I'm not sure what the appeal of Miami Vice is. It's probably the most unrealistic cop schlop series ever dreamed up. Its plots are repetitive and hackneyed, the acting's pretty ropey in parts and it's so over the top it's not true. I never miss it - but I don't think I'll have the same problem with the game.
The plot is standard fare. Word is out on the streets that a big deal of contraband is about to 'go down' (I'm well up on Miami jive, dig?) somewhere on the waterfront. It's your job to cruise up and down those mean streets and put the squeeze on the local wrap men.
By making meets with these punks you can start to gather information and evidence to help you crack the case. You'll find these guys in the various bars that are dotted around the streets. You have a number of possible schedules which you can use to track them down.
So far so good. You begin the game in Crockett's Ferrari and start cruising the streets. All of a sudden you'll find out there's a small problem. Controlling the car is flaming impossible.
First of all you'll be driving on the right. Fair enough, very realistic. I've just come back from France and I'm still in one piece. Thank God I didn't decide to go to Miami instead. The drivers are maniacs. As you drive along at a sedate pace, they'll just ride straight into you from behind. Go too quick and you'll slap into a wall or another car at a junction.
The major problem is the controls which are really fiddly. The response to movement is very dodgy so you'll find yourself over and understeering wildly. Added to that, the programmer seemed to have this idea that if you get very close to another object and turn away from it you still hit it. Thus, you're likely to find yourself crashing quite a lot, which makes it night on impossible if you have to get around town to certain locations at given times.
Once you do find somewhere worth checking out, you stop the car and manoeuvre one of the two detectives into the building. Be quick otherwise one of those Miami crazies will run clean up your backside and you'll be back at the City Hall.
Inside a bar or hotel you'll be confronted by some nice graphics whilst Crockett or Tubbs paces around, hands outstretched, gripping a magnum. Any evidence or gear can be picked up by walking over it.
The screen is divded up into windows. Most space is devoted to the graphic representation of the action, but beneath a clock ticks away, a display informs you what mode you're in (fire, drive, search) or whether a car that passes you contains a suspect or evidence. I've come to believe though, that this car, which is supposed to be a flashing red one is mythical. I've never seen it. On the right-hand side at the bottom two windows display the detectives, status and your ratings.
After not a few hours on Miami Vice, I haven't made much progress. Now maybe I'm just a lousy cop but I don't think so: I get the impression a good game lurks in there somewhere but it's been smothered by some dodgy controls. It's the old problem about substituting niggly controls for tough gameplay. Everything else is fine. Great graphics typically classy tune, good plot. It's just a pain to play. I'll persevere 'cos I want those punks off the street, but I'd think twice and ask yourself if you feel as dedicated.