Review by aerosmith5
"Saturn's answer to Twisted Metal?"
Story (7/10): Well, in the future apparently the police force became unable to control the population, so the government turns to bounty hunters to seek and destroy criminals for Meks, the currency of the game. Reminds me a bit of Judge Dredd. The city has several different sectors and gaining Meks allows you to travel to new areas. Your character drives a souped up, weaponinzed vehicle which is different depending on which sector you start from. Unfortunately there is not much of a reward for collecting Meks other than entry into another area.
Graphics(7/10): The game looks great, the vehicles are detailed and the landscape is presented in full 3D. The view is from above and behind a dynamic isometric view. The camera is constantly in motion as it tries to center behind your vehicle, this can initially make the player a bit dizzy, as the movement can be a bit jerky at times, especially when you are homing in on a target. There is some hiccups in the play as well when the action stops for a split second as the graphics are loading, but this doesn't really affect gameplay.
Sound(7/10): Sound effects are not outstanding but get the job done, music is ok and does not overwhelm, different songs play in each sector.
Gameplay (8/10): Controlling your vehicle is pretty intuitive, feels similar to driving a vehicle in the early Grand Theft Auto Games, although without a fixed overhead camera. You have two different sets of weaponry. One set shots forward and consists of machine guns and various different types of missiles used to take down targets. One set is defensive and includes mines and side missiles. Targets are fast, especially the 'boss' of each area and with limited time it can be tough to take them down if you have not stockpiled good weapons. In each sector the goal is to collect 500 Meks to open the next area. Unfortunately you cannot use your Meks to purchase upgrades or weapons, but find them by destroying your targets or various parts of the scenery. Destroying innocent vehicles can lose you 5 Meks (not much more than a slap on the wrist). When you catch up to a target the tricky part happens when they attempt to slow down right away and take off in another direction. This is compounded by the fact that rival bounty hunters can try to steal your score. There is no penalty for destroying your competition.
Challenge(8/10): This game is not easy by any means, but I think it has the right level of challenge and it is enjoyable enough to replay over and over again. It can get frustrating to start back at zero Meks at times, however, because you cannot save your game in the middle. It is to the end or nothing, although you can start at different sectors once they have been opened up.
Overall(7/10): Is it fun? Yes, absolutely, this is a very enjoyable addition to any Saturn collection. As of this writing the game is still available for $30 Sealed and under $10 used. Completely worth it. The few gripes I have with the jerky camera do not really detract from the gameplay and this is a game I can easily recommend for any fan of the Sega Saturn.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 10/26/12
Game Release: CrimeWave (US, 02/28/97)
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