came out pre-Rodney King beating, so the whole resisting arrest angle wasn't in the public mindset at the time. It is however much more satisfying to just shoot the fuckers.

In some levels you get to run over criminal assholes in a red Porsche. Since when did cops get to drive around in high class convertible sports cars? Is this what my tax dollars are going to, cops driving around in penis-mobiles? Fucking cops.

Anyway there's no way the primitive Nintendo Entertainment System could possibly handle the digitized graphics and sounds of the arcade game, but what is there is as close to an arcade conversion as possible. All graphical and gameplay elements are represented (they just don't look as good.) The characters do have very fluid animation and the game actually plays a bit faster and easier than the arcade game due to the fact that less enemy characters are on screen at any given time.

For some reason Mr. Big is in fact this gigantic robot head that runs around and wheels and tries to lick you to death. But the thing is it still looks like a normal human head complete with white fedora and sunglasses. Somehow I don't picture this as a leader of a dangerous worldwide drug cartel.

A decent translation, however it lacks the oomph that made the arcade game so good. Funny how crack was such a big deal less than a generation ago yet today nobody cares anymore. Ahh, life was so much simpler then.

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