CrimeWaveSimplistic in design but a lot of fun.
CrimeWave, Eidos's newest Saturn game, crosses the weaponry of Spy Hunter with the control and premise of Atari's APB. What you get is a pretty straightforward game; simplistic in design but fun as hell.
What you need to do is run down criminal vehicles with an array of firepower mounted to the hood and rear of your car. Each target destroyed nets you 100 credits and powerups for better weaponry. Earn 500 credits and the gates to the next level open for access. Six areas, including urban and suburban areas, shoreline streets, and industrial parks await your extermination. You have a certain time limit to reach your quota, but each enemy's destruction earns you an additional minute.
While you're chasing the bad-guys, watch out for cross-traffic, slow-movers, and leadfoots with nothing better to do than to run you off the road. Smacking into these innocent bystanders is O.K. Accidentally destroying them with your weaponry, however, nets a small demerit, knocking down your earned point rating a few notches. The more points you lose, the more bad-guys you need to nab in a certain area.
A second player can join in the action at any time, which pretty much doubles the chaos. Not only do you have the targeted enemy to worry about, there's Player Two, also trying to earn the bounty. Though the viewable area is halved and the perspective should have been scaled back, this mode is still playable. The coolest feature is that the second player can come and go at any time.
The graphics are a successful merger of rendered sprites and texture-mapped terrains. The only downside to this design is that it forces the perspective at on specific angle. The screen can rotate 360 degrees, but its impossible to drop the camera lower to get a better vantage point. Still, the available camera angle is more than acceptable.
The single most annoying factor in this game is its tendency to "hiccup" consistently. This herky-jerky motion is very much like playing Quake over a congested Internet connection . It's very difficult to overlook, and it's possible to get used to, but it's a huge flaw with no apparent reason for being. The game could also have benefited from the analog pad, mapping the accelerator to one of the variable shoulder buttons. Playing the tap-tap game with the accelerator is a pain when you're tailgating one of the bad-guys.
Overlook the glaring intermittent pausing and you'll enjoy one heck of a game. This is one of those games that doesn't need any extraneous features - like a plot, for one - to drag it down. Direct, basic, and fun...'nuff said.