At a Glance: A painful amalgamated effort between Disney, renowned for their lovable characters and intense storylines, and Bandai, infamous for its many quality products, comes "Dick Tracy." Once a comic book as well as a hit movie, now you too can drive around as Dick himself, fighting crime and apprehending henchmen with obscene deformities. Oh joy.
Platform: NES (Download Emulator here - 192k)
Download: Download ROM here - 83k
Dick always drives with the siren on; Just to make sure nobody knows he's coming.
Game Plot: Many remember the classic tale of "Dick Tracy"; the victories, the defeats, and the apprehensions of a great many dastardly villains and no-good bad guys. Dick was a man of immense style, sporting a bright yellow trench coat, fedora, and a sleek ride. Now we are given the opportunity to play as our very own Dicks, running about the place like nobody's business!
Obviously no expense was spared when financing the writers of this classic's plot; our epic adventure of chase scenes and shootouts begins with Dick informing a man known only as "Big Boy" that he and his men are "through." Unfortunately for our hero, the fiend points out that we've got nothing on him, and his clever accomplice suggests we go out and "find nothing on us." Dick seems to be ok with this and leaves them to their antics. Whatever happened to just blowing away the freak before all the trouble starts?
Perplexed by this strange exposition, I perused further. The chief of police (who looks remarkably like Big Boy except only in a uniform) informs me that I've got the assignment, and lays down some very thorough ground rules to get me started on my way to action packed crime fighting.
1) Don't shoot unarmed thugs,
2) Follow the clues
Now THERE is a massive pearl of wisdom. I was half expecting Dick to then pull off the chief's godawful face and reveal old man McPhearsome, the deformed circus midget using ghosts to scare people away from his amusement park of mayhem. No such luck however, and I found myself feeling sorry for the horribly mangled officer of the law, especially with the knowledge that somewhere Mrs. Chief must kiss that each evening before a night of intimate one-liners. Honestly, there must have been a mix-up, because if he isn't the Antichrist I don't know who is. I'm quite sure that many kids were left with nightmares after seeing him, shrouded in darkness, a demonic glint in his single exposed eye.
Armed with a watch that emits lightning and a car that shoots bullets from the hood ornament, Dick's ready to take down some evildoers! But first he needs to read up on the enemy. Dick has three options available to him; Hit the Streets, Notebook, and Mugshots. Since I've always had an affinity for the great artwork produced on the Nintendo, I gave the mug shot gallery a go first. I learned much about my malformed foes, from their catchy but uncreative names (for gods sake they're named after their bloody deformities or mental disorders) to their position in Big Boy's beurocracy. With guys like "Shoulders" after me, I knew I'd be in some trouble down the road. I tried the "notebook" option, and was given nothing but a vague little message of mystery regarding fake $20 bills. It was obvious where to proceed next: I "hit the streets" and was transported into a vast city of danger and betrayal.
Take THAT you evil cab driver! Lookout, that's an alien on that there roof!
Lookout Big Boy, Dick's on the job! I cruised the boulevards in my little patrol car with sirens running nonstop (to be extra inconspicuous), and found myself in an eerie wasteland seemingly devoid of life. Then, out of nowhere, my car was under attack by a barrage of tiny dots. Flashing madly with the damage, I sped towards the source in a gallant attempt to put a stop to it, only to find a tiny green man perched atop a roof with a sniper rifle. I soon found out that the entire town must have been replaced with similar alien beings, which were all hell-bent on destroying my beautiful ride. Tiny green blotches, which I assumed to be blobs of pixels, turned out to be tiny blobs of pixels that shot more pixels at me. What's worse is that they did so from all the rooftops of all the buildings!
No longer concerned with "Big Boy" and his sickly hooligans, I now faced the task of protecting the earth from little green snipers and runaway beige family cars! The actual assignment was apparently to look into some sort of counterfeit money operation, but who can concentrate on fake $20s when you've got an alien invasion on your hands?!?
Weapons: Considering all I was able to do while "hitting the streets" was drive in circles in my car and get shot by the alien hit men, I didn't find much of an arsenal so to speak. I did however discover that my vehicle could put anything James Bond utilizes to shame. It was retrofitted with a useless little "gun" that shoots straight ahead of the car. This would be fine and dandy except that the only enemies I found were on top of buildings, to the sides of my justice mobile, and as such were nigh impossible to hit.
Enemies: Martian snipers with armor piercing rifles and beige cars mindlessly driving in circles as Dick's hell on wheels does the same. I was only able to kill an enemy on accident, which leads me to believe that I must have missed how to summon a giant robot to save the day (a must in any Bandai game). And where were those unarmed thugs the chief spoke of? Baffling! I decided to form my own elaborate network of targets, but try as I might I was unable to make Dick's car fly.
Number of Levels: Just one; the barren streets of Cityville, peppered with warehouses and empty buildings designed so that nobody can enter them. I saw a few locations with titles, but since it is impossible to stop Dick once the wheels are in motion, my futile attempts to root out Big Boy were in vain. I asked around a bit, did a bit of research so to speak, and as it turns out I couldn't find anyone who could ever get beyond that damn car. Imagine the glee of a child's parents, whom sunk a good $50 into the game, only to find out it consists of nothing more then going in circles and staring at hideous henchmen and green blobs.
Number of Bosses: More mutated miscreants then you can chase around in a yellow trench coat. One could presume that those mugshots were all terribly exciting would-be bosses, but with all said and done I'm personally glad they're not; I don't think Stickyfingers Stu would be worth Dick's time.
Defining Moment: Desperate to make some impact on the enemies of the game, I found myself resorting to collisions with the other cars on the road. This yielded little satisfaction however, and slowly my sanity began to wane from my mind, leaving me to stare awestruck at the squiggly lines emanating from Dick's watch.
Each category in the rating system is based out of a possible -10 score (-10 being the worst). The overall score is based out of a possible -50 score (-50 being the worst).
If that boy isn't willing to shoot his laser and get you that carbon, he's not worth your time.
REFORMED HOG - Former member of the swine family, has now agreed to behave like a proper dog. Free to patient home willing to overlook physical defects. 555-2519
Available in Large, which is actually a Medium stretched out to appear bigger.
If you're in a tight spot, this is going to be really helpful (I'M JOKING. I'M KIDDING AROUND)
The Rom Pit is dedicated to reviewing the most bizarre and screwed up classic console games from the 1980's, the ones that made you wonder what kind of illegal substances the programmers were smoking when they worked on them. Strangely enough, the same illegal substances are often necessary to enjoy or make sense of most of these titles. No horrible Nintendo game is safe from the justice of the ROM Pit.