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PS2 Review - 'Bad Boys: Miami Takedown'

by Inexhist on Oct. 28, 2004 @ 2:28 a.m. PDT

In Bad Boys: Miami Takedown, a new drug has emerged in Miami, and its use is spreading fast. As key members of the Tactical Narcotics Team (TNT), players take on the roles of either Mike Lowrey or Marcus Burnett and must stop the highly organized cartels that are flooding the market with this new drug. Players need to move fast to make sure the TNT cops are not DOA.

Genre: Third Person/Action
Publisher: Crave
Developer: Blitz Games
Release Date: September 14, 2004

Bad Boys, bad boys whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do when they make a game out of you? The correct answer to that question should be: cry and cry some more. Sometimes a game just should not be, and usually, those times can be forecast by its intent. Is it being made based on a toy or other consumer product already on the market? Is it being made based on a movie or television show? The root of evil in all of those designs is the fact that the game is being designed for purposes other than entertainment. Sure, entertainment factors into the design of the game at some point, but usually not in the crucial phases of conceptual creativity. The end result of this process is generally a game that fails to do anything particularly well (outside of advertisement for whatever the product is anyway). Bad Boys: Miami Takedown would have been a fairly decent PSOne game, had it come out a few years ago.

Bad Boys: Miami Takedown is a third-person action shooter, but it sometimes feels more like a first-person shooter where a quarter of your screen is constantly taken up with the worthless graphic of your character. If perhaps the character did interesting things or looked cool or… anything. Despite the fact that it is a third-person view, it is a fixed camera that always looks over the shoulder of your character straight into the targeting reticule. However, the targeting reticule is not locked in position and is moveable without moving the view of the camera.

Because of the peculiar use of camera positioning and control style, I feel hesitant to call it a true third-person perspective, as those are usually semi free-floating, thus providing you control of the camera. This title really does not offer the benefits of either game type; not only do you not get the freedom of control that is available in a standard third-person shooter, but you also don't get the precision, speed and accuracy of control that is expected in a first-person shooter. The end result is this sloppy sort of hybrid, and it left me wondering why the developers chose to take this route.

The controls do not make much more sense than the camera positioning. Right out of the box, the right analog stick (the one that controls your targeting reticule) is inverted, so in order to make it handle like most action/fps games, you have to change the settings. This is not so much of the problem but a symptom of the problem. The game does things that just do not make sense. It incorporates the ability to crouch behind an object and peek out to take shots. However, unlike some popular FPS titles that do this, you can only take cover in certain pre-designated hot spots. To make it even more frustrating, you enter and exit the cover mode with the use of a button. This button will make you dive for the "nearest" cover point (by nearest, I think it actually means random, as I often would dive for the cover point all the way across the room as opposed to the one right at my feet).

To make it even worse, the only way to leave the point of cover is by pressing a button again. All of this rigmarole regarding taking cover only managed to slow down the game and frustrate me. Usually, things like taking cover provide a tactical advantage, but here, it does not. The very second you peek your head out from the cover, you start taking shot after shot after shot from the punk with the hand gun standing about 100 yards away. Of course, I could not even really see the guy since the graphics are so poor (at that distance, I could not tell his pixelated blockiness from that of the background). Eat that, Lego man! … or am I shooting a potted plant?

Speaking of the graphics, they have attained quality that compares to that of the rest of the game: they are pixelated, blocky and have terrible skins… the graphics don’t even get better during the cut scenes. The animation is fairly choppy and uninteresting, and the characters position themselves in the most illogical ways. The only way you can really tell which character is supposed to be which actor is by the clothing they wear. Even that is only loosely useful as far as character recognition goes, considering they do not dress that differently. Then again, it really does not matter which character you are, as they have no noticeable differences. They move the same, shoot the same, and no matter what is going on, they say the same stupid remarks back and forth.

That is another thing, the name of the game is bad boys. Boys as in plural for boy, and plural implies more than one, yet somehow, it is only a one player game. Of course there is a second guy wandering around for at least a small portion of the stage (generally only the very beginning), but the second character is about as useful as having a third shoulder with no arm attached to it.

On a more positive note, the game is littered with destroyable objects, ranging from glass bottles that shatter when shot to boilers that explode, taking out anyone standing right next to them. I did manage to derive a small amount of pleasure from blowing up various objects, however short-lived, as the general mechanics of the game were driving me batty. I think there was music in the game, but it was completely forgettable and none of it stuck in my mind. The rest of the sound effects were also not done very well. The worst part was the voice acting; first and foremost, the stupid characters constantly banter back and forth, but it gets tedious, monotonous, and just plain old boring. Beyond that, they do not even sound like the actors in the movies.

All it really takes for a game to be worth playing is for it to do one thing moderately well. It is not a complicated task, and yet Miami Takedown failed miserably. To be fair, the game is a budget title, running $20 brand new (I also imagine it will not be difficult to find a used copy). Even keeping that in mind, I feel that it fell short of my already low expectations. It might be good to tide you over if you have nothing currently catching your interest and you're waiting for the next big title, but personally, I feel my money would have been better spent on pet rocks.

Score: 4.3/10

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