Review by John DeLuna
How many times...no, wait...how many times *this year* have you seen a kick-butt movie trailer? A trailer so awesome you just HAD to see that flick the Friday it came out. But when you did, you realized that all the good stuff was in said trailer, and the movie itself was a load of crap. Hmm...happens to me a lot. And it happened to me with Electrocop.

When the Lynx was released it was joined by four flagship games, and Electrocop was one of them. Atari pushed Electrocop as an "action-adventure" and was all too happy to show off the game whenever possible. Electrocop never failed to impress...the sound was amazing, the graphics were awesome, and the movie-like visuals were unheard of on a portable. And I was one of the many gamers who blitzed the Electronics Boutique for a copy. But when I started playing I quickly realized I had seen all the highlights and the game itself was a boring mess. Reminds me of Lethal Weapon 4. Anyway, what's Electrocop like? Well your a cyborg cop, think Robocop. And the supercomputer that runs the world has gone nutso. It's your mission to infilltrate the computer's base and bring it down. The base is segmented into levels, joined by warps. To access these warps, you've got to crack their access codes. At your disposal are ton's of high-tech weapons ranging from a simple laser pistol to an over the shoulder cannon. And you'll need them. Cuz every level is *filled* with the evil CPU's minions. You'll face all sorts of robotic terrors, who are bent on your distruction. Sound's great!! Where do I sign up? *Sigh* Hold on buddy. Electrocop *is* a game that could've have been great, but falls WAY short. I explain, but let's break this sucker down...

GRAPHICS: Electrocop has some of the best graphics you've *ever* seen. Period. The first thing that greets you is an UNREAL movie-style sequence that explains the story and shows off the futuristic cityscape. The game itself is beautiful. E-cop looks huge, he takes up nearly a fouth of the screen. The maze-like complex spots tremendous detail. All the walls are designed to look like microchips, with flashing circuitry. Very nice. *****

SOUNDS: E-cop sounds must be heard to truly be appreciated. The opening theme is an awesome mix of industrial rock and techno. And the same quality is evident in the level soundtracks. The sounds of laser blasts and the explosion effects when you knock off a cyborg virtually shake the Lynx out of your hands. Everything fits perfectly. *****

CONTROL: We run into some problems right here. The weapon controls are fine. You press the fire button...you gun fires. But the jumping stuff is just too weird. In fact it's not really a jump. E-cop does a leap-frog kinda thing, that looks like he's trying to hurdle something. And make things worse, pressing the hurdle button *doesn't* make him hurdle. Pressing is once makes E-cop drop to one knee. Press it again and he stands back up. You see, in order to make E-cop acually hurdle, you've got to press the hurdle button twice *really* fast. Weird. And quite annoying. **

OPTIONS: Well E-cop's not big on options. The only choice you have are weapon-wise. You can choose between laser guns, cannons, double-barreled laser rifles, etc. Not too shabby, but still a little more would have been nice. *1/2

REPLAY: It's time to address what makes Electrocop fail. As I've said, to progress in the game you've got to crack the access codes to the level warps. But the only way to do that is to sit there and let your internal computer sort through every combination possible. EVERY combination. The access codes are all four digit combinations. And it takes FOREVER to sit there for the each code. That alone kills the game. You can't go anywhere without the codes and you can't *get* those codes unless you've got an hour to kill. Let's see...the whole point of a portable system is instant gratification. Negative **

So let's expand on Electrocop's flaws. First the hurdle, crouch thing. The awkward control makes dodging enemies impossible. So you're reduced to blasting everything and overheating your guns, when it's obvious the programmers wanted stealth to be a part of the game. I say that because new weapons and ammo are few and far between. And the biggest problem...the code system. How can they expect you to sit there and crack code after code? Well...to the programmer's credit, they include a few things to kill time will your CPU works. There are three "mini games" that you can play. And sadly, they're the best part of Electrocop. The games are generice versions of Arkanoid, Astroids, and a third game where you rearrange numbered tiles that are out of order. It's just a digital version of those cheap games you used to get at the arcade. There are eleven blocks, numbered one to eleven. And a missing spot where a another block could have been. The blocks are randomly mixed, and you've got rearrange them by sliding them about until they're in numerical order. Good stuff. And the only good thing about Electrocop.

Reviewer's Score: 5 / 10