Title : Chase H.Q. II
Publisher : Taito
Developer : Taito
Genre : Racing
Players : 1
Release Date : 1991
Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $18-$25
There certainly is quite a lot going on in that cover art, wouldn't you say. I see a semi-truck, a suped up SUV, a helicopter, a corvette, a tanker that's exploding. Dear God, man! This must be the Long Island Expressway! No wonder there is so much traffic! Ha....er...yeah, inside joke I supposed with anyone that may be from Long Island, New York. Seriously, the LIE is horrible. Worst highway in the US. I don't care what you say.
We're back over to the Genesis with a racing game that ISN'T just a racing game. Hell, it said that on the arcade cabinet. That's because you are really not racing, you're chasing criminals. This isn't a game about crossing the finish line. Nope, this is about catching up to someone, and ramming their car off the road. Screw justice, KILL THE CRIMINALS. There is no justice in video games. Except in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. That's all about justice and OBJECTIONS!!!!!!!!!
Oddly enough, this is a "racing" game, and it's only one player as well. When you think about it though, since you're not going for "best time" or "ranking", it makes sense. Still, would have been nice to introduce some sort of multi-player mode, but then again the Arcade didn't have one so why should this port?
Ah well, let's go crash some cars.
Apparently, the local PD is just plain awful at capturing criminals, so they use you as an enforcer in your decked out red Ferrari (im assuming..im bad with cars)to chase after the escaped con. There's no cause for alarm though, because in this world it doesn't matter about civilian casualties. Heck, ram other people off the road if that means you'll get to your culprit on time. Just watch your own damage. Screw the other cars.
The game takes place in a whopping 6 different levels, which are basically just environmental changes with progressively difficult tracks. And while visually the game is pretty good looking for a racer, it doesn't look that much different from all the other racing games you've played before. In fact, it looks practically the same. Then again, it's not about the visuals as much as it as about the objective. Honestly, the fact that you are on a strict time limit, and the game enforces the idea that you should avoid collisions or else the suspect will get away makes this game pretty damn suspenseful. I admit, I had a major case of the palm sweats playing this. Especially when you catch up to the damn guy.
The HUD is self explanatory, with your damage indicator, turbo boosts, speed, and distance to the crook. Closer you get, the meter goes down until eventually you spot him on the screen and a nice little arrow points him out. But if you were paying attention to the briefing before each mission you wouldn't need an arrow now would you!?
It doesn't get that much more self-explanatory than that. Go as fast as you can. Avoid everything in the road. Catch up to the guy. Kill him.
As with most racing games, effective controls really make or break the game, and surprisingly this game has one of the easier control schemes out there. I'm usually horrible at racing games, because I never understand the shifting system, but this game makes it hard to screw up. Even with the addition of the boosts, I always find myself clocking over 200 mph, which doesn't seem that fast honestly.
Seriously, 200 mph, and you bump into another car, and you can just keep going. NOT VERY REALISTIC!
It's when you get to the later stages that it becomes more of a pain to control your car because you have to deal with more environmental hazards like icey roads and tight turns. Although, it certainly adds to the challenge and its far from impossible.
Each vehicle you're up against also has different stats. Some opponents are faster, some are stronger and can take more hits from you. That's when it comes down to you picking the right vehicle as well for the job. You don't necessarily want to use a Ferrari against a pick up truck now do you?
I can honestly say I enjoyed the heck out of this game, but it does get a tad bit repetitive. Not to mention, it's insanely short at only 6 levels so you can beat the game easily in one sitting. There's still room for a multi-player option, and would have loved to have seen a gameplay option where one player is the cop, and one is the crook. Chasing your friend wouldn't have been any more rewarding than that. Then again, it's just a port.
As I said the graphics, while better than most racers, look pretty much the same. Audio is nothing special, and it does get a tad bit irritating when the police siren wailing in your ear when you catch up to the criminal.
Still, for all that's sad and done, it's a nice change of pace from a normal race to the finish game. Worth a play if you have a genesis and you're into racing. And if you like to re-enact 1980s action movie car chase scenes.
Final Score (out of 5)
Until Next Time, Keep On Gaming!