Released: 2002 (SEGA/AM2)
Genre: Light gun shooter
Platform: Sony PlayStation 2
ELSPA Rating: 15+
Other Information: 1 or 2 player; 48KB required to save; Analogue stick compatible; Namco G-con 2 compatible
The original 3D light gun shooter re-packaged and re-released for the PS2. It contains the first two Virtua Cop titles complete with their classic arcade feel. Compared with recent releases the game looks slightly dated but has excellent playability. This title can only be fully appreciated with a light gun as the analogue sticks feel sluggish compared with the freedom given with a light gun.
Virtua Cop 1
The game follows a rough plot to foil the plans of arms dealers through three stages of increasing difficulty which can be played in any order. The game is completely on rails making one of the favourite tactics remembering the enemy order (This is actually recommended in the manual). The end of each stage is accompanied with a boss, all of which have a similar feel (i.e. Try and shoot the boss and the projectiles which he fires at you).
Virtua Cop 2
Again the game consists three stages although this time I do not think that they are linked in any sort of overall plot. You must stop robbers, save the mayor and have a rail-line shootout. There is a final stage to stop an airship bomb once the others have been completed (The other stages must be completed in game order*). The only thing really added to the gameplay is the inclusion of a decision point in each of the stages where you can choose to go one of two ways by shooting a signboard.
Shoot the enemies before they shoot you and re-load by shooting outside the screen (or using the C button). The enemies shoot when the arrows line up above and below them on the targeting circle. Watch out for enemies throwing grenades or axes (which you can shoot out of the air) that do not get targeted. You lose lives by being shot, or by shooting an innocent person.
Scoring is increased by building up a multiplier (up to 9x) which is increased by not losing any lives. Greater scores are also awarded for triple hit shots and justice shots where you shoot the weapon out of the enemy’s hand.
Rage – Michael Hardy: Recognisable by his dark hair (Appears in both games)
Smarty – James Cools: Recognisable by his long fair hair (Appears in both games)
Janet – Janet Marshall: The female cop (Only in VC2)
Basic handgun – 6 shot revolver
Automatic – 15 shot semi-automatic handgun
Shotgun – 6 shots with a larger blast radius than the basic gun
Magnum – Classic powerful 6 shot handgun - bullets can pierce obstacles
Machinegun – 30 shot magazine rapid-fire
Rifle – 24 shot magazine shooting 3 shots with every pull of the trigger
Elite Edition Extras
Gallery – By shooting obscure enemies and items the word ‘Gallery’ will flash up on the screen. This unlocks another picture in Gallery mode. Typically this is a promotional poster or character picture.
Training Mode – Shoot the green targets and not the red targets to meet the level requirements, or go head to head against an opponent to see who can shoot the most.
Random mode – This unlocked by completing either game and although it does not change the route around the levels it does change the order in which the enemies appear.
Although this release does not add much to the arcade classic, it is still a fun game which can be enjoyed by fans of the original or people who are looking for an easy going arcade shooter.
* - Brought to my attention by Ichiro2k3 - Many thanks!