gaming since 1997

Miami Vice

What is it about this game that made me want it? Well, I am still trying to figure that out myself but perhaps that isn’t the wisest thing to do because it is such a complicated matter that it consumes most of my brain processing capacity. Then again, that capacity isn’t hard to overload but yet playing the game is a task that can even be finished quickly when I let it run in low priority mode. As you can probably feel by now, I must still write a neurological trash-collector because there is too much silly shit still flying around in my brain that is desperately trying to get out but as all normal exits are blocked-up it is searching for alternative routes to leave my body. I hope that the rubbish is sorted before thrown out as I can then recycle and use it to write a review because I can image you wouldn’t like to find a slag-heap of unordered idea’s on your screen.

So, what did the garbage-man pick up first? A whole sac of stinking sound-effects so let’s put on gloves and pick one out: sound of shoes. Wahoo, we hit trash-can jackpot (admit that this sounds cool) immediately because I guess Davilex just went to the dump and searched for anything that they could find and then simply put a new label over it. So, what do we get if we remove the “shoesNoise” etiquette … “Zulu King knocking furiously on wooden hut”?! Well, I knew it all along, you got to wake up earlier if you want to fool game-investigator BillieTurf. This is all the proof necessary I think, so there is no need to verify the sound of doors opening (Zulu King slaps biatch on cheek?), car engines (Zulu King farting perhaps?), gunshots (Zulu King imitating wild pig maybe?), or the voice-acting (When I hear a Zulu King talk it always is the same mambo jumbo all over again, so that might be a good guess too). All joking apart, the sound-effects are very bad but the soundtrack is still as catching and compelling as it was fifteen years ago. If you don’t believe me: the soundtrack was a number one hit for eleven weeks in a row and thereby broke the record of Peter Gunn’s from 1959!

Okay, things are sorted well it seems but of course being an environment-caring person, that couldn’t be different. So, let’s move on to the next dumpster in which we find graphics. This really is top of the bill stuff … if it wouldn’t be disposed of five years ago! I am really not lying when I say that these are Playstation One comparable graphics because the car door in a cut-scene almost looks exactly the same as the one I saw in Time Crisis: Project Titan: just huge surfaces of gray and black without any detail. In-game things aren’t much better either because there is almost no interaction with the level, the rooms aren’t detailed and feel surrealistically clean and empty, plants seem to be ironed, no nice bullet-effects, no nothing actually.

All that doesn’t spoil the fun that much but what does is the camera because it never behaves how you want it to. If you want to adjust it manually, the analog stick reacts way to sensitive and makes the camera turn around the wrong point and most of the times in the wrong direction. Sometimes, it takes on a certain, predefined angle as if it wants to show you something but unfortunately is doesn’t show you how to get there anymore and you walk up to your target blindfolded. Pushing R3 resets the view to your character’s neck and that is were I left it, all the rest is futile effort.

The game tries to be a third person shooter which is the genre I like best but there are some things that prevent me from enjoying this one. Let’s start from the beginning: I didn’t get a guide or booklet which explained the controls to me and because the game simply starts without a tutorial or training mission, I had to figure everything out while playing. In addition, things didn’t always respond how one would expect to, so all of that made it quite an irritating task to learn how the, actually, unsophisticated gameplay works.

The sucky camera can have some terrible side-effects but to understand that, I need to explain something else. Keeping R2 down makes sure that you are holding your gun ready to shoot at an opponent on which Sonny or Tubbs aim automatically, at least so they should. Press circle and the crook can start catching bullets. But sometimes you have to press R2 several times, move around and try making your “hero” see the enemy, definitely frustrating but not deadly most of the times. However, when it is impossible to get a visual on the enemy and you think Tubbs is aiming at a living creature while he is looking at a brick in the wall, you will get shot while it actually is the camera’s fault.

Luckily, your partner is still there to back you up and with him you can try to reach the wounded cop so you can hand over a first-aid kit but you only got fifty seconds to do that. If you succeed, your partner’s health will begin the regeneration process which it always does if you are only hit a few times. However, if the second health bar is completely emptied too, you will have to start the whole giant level over again. Yes, I am being sarcastic because some parts of the missions are over before you started it and I am not exaggerating when I say like thirty seconds to finish a some smaller parts!

You can choose to switch between Sonny or Tubbs at all times and sometimes the one can handle things better than the other. Sonny is the smooth guy with lighter weapons and a refined approach while Tubbs just blasts everything away with his shotgun or kicks in a door instead of simply opening it. Obviously, you can’t control the two players simultaneously (for this game co-op is a utopia) but that would have worked out twice as good actually. I would do a better job when playing the game with two controllers, thus controlling the two characters at once, than I did now with giving commands (take him out, stay here, watch my back, …) to the A.I. controlled character who only acts like a dumb robot from the eigthies.

How much that I would like to say that game has some good elements in it, I really can’t. The story and the missions aren’t brought well at all and they can’t count on support from beautiful graphics to make nice cut-scenes that are at least fun to watch. Then, there is still the enervating sound which goofs completely because the effects don’t match the action, the voice-acting is crappy and the three, perhaps four, used comments are extremely repetitive and usually misplaced. The idea behind the gameplay, and in fact behind the game, is very good but it just fails when it comes down to translating those idea’s into a programming language. So, you already know that you don’t get quality for your money but you can forget about the quantity too because I’ve played through the entire game in less than about three hours and there is no multiplayer, no bonus, no TV-scene, nothing to unlock either. Well, I loved rushing through it but I know for sure that nobody believes me, even those voices in my head are calling me a liar.

Our Score:
related game: Miami Vice
posted in: PS2, Reviews
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