Miami Vice (Ocean) Review | Computer Gamer - Everygamegoing

Computer Gamer

Miami Vice
By Ocean
Commodore 64

Published in Computer Gamer #19

Miami Vice

Miami Vice is a pop video interrupted by the exploits of tough gang-busting cops Crockett and Tubbs. The steamy world of long, hot Florida nights is also the setting for the search for Mr J in Ocean's new game.

Mr J is the gangster who is masterminding a million dollar contraband scam and Crockett and Tubbs he to make their bust before Thursday morning. The game joins the dynamic duo at midnight on the previous Sunday and you must help them to make all of the contacts which will lead to the apprehension of the gang leader.

The city streets are a dangerous place for our heroes who must search the clubs and clip joints for clues. The Miami low-life who hold the keys to the solution of the crime, work to a timetable and contacts have provided two possible schedules of meetings which Crockett and his sidekick must tap into if Mr J is to be stopped. It's vital that you tap into these meetings because the schedule only tells what will happen throughout the first day. Interrogating the criminals will give leads to bigger and better meetings on following days, culminating in the final confrontation on Thursday.

Following the timetable involves racing through the streets avoiding collision with the good citizens while trying to find the venue for the next meeting. The thing I disliked about this phase of the game is that any collision means you restart your search from the City Hall. This gets a bit boring when you're trying to build up a street map which is essential if you're going to succeed.

Car control isn't easy and collisions occur with great ease. Since crashing in on the meetings requires split second timing, a string of collisions can mean missing vital clues at each stage of the game.

When Crockett and Tubbs arrive at the venue for a meet, one of them can leave the car and search the club for clues. If the time is right, a crook may still be on the premises and his apprehension can lead to fierce gun battles. Not all of the petty hoods that you overpower will reveal the lead which you need but eventually a pattern is revealed.

To apprehend the crooks, you must arrive on the scene of the meeting within eight minutes of its start. In game time, each minute is only a second of real time so your team will often arrive in time to see the criminals taking of in their car. This leads to hairy chases around the roads with Crockett and Tubbs firing out of their speeding car's windows.

Initially, the game is extremely frustrating and it takes time to discover the layout of the city. After several unsuccessful attempts at the game you can get very bored with failure and this game is only for those with a high reserve of staying power.

At first I was all set to slate the game for its high frustration rate but when you start to have a few successful encounters the jig-saw starts to take shape and you've just got to have one more try. This does not fully compensate for the repetitive nature of the game - chase, search, chase, search... A few more elements would make this a lot more exciting, but it's not such a bad little game, though I feel it will rely more heavily on the TV programme's charisma for mass appeal than on the gameplay itself.