Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Kusoge of the Week: Time Cop

The Super Nintendo was home to many bad licensed games: Last Action Hero, Waynes World, The Wizard of OZ, and the list could go on and on. One game really stands out to me as the cream of the crap. Time Cop is based on the mid 90s Jean Claude Van Damme action movie of the same name that features time travel, martial arts, and plenty of bad acting.
 While the movie was certainly not the worst ever made, it didn't exactly impress anyone either. The game followed this example and took it even further by being a complete piece of shit. Time Cop took slight advantage of the SNES graphical prowess by making Mr. Van Damme a digitized version of himself with a two frame standing animation. The backgrounds and characters are all done in a similar fashion with awful looking results. The game tries to look like Mortal Kombat, but ends up looking very amateurish. It doesn't help that there is only about two enemy types per level.
The levels vary from "okay that could have happened in the movie" to "did the design team see the wrong movie?" One level takes place underwater and the boss is a giant octopus. I am pretty sure Van Damme never kickboxed a squid in any film, otherwise he would have won the Oscar for "Most Rad Thing Ever."
 The music is hilarious. Just check out the first stage where the song is an eight second techno loop with a guy constantly saying FBI in a robot voice. The sound effects are also pretty funny. One exception is the game over screen where this goofy scientist laughs at you mockingly. Not only that but the screen as Game Over in two different fonts. It's as if the game is making fun of you for even trying to play it.

The enemy AI in Time Cop is pretty weak in the first stage but it suddenly ramps up to unbelievably cheap levels in the third stage. I never made it past this stage, but I am pretty certain the game never improves. Time Cop really fails in every department, yet it is so bad that it is hilarious. The music is so lame that it stirs a chuckle in me. The first level is so overly long and maze like that it makes me curious what the hell the developers were thinking, but there is one highlight every enemy in this stage is weak to Van Damme's ultimate Time Cop tactic, a crouching leg kick. Wait what...a crouching kick?
There was a Sega CD port planned but it was canceled. There is a beta floating around out there of it, but from what I have seen it seems to have just added a jet pack for no reason. The Japanese cared so little for the Super Famicom version that they didn't even bother to redesign the ugly American box art.
If you feel like indulging in some bad Van Damme gaming and don't want to play Street Fighter: The Movie Game, check out this old kusoge. I would suggest drinking heavily before playing!

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