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Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you have to give credit to ALG for throwing a fair amount of support behind the 3DO. Now it’s true that, like all publishers, they released some poor games (the 3DO exclusive Mazer and the awful port of the original Mad Dog may come to mind) but most of their arcade conversions were faithful and, more importantly, fun.
The game being looked at for this review is Crime Patrol. Putting you in a law enforcement role you try to advance up the ranks. Starting as a rookie cop, you'll then move on to undercover work, and then to Swat, etc ...
If you have played any ALG shooter you know what to expect… plenty of bad guys to take out, a number of innocents to avoid, repeat etc … Although not as story driven as ALG’s other releases, Crime Patrol sticks with the same formula that worked in nearly all of their games, of which I do enjoy. So why am I not much of a fan of this one?
It isn’t the fundamentals of the game. They are predictable, true, but not bad. Control is what you’ve come to expect from ALG. With a gun you’ll be reasonably entertained, and with a mouse you’ll probably get by also. What about a regular controller though? Forget it! The directional pad is far too slow, and the re-load method (dragging the cursor all the way to the bottom of the screen) is ridiculous! Accuracy also seems to be lacking in comparison with the other methods. And have fun trying to hit some of the enemies far off in the distance. (I know Lemmi managed to beat this game with a standard pad, and for that I give him major kudos (he is a better player than me ) Really, if you wanna have fun when tackling an ALG game you'll want the gun or mouse.
The acting in this game won’t bring home any Emmy awards (what you expected an ALG game to have good acting? ) but at least the full motion video in this game is sharp enough. Graininess seems to be limited. On the audio side, the music is very generic, but it doesn’t detract from the action thankfully. Sound effects are fine, and are essentially unchanged from earlier ALG games.
So what is my problem with this game? It boils down to presentation I think. Crime Patrol (and it’s follow up Drug Wars) put the player in gritty modern day environments. The setting takes away from the usual fantasy element … and element which I now think is key to games like this. Whether it be the cowboy settings of the Mad Dog games (and Last Bounty Hunter) the future glimpses of Space Pirates or the roaring 20’s view of Johnny Rock these games put you in places you could never be in. The fantasy element creates an important sense of illusion for what are otherwise violent products (even with the absence of blood). The camp value, a staple of most ALG games, adds a great deal as well. It is much easier I think to cap some fool who drops uttering a funny phrase, or who has a goofy expression on his face. An example is in Mad Dog II when the defeated cowboy falls face first in a big cow flop and rolls his eyes. Crime Patrol’s attempts at humor are few and, in my honest opinion, mostly flat and forgettable when compared to ALG's other works.
Another issue is some of the portrayals of the enemies. I surely think that some of them could offend. I know myself, that I was disturbed that some of the punks pointing a piece at me looked like boys entering puberty. There are other examples to that I’m not going to get into here, but take a look sometimes and see what you think.
This is a matter of personal taste obviously, and for many this probably won’t be a factor. Those looking for mindless action (lets be frank, all ALG games are mindless ) will likely be content with Crime Patrol. But with the 3DO playing host to a number of other, and as far as I’m concerned better ALG shooters, Crime Patrol doesn’t hold up well enough for me. Add in other light gun games Like Corpse Killer & Demo Man, and Crime Patrol slips to the bottom of the light gun pool.
Collector’s will have to own this game. But for the less hardcore 3DO fan, there are better choices. My suggestion would be to just grab the Gunslinger collection in which this game is included.
This isn't from the 3DO version, but still ... I figure the kid to be in the 12-14 range.Trev wrote: Another issue is some of the portrayals of the enemies. I surely think that some of them could offend. I know myself, that I was disturbed that some of the punks pointing a piece at me looked like boys entering puberty.
Most wanted - Eye of Typhoon, 3DO Magazines issues #14 & #15, Pro Stadium, Defcon 5
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Nice.Trev wrote:This isn't from the 3DO version, but still ... I figure the kid to be in the 12-14 range.Trev wrote: Another issue is some of the portrayals of the enemies. I surely think that some of them could offend. I know myself, that I was disturbed that some of the punks pointing a piece at me looked like boys entering puberty.