Starsky and Hutch Review

Developer: Empire Interactive Publisher: Gotham Games
Release Date: September 11, 2003 Available On: GCN, PC, PS2, and Xbox

After unearthing a 1960’s POW movie (i.e. The Great Escape) and turning it into a game, Gotham Games is up to it again. This time, they are bringing back one of the most popular 1970’s cops shows on television, Starsky and Hutch. Even though I have never seen the show, I have heard many good things about it.

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Starsky and Hutch offers a few different game modes, including story mode, free roam, television special, and a few unlockables, such as a biography of Huggy Bear, music from the game, FMV’s from the game, etc. All of the cut scenes are cell-shaded and help explain the storyline throughout the game. Driving the Striped Tomato is simple enough, though the car’s handling is not all that good and you have to get accustomed to slowing down dramatically at turns. You can steer the car with the left thumb-stick and shoot while targeting a person or vehicle with A. Your car can obtain a few different power-ups, which make your car move faster, turn on your car’s siren, etc.

Most levels’ primary objective usually involve either chasing a suspect and stopping them, protecting someone, etc. Secondary objectives, which, if you complete enough, you unlock a television special, usually consist of things like shooting gas canisters, running over x amount of boxes, not hitting more than 3 cars, etc. While trying to complete each objective, you must maintain an audience, if your ratings reach 0, you will be forced to restart the level. Good ways to keep ratings up are by performing stunts and shooting power-ups. In total, there are three different seasons, with six episodes per season, with three television specials, which, as stated earlier, you must earn.

S and H’s graphics are a bit of a mix. While cut-scenes look excellent in their cell-shaded brilliance, the main game is a blast to the past. Vehicles are box shaped and glossy, trees are like paper, load times are long, vehicles go through trees and other objects, characters are blocky, noticeable fogging takes place, along with slowdown, and pop up. While those are all negatives, some positives include an environment that is probably as large, if not larger than that of GTA Vice City and there are many different varieties of buildings and cars.

S and H’s music will keep your radio off the whole time while you are playing. Listening to groovy music from the 70’s is a delight in a game like S and H and perceptibly belongs in a game such as this. Voice acting is well done, but tends to become repetitious after time, especially responses such as “nice shot partner�. Other good aspects of the game’s sound include no-brainers like tires screeching, guns firing, etc.

Graphics: 4
Sound: 7.5
Gameplay: 6
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 6.5
Final: 6.2
Written by Kyle Review Guide

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