I’ve been on a bit of a retro gaming kick lately and have been trying to remember what games I played a lot as a kid. I wasn’t able to buy a lot of games when I was younger, but I rented them all the time. There are a few games I remember renting a ton of times, and Chase HQ II for Sega Genesis is definitely on that list.
It seems like an obvious game nowadays, but back in the 90s, chasing down cars and ramming them into submission wasn’t a cliche yet. It’s surprising I’m a decent driver after a childhood filled with playing tons of games involving violence and driving.
Chase HQ is a simple game to understand. You pick a car and drive around for a while until your suspect car comes into view. It’s the one with the big yellow arrow. Then you proceed to ram the shit out of them until their car catches fire and
kills the passengers you can arrest the perps.
Picking a car was always tough as a kid. You could either go the fast, sexy route with the Lamborghini-esque red car, or you could go Canyonero-style with the SUV. The SUV was tougher, but not as fast. If you were really feeling Over the Top or just wanted to bring out the big guns, you could always pick the big yellow semi truck.
Regardless of what vehicle you chose, driving in this game sucks. Modern gaming may have its pitfalls, but realistic driving (or at least totally-not-crappy-driving) is not one of them. When I fired this up on my Mac to play it for the first time in 17 years or so, I could barely even finish a level. I hit every single car and awkwardly-placed obstacle in my path.
By the time I caught up with the criminals I’d been chasing, my car crapped out after a few sideswipes and I had to try again. I eventually succeeded through pure willpower, because I wanted to at least take down one criminal before I wrote this article.
Games like Chase HQ were definitely one-trick ponies. After you’ve beaten one level there’s really not much variation. You find your yellow-arrow-car, you jack it up, and you revel in the glory of the Mission Clear screen and the unnecessarily agressive Miami Vice cops’ victory pose.
Road Rash II, this game is not. I could play that game until the day I die and still giggle uncontrollably every time I knock some punk off his bike with a chain. Chase HQ, however, wasn’t nearly as fun as I remembered it.
Playing Chase HQ II again did make me start remembering more games I use to rent back in the 90s, so I think I’ll be revisiting a lot of them soon. Until I get either a Retron 3 or an actual Sega Genesis again though, I’ll be playing these on emulators, which is kind of a buzzkill with retro games.
What are some games you remembered loving but can’t play anymore?