Undercover Cops


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 9

Sound: 7

Gameplay: 6.5

Overall: 6.5

Irem's attempt at the overcrowded beat-em-up genre in the early/mid 90's was surprisingly good, with a few minor quirks that simply slaughtered it in the long run. Veterans will find quite a bit to enjoy until the third level when everything goes directly downhill...literally.

The usual roundup of selectable characters makes themselves present and include Claude, Bubba, and Flame (I'm not sure what frame of mind a developer has to be in to name one of their title characters Bubba, but alas). Bubba is pretty useless in a majority of situations since he's too slow to catch up with almost any of the enemies, so the character selection is really only 2. As is the norm, there is a 2-player option to make things easier and add to the fun factor. A fun factor that is unfortunately killed once the "mole people" (as I call them) come into play. These guys/things have to be the single most infuriating enemy in the history of video games. They tunnel under ground, act like mines, roll uncontrollably, attack in numbers easily in the double digits, and one of them even flies at a height just a bit too high. Once you begin your descent into the third stage, it immediately becomes apparent that things will not be going your way. Though they splatter in a satisfying pool of blood, it's not enough to make up for their cheap, unnecessary tactics.

Irem has used the same graphical style that is used in their submarine shooter "In the Hunt," and the game is better for it. Everything is bursting with color and the detail is so overdone (in a good way) that it gives this title an entirely unique look. There's usually a large number of sprites on the screen at once with no slowdown or flicker to be found. It's also surprisingly bloody, especially when confronting the "mole people" mentioned above.

There's a nice soundtrack under the action, but the rest of the sound doesn't stack up. There's a generic sound effect for just about everything and you'll hardly find anything new. There is a nice, ear-shattering thud when you blast someone with the large girders provided at certain segments of the game, but this is about the only highlight.

If the "mole people" where confined to one stage, it would almost be acceptable. Unfortunately, they'll make an appearance in almost every stage after the initial encounter and it's really unnecessary. It's hard to give this one a low score with it's unmatched graphical flair, solid brawling gameplay, and otherwise honest difficulty level, but there is no choice. Aren't things like this play tested?


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:35 PM