Saturday, April 4, 2009

Chase H.Q.

~ CHASE H.Q. ~

Enamored with the idea of hopping into a cop car and chasing down fleeing fugitives, a bunch of my buddies back in seventh grade were really into the Chase H.Q. arcade game. I, on the other hand, wasn't very interested in it and didn't even bother to give it a chance. I also failed to purchase the TurboChip rendition when it was released, and I was never in any particular hurry to obtain it, as it seemed to take a lot of heat in reviews. Now that I own it, I wish I had acted sooner; and I wonder what the heck is wrong with the people who pan it.

Maybe those people don't like the gameplay. At first, the controls do seem quite loose: your vehicle is prone to slipping and sliding every which way. But making wise use of your brakes and turbo boosts can mean all the difference in the world, and once you're in the zone, the action feels great, and the game actually becomes super easy... while remaining a lot of fun.

I mean, I don't get how anyone couldn't have fun chasing after criminals and ramming into their vehicles, which begin to flame up as parts go flying off, with sirens blaring all the while. No, it's not the deepest or most sophisticated game concept in the world, but I can't help but get a kick out of it. In fact, Chase H.Q. is at its best when it keeps things simple: little things that it incorporates in apparent attempts at depth, like gear shifting and forking roads, come off as frivolous and unnecessary.

Get briefed on your absconding adversaries, and then hit the road to track 'em down.

Not that you'll have much of a chance to admire them while you're playing, but the backdrops are pretty nice. Unfortunately, there aren't many of them, and you'll notice that ones employed for early levels get reused later in the game.

Once you catch up to the criminals, you'll be granted plenty of extra time to finish the job. Their car will start to flame up as you pummel it with your own.

Try to pound on the crooks' vehicles from the side rather than from behind. You'll have a much better chance of scoring multiple hits each time you move in.

Such despicable villains! The big house awaits them.

This is the "bad ending" screen. You'll need to go back and practice more...

...if you want to access the sixth stage and hunt down the real head villain.

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