Crime City, Arcade

Taito‘s Crime City in an obscure run-and-gun arcade game, first released in 1989. It is part of the Chase HQ series, and the two playable characters – Tony Gibson and Raymond Brody – are the same leads as in the first Chase HQ. You can play either alone, or two players can play the game simultaneously, cooperatively.

Crime City is a fairly standard platform shooter where you jump and shoot your way through six different stages, taking down criminals, rescuing hostages, and fighting bosses. Most levels are side-scrolling, but occasionally there are sections where you turn and shoot into the screen, from a third-person viewpoint.

Your character can punch when up close to an enemy; can do an extended jump (by pushing up when pressing the jump button), and can even do a somersault attack. You can pick up better weapons as you find them (like a shotgun or an M16 automatic machine gun), and can also acquire extra points by confiscating what look like packets of drugs dropped by defeated enemies.

Enemies will sometimes try to run you down with cars and motorbikes. With cars you can jump onto them to avoid being hit, and motorbikes will try to flatten you by raising their front wheels and jumping, so to avoid them you must either duck under them or shoot the riders off with your gun.

One interesting and unique feature of the game is the high score name entry, which allows you to write your name as a pattern of bullet holes. I haven’t seen this in another game before and it’s a fun way of marking your high scores.

Crime City is not really good enough to be considered a classic, but it is reasonable fun to play for a while – especially two-player. The game does have some funny bad translations (“Let’s go for a kill time!“), which does add entertainment value. Otherwise, it’s a fairly bog-standard side-scrolling run-and-gun action game.

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