Follow me on Twitter @
Get Great Retro Scene News @
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.
Xem thêm bài viết khác: https://pubvision-network.com/game/