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A.P.I Review: ROSCO McQUEEN
Developer: Sony OPTIONS: S.SHOT
SCREENSHOTS:
No.1   No.2   No.3
Distributor: Sony 1 Player
Game Type: Platform / Adventure Memory Card
Review Date: October 1998 Analog Compatible

Setting the Scene

Rosco McQueen - firefighter, the saviour of the weak, the
frail, the stupid (it's a dirty job but someone has to do it). 

Rosco McQueen - muscle bound man of action, hair like Elvis, a 
jaw like Schwarzenegger and  a really long err...hose.

Rosco McQueen - hero of the people, with trusty Axe and Hose in 
hand must battle against the arsonistic robots of the evil Slyvester 
T Square - failure is not an option! 

Take control of Rosco and have a blast (literally) as you attempt, with
the help of your trusty sidekick, Digit, to put out the fires and rescue
the hapless civilians from these rampaging robots. 

You better hurry though, let those fires burn out of control too long 
and the temperature will rise and if it gets too hot in there, the whole 
building will blow!

Genre

Rosco McQueen is a third person (you control Rosco by standing behind
him) 3D action game. The only other game available on Playstation that
compares to Rosco is Crash Bandicoot, the game engine, graphics and game
style are very similar in both games. 

Graphics

The intro sequence is a 30 second FMV of Rosco speeding 
towards the scene of the fire in his cool looking red convertible, 
dodging past the firetrucks that are enroute and arriving at the 
scene, axe in hand. Although not long, it's very nicely done and 
sets the scene perfectly for the actual game. 

As mentioned previously, the 3D appearance of the game is very similar
to the Crash Bandicoot series. Featured are texture mapped walls and
floors, very effective light sourcing and zooming/panning camera angles,
all these graphical elements of the game are perfectly done and make the
game a pleasure to play.

There is minimal clipping and no popup, the framerate is always high and
the movement of the characters in the game, especially Rosco, is
incredibly smooth and natural, even the disk loading animation is
impressive. A lot of time has obviously been spent by the developers
getting these elements just right, and they've done an excellent job.

All the main characters in the game are polygon based, and move fluidly,
no jagged edges or overlapping polygons are visible and while not
incredibly detailed or complex they show enough detail to be convincing.

Sounds and Effects

The music in Rosco McQueen is appropriate for this style of game, the
usual happy, elevator music, it paced well to compliment that action in
the game and changes with the scenery. If you're saving the Chinese
laundry you get a crazy kind of oriental dance tune, yet while proving
your bravery in the buildings recreation area you are treated to a
seventies disco tune. The music contains the kind of catchy tunes that
get stuck in your head and go round and round for days. 

There are sound effects for all the events in the game, if Rosco pulls
his hose out the water flows, he'll whip his axe out and hit something,
the sounds produced will depend on what he was given a whack. Jumping,
coughing, wheezing and wisecracking his way around the levels, Rosco has
a comment for every situation. His friendly helper robot, Digit, is
always by his side with useful advice on where the fires are, how to put
them out and any possible problems that may be occurring, all with full
speech. Even the robots and civilians sounds are well done, the robots
will whir around making clicking and beeping sounds (as robots do). The
civilians will cry for help and express their gratitude when eventually
saved (or scream in pain if you don't quite make it and they are
consumed by the fire).

Playability

The aim of the game is pretty simple, put out the fires, rescue the
civilians and eliminate any future threat by beating up some evil
robots. In doing so you use the standard or analog controller to make
Rosco run, jump and hose his way around the corridors and rooms within
Tower XS. While the use of the analog controller is an option I didn't
find that using it gave me any more control over Rosco's movements.
Usually the use of an analog control would allow you to move slower by
only slightly moving the control stick or faster my pushing it all the
way, this isn't the case here, the analog controller gives your no more
fine control than the standard joypad. This isn't really a bad thing,
even with the standard pad the control is easy and responsive, the
controls do take a little getting used to but I assume this is why the
first few levels in the game are relatively simple.

While the early levels in the game are easy, the middle and later levels
are a considerable challenge. With tight time limits, raging infernos
everywhere and the need to be in more than one place at once, it becomes
quite difficult to keep up with the pace of the game. However, while
difficult, none of the levels are impossible and persistence will reward
the gamer with success (almost) every time. The unlimited continues help
too.

The 15+ levels of the game give many different areas to play in. From
the building lobby to the laundry, through garages, a recreational area,
shopping level and finally the residential levels, each environment
varies the gameplay and gives you new areas and scenery to explore (and
save from the flames). There are many different physical environments
that you will travel through - some levels take you under water, 
others will have you flying on an air column or jumping on laundry baskets, 
flowerbeds, grassland and gyms.

All through the game Rosco's companion, Digit, keeps you company
providing you with up to date status reports, warning on recent hot
spots, and transporting the civilians you rescue to safety. 

Loading times are reasonable, at about 25 seconds. The disk is only read
at the start of each level and instead of a static picture of a CD you
get treated to an animated graphic of Rosco running, a small detail but
it seems to make time pass quicker while the data is loading.

Your main weapons in your fight against the heat are your trusty Axe and
Hose. The game contains multiple powerups for each of these, You can
pick up a Titanium coated Super Axe and Throwing Axes that will come in
handy at various times. You can also obtain hose power-ups that increase
the effectiveness of your hose to put out those really tough fires. 

The options in the game are fairly standard fair, you can save your
progress to a memory card or use a password system, configure buttons
and store high scores and names for the levels.

Overall the playability of Rosco McQueen is brilliant, after becoming
familiar with the control methods you'll be running and jumping around
like a real firefighter and flopping your hose around like the best of
them.

Value for Money

With 15 challenging and different levels split up into 6 distinct
environments within the building this game has a fairly long-term
appeal. The only thing that may effect the amount of time you will play
this game is the difficulty, while the early levels are quite easy they
quickly get very difficult and inexperienced gamers may become
discouraged. 
Opinion
Chris
GRAPHICS: 17/20 This game is a lot of fun. While the control of Rosco isn't as good as can be found in Crash, the environment and light-hearted feel of the game makes playing it a pure pleasure. I highly recommend this game for younger players who will find it a challenging game with rewards for perseverance.

Fans of Crash Bandicoot will also find the levels and style of the game appealing. While Rosco himself sounds like a bad imitation of Captain Kirk he has a whole lot of personality and the graphics and smoothness of the game make it a sure-fire winner in my books. I can't wait for a sequel. Buy if you can, rent if you must.
SOUND: 7/10
PLAYABILITY: 40/50
VALUE: 16/20
OVERALL 80%

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