Friday, January 6, 2006


All right, I was a big fan of this one in the arcades. Whenever my folks and I would take that big trip to local Castleton and the shopping mall contained therein, almost every one of my quarters seemed to find its way into the NARC machine at the back of the arcade. How could one not love a game that allowed players to obliterate their enemies with point-blank rocket launcher shots, steal Porsches and dodge giant, festively colored hallucinogenic needles... all in the name of the law? In arcades, this one was beauty. It had a strong two-player mode, superb graphics, an interesting artistic direction and a silly-but-intriguing plotline. And, of course, the rocket thing was just gorgeous. Unfortunately, the 8-bit translation leaves a lot to be desired.

The gameplay is horrible, for starters. This was one area where the arcade game admittedly lagged, as well, with the strong graphics and unusually high level of gore (again, those rockets... you'd seriously have to dodge a rainfall of flaming limbs after gleefully pulling the trigger) making up for it in spades, at least in my adolescent eyes. Instead of making the obvious graphics sacrifice in exchange for an improved control scheme, Acclaim just said "fuck it" and poisoned them both. Maybe they were hoping to ride on the "Just Say No" wave alone. Instead of offering both a jump button and a fire button, which would seem to make the most sense, we're awarded with a fire button and a completely unnecessary "crouch" button. If you want to jump, you'll have to tap the "crouch" button twice rapidly and pray the NES doesn't think you just want to duck two times in a row. Where leaping into the air may have helped your little blue man in his effort to dodge the hundreds of oncoming pixels that spelled his eventual doom, the provided "crouch" button only serves to simulate random sexual favors, while the recipients fire away in unbridled joy at the top of your head. Good for a laugh once, but not something I'd like to see more than three or four times in a row.

Aside from the terribly translated graphics, unimproved control and thoughtless soundtrack, NARC did offer one saving grace; a two player mode. This added a whole new element to the game, as both players would get do their best to avoid playing the role of "human shield" for their partner any longer than necessary.. and I suppose it made the game a bit easier, as well. If anybody still rented NES games, I'd suggest this for a rental, if just to relive those old missle launching memories. As is, I'd recommend you avoid it as though it carried a skin-eating bacteria.

On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is poor and 10 is amazing...
Overall Score: 2.7

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