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Virtua Cop (Saturn) artwork

Virtua Cop (Saturn) review

"You know what? I don't even have to review Virtua Cop, because once I tell you the names of the main characters, you'll wanna play it anyway. "

You know what? I don't even have to review Virtua Cop, because once I tell you the names of the main characters, you'll wanna play it anyway.

Michael Hardy and James Cools. Also known as Rage and Smarty.

.... not enough? Pfft, you're hard to please....

VC is a light gun game where you take control of one of two cops, and you've been given the task of taking down a crime syndicate. You'll be doing this across three different stages, which you can choose in any order. In the Arms Black Market stage, you'll be dropped right into the Danger Zone in a docking area filled with thugs wearing suits and shades (no, really). Things start out slow since it's the first stage, but it quickly picks up its pace with quite a number of criminals popping out one after another. As you take them out, you'll also be humored by the fact that so many of these men pop out in almost the exact same, small spot, which is usually behind something like a crate. It's just not possible.... but it happens.

In the Underground Weapon Storage stage, you'll deal with even more baddies at a construction site. You'll face a more varied bunch this time around, from construction workers to biker gangs(?!) and the usual suit goons. Thankfully, they're all still wearing shades. Because they're bad. You'll also have a couple of instances where you go up against construction vehicles that could really hurt you if you don't take out the driver in time. In the Gang Headquarters stage, you'll end up shooting your way through a barrage of syndicate members, starting at the parking garage, and eventually making your way up to the top, in an attempt to reach the final boss. It won't be easy as you fight your way through various floors and office rooms with what's probably a Guinness world record of most shade-wearing men in a single building.

VC is sounding pretty generic so far, doesn't it? That's because it is. There's really nothing great or significant that stands out in this game that make it any different than light gun games that came before it. Shoot bad dudes that pop out of their hiding spots, avoid civilians, reload, and repeat. It's really as basic as a light gun game can get. Amazingly, it's still a fun title to play. The fast-paced gameplay really keeps you on your toes most of the time, due to the fact that so many things are usually happening on screen. There's your basic objective, which is to shoot enemies that pop out of every nook and cranny before they get a chance to fill you with lead. Then there's the other stuff, like civilians running for cover or criminals chasing after someone. They're just not for show, either, you can actually hit these guys if you're fast enough, which kinda turns it into a mini game. Add this to the main objective, and you end up with quite a chaotic situation where you need to concentrate to make it through each stage safely. In other words: a whole bunch of simple fun.

It's a pretty short game (you can finish the whole thing in under 30 minutes), but that's not really much of a surprise considering it was originally made for the arcades. However, the developers tried to extend the life of this Saturn port by adding some extras. Ranking mode is something you get by completing VC (in order), and it's basically Arcade mode, except you have to survive on five health bars the whole game. Once you finish, either by dying or completing the mode, you'll get a bunch of statistics on your performance, ranging from total body count and bullseye shots to mission clear rate and, of course, your rank. It may not sound like much, but making it through all three stages without dying is a tough challenge. Shoot, even after knowing where all the enemies pop out from, I still get hit a lot. Then there's the ability to play the game with everything mirrored, which obviously makes for an interesting change of pace. You can even combine the two modes for one hell of a challenge. Even without these extras, though, Virtua Cop is still a fun title. Because, even though it's really short, and really simplistic, the quick, reflex-style gameplay is what makes it enjoyable.

Okay, one more time. Michael Hardy and James Cools. Rage. Smarty.


Come on.

dementedhut's avatar
Community review by dementedhut (February 14, 2007)

Happy New Year.


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