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Dick Tracy Longplay (Mega Drive/Genesis) [60 FPS]

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Developed and published by Sega in 1990

Released to coincide with the Disney blockbuster of everybody’s custard-yellow trenchcoat-wearing detective, Dick Tracy is a side-scrolling shoot ’em up that blends traditional platforming action with Operation Wolf/Cabal.

Tracy is on a case to track down the notorious gang leader, Big Boy Caprice, and he must slug his way through legions of gun-toting thugs to find a suitable lead. Every so often, Tracy will encounter a high ranking lieutenant or henchman, who he must subdue for vital information.

The game’s action is viewed from a side-on perspective and there are two distinct play-fields; foreground and background.

Tracy occupies the foreground and enemies can appear on either side of him and must be taken out before they can shoot him. Pressing the A button on the joypad will cause Tracy to fire his side-arm in the direction he’s facing and must be used to take out enemies occupying the foreground.

The second, background play-field sees gangsters popping out of doors, windows and other locations in the scenery and who proceed to fire their guns at Tracy in the foreground. Bullet holes appear to show a visual indication of where the shot landed and can gives you a chance to duck or jump out of the way. I’m not sure if this was intentional or not, but these hit markers look like bullet holes in glass, which would would be the TV screen as the player is looking in on the action; if this is the case then it’s a nice little touch.

Press the C button and Tracy will whip out his trusty Tommy gun and fire a stream of hot lead at the gangsters on the rear play-field; there’s no targeting reticule, but you can use the ricochet effect of the bullets to work out where your shots are landing and to adjust your aim accordingly. A neat feature is the inclusion of destructible scenery so that shooting windows, cars and phone booths with you machine gun usually results in something getting smashed; it’s possible to earn a points bonus by not breaking anything

The game tries to mix things up by introduction levels where Tracy runs out of bullets or is informed that he isn’t allowed to use his guns and can use melee attacks only. Of course, the gangsters are free to use hand-guns, machine guns and even dynamite, putting you at an obvious disadvantage. The only option is to avoid enemy fire and to time your attacks in between their reload animations. The first couple of melee stages are tolerable, but the sewer stage is a major pain as there are so many enemies that you’re reduced to luring them back one at a time so you can take them out safely.

There are also a number of car chases where Tracy must eliminate gangsters that pull alongside his squad car. This stage is pretty much identical to the normal levels, aside from the fact that Tracy is hanging on to the side of a squad car.

At the end of each level, there is a bonus game where Tracy must shoot targets in a shooting gallery. Three boards pop up and Tracy must shoot the gangsters whilst avoiding innocent bystanders. Later rounds of the bonus stage get tougher as the player has less time to react when the targets appear. Success in these stages is rewarded with points and much needed bonus continues.

The game features some nicely drawn and animated sprites, and the way the intermission sequences have been drawn as though they’re panels from the Dick Tracy comic is a nice touch. There’s nothing particularly outstanding about the visuals, but they’re certainly of a level you would expect from your average 16-bit shooter and look considerably better than the Master System version.

The game features background music that, whilst thematically apt considering the game’s period setting, is actually quite basic and forgettable; Yuzo Koshiro this is not! Considering that so much time in the game is spent firing guns, it’s fortunate that the sound effects for these are actually pretty good; firing Tracy’s machine gun is always particularly satisfying!

Whilst I never owned the game, I did like it enough to rent it twice back in the day. Playing it again today, there are some elements that I still like, but there was plenty that I found frustrating. It could be the fact I chose to play this on hard, but it’s quite easy to get overwhelmed when trying to tackle enemies on the front and rear play-fields simultaneously. The fact that all three buttons on the pad are used can lead to situations where you press the wrong button and fire the Tommy gun when you wanted to jump and vice versa.

Dick Tracy for the Mega Drive isn’t a bad game, especially when compared to the appalling C64 and Amiga games. However, there simply isn’t enough variety here when compared to other similar games in the MD software library.
#retrogaming

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34 Comments

  • July 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
    Ali Niaz

    This game was HARD. I just saw this game footage after 25 years.

    Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
    Pirusy Asayesh

    Woow . thank you .

    Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
    Double S

    Remember when they said games like this would make kids be violent? Lol

    Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
    Jonty Speaks

    Odd how the devs didn't bother with any decent animation or smoothing frames for the weapon draws. Al;so infinite ammo…wut? Didn't expect the Tracy character to get on the car roof dodge.

    Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
    eduardo moran

    Por un periodico tanta accion jajaja exelente jugador

    Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
    Booze Bag Productions

    I got this game for my bday when I was seven and was addicted to it. This was one of the best Sega Genesis games I used to own. Man, I miss this.

    Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
    Aaron Matthews

    Had this on the mega drive in the 90s. One simple but hell of an addictive game.

    Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
    Carefree Jimbob

    Tough dick.

    Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
    Elmau Alexander

    one of the most difficult games that was never completed in my childhood.
    but now with the help of savestate I can win this easily, even achieved great score. Thank you technology

    Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
    Hektols

    One of the best Megadrive early games, combining Contra and Cabal.

    Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
    stephlefaon

    Super bon jeu!!!

    Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
    Darth Brett

    I think this was my 3rd game I ever got on the Genesis (Altered Beasts and Castle Of Illusion were my 1st and 2nd). I remember playing this game to death in spring/summer of '91 because I was a huuuuge Dick Tracy fanatic. I finally beat it maybe 6 months after I got it. Once you get the patterns down, the game is just fun and not terribly challenging to the point of being frustrating.

    I also had the Dick Tracy game on the NES, which was very flawed but still fun. This game was a completely different game altogether and was quite a bit better.

    Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
    Hieroic Dose

    Try hard mode without save-states. Different ballgame.

    Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
    Joshua Ivery

    I haven't even heard of this game as of matter of fact this game is quiet hard especially when there a lot of enemies

    Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
    sid smith

    I used to love this for a mega drive game omg unbelivable and trust me it gets really hard near the end

    Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
    Mr. Pendleton

    this looks better than the NES game, or at least a lot more straight forward

    Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
    scottbignell

    First game I ever got on Mega-Drive when I was 10yrs old. Love the vibe. Love the game music. Solid gameplay.

    Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
    ZorotheGallade

    5:19 (Child throwing a tantrum)

    Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
    MrBobinater

    They should remake this game. Seriously. With today's graphics, it could be quite an amazing experience.

    Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
    Timmer

    Dick Wick

    Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
    IL COMMENTATORE

    Bravissimo!

    Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
    Haha funni cat

    Tantrum

    Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
    Romello Brooks

    I've always preferred Sega's version over Nintendo's

    Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
    buda pest

    pro player 😂 , damn good game 🤘👍

    Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
    H.0 afiq production

    You are pro

    Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
    Audisakawp Yunuz

    I think I Saw one punch man

    Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
    Raymond Jones

    This game was good. And challenging

    Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
    KiriKiri Culinary Channel

    So much memory of my childhood for this sega mega drive game

    Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
    madi 64333

    My inner 6 year old is crying…

    Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
    ceyhun nezer meyxana

    😢😢😢😢😢😢

    Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
    NEStastic Gamer 04

    Actually a quite good game! Found it in a mega drive case, but was the genesis version. It is a quite decent for an early sidescroller

    Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
    Daryl Allman

    I used to rent this game from blockbusters over and over again. Good times.

    Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
    Ravinder2220

    I remember playing this on the SEGA MegaDrive 128 Bit console in 1990 when I was 5 years old. Brings back lots of childhood memories

    Reply
  • July 7, 2020 at 2:25 am
    luis morales

    Dios mio cuánto realismo en ese juego sobre todo en las cantidades de lunas qué aparecen en la primera pantalla. Jajajajaj fuera de broma era un juegazo qué manera viciarme

    Reply

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