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I thought the
Miami Vice TV series was bad, but I'd prefer to watch ten episodes rather than have to play the 'official computer game' again. Boring, dull and unplayable are the words with which I describe it -- it's another TV tie-in disaster which proves that companies find it impossible to link a good computer game and an official TV series or movie. The only good thing about the program is the music on the 'title screen', which is truly stunning, but nobody wants to pay nine quid for a good bit of music . . . do they?

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There are some similarities between this game and
Give my Regards to Broad Street; driving around a city, becoming frustrated by an uncontrollable car and meeting the right people at the right time . . . Actually, the car isn't that uncontrollable, it's just the other cars and scenery which are at fault; if they were less destructive and you could get away with the occasional bump, then the game would be much more playable. But, as it stands, Miami Vice is little more than a boring and very annoying (to play) TV tie-in with some outstanding music (the piece played on the 'title screen' (or when you enter a building) is amazing!). Ocean should forget about all this TV/film tie-in rubbish and instead concentrate on sourcing good, original product, such as Parallax.

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Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
Miami Vice
1986 Ocean
Programmed by ?
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the eighteenth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: September 11th, 1986).
 

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MIAMI VICE
Ocean, 8.95 cass, joystick only


The two hip cool trendies from Miami, Crockett and Tubbs, are on the beat again -- not on foot, by golly, no. When Miami Cops do it they do it in style in the form of a flashy black lotus. Some nasty old drug pusher is in town -- the infamous Mr J -- and the word is out: he's brought a one million pound shipment of contraband with him. Midnight, Sunday, is the collection date. Your mission is to put the squeeze on the network of dealers, starting at the bottom with the men who will spill the beans for a measly $10. If you manage to extract the correct information from them you will be able to put the heat on their suppliers and work your way through the evil net until you manage to break it.

The car is picked up outside City Hall from where you can begin to explore the town. The car accelerates at an alarming rate, so you have to keep a careful watch on your speed. Too fast, and you won't be able to turn corners; too slow, and you just grind to a halt. The road is bordered with all the shrubbery that stars in the TV show; however, it's a darn sight more lethal. If you come off the road, you explode in a cloud of blue smoke and are instantly returned to the start, outside City Hall, where you have to begin your mission again.

Miami traffic is pretty dangerous too. Drivers have absolutely no respect for other road users and drive, quite happily, into your car even when they see it coming. Luckily, Crockett is quite nifty with the old revolver and can hang out the window and give the other cars a quick blast. One problem is that when in fire mode it is impossible for the car to turn, either into a side street or just to avoid the other cars. Once you've coped with the hazardous scenery, the monomaniacal drivers and the ever so sharp bends, you can then embark on searching out the miserable hangouts where the drug pushing hoods spend their days.

All the locations where you're likely to meet someone are named, and it is only possible to enter the named ones. To do this, stop on the side of the road, press 'fire' followed by a push 'left' and the screen will automatically switch to the desired location. Once there, you can wander about inside, gun in hand. In some buildings there are evidence bags and these are collected by trundling over them.

Should you encounter a crook in your travels, a window will light up and his name will be displayed. He can be apprehended by catching, or trapping him and when he eventually surrenders the option mode is automatically selected. If your interrogation is successful, then you should be able to discover a name, place, time and the value of deal. Once you have finished your interrogation, pop the meany back in the car and whisk him back to City Hall where he will be impounded and your score will be increased.

Timing is very important. If you enter a building just before a rendezvous, the druggies will spot your car and abandon the meeting. Ideally, you need to arrive in mid-meeting, when all the wheeling and dealing is taking place. Doing that will either lead to you capturing a crook carrying the evidence or to obtaining the evidence itself. Unfortunately, if you arrive twelve minutes after a meeting has taken place, you will be too late. So, to help you get to the meetings promptly, there's a timetable included in the instructions.

Scores are achieved by capturing a crook and returning him to City Hall, returning evidence or blasting cars. The game is over when Crockett and Tubbs are dead or when they have successfully busted the drugs network and captured the mysterious Mr J.

     

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I've never been able to sit through a whole episode of Miami Vice -- I either end up falling asleep or just throwing up. If the game is anything to go by, I don't think that I've missed much. For the amount of time you are supposed to spend hurtling around a very dubious Miami (bas-relief buildings!), the car is far too uncontrollable. The corners are always tight ninety-degree turns and more often than not I ended up splattered against a pavement. It's about time Ocean cleared up this fiasco of crummy licensing deals and came up with the goods -- the punters won't stand it much longer. I won't, that's for sure.
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Presentation 64%

No title screen, but good instructions and adequate in-game presentation.

Graphics 49%
Simplistic, but crisp and colourful.

Sound 98%
Two soundtracks -- one stunning, the other very good
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Hookability 27%
Far too frustrating to be addictive.

Lastability 25%
Severely lacking in playability and interesting gameplay.

Value For Money 26%
Nine pounds is a high price to pay for some great music and little else.

Overall 30%
Fans of the TV series are in for a big disappointment.
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Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (1 Mar 2010)
Only the first of above screenshots existed in the original review.

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