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Ocean Software Ltd
1986
Arcade: Vehicle Combat
£7.95
£6.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
SpeedLock 2

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31
Chris Bourne

After an intensive eighteen month research program, Jesse Mach's super bike is finally ready to take to the mean streets...

Jesse is hell-bent on avenging the death of his best friend, and goes on a one man crusade to deal death to villains wherever they may be. And they're on the street it's positively swarming with baddies, all driving XR3's for some reason. Did they buy XR3's because they were baddies in the first place, or did the go-faster stripes, natty grey trim and hideous insurance grouping warp their minds? Well, Jesse doesn't go in for all this psychological analysis stuff, a laser blast in the XR3 fuel tank is his answer.

Zooming along, Jesse has to weave his way through the traffic, dodging the bullets fired by the bad guys and doing his best to eliminate carloads of criminals while taking care not to kill innocent citizens. This is no ordinary bike apart from the laser cannon, it can leap into the air, and a well timed sproing can often avoid a collision. A crash or blast from a villain's gun isn't immediately fatal - the bike can take a fair bit of damage before packing up on Jesse - but reckless driving leads to the end of the game. If too many civilians are wiped out, the police give chase and the turbo facility comes in handy for making a quick getaway: a prod on the turbo key give a burst of speed.

While driving along, a weather eye has to be kept on the status area where gauges indicate the condition of the lasers, the damage received and the temperature of the bike's engine, which rises with each super leap into the air. Fuel also has a habit of being used ... On the positive side, points are awarded for each baddie car blown up and for each civilian overtaken.

After a bit of cruising the mean streets, Jesse arrives on the scene of a crime another bunch of life's social misfits is robbing a liquor store. Does he get off the old bike and chew over a few of the finer points of behavioural therapy with the criminals, persuading them to abandon this life of crime? Does he heck! Out with the old rifle with laser sights, and it's time for a spot of Missile Command style baddie killing as they run to their getaway van.

All the villains at the robbery scene must be shot before the second mission can begin. Then it's back to the road chase sequence, only this time a high bonus is awarded for killing off an underworld Big Cheese who motors along in a black sedan. Once the Sedan has been disposed of, Jesse and his bike return to base for a refit so the major confrontation with the Master Criminal can begin with the bike in tip-top condition. In the final street sequence the Top Man has to be blown out of his Porsche whereupon ultimate vengeance becomes Jesse's.

CRITICISM

"Well, was it worth the wait? Not really. This might have been a good game eighteen months ago, but it is just another vertically scrolling race game with a few knobs on. The graphics are pretty, and there are some neat effects like jumping and the shadows on everything. There's nothing very original or demanding about this game and somehow it doesn't seem to have been finished off - for instance, when the bike finally packs up as a result of too much 'collision damage' the game grinds to a haft after you lose control. No doubt the licensing deal will ensure it sells well…'

'A year and a halt wait for this trite game ... come on OCEAN am you more concerned with your licensing deals than with the quality of your games? I was expecting great things from this game until I saw how bad Knight Rider was, well thankfully this is a little more playable than KR but it still isn't state of the art. The graphics are very strange indeed - judging from the shape of your bike it was made in the nineteen twenties. The rest of the traffic is fairly well done but some of it is a little suspect. The streets scroll well and are excellently detailed. Soundwise Street Hawk doesn't really offer anything new: there are a few mediocre spot effects but no tunes. Street Hawk isn't bad game, but it is very easy to complete and not very compelling'

'After having seen the version issued for those not-so-lucky people who really desperately needed a copy of Streethawk (copies were sold through a mail order catalogue, yonks ago) I expected something a little different from the game that I loaded into my Spectrum. Though totally unlike its predecessor in everything except the central character, I found the final version of Streethawk a lot better than its early incarnation. Despite not being in the top grade category, I enjoyed playing it, and despite the bad feeling that was obviously created by the long delay between advertising and game release. I think this game should go down well amongst the games buying public. Not bad.'

COMMENTS
Control keys
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor, Interface 2
Keyboard play: adequate
Use of colour: monochromatic roadway avoids clashes
Graphics: neat shadowing effect, otherwise unremarkable
Sound: minimal spot effects, no tune
Skill levels: one
Screens: scrolling roadway
General Rating: Fun for a while, but nothing innovative here despite the wait.

68%
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72%
68%
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68%

Screenshot Text

The shootout at the liquor store - jill all the baddies and you can move to the next sequence: chasing the limo.

Riding along the mean streets with an XR3 full of baddies just ahead and the copcar to the left.