Virtua Squad 2
Arcade action for
By Steven Bilodeau
Video arcades have
been hugely popular for about two decades, and yet, if you look at the
games that have been in those arcades, not too many of them require a
ton of heavy thinking. They're mostly "twitch" games where the
player shoots a target, drives a car or a tank, or some other action-oriented
goal. The reason for this is obvious; the designers want your quarters
in the machine, not in your pocket, and if the game requires a lot of
time, those quarters won't be moving.
Virtua Squad 2 is
one of the most successful arcade games of recent times, although in the
arcade this Sega game goes by the name of Virtua Cop. It's basically a
computerized shooting gallery just like the ones found at 1930's carnivals.The
bank robbers and other assorted no-goods pop out from around corners or
drive by at high speed, and you have to shoot them. In the arcade you
use a pistol; on your computer, you use the mouse to aim and fire.
The game translates
to the computer far better than one might have expected. Part of the challenge
at the arcade is reloading. You only have six shots, and you reload by
aiming the pistol away from the screen. On the computer version, you fire
with the right mouse button and reload with the left. It doesn't sound
like a big deal until you have to face three or four bad guys and you're
out of shells.
Sega has upgraded
the most recent version with support for 3D accelerators. The colours
and detail are smoother and the action happens more quickly. It looks
every bit as good, if not better, than the arcade version.
It's also loads of
fun. There are three levels with a couple of paths in each one. This game
takes you on a predetermined route; all you do is shoot. While you're
doing that, you have to cope with the swooping 3D perspectives and detailed
graphics. The gameplay is challenging since you have a limited number
of lives. Each time a bad guy beats you to the draw, you lose a life.
Also, if you shoot an innocent bystander, you forfeit one of your lives.
After you've run out of chances, you can choose to "continue"
the game. This is the same as inserting another quarter in the machine.
You pick up right where you left off. You can only use so many "continues"
though, before the game does actually end.
Virtua Squad 2 is
a great game for the same dose of action you'd expect from the corner
is a columnist for the Edmonton Journal. You can find more of his columns
can be reached via e-mail at StevenB@msn.com.
And for more computer news, visit JournalExtra, the World Wide Web site
of The Edmonton Journal, at http://www.edmontonjournal.com.
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