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Written by  :  AkibaTechno (254)
Written on  :  Sep 24, 2010
Platform  :  SEGA Saturn
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
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Probably the greatest light gun shooter there is.

The Good

Developers have a very interesting complex when it comes to producing light gun shooters. They are obsessed with including things like a story and intricate plot lines and cinematic quality soundtracks.

Time Crisis 4 was laughable because it took itself too seriously and the more recent House of the Dead games are trying to build on a story that wasn't even there to begin with.

Virtua Cop and Virtua Cop 2 stand as a testament to light gun shooter perfection. You're just a cop, who shoots things and things explode and the credits roll.

Virtua Cop 2 takes place across three different crimes committed by an evil consortium of criminals trying to destroy the city. They get up to all sorts of nefarious shenanigans from robbing a jewelry store to taking a ship's crew hostage.

So, naturally, the police get involved. That's it, that's the story. You shoot bad guys, shoot out car tires, shoot exploding things. It's like all of the best moments from an action movie sewn together with the option to occasionally take alternate routes to extend the replay value of the game.

The game isn't particularly long, but it doesn't need to be. You're there to just shoot guys. Had a hard day? Go and shoot some criminals. Wife giving you a hard time? Go and shoot some criminals. You don't want dialogue and exposition and unskippable cutscenes, you just want to be a badass with a gun and a license to kill. The funny thing is though, you are encouraged not to kill anyone. If you shoot a criminal's gun out of their hand you incapacitate them and get what is called a "justice shot." Of course you are also rewarded for spinning them in the air with multiple body shots. So, make of that what you will.

That is where Virtua Cop 2 nails it. It doesn't matter that the game looks fantastic, with incredibly smooth character models, super crisp textures and great, dithered explosions. Virtua Cop 2 plays perfectly. That is all that matters.

With a controller the game plays fine. The crosshair is a little sluggish at first but can be tweaked to your liking. You can speed the crosshair up and reloading is achieved by a simple movement of your thumb. I can see some people actually preferring using a controller to using a light gun.

Replay value is through the roof with this game. In addition to being able to play with classic Virtua Cop threat markers and scoring you can also change things like your firearm and also try playing on harder difficulties. Maybe you'd like to play the game completely mirrored? The option is there, why not use it?

The Bad

Virtua Cop 2 is short. Very short. It's a 20 minute game from start to finish. If you judge games on how long it takes to initially finish them then you're not going to be impressed.

Depending on your skill level Virtua Cop 2 is either going to be very easy or very hard. The earlier parts of the game are a cake walk in the tea park however later in the game you get virtually no warning before you're fired upon. The game rewards memorizing patterns, bear that in mind.

Musically this is a very weak game. The sound in general is quite terrible. I hate to say it but the sound samples are scratchy, badly compressed and the music is more miss than it is hit.

The Bottom Line

Virtua Cop 2 is undoubtedly the single greatest light gun shooter in existence. Sega knew how to make them back then, forgoing a pointless story for some non stop action and excitement. What you might perceive as shallowness is actually a value that has all been lost in recent years. Virtua Cop 2 is intended to be fun, for short periods, over and over again.

It has depth for those that wish to seek it, it's got replay value and it's got charm. Virtua Cop 2 belongs in your library, pick it up when you can.