If all crimes were as easy to solve as those in SCI, we'd never have to suffer Nick Ross and Crimewatch again. All the felons in Taito's coin-op world walk about with a large red arrow above their head bearing the word CRIMINAL, which is a bit of a giveaway. Mind you the two tec's who star in this cops and robbers, car-chase game don't have it all their own way. While the crooks are easy to spot they ain't easy to catch.
SCI - Special Criminal Investigation - takes over where Chase HQ left off. Two policemen drive, under your command, a special high-
With turbos on full, they're off in hot pursuit along winding roads - ramming the villains into submission. The boys get a gun this time too, which they use to cut a path through slower traffic by blowing them up. It's harsh but it's fair - everyone gets blasted.
60 Seconds to Comply
The chase splits into two sections. First comes the pursuit of the criminal, who has a substantial lead. Once they are in sight the second section commences: sirens go on, the big red arrow appears and you've 60 seconds to ram them off the road. To give the coppers a helping hand, a police chopper drops in a bazooka for some extra firepower. As the damage clocks up - from ramming, gun shots or bazooka shells - a small meter appears on-screen which allows you to gauge your success.
SCI went down a storm in the arcades and it has carried its coin-op baggage to the Amiga in full. Explosions litter the screen and the roads flick by at real speed. You control both the car, turbos and the gun-toting passenger. They must be used to the full if the bad guys are to do time. The tactics are simple: go as fast as possible then ram and shoot the crook, side-
SCI features an impressively fast red car, good backgrounds and enough similarity to the arcade - roadwise - to satisfy any coin-op junkie. The villains are obvious, but are hard to hit. They are surrounded by outriders and continually try to sucker pursuers into time consuming errors. The turbos are crazily fast and rate as the high point of the whole show.
Everything works the way it ought to and looks the way police pursuit games should. There is something missing from SCI however. It lacks any real identity and as such doesn't exactly scream "play me". That certain something makes arcade conversions like Pang and Rainbow Islands (both from Ocean) so compulsive just isn't there.
SCI relies on the need for speed, spiced with a little fire-
SCI is fun, but repetitive. The main improvement to the Chase HQ formula is a gun and again added firepower doesn't significantly increase the gameplay quotient. The graphics are good, but there is nothing that makes SCI challenging. Without this SCI is consigned to that jam of car games on the motorway of life.