- Chase H.Q. -




HotRod FAQ

Chase H.Q. - October 25, '99 by Maddog
Game:Chase H.Q.Company:Taito

"...MORE,push it MORE!". Hmmmmmm,now that I have your attention and before censorship ends this text abruptly,I have to stress this is STILL EmuViews ReView area and the previous phrase is featured "as is" in a racing game (Chase HQ,that is...) and NOT in some kind of XXX site :P
Taito's Chase HQ dates back to '88, an era in which many great racing games were produced (OutRun springs back to mind easily...). The good thing with Taito's approach is that they decided to put some more "meat" to the game and didn't let it just be a plain "make it to the checkpoint in time" job. You play an undercover cop, in the wheel of a flashy turbocharged Porsche 928 and your mission is to catch some criminals pesting the highways. Unfortunately, none of the villains these days seem to drive any Beetles or Yugos... instead, they all ride some equally potent vehicles, so high speed chases will be your daily business. To make it even worse, it never is enough to get by them and cry out "Pull over, you are under arrest!". No, sires, these are hardened bad guys and the only way to convince them to stop is to bump into them repeatedly and cause enough damage to their car, which will stop only after bursting into flames... Luckily, YOUR car seems to have an especially hardened front bumper, so you never have to retire because of a broken radiator. :) Time ticks away constantly and if you fail to stop the baddies in time, the very well known message of defeat will come up on screen. ;)
All these stuff are very welcome additions to a heavily used theme. The execution is ace too, with fast scrolling, big and detailed graphics. There are all the necessary turns, bumps, ups and downs, tunnels, road splits, other traffic and generally whatever we have come to expect from a great racer. Sound is brilliant too, with highlights being the excellent speech (listen to Nancy's radio-filtered voice or your partner's usually annoying comments, including the one at the reviews' start...) and the turbo's whistle while you roar down the streets at 300+ Km/h! I also liked the attention put to little details, like the chopper coming above you to direct you to the correct side of the upcoming road split, or your partner's hand, sticking the siren to the top of your car the moment you catch sight of the offending car.
This game was great and it spawned zillions of conversions for almost every available home platform AND an arcade sequel, too. I can hardly fault it for anything, except the relatively few courses (after 5 -but quite long- of them you get an award and retire...) and some control matters which are basically emulation related. For example, I recall it was often necessary to frantically shift gears from hi to lo and back when you were bumping on the criminals (this is either impossible or far less fun to do on a keyboard/joystick...) and the lack of a steering wheel and pedals is also very apparent during gameplay.
Chase HQ is emulated in Raine only (these guys seem to have the most exclusive gamelist around!) and despite the docs stating the emulation to be in "preliminary" state, it is perfectly playable and has only a few glitches (only really noticeable are the mentioned control matters and some scrolling and sound issues...). The option to play the Japanese version is also available.
If you ever enjoyed any racers, this one is among the best around and certainly well worth having in your collection. It is bound to collect many virtual coins from time to time on your PC :) To end up like we started,ie in your partner's words: "Let's go,Mr Driver!!!"
Play Control
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1999 EmuViews