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Virtua Cop and Virtua Cop 2 together on one lovely shiny disc.
Two superb light gun controlled shoot-em-up games which pre-dated the Playstation 2 console by half a decade (1994 and 1995 respectively) but licensed from Sega for this little exclusive package released on the Playstation 2 in 2002.
While the game itself is very basic, it is still thought of as one of the better light-gun offerings from that era.
Players assume the role of an armed detective and are guided through the game in a 'Point Of View' (POV) or 'first person' perspective using the gun as the sole control, shooting enemies, collecting power-ups and attempting to avoid innocent civilians. Weapons may be upgraded by shooting specific icons, but rarely last long as the loss of one life/credit results in basic weapons and stats being renewed.
Difficulty settings do make this a challenge, but a shortage of levels means it doesn't last very long.
Boss fights are good, they about the only spot where game AI (artificial intelligence) comes into play, as enemies pop up in the exact same spots every game. It's quite easy to learn the patterns and becomes an ABC shooter after a few run-throughs.
The games were very advanced for the 90's, utilising the newly developed polygonal graphic system, which mainly meant that figures appeared in 3D rather than the flat 2 dimensional characters seen in older systems. The graphics engine also enabled 'texture mapping' - an incredibly advanced technique which allowed the environments to sustain damage! Breakable windows, interactive scenery and small details like bullet damage on brick walls.
Yes, at the time it was visually cutting edge. It set some of the groundwork needed for the super realistic games we have on the next-gen consoles out now and should be recognised as a key point in gaming history.
However, today it is almost obsolete. A gaming dinosaur.
Part of the reason is the graphic engine which set it head and shoulders above the field 15 years ago. The polygonal system was an essential stepping stone, but now looks its age. Sharp corners, blurry scenery and occasional blocky graphics were an unfortunate side effect of pushing the 32 and 64 bit consoles to their limit, and as hardware has steadily upgraded, these graphics have become unacceptably 'old fashioned'.
That doesn't make it unplayable though, it is perfectly good fun to dip into for an afternoon and can easily be completed in that time - as long as you have a TV of the same vintage as the game!
Light guns will only work with CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) televisions, and very few people still have them. The technology in Plasma and LCD televisions is simply incompatible with light guns, and led to the development of infared systems similar to what the Nintendo Wii uses.
It's a real shame, but to play the old light gun games you not only need the game, the special controller (gun) and console, you now need a separate TV to plug it all into!
For anyone willing to go to that trouble, the game is a lot of fun, though personally I'd say that it's a little too much hassle for the few hours of gameplay you can eek out of Virtua Cop.
Worth it for a hardcore shoot-em-up fan, and a masterpiece of game programming which should be a must for a retro game enthusiast. Not much here for the casual gamers though.