Sunday, September 15, 2013

War Journal Entry #3- Catch me if you can !

Welcome back once again to the FINAL BOSS !! Before we get to the game I'd just like to mention that last week we hit the 2000 mark meaning that this site has hit 2000 views !!!  Not an easy feat with NO advertising what so ever but its due to the loyal fan base so thanks yet again go to YOU. I was promised a Ice Cream Cake from Baskin's when I hit 2000 buttttt...... Nothing yet so I guess I'm waiting.

On to the Game ......

Have you ever been on the road and just wanted to ram someone off the road ? No? Hmmmm You clearly don't live in NYC. But for those of you that answered yes then we have something for you....Taito's Chase H.Q.

Notice that the Cops don-t match the in-game appearance 

 If you're not familiar with the Title or its series lemme give yah a little background. Taito unleashed Chase H.Q. on to the Arcades in 1988, its direct competitor was another 3rd person view racer SEGA's OutRun. Chase H.Q. breaks apart from other driving games of the time by including a Law Enforcement plot that is as follows... You play as Police Officer Tony Gibson a member of Special Chase Investigation Department. Along with your partner Raymond Broady you must pursue fleeing criminals that take the cops on high speed chases. The game truly separates it self from the racing game competition by having you ram the criminals off the road once you "race" to catch them. The game did quite well in the arcades and gave way to three Arcade sequels: Special Criminal Investigation ( you can hang out window and shoot the enemy), Super Chase Criminal Termination ( change vehicles and FPS view) and Chase H.Q. 2 released in 2007. A spin off Arcade game that follows Tony and Raymond in a side scrolling beat'em up style called Crime City also did well.

When I was younger I was a big fan of Chase H.Q. I loved the action game style of the racer and it was out during the buddy cop film push of the 80's. I played it quite a bit on my Turbo Grafx 16 but years later would replay it on my MAME Arcade Cabinet at home . Until now I ad never been aware of its existence on the Famicom or the RARE bootleg on the NES. It should be mentioned it was ported to many home Computers in the 80's as well as the Master System, Genesis and SNES not to mention the Game Boy and Game Boy Color anddd the SEGA Saturn (arcade perfect) anddddd  you can currently grab it cheap off the Wii Virtual Console in the form of the Turbo Grafx-16 port which is the BEST "port" version by far. 

The gameplay lays out as so... At the start of each level you are informed of who you will be chasing by Nancy the HQ dispatcher. Nancy's a series staple and her voice can be heard even in the Famicom version to my surprise check out the video clip below. The stages start with the criminal already a great distance away obviously or why else would they need YOU. The player must catch up to the criminal within the time limit and avoid the hazards of the road while doing so as the criminal is always pulling further away cause honestly why would he just wait for you. During the Chase the road will split and you must choose the random route which will save on your travel time greatly. Players can choose to use the 3 given Turbo boosts during the chase or save em for the action sequence. You receive an additional 60 seconds once you catch up to the perp which must be used to ram him and disable his

Here we go...
I Fire up the game in the Famiclone so I can use the Nes Advantage not for any turbo usage  but so I can play it in a familiar way since I when I played the Turbo Grafx-16 version I always had the TG16 Turbo stick which looked and felt exactly like the Advantage. Letting the game sit on the start screen for a minute im treated to a sneak peak of the games graphics which are good for the Fami but no comparsion to the TG16, after a little demo Im informed through police documentation of the situation at Chase HQ and surprisingly in English ?!? The Tiltle reappears and I press start as prompted and stare at impressive shot of Tony and Raymond jumping in to the Chase vehicle . Next Nancy cuts in to my surprise in full audio and show me on the Taito Monitoring System which Car to be on the look out for, it appears to be a white Lotus. What I can only assume is mine or Raymond's voice then screams in excitment to move us to a menu screen where I can pick Manual or Auto.. Auto, Steering Quick or Normal ... Normal, and an option to use the controller that came with Arkaniod.... SHIT!! I just let one go a month ago on Ebay for 8 bucks .... %^^$^%T&*^*&^%$%###!!!!! I had no clue this was an option, Oh well guess what ill be hunting for next. The game kicks off just like any other version with me peeling out on the road headed for the horizon and I must say the graphics are not bad at all for a Fami/Nes game I would have tried this as a kid if I had know about the port. The music is pretty good and... wait.... theres this high pitched sound as if a alarm is going off or like a piece of motorized equipment is running high... Wow that's annoying sound hope I catch up to the criminal soon lemme just jot this part down in my NEW War Journal ..... What !??!? I can't pause ? Really ? Like if I had to pee or if a kids mom came in to demand finished home work or to come to the dinner table you would have to just shut it off ,,!?!?!? Wait soooo now I can't Journal the game as it happens ? Fine, whatever if I remember correctly its a 6 stage game anyway which suits me just fine as I'm exhausted from my lack of sleep as sub boss has a fever. Alright enough mental chatting its back to logging game play in the ol grey matter. I go in to the tunnel where the road split occurs and almost have a seizure do to the game flashing two totally separate screens over each other at me in rapid sucestion. Jezzz  it's worse the Kinnikuman since I cant pause. My first 60 seconds are almost up and I'm blinded & nowhere near the perp so I fire up 2 turbos back to back and just make it. As my new 60 ticks down I fire the turbo and get 4 good shots in on the bastard and finish him off with 24 seconds to spare. A little more challengeing then I remember the other versions but ill adjust. The stage ends with the familar scene of me cuffing him and my partner Raymond pointing his gun at the scum bags head with our slick black Porsche esque car in the backdrop.

Stage 2
Nancy cuts in on my thoughts to tell me that the next loser is driving a yellow Lamborghini Countach the manly scream sends me off to the parts screen... Parts Screen!?!? WTF!??! This is something I honestly don't remember in any version I ever played of Chase H.Q. But its welcomed seeing as how bad I sucked at that last stage. So the Transmission and steering options I selected from last time are here and accompanied by the choice to spend some earned points on Oil, Turbo, Super Charger , Tires or Bumper upgrades. I choose to save the credits and push on. Rubber burns on asphalt and I'm off and determined to do better this time around. Avoiding the other cars is tough until I remember playing Final Lap Twin on the TG16 and how I learned never to use brake in racing games only tap the accelerator quickly to avoid or in turns, a lesson which served me well my whole life even in RC racing and the real world. The Flashback that was likely brought on by the Advantage and Turbo stick's similarity is serving me well especially when avoiding the oil drums , garbage cans, oh and don't forget the bushes that are all in the middle of the highway ...... not kidding.... also new to me in this version. I manage to catch up to the Lamborghini and suddenly realize Im in low gear ..... I must have switched it back to Manual on the very first screen and thats why Im lacking speed and that high pitch sound is killing me .........sonovab*tch Im a Ass !! Now Im in High Gear and about to destroy this hunk of  yellow plastic. Raymond covers me as I throw the punks gun aside before slapping the steel tennis bracelets on him.

"How Much?"

Stage 3
Now its a whole new game !!! After Nancy fills us in on the grey Porsche 911 that we need to hunt down I hit the parts screen with a wide grin... Yup I did have the Transmission set to Manual I send it over to Auto and switch the steering to quick in hopes it will be looser like in Final Lap Twin... man I miss that game. I purchase a Bumper Upgrade hoping to see a difference all around in this next stage.
The Tires screech as I blast off down the road gleeful as I hear the car shift in to High gear this time in Auto and my enjoyment increases as my steering has greatly in proved as I had hoped. Speeding down the road I watch as the distance meter drops quickly while I out maneuver the obstacles thrown in my path. Raymond and I descend on the Porsche with all 4 Turbos still in hand, I grin once again as I reach for the select button with my ring finger. The car blasts off towards my target and the fenders on the grey 911 fly off due to the speed of the hit and the re-enforced bumper Im now armed with. Just then I notice the damage gauge at the bottom of the screen and take note on how quickly car was incapacitated thanks to the bumper upgrade.

Stage 4
Being only one stage away from the end of the game and feeling quite cocky now that I have over come my stupidity of not selecting the proper Transmission type I spend some hard earned points on not only a turbo and bumper but try out the tires as well.... what the hell right? Kicking in to high gear I fire off a turbo to speed up the conclusion of the game and race towards the fleeing criminal but Im having some over steering issues with the new tire upgrade and my driving style... they don't mix, so I make a mental note not to buy this again. I catch up to the blue Ferrari 288 GTO and my sirens kick in letting him know that his time is up and just incase he's deaf I punch the turbo so he knows were here. A few smacks later and Im hoisting him outta the car while Raymond enjoys the show.

Yok'em up Tony

Stage 5
The Final Boss !!
Nancy shows us a car covered in darkness and if I remember correctly from my childhood it should be a red porsche the reason its not shown to us here is its a spy's car and his vehicle is unknown at time of dispatch, guess I was wrong earlier though when I said the game has 6 stages oh well. Since its the last mission I throw on the usual Turbo and Bumper upgrade but swap the Tires for the Oil upgrade this time. And away we go. Im off to a good start but have a few scrapes with some of the other cars on the road but the Bumper upgrade helps here as well cause I don't feel like I'm losing as much speed when we collide and they seem to bounce away from me. After the tunnel which this time around makes me guess which is the shorter path I come up on the Porsche 928 but to my surprise he's blue guess my memory isn't that sharp after all. A few bangs with the Turbo and Bumper and he's toast, Raymond's got nuthin to worry about with this guy, he's in the bag. The next screen takes us to the familiar Taito Monitoring System and Nancys voice kicks in again this time I can only assume to congratulate us on a job well done..... Nope ! Theres another black shadowy car that pops up after her dialogue. Okay so I was right its 6 Stages the famicom version just has 2 shadow cars thats kool lets finish this...

Stage 6
The Real Final Boss !!!
After Selecting Turbo and Bumper Upgrades I anxiously pound the Start and A buttons so I can hit the asphalt one more time and demolish the punk that tricked me in to thinking this was over .... After avoiding a few more cars than the previous stages I can see this is the Final Boss stage.... catching up to the car with only 2 seconds to spare the arrow displayed over it reveals him to be driving a yellow Ferrari best I can tell. Even with the Turbos and Bumper he's tough as he pulls away a good distance off screen a few times after we connect but in the end I take'em down. The Capture screen shows Raymond jabbing a gun in his back as I check a briefcase we confiscated from him, ahhhh clearly this is the Spy driver thats the Final Boss I was remembering. Nancy's sweet voice comes on screen to congratulate us on a job well done and probably to offer to take me to dinner and ...........WHAT THE UNHOLY HELL IS GOING ON !!!!! NO NO NO NOT A-EFFING-GAIN !!! Is this a sick joke ?? every time I play something lately it has no end ... What the hell another shadowy car ?!??!?! Im exhausted I wanna sleep I don't get paid for this sh*t !!!            Fine......

Stage Gah Damn 7
The Real Sleep Denier
I reluctantly load up the usuals and tell Ol' Ray to buckle up.... maybe you could drive once Ray just once yah know? Bum ! We high tail it off down the road and man are there ALOT of As*holes on the road what is this Brooklyn? So after a mad dash through some thick traffic I catch up to the Ass Monkey behind the wheel of the latest Mystery Mobile.... yah I said "I" Ray ! yah "I"!!  IM the one driving !! Well if thats how you feel why don't you do that? HUH? Yah ! No! Good... Call the Captain see if I care....Bitch! Sorry , any way "I" drive right up behind the guy who's in some kinda red... Fu*k I don't know what it is, who am I Jay Leno its a Fu*king A*s Munching car for the love of God ! I go after him like he's a Bruin on Flyers Ice. And I don't let up on the Turbo Raming until the Flames reach the sky. Im shocked to see what looks like the guy from P.O.W. being arrested by Raymond while I cover hey thanks for stepping up Ray. And I cant help but notice his car looks like a Red Porsche... could it be? The next screen flashes on and its not Nancy !?!? Yess this is it!!! Im surpriesed to view a black screen Ive never seen before granting me mucho bounus points and announcing Round one is Clear!!!! Yessss!!! Round One is Clear!!!!! WAIT ?? WHAT??  ROUND ONE ???!!!! ONE AS IN THERE IS MORE THAN ONE !!!!!!! DAMN YOU ODIN DAMN YOU ONE EYE'D BASTARD !!!!!!

Dont I know you?

Screw you Taito !!

Stage who gives a damn......
Sooo to cut down on length... too late yah yah very funny, this is like Ghost and Goblins its yet another game that changes little or nothing but color palate and makes you play it multiple times. Yah sucks fo' me! I stayed up to play the fracking thing as I didn't want to attempt this AGAIN later in life. The game has you play through 3 times & nuthin really changes to speak of except I have more points to buy the Super Charger which helps. The game does get harder or I get more tired but probably a lil of both. The Final Boss at Round 3 Stage 7 is the same as Round 1 its the P.O.W. guy driving a red Porsche But...... This game is a gentleman and does offer up some kind of ending which I have shots of below. All in all I still love Chase H.Q. and have fond memories of the games.... maybe not this one...Nah it was fun it took me 3 in game continues and 58 Mins but I beat it, and if you have to use the bathroom or need a  drink do it during the upgrade screen. And lets not forget I had to jot down any notes during the option screen which I got so sick of that I keep it all in me brain and  2 post it notes. Well till next time keep playing those classics and try this one out on the Wii store or just emulate.... later !!

note the R2 S1 at the bottom left,
I should have known there was more rounds



Im Lonely.....

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