Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: Miami Vice: The Game

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Electronic Theatre ImageWhen reviewing a game a writer must try to adhere to certain codes-of-conduct, uphold some kind of moral order and say that “drugs are bad”, kids! But Miami Vice: The Game is going to be a difficult game to write about, mainly because this is a family-friendly website, and the game is so very adult. Avoiding any relation to the tragic PlayStation2 release based on the TV Programme, this PSP release instead firmly places it’s feet in the shoes of the recent Motion Picture adaptation. The story follows two Miami Drug Cops and their quest to infiltrate the main infrastructure of the Miami drugs scene, to bring it down from the inside as it were. The game centres on the main Electronic Theatre ImageMiami area, a night-time Map being the main HUB of the game. From here you can access the main Missions, different Sub-Levels and the Police Station, where you can Load and Save your game, and also hide your stash. In the main Missions of this Third-Person Action game you are given a series of Objectives to complete. The Primary Objectives are those which you must complete to progress the game. These are pretty much handed to the player on a plate as you simply have to get to a destination. If the Mission reads ‘go and steal a boat’ you must get to where the boat is and a Cut-Scene kicks in showing your character (of which you choose Crockett or Tubbs at the beginning) stealing the boat. You do have several Missions which take place on a boat in which you must shoot-down all enemies and reach your Objective point; although these do bring a welcome break from all the walking and shooting they do little to alleviate the boredom which consumes this game. You can collect different items throughout the Missions to help you which include First Aid Kits, Drugs (which you can trade with money) Electronic Theatre Imageand the FLASH RAM, of which there is one in each Mission you complete on foot. This FLASH RAM can be hacked into at the Police Station, which opens up a Mini-Game you must complete to successfully complete the hack. In this Mini-Game, you have to charge-up a bomb to blast away blocks which are floating around in order to collect little bubbles. After collecting ten of these bubbles you get moved onto the next phase, of which there are three in total to complete the hack. On later Levels the blocks shoot-out spikes which burst one bubble; theoretically these are used to make later hacks more challenging, yet they act as a fuse and will end-up blowing-up several blocks in one fell swoop. The information gained from these hacks unlock certain items, including weapon upgrades and the location of the Drug Barons with whom you can trade your drugs for money, if your reputation is high enough. In addition to these Drug Barons you can deal drugs on the street to help your cash flow situation, which can buy new suits and weapons upgrades .On playing this section of the game you may be reminded of a popular Viral game called Dope Wars where the object was to deal drugs, make a profit and try to not get busted by the Police. Take out the risk of getting busted and you have the Street Drug Dealing which takes place on Miami Vice: The Game, as this time around you are the police. For making money, a far better route to take is dealing drugs with the Drug Barons, they will sell drugs in larger quantities and you can deal with these people from drugs in the Police Depositary as well as those you have in your pocket, whereas when dealing on the street you can only sell what you have in your pocket at the time. When initiating a Drug Baron trade, you have two different stages to completing the trade. First off you must gain entrance – Electronic Theatre Imageconvincing the goons outside that you mean business – while the second phase is actually trading with the nasty man. In both instances you must make a Meter at the bottom of the screen fill-up by keeping your marker in the middle of a bar. Blue is in the clear and you must keep it at blue to win, if it goes into the red section it will back track, and you will be in trouble. Unfortunately this game suffers by the fact it’s too repetitive. Once the Drug Barons are unlocked there is no reason, other than for fun, to use the street dealers, as visiting the Drug Barons boosts both your Reputation and your cash. The Missions are fun and can be played from both a gung-ho shoot-and-die style of play as well as being more stealthy, using cover and pinpointing the location of, well, everything by buying the information Freddie Luiz has for sale. However other than the Maps being different they are all very similar so nothing really compels you. The story itself is very sparse with little to no explanation as to why Narcotic Police would be trading with Drug Barons, unless they are indeed underhanded themselves. The main story also has a distinct lack of imagination, having been thrown in as an after thought with only a small amount of explanation as to what is going on, so you find yourself unsure of your place, with only the ideal that you must Electronic Theatre Imagebring several drug lords to justice as your guide. Even at the end of the title you are left confused as to whether you have actually completed the game, as the only indication is a screen saying ‘Miami Vice: The Game’, and as you return to the HUB of Miami all the Missions are unlocked for you to complete again, completing Objectives by-passed on the first play-through. Miami Vice: The Game is a fairly solid showing of the PSP’s graphical capabilities, showing some good Character Models and shading; yet there were many instances of Polygon Pop-Up and players may be slightly distracted by this. The sound was mainly good, helping to add atmosphere without detracting from the action and the sounds from the enemies, although very limited, had a good distinction between when they had found you, were looking for you or didn’t realise you were there, which could be of great help.

Overall Miami Vice: The Game can get repetitive which detracts from this slightly above-average title. If the developers had put more variety into the game it would provide a much better sense of escapism. The Mini-Games do help to add a different level of play, but these are parts not essential to the game, just small add-ons, almost a bonus rather than being an integral part of the game. The different styles of play available also helped make this title better than some other lack-lustre titles available for the PSP, but, as the BBFC Classification suggests, this is a game for adults only, and clearly unsuitable for younger players.Electronic Theatre Image




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