Thursday, 14 December 2006

Virtua Cop 1 & 2 Review


Firstly, and this is a bit slack, I'm reviewing the two as a pair... I'm sure gaming purists will be horrified by this but its just a general guide. I'll be happy to be corrected by any Saturn purists out there....
As readers of the Dreamcast Junkyard will know, I love guns. Light-weight plastic guns that is, that fire beams of light at your telly, not real ones that fire metal bullets at innocent individuals. (You know, the type the Metropolitan Police use on the tube...)




The first Light Gun game I ever played was Virtua Cop for the Saturn. I didn't play it until relatively recently, however, using the Light Gun. No, for years I enjoyed the game using the ordinary Saturn pads. The Gun, however takes the game into a whole new dimension. I now have three Saturn Light Guns. One of them is in the Lovely themed 'game and gun ' package pictured in the last post...

But I'm getting ahead of myself...



"What is the premise of these games dear Father? Tell us about the gameplay... How did the franchise develop? Has it ever appeared on another console?" I hear you cry...

To you I say "Calm down my friends... It'll all become clear presently..."

Originally an arcade game, lucky Saturn owners were given a port of Virtua Cop for home gaming, that was virtually an exact copy of the arcade system. Connect your Light Gun to your system, press start and the action gets started straight away.




In the game you play as one of Virtua City's Finest. Arriving at a bank robbery as it is taking place, your job is to use your marksmanship to take out a plethora of robbers, gang bangers and terrorists who are causing mayhem, taking hostages and making a general bloody nuisance of themselves.

All the action takes place in the first person view. You don't need to see the barrel of your gun, because if you are playing it as it was intended to be played, you'll be holding one in your hand.

To hep you suss out the immediacy of the impending threat of one of the hoods shooting you, they each have a large green target which appears around them when they are about to 'lock and load'. If you don't take them out quickly, this target turns, to yellow, then red... the nearer you are to getting 'capped'.







You can shoot your adversaries dead, but as you represent the forces of light over dark, there is always the "Justice Shot". the Justice Shot allows you to shoot the weapon from your opponents hand, thus allowing him to be arrested. You'll score more points for this...

Various weapon upgrades are hidden in crates dotted around the level environments. a rifle for example allows you more bullets than the standard pistol, so you don't have to reload as often. (you re-load by shooting outside of the screen.)




The graphics are superb for the time. A variety of environments are presented through out the games. Bank, docks, building sites, onboard a ship, in the subway. Objects within these environments can be shot at and will be caused to swing, fall or shatter...and that's fun in itself!

At the end of each level, there is a suitable car chase to take you to the next place of action and fresh batch of villains. These necessitate you firing at moving vehicles, shattering windscreens, bursting tyres and causing the cars or vans to flip out or explode.

Level bosses are brilliant to take out. In Virtua Cop One the bosses include a hysterical laughing behemoth, who throws barrels, grenades and even a van at you. You need to shoot them before you get hit by them. otherwise your lives will disappear. Beat him before he beats you and your onto the next level... Fairly straight forward then!!

The options allow you to play on the usual easy, normal or hard levels, so you can comeback to the game once you have completed it, and challenge your reflexes with increasingly harder reaction times, faster shooting etc.

at various point's you'll be given the option to choose you route through the game by shooting one of two sign posts e.g. Docks or Subway. again this lends variety to the game as different environments throw up different challenges.




The games definitely stand the test of time. After the demise of the Saturn, the games were ported to 'next gen consoles'. They appeared in slightly enhanced form on the Dreamcast as part of the wonderful 'Sega Smash Pack' and on the Ps2 as 'Virtua Cop Elite Edition'.



Virtua Cop 3 made an appearance on the XBox. The franchise would seem to have a rosy future!

Overall Score for this particular pair of titles... 9/10. For a frankly better review you can visit here.

19 comments:

gnome said...

An excellent read. Excellent! At last, I 'll get to know all about the elusive Saturn. Congrats on having a fully operational blog Father!

fatherkrishna said...

Cheers Gnome! My very own blog! Who'd a thunk it??!!!

Caleb said...

Very nice blog.

I need to get my hands on a light gun dammit. There are a ton o' copies of the saturn version of Virtua cop 1 in the used store but no light guns that I have seen yet.

How would you compare the Saturn Lightgun to the Dreamcast? Is the Saturn light gun pretty hardy? (If I get one it's gonna be one that I gotta dig through some bins for...)

I always thought the justice shot was the one that is only $1 on Thursays at Jimmy Macs Bar in Rochester, NY. But I guess I was wrong about that.

I can't wait until the review of Panzer Dragoon. are you gonna review Panzer Dragoon 2? I have a non-working copy of it at home (the sad story is currently in the second story in my blog) and I really want to know if it is worth the effort to hunt another copy down.

Caleb said...

Blogger won't let me log in to comment either. Jerks.

fatherkrishna said...

Hey Caleb! Cheers for popping man! I could do with a 'Justice Shot' right now, after a long week with tired and cranky kids at the school I work at... Only 3 days till the holidays! Hooray!

The Saturn light gun and the Dreamcast light gun play very much the same... I always thought the Saturn light gun was more robust, but I was heart broken to find that two of my Saturn guns no longer function too well...Bah! Haven't actually tested the new one yet...

One of the main differences between the two is that the Dreamcast has the direction button on it, so in theory you could play a driving game with it.

hey, I'm hopefully going to put a few new links on here at the weekend (now I know how to do it!)
Want me to put a link to the Hunyak?
Let me know...

See you in Jimmy Mac's... (LOL!)

fatherkrishna said...

I'm not sure I still have Panzer Dragoon 2, I did once...
Excellent game! The forerunner of the excellent 'Rez'... Which I saw on Ebay for £100!!!

I must have a look at my game stash, it's up in the attic. The ones I want to post most about are in the list below... I forgot to put the original House Of The Dead on the list... I might do it next... that sucker still fetches £25 at Gamestation and I may as get the light gun games out of the way first...

fatherkrishna said...

P.S. Inspired by this post (which is a little sad and self indulgent I know... I got out the old Saturn and guns and none of them worked!!!
Bah!

Still can always stil play on the DC Sega Smash Pack.. Ho hum...

gnome said...

So... holidays approaching huh? Well, guess you'll have to fix said guns and slave away to provide us with nice and juicy retro reviews....

Ah, Rez!

Avtually bought one for 15 euros a few months ago...

fatherkrishna said...

For 15 euros? Are we talking PS2 or the DC? And don't worry... I will be blogging away for both 'Yards and GGOTG...

gnome said...

Oh, the DC version of course... Everyone knows it's the better of the two ;)

fatherkrishna said...

15 Euros!! 15 Bloody Euros... and you've got a nymph... That buys you a Wii...
Some guys have all the luck!!!
LOL! :)

gnome said...

;)

elderly said...

I remember playing virtua cop in the arcades, I was crap... the game was ace.. thank you for rekindling that memory....., no doubt a trip down to the local "you steal it we sell it store" is on the cards for those guns....

fatherkrishna said...

And now you can play it on your PC ElderlY... let me know if you get any better... Lightguns non-essential. As previously stated I played it with the standard controller for years...

J said...

Was Virtua Cop 3 the one which had a pedal which worked the bullet time feature or was that number 4? I honestly can't remember. *shrugs*

I love me some Virtua Cop though. I borrowed the DreamCast version of Virtual Cop 2 off of my friend and never gave it back. *lol*

J said...

"Light-weight plastic guns that is, that fire beams of light at your telly, not real ones that fire metal bullets at innocent individuals. (You know, the type the Metropolitan Police use on the tube...)"

*LMAO!!*

fatherkrishna said...

J such a pleasure to have you here! frankly struggling with links process... But i'll get there...

The Elderly said...

tell frankly to leave the links alone.. bloody cheek of him... drop us an email if you want a hand sorting out frankly.......

The Elderly said...

...nope it appears you've nailed the links process.... ace!!!