Developer: Blitz Games
Release Date: September 14, 2004
Bad Boys 2, a mediocre sequel to a mediocre action flick starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, came out many a month ago. Crave's latest release, Bad Boys: Miami Takedown, has almost nothing in common with said movies, not even Smith and Lawrence. There is not much else to say.
But on I must go.
Miami Takedown takes the concept of a couple of sassy cops who like to shoot people and crack bad jokes, and throws a first-generation Playstation game around its shoulders. Miami Takedown does what only a game hastily picked up by a publisher due to brick-like drops in licensing fees. Reviewers are angry, players are angry, and the developers are probably angry (or at the very least, feeling a mite bit shamed for having worked on this title).
The gameplay is what gets people so worked up over this title, but Miami Takedown makes some of us kind of happy, too. Blatant black stereotypes float to the surface of this filth on a regular basis, giving the game a slightly racist edge that will surely put a smile on the face of the less politically correct few who touch this game, along with the types of people who deal with the worries of the world by putting a smile on their faces. Everybody else will be appalled, sure, but I think most of those people will have better sense than to buy a Bad Boys game in the latter half of 2004, if ever. As for me, not since reviewing some horrifyingly hilarious monster truck game at the advent of my videogame reviewing career have I enjoyed a terrible game this much. (Apologies to the developers of Fugitive Hunter for not giving them props here - bad game, but Bad Boys has you kids beat.)
Bad Boys: Miami Takedown is a 15-stage romp through guns, death, glitches, offensive (both to one's morals and one's intellect) commentary, and graphics rough enough to have a shark worry about roughing up his skin by getting close to the screen. There are some characters somewhere in here – Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett – who are supposed to be played by Martin Lawrence and Will Smith, whose likenesses must have been licensed, since they appear on the cover, but you wouldn't know it by playing the game. All there really is to see are two dark-skinned fellows with ears that protrude just a little too much to the sides. I think the first stage has you playing as the guy who's supposed to be Will Smith, but don't take my word for it.
Miami Takedown begins with a police officer firearms training segment – a great way to acquaint oneself with the glitchy, unpredictable nature of trying to control your "bad boy!" Locking on is completely unintuitive, showing off the apathy of the developers in their failure to at least have their game control on par with even the most generic and irritating "first-person controls sans first-person viewpoint" games that we've been seeing so much of lately. Firing your weapon is actually slightly more responsive than Atari's latest mediocre cash-in Terminator 3, but when coupled with the shady analog freelook aiming system, this slight beacon of enjoyment becomes a moot point.
Then there's the crouching; upon pressing the crouch button, Willtin Smawrence or whoever you're supposed to be playing as will run over to the nearest crouch point and kneel his "black ass down" (their words, not mine). Willtin tends to be very excited at the push of this button and will often run across an entire room to the nearest crouch point, regardless of the fact that it would be an easier and less bullet-riddled endeavor for him if he had just left the control to the player. Sometimes, he'll just flip around a bit and not end up anywhere important, resulting in even more damage!
The only logical reason for this is that the developers hated their characters, creating them for the sole purpose of meeting a death filled with as much lead as possible, thus building the game with this intention in mind. This was a brilliant plan, since no matter what your playing style might be, poor Smawrence will simply be rife with bullet wounds (according to the life meter, since you won't see any visual indication of this). Additionally, the crouch button is completely useless, since most enemies don't react until you are directly in front of them. Hiding behind a garbage can will not stimulate the AI, so rip off the face button that controls crouching, unless the random flips amuse you, in which case you might have some use for the feature after all.
The graphics are funny-but-painful feature number two. Willtin and company look like jagged messes of basic shapes wearing stained white t-shirts, also made up of jagged messes of basic shapes. The appearance and design of the environments somehow manage to cull the previous description from my typing hands, verbatim.
Once again, a single sentence gets its own paragraph for the sake of highlighting its importance: Bad Boys: Miami Takedown looks like a first-generation Playstation 1 game running on Bleemcast.
For non-gaming dorks out there looking for some amusement in this title, the sonic aspects of it are where it's at. The aforementioned stereotypical commentary is floating about, and it is even more amusing for people who have seen the movie (but aren't fans – that crowd will have only a solitary tear to take with them after playing this game), since the characters don't only look and sound nothing like their big-screen counterparts, but they don't even have similar personalities. Perhaps I should change the last word of the previous sentence to personality, since good old Willtin seems to be a single entity …
Bad Boys: Miami Takedown is a release that I will surely remember for the majority of my life, so profound, in fact, that I am sure to recall it during the Alzheimer's-induced flashbacks I will be experiencing due to storing my food in aluminum foil, or whichever normal household habit will supposedly set off the disease in my late forties. I will remember the "hilarious black dude" sound bites, I will remember the abrasive graphics, and I will remember the complete absence of stars Martin Lawrence and Will Smith beyond the game's box cover. Most of all, I will remember our ill-fated little friend Willtin, who tried his best but always ended up with 6,000 invisible bullets in his chest.