Every time I look around the internet trying to find the best NES games to get my mitts on, one title keeps cropping up, Vice: Project Doom. However for such a well loved title it’s strange to see that it only had a US and Famicom release, skipping the UK and Europe entirely. With this in mind I would bet any money that there are a lot of people in the UK who have never even heard of this game before so let me shed some light on it for you.
I could start off by describing the plot but lets be honest it’s an action game so not many will care, having said that it involves aliens, clones, the police and some dodgy illegal substance so the least said in this case the better. The game itself is split between three distinct playing styles the first being a top down view of a car (like A.P.B. or SpyHunter in the arcades) where you have to speed through the streets firing at enemies and avoiding obstacles before taking on a vehicle/boss. This usually deposits you at the scrolling platform stage which is the same sort of style you see in the Contra games. Running, gunning and avoiding enemies with the odd difficult jump thrown in, finally followed by a shooting section where enemies pop out and you have to shoot them.
All three are completely different styles and each could be a game in their own right. The driving sections control extremely well with some brilliant collision detection. Nipping round the front of and down the side of enemy vehicles is possible without damaging the car then firing a load of bullets up their tail pipe to watch them explode is satisfying to say the least. As I mentioned earlier the platform sections could have been taken straight from the Contra games, as you scroll from one side of the screen to another your police officer character is incredibly nimble and with the choice of grenades, laser whip (don’t ask me, its the future) and .44 magnum there’s not much that can stand in your way. The laser whip actually reminds me of the Castlevania games with the benefit being you can jump from stairs!
The shooting sections are quite detailed for a NES title with the controls responding well as you flush the cursor around screen. I don’t have a NES zapper due to my TV (it’s a HD TV so no gun games for me at all) not working with one so I wasn’t able to test if the game lets you use this as an alternative controller for that section. Maybe a reader could help out?
Vice seems to borrow heavily from other games, coming close to becoming a Master of them all this is a huge benefit as it’s so well put together that you end up with a fantastic game within its own right. I would like to mention something else about the game I received it came with a shiny, blue plastic Nintendo cart case. I’ve never seen anything like this before and with it being a US game I’m not sure if it’s because of it being an ex rental title or even if Nintendo actually supplied all of their games like this.
I was able to import this from the US for next to nothing, it came to about £5 for the game itself (including the snazzy blue case and manual) topped off with £4 shipping. If you are tempted to buy yourself or even modify a NES then you couldn’t go far wrong with a copy of this.