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Chase HQ

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Released: 1990

Genre: Racing

Format reviewed: Amiga 500

Publisher: Ocean

Developer: Teque Interactive

Submitted by: Mike Wilcox

No, you're not seeing another look at the sublime Spectrum port that i've done before, but I thought I'd take a look at the abomination that is the Amiga version. Sigh…..

First, given the Amiga's power, you'd have thought that this version would be the best. Nah, yer wrong. Completely wrong. The graphics are ok in a screenshot, but moving, they give you motion sickness. They are animated terribly and they just look ugly. The landscape is very barren. It's like they've gone forward in time and crossed it with Fallout! You get the occasional tree and bush…..but that's it!

The sound isn't much better. All you have ingame is the turgid droning of the engine that eventually drives you insane (I still hear the voices telling me to do stuff….) and the wailing siren makes your ears bleed. The game goes from very easy to stupidly hard in about 10 seconds as it spikes very sharply after the second level. One of the main problems is the amount of turns in one level that make you feel like you're on a rollercoaster. But without the thrill of being on one. But, at least you get the nicely sorted out status display of the original. Controls wise, its a shambles. You have to fight your joystick to gain any sort of control. 

I can't carry on with this. This is someones idea of a cruel joke. Teque should have thought this out a bit more.

(apologies about the screenshot. I couldn't any adf images to load at all.)

Chase HQ

4,558 views 0 comments

Released: 1988

Genre: Racing

Format reviewed: Arcade

Publisher: Taito

Submitted by: Gabe McGrath

Wish you could find an arcade racer with a better plot than “beat the timer”? Wish no more.

Chase HQ was released just a year after Out Run, and in terms of driving game technology, they’re fairly similar. But if the latter represented a Sunday drive, the former was your hard-as-nails 9 to 5 job. Fire up Out Run, and you can choose from several J-pop songs for your road trip. Start up Chase HQ, and your police radio has one channel, featuring Nancy from Headquarters – with a hardened criminal for you to apprehend.

There’s no “happy girlfriend” in this game; you’re accompanied by your cop partner. 4 years after Miami Vice hit TV screens, we finally got the videogame to do it justice. Crims driving expensive sports cars are thumbing their noses at the law, and your mission is to bring them down.

Once Nancy has set the scene, you start off in your Porsche 928. It’s controlled by the usual steering wheel, pedals, and hi/low gear stick, plus a turbo button. Yes – a turbo boost. The makers at Taito hadn’t just been watching Miami Vice, they’d obviously caught a few episodes of Knight Rider too.

Each of Chase HQ’s 5 levels has two halves. The introduction gives you 60 seconds to catch up to the target vehicle. The road winds through the usual cities and rural scenes, with occasional forks in the road. If you make it within sight of the suspect, part 2 kicks in. Again you have 60 seconds, but the aim now is to ram the target car to damage it until it pulls over. Both time limits are extremely tight. Even the slightest crash (with scenery or a vehicle) is likely to have severe repercussions.

Despite the difficulty, Chase HQ has great style. The challenge of repeatedly ramming another vehicle, whilst avoiding traffic AND navigating high speed turns is quite exhilarating.

Chase HQ came in a number of hardware configurations. As usual, the “deluxe” hydraulic version is the most desirable. In this case, it’s even more enjoyable, as the hydraulics provided more of a physical “ride” than other similar arcade racers.

Chase HQ

4,547 views 0 comments

Released: 1988

Genre: Racing

Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum

Publisher: Ocean

Developer: Taito

Submitted by: Mike Wilcox

LEST GO, MR DRIVER! And off you go, hunting down the bad guys, smashing the shi……crap out of their cars and arresting the drug dealers, kidnappers and the like, all in your Porsche 911, complete with three turbo's and some flashing blue lights (oh, and nee-naw sound!!!).

The graphics were among the best ever seen on the spectrum. Moving at a blindingly fast pace and even having the flashing lights that actually worked on the stats panel (which was a nice touch), I didn't believe this was a game running on my humble computer. But i was pleasently surprised. Even the digitised speech of 'Lets Go, Mr Driver' and ' Hold On, Man!' got added, and I STILL couldn't believe it!!! It just showed what the Spectrum was capable of. It's a shame that not many other developers pushed the computer to that limit. I enjoyed the game, and, from what the scores were from the magazines at the time, so did the reviewers. So, It's clear to see why this remains one of Ocean's greatest ever games and, to me, the greatest game ever made. A simple premise made into an addictive game.