It's been a while since I did a Retro Review of a classic beat 'em up, that's why today I wanted to bring you a small review of one of the best known and most memorable games of this genre. And in this way I will show you how this game has been maintained over the years.
Like hundreds of games from some time ago, especially games of the beat 'em up genre, these present a very simple plot, so simple that sometimes it is unnecessary, since it is only a very simple pretext for us to know the details for which we are going to go delivering fists and kicks to our enemies. Undercover Cops tells us the typical story of salvation, in this case, we must save the city, which has been controlled by Dr. Clayborn and his army, causing terror, destruction and chaos in every corner of the city. However, to save the city and its inhabitants, 3 police officers are called to the rescue: Bubba, Flame and Claude. They will use their combat skills to fight each of Dr. Clayborn's henchmen and defeat him in the process.
Undercover Cops presents us with a futuristic world, with certain elements of cyberpunk, that is why certain enemies will be robots or have robotic parts, some are very large and stand out thanks to their excellent designs, which even attract more attention than the designs of the main characters. I think this game is one of the few in which I consider that the designs of certain enemies are much better than that of the main characters, and although the design of the 3 main characters are fine, since they have a good size and a sprite design with certain details, some enemies and especially some final bosses stand out much more, some have grotesque designs, with robotic parts and some others are very strange, but with great size that occupy much of the screen.
The animations are pretty good, the 3 main characters can perform different types of movements and animations with a certain level of fluidity, although it is nothing spectacular, it is a very important aspect. The scenarios also manage to reflect that cyberpunk aspect, in a future in which the city is succumbed to chaos and destruction. There is a lot of variety and with many details on screen.
Something regarding the graphic aspect that I personally perceive is that the color palette of both the characters and some scenarios are a bit saturated, I think there is much use of gray and brown colors, even "copper" color, although perhaps it is an artistic decision to reflect in some way the "post-apocalyptic" atmosphere of this future.
In the sound aspect Undercover Cops stays in the line of games of this genre, with music that transmits emotion, energetic, violence, action, that is to say, perfect melodies for us to go through each of the scenarios that this game has to offer to kick and hit enemies. Undercover Cops has digital voices that sound pretty good, although they are few compared to other games of the same genre, but this adds more personality to the characters and is always a detail to highlight. Similarly, the sound effects are quite good and necessary to complete a better gaming experience. Although in general terms, it is a soundtrack that manages to fulfill its objectives, but not spectacular as other games of the same genre.
Undercover Cops is like any other game of the beat 'em up genre, with the main and classic features that we have seen in this type of games. Perhaps this game is a little bloodier than others of its genre, so in this aspect it stands out a little more, being more "graphic". But in terms of mechanics it is quite conventional, since like any good beat 'em up, our main focus is to go through a series of scenarios, which will be full of enemies which we will defeat to access the next stage, in this way we will move in a side scrolling environment, which after completing a series of phases, we must face the final boss of each stage. Being this final boss, as you can guess, an even greater challenge for the player.
In terms of duration it is a fairly short game, it really is one of the beat 'em up that I have completed faster and perhaps this is a negative aspect. With simple controls and simple and easy to learn mechanics, Undercover Cops, despite these aspects is a game with a good level of training, which is why it is one of the most classic beat 'em up in the industry.
We have 3 main characters, which present the typical and cliche characteristics of the games of this genre:
Claude: He is the most balanced character of all, with the best balanced stats. He is a former Karate master, who one day killed a man in self-defense, since that day is a wandering person who travels through different places.
Bubba: He is a former soccer player, who after being unjustly blamed for a murder is forced to leave his profession, is by far the strongest character of the 3, but is the slowest, fulfilling one of the most typical cliches in this type of games, being the classic "tank" character, with a lot of attack but little speed.
Flame: And since we are talking about clichés, this is the female character that fulfills all the typical characteristics of the characters of this genre in this type of videogames. Her motivation to join this adventure to save the city is because her lover was killed, so now she wants to eliminate all evil from her city. This is the typical fast moving character, but with little damage.
Undercover Cops is one of the most classic and well known beat 'em up of this genre, which shone in the Arcade era and later had a port on the SNES, which despite not keeping some things of the original Arcade, was a very entertaining game and very important for a generation.