11/6/16

Underkuba Bus

Despite sounding like an old Jackie Chan movie.
Undercover Cops is a beat'em up game featuring , well...UNDERCOVER COPS!
Namely:
(How dare you ask a lady what her vital stats are, it's a fuck'n SECRET! You should all be ashamed of yourselves!)

Produced by Varie.
Barry?

No, Varie!
Valerie?

NOO, VARIE! As in
VARIE CORPORATION.
A company that probably no longer exist.
And also under IREM. And if you are a fan of shoot'em ups then the name IREM wouldn't sound too foreign to you.
And like many other IREM titles, this game does not joke around with it's difficulty settings.
Be sure to bring in your A-game or prepare to have your ass handed to you.

And despite looking like a Neo Geo title, it was surprisingly available for the SNES (as we more recently discovered hence this blog entry, thank you very much!)
These are the type of missions that neither the boys/girl of Final Fight nor
Streets Of Rage are too pussy to handle. And for good reasons, just look at what your up against with.
The colors are aren't as vivid as either FF or SOR, I guess they were intentionally doing so to further distance
themselves from the numerous beat'em up titles that had flooded the market. The backgrounds are rather detailed and has a more underground vibe to it. Worth pointing out that the team who made this would later on work on more familiar titles like In The Hunt, and the very successful Metal Slug franchise.
The attract mode tells you everything you need to know.
Too bad that our copy of the game is in Japanese hence we could not divulge a summarized version of the story.
But the visuals are pretty clear, pick one of the three "Sweepers"
and let's sweep the streets clean of evil doers.
There is however a hidden special move that we simply can't activate. As seen here:
They are screen clearing special moves ala Golden Axe.
But other than that, the game is pretty solid even without having to use these special moves.
And with that in mind, let's pick our character, shall we?
Zan likes to kick things.
Matt is your standard "Stupid Gaijin" football player/jock.
He also has this move, which is quite questionable at best.
Rosa uses her butt ala R.Mika.
Despite her being typecasted as a Girl Cody, she actually looks more like a young Axl Rose.
And that's all three of them.

At the start of each mission, you are immediately greeted with a warning and a sneak preview of your chosen character's face.
Parts of their faces are intentionally obscured to give you that air of mystery and to make criminals crap their pants.

Each stage has the usual normal henchmen, slightly stronger mid boss and an end level boss.

Your scores are then tallied up on what is known to be as an "ASSESMENT DAY".
Reach your quota(border) and earn a 1-UP. Don't and simply have your life bar refilled.

Food items are no longer found in garbage cans or on oil drums. They are now hygienically served
by a butler.
Whom you have to kick/punch just because you're an undercover asshole and all!
Livestocks are literally ALIVE (how barbaric!) and chasing them could prove to be both fun and frustrating.
The menu ranges from snails
to chickens.
They do however offer minor refils to your health bar.
Only the pigs or food served on a plate could replenish your health completely.
In-game weapons were also a unique feature in Undercover Cops.
Instead of the usual knives, katanas and steel pipes, you are given a wider array of weapons which includes:
a rotten Tuna,
pieces of hollow blocks,
torches,
and a concrete pole.
Concrete poles are best used against large groups of enemies and on some of the stage bosses.
Matt provides a double spin giving him a clear advantage when using the pole.
Also, worth mentioning is that it would be better to pull up a pole from it's roots as opposed to picking one up from the floor.
Poles that had been lying on the ground tends to shatter more easily giving you a limited usage for the said weapon.

With this being a COP game of sorts. Surprisingly enough, there aren't any guns in this game. But if you'd want to use a gun on a beat-em up game then might we suggest:
It's a terrible game!
And a not so easy one as well.
You die by pressing the Start button. You pause the game by pressing Select.
Who the hell designed these control schemes anyway?

And now back to Undercover Cops,
two of our favorite stages were the construction site and the chopper stage.
Both stages offers bottomless pits, countless hours of fun while avoiding tedious battles and raking in huge points by dropping your opponents like a sack of potato.

The construction site offers crumbling scaffoldings:
Enh, evil doers should've learned a thing or two out of the Grift Of Magi episode of The Simpsons.
Breadsticks are not construction materials, people.
GEEZ!
Well, at least this Wile E. Coyote-ish scene is worth a laugh or two.
We've also discovered a cool trick( ok, not really a game altering trick, more like a bug) which involves you walking on air like Jordan.
For it to work, you must first walk to the area where the floor would later crumble. Continue pressing right then VOILA...
Insta-Jordan!
The chopper stage can simply be summed up as the Double Dragon II : The Revenge Chopper Stage done correctly. 
The plug door stays open for good. You are no longer sucked in by the vacuum but instead the plane door works in your favor.
And the bigger they are the harder they fall.
STILL, by far our favoritest kill throughout the entire game.

Ok, maybe next to this one.
(The crushing ceiling reminds us heavily of RIKI-OH.)
But the first stage's death trap is way too short to be enjoyable.

The final mission involves you from stopping Dr. Crayborn from the dropping the bomb on Undercopopolis (not the city's actual name but whatever...).
Succeed and be greeted with a GOOD ENDING, don't and receive this BAD ENDING (or BAD END as the game would put it.)
and the guilt/shame of letting your countrymen down.
The last stage is something straight out of the pages of Dragon Ball Z.
You fight three evil clones of your teammates (one of which is a clone of yourself)
and then you square off against the good Doctor.
He might look weak and a bit like Teddy Roosevelt.
But we could assure you that looks could be deceiving for his final form actually looks like this:
His neck extends like that of a dragon and the vagina looking thing on his back spits out exploding orbs and insects.
Facing off against him was no joke and we even had to play this game twice just to get the good ending for this documentation.

But it was all worth it, having broken his back and made him humble.
Now on to the Good Ending:
Was that it????
That wasn't GOOD at all!!!
Oh wait, there's more!
Serves you right, you motherfucker!
I like how freakishly high the police car jumps whenever it goes over a hump on the road.
Ok, so far so good. Then what?
A song? About what?
And oh, thank you for creating this game, Meeher!
THE WHAT NOW???
The game's ending is a fuck'n karaoke!!!!
Sung in your own voice if you could read Japanese that is!
He escaped???
Geez Louise, I wonder why?
That's not very comforting at all.
Yes, it's an excellent set-up for a sequel (that probably wouldn't be made) but it ultimately
made the good ending not so great.

So was it worth replaying again?
Yeah, to some extent, I guess?
The karaoke moment felt surreal but the rest of the ending was not "Good" at all.

Gameplay wise it felt great and an excellent alternative title to both FF and SOR.
Most especially if you had played those two games for the nth time.
The sprites are huge and the weapons are creatively crafted.
There are some random cheap shots/deaths every now and then.
Batboys or Makakus are the worst villain in the game.
So are these Freaks with Jetpacks or Madcas.
But everyone else seems manageable.
Foxes are the best villains to both face and throw around.
There is even a variant version that kinda resembles Shayla-Shayla from El Hazard.
The music department kinda sucks. It's techno but not in a good way. It's repetitive and annoying.
It's advisable to play this game without sounds or putting it at a lower volume.

Well, that's that!
That had been our review of Undercover Cops.
Join us again next time while we finish and review yet another game that nobody talks/cares about.
Ta-ta, fine folks of the interwebs!
Who the hell let's an APE and a BAT play this game?
Damn, that definitely counts as animal cruelty, Varie!
No wonder your company is no longer operational!

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