Review by NES4EVER

Reviewed: 07/29/02 | Updated: 07/29/02

A pleasant change from checkpoint racers

Chase HQ II is one of the more interesting titles I’ve come across in my gaming history. I received it as a birthday gift when I was seven, and I absolutely loved it. The cars, the speed, the adrenaline all gave me a reason to like Genesis more than Super Nintendo. But it wasn’t until I grew up and had a better view of what video gaming was like back then that I truly gave this game the gratification it deserves. There were many titles like it in its day, both in arcade and on consoles. But Chase HQ II was a bit different from the pack. While most games challenged you to get to the finish line before the timer ran out, Chase HQ II challenged you to find the criminal, ram his car and wreck it all before the timer ran out. It may not seem like much now when you think about newer games and how much they offer, but remember, this was 1992 and the standards were much different then they are now.

Gameplay

Most people would think that one mode to choose from isn’t much for a game like this, but remember, this was based on an arcade game (like most driving games were) and in this case, having one mode isn’t totally a bad thing. The game starts off in the light industrial area of the city with a drug dealer bust, and the highway patrol is just too slow for the job. It’s your job to put this guy behind bars. In the next few levels, you travel through tropical beaches, snow-capped mountains, dangerous deserts, and the heavy industrial district chasing everyone from kidnappers to murders. 6 levels may not seem like a lot when you think about it, but once you play the game, you’ll understand just how fun they are. You start by just merrily driving through the level in search of your suspect. Although I suggest keeping the pace rather fast since you need to catch up to him before the first timer runs out. Once you have him in your sights, it’s just a matter of not losing him and bumping his car as much as you can. If bumping and trying to keep up with him are too much for you, you can simply use a turbo but be warned, you only get 3 per level so use them wisely. Well, now that you know what the game is all about, you’re probably thinking that it sounds pretty boring, but once again, I re-assure you that there is plenty to do in this game.
8/10

Graphics

They aren’t anything that will damage your eyes, but there have been better looking games both in the arcade and on Genesis. To start with the cars, there is a Cherry red sports car that looks somewhat similar to a Ferrari F40, the sport utility vehicle looks a cross between a Chevrolet Blazer and a Ford Explorer, and the Semi looks like… well… the tractor part of a big-rig. They all look unique from the traffic cars, which is a relief, and so do your enemies cars, which range from a sports car to a monster truck to a big-rig. Taito did a very good job at making the traffic cars, your car, and the enemy’s car easily identifiable, which is good because no one wants to play a game where you don’t know what the hell is going on. As soon as the criminal is in your sights, a huge yellow arrow also helps to identify him in case your already having trouble spotting the yellow car in an ocean of brown and green cars. But I guess that makes it all the more easy for those who are good at video games, and gives those that aren’t a much-needed break. All in all, this graphics in Chase HQ II are good. They aren’t anything ground breaking but they do the job and they do it well.
7/10

Sound

Meh… You must admit that this game has some pretty catchy tunes, but they really don’t show what genesis really packed. I mean sure there were clips of the female officer briefing our cops saying stuff like “Suspect driving yellow van” or “Suspect spotted driving green truck” nothing special really. I guess there wasn’t much room for detailed dialogue. The music on the other hand is upbeat and really plays with your emotions. For example, at the start of the race, the music is calm, maybe a little upbeat, but as it progresses, and you come closer to the car, it pumps adrenaline into you and your heartbeat goes up as you hit the siren and chase the bad guy. There is one thing that annoys me though. After you catch up to the criminal and the adrenaline pumping music starts, the siren starts too, and its plain old annoying after 4 minutes of hearing “weee ohhh weee ohhhh” straight. That’s what really hurts this category.
6/10

Control

Chase HQ II has some pretty good controls actually. There are some turns where light braking is required, but for most of the race, all you really need is the gas pedal and an open road. Once you catch up to the criminal, it’s a completely different story. The leisure drive becomes a race for time, because you must ram him as many times as you can, and his car is usually a little fast then yours, making it a nuisance to ram him and fall back, then take 10 seconds to catch up again to ram him again. That’s why I usually just use the turbos to catch up to him and ram his car as many times as possible. But back to the point, Chase HQ II has very good control which makes this game all the better.
9/10

Difficulty---Normal/Moderate

Its not that hard in the early stages, but once you get farther into the game, more obstacles like ice patches, gunners in the enemy vehicle, and even a helicopter that drops bombs or grenades, or some kind of explosive onto the road, so watch out when you see the helicopter come onto the screen. A skilled player really needs to do little more then drive aside of these obstacles, but that can be hard if you don’t know how to control your vehicle. As with many games, practice makes perfect, and that’s especially true with this game. Once you know how to drive, beating the game is quite easy.

Replay Value

Well, if you like racing games on the genesis, you’ll love this game. It takes what most racing games were, and advances on them in many categories. Plus, I like the fact that these aren’t just little checkpoint races like almost every other game for Genesis was. The mix of old school genesis racing game, and non-checkpoint idea intrigues me and I’m sure I'm not the only person here who would play through this game more then once, possible even dozens of times. Therefore I think the replay value is quite high.
8/10

Conclusion

Chase HQ II is a very good game, if you don’t have it and you like Genesis racers, then this game is definitely worth picking up. Its difficulty and story broadcasts itself to a broad range of gamers, which is good because for an informed opinion on racing games, not playing this makes it almost a crime to insult other racing games. I suggest that you buy this game if you come across it at a flea market or garage sale or something. Its probably only worth 5-15 dollars, but its well worth what you spend on it.
8/10

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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