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Playstation 2









Point of View



M (Mature)



Q2 2005



- Unlockable original game

- Fun in small “doses”



- Soundtrack that will drive you insane with repetition

- Background and character designs aren’t terribly different



Review: NARC (XB)

Review: Midway Arcade Classiscs 2 (GC)

Review: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2)



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Score: 4.0 / 10


It’s ironic to be writing about a game dealing with addictions, considering how much of my money went to the original game. You know what I’m talking about – Johnny Zee’s at Station Square Metrotown! (Or some such mall you may live close to.) That damn machine owns a small portion of my young soul and a sizeable portion of my allowance and newspaper route money.


narc review          narc review


Not to be confused with that quarter-sucking sidescroller, this NARC is all done up in 3D… um… I’m hesitant to use the word “glory.” The game design is Grand Theft Auto in nature, except you are charged with keeping the peace instead of breaking it – but considering the more than liberal use of drugs, that’s not exactly an important part of the game. Easily earning its M-rating, NARC lets you control the primary characters Jack Forzenski (a recently re-activated police officer who has been struggling against a drug problem) and Marcus Hill (Jack’s former partner, now DEA and holds a grudge against Jack for his weakness in falling into drugs) through their missions to clean up the streets. And those streets could definitely use a good power-washing – crime is rife, and you can definitely earn a stack of brownie points just standing still and arresting people. However, this game is definitely a game where you have to walk around; maybe you’ll see a different crime being committed up the street.


Through the course of arresting all sorts of criminals you are going to get a ton of drugs – and in the world of NARC, they can be used as power-ups. Pot gives you the ability to have the world slow down, Crack makes you a “crack”-shot with one-shot kills, Speed allows you to move faster… and so on and so forth. But the 




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repeated use of drugs in the game does not go without consequence, you can develop addictions to the drugs which you will either have to feed endlessly or break out of. Breaking an addiction is laughably easy – you just have to bash a keypad until you have succeeded three times in defeating it. Maybe a group of more serious repercussions would have been more appropriate? Inherent character weakness or the potential for death from a bad batch of drugs perhaps?


Anyways, while you travel around the game you have a badge rating. Perform your duties well and don’t abuse your powers and your rating will remain high. Break the law and your rating will drop. At 49 you are demoted to a beat cop and cannot perform missions; at 35 you are kicked off the force; at 14 you are a criminal and cops are openly chasing you. Earning points back though is frighteningly simple – arrest criminals, turn in drugs from arrests and you’ll be back in blue in no time; you practically have to be intentionally trying to fall that far. Money that you earn from busting criminals can be spent on newer weapons, some of which definitely don’t fall into the realm of the police officer. I’m glad that no officers that pull me over come up with a flame thrower or rocket launcher.


narc review          narc review


The soundtrack was a blast from the past for me for about the first hour, and when I heard the song “White Lines” by Sugarhill Gang I was grinning like an idiot, and made plans to find my Duran Duran cover of the famous song. That smile faded after about the 4th time that it came on, and that took less time than you’d imagine to cycle through the playlist back to that song. The backgrounds are very recycled, and so you can pretty much forget trying to navigate through the city using landmarks; I abandoned that practice pretty quickly in favor of the in-game map. Even worse, this game does feature cars, but you’re not going to be driving them – for some reason, the police budget must have been already spent and you are going to have to walk everywhere that you need to go. There are about 20 different character designs for the game; it’s a tad annoying when there are two criminals standing side by side with the same crime in progress and have the same response when you arrest them.


All in all, this game definitely deserves the discount price of $20 – but that may be a little on the pricey side. It works in small doses in providing some carnage and distraction from reality, but can’t be played in long stretches. If you want a different game for your system but don’t want to pay too much, it may be worthwhile to grab in the pre-played bin.


- Tazman

(September 7, 2005)


“How am I going to get out of the army?”

“That's easy. Make a pass at your commanding officer.”

- Bart and Principal Skinner (The Simpsons)

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