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Download Crime Wave

Crime Wave
 
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Before I begin reviewing this game, let me start by admitting that side-scrolling action shoot-'em-ups aren't my forte. They're too fast for my tired old eyes, and all those different enemies running around - combined with constant trigger-action - tend to make me nervous. Nevertheless, I believe that being open-minded is a virtue, and although curiosity killed the cat, I really wanted to try something besides adventure games for a change. So, I opted for Crime Wave, a 1990 game about street violence: a gore-splattering, mind-numbing sidescroller from Access Software.

It all starts with the president's daughter being kidnapped by some men of low moral standing. The chief of police is desperate and calls in his best freelance gunslinger, Luke McCabe. This vigilante has sunglasses the size of Luxembourg and a passion for shooting, so he's cut out for the job. It all starts at the train yard--

You take control of Luke, (badly) dressed in a red-and-white jogging suit and his colossal sunglasses that make Sonny Crockett's pale in comparison. True to the genre, lots of baddies come running, shooting, dodging, and throwing all kinds of stuff. There are three levels of difficulty to choose from, and the lowest setting starts out pretty easy, but it gets hectic pretty soon. At the advanced level, you'll have to hold down the fire button non-stop, and pray! The enemies get tougher the further you advance, and all kinds of weirdos appear, from shuriken-throwing ninjas to fatsos with flamethrowers and the occasional mechanical contraption. The gameplay consists of shooting everything that moves, picking up a scarce power-up or bonus life, and carrying on.

The graphics are pretty decent; all characters are digitized from real-life actors, but due to the low resolution, the quality never excels. The in-game animations are nice, especially if you're a pubescent guy, since the dame you've got to rescue will appear frequently in a skimpy (but tasteful) red evening gown! The backgrounds are attractive and colorful, but the distinction between them and your targets is significant enough, so no problems there.

One thing that sets this game apart from others in its genre is its abundant goriness; you've got a weapon capable of firing both bullets and rockets, and shooting the latter at your enemies has a rather disorganizing effect on their remains. Limbs and blood flying all around made this game illegal in Germany at the time (actually, lots of games featuring violence were banned by the German government in those days), but it can be fun to watch your enemies explode in a fountain of blood and body parts!

As for the sound, I was pretty disappointed with it. The grunts and gunshots are mediocre at best, and although the intro featured a catchy tune, not one song was played during the entire game. A speedy, driving, motivational background theme can really improve the overall stress level of the game, but after playing for ten minutes of only "Urgh, bang, bang, booooom," it gets rather irritating.

In conclusion, this game is nothing special. The campy theme is nice, as are Luke's sunglasses, but other than that, it's a shoot-'em-up with an above average amount of gore, decent graphics, crappy sound and absolutely no music. It can be fun to play for a while - and if you like this kind of game, by all means do so - but there's no reason to get all worked up about it.

This game works flawlessly in DOSBox, but also runs in Windows XP within Windows 95 compatibility mode. In Windows XP you won't have any sound, but you really won't miss a lot. If you run it without the Windows 95 setting, it runs extremely slowly!


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Reviewed by: Reup / Screenshots by: Reup / Uploaded by: Reup / share on facebook
 

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