GAME REVIEW by Brian Dinnigan

Originally posted on JULY 1st 2002 to

Thanks to the generous assistance of an emulation expert, I have obtained a copy of "Crime Wave" in a machine readable format that doesn't require 5.25" disks [zip files]. I have played it, and I will summarize briefly as to what I have seen.

First, the technical specs of the game and the machine. The game, "Bubblegum Crisis: Crime Wave", was released on May 25th, 1989. It cost 7800 yen at the time, and was classified as an RPG. It was made for the PC88mk2SR system. It was produced by "Amorphous".

A little background on the PC88: it's a fairly primitive system, running at around 4.7MHz or so. It has two disk drives and 16 colours. It's got a built in sound synthesizer. It has no hard drive [at least, this version], and it boots into basic. To run a game, insert a disk and reset the system. In comparison, in 1989 I was playing KQ4 and [I think, it could have been the next year when I got it] Quest For Glory I [Hero's Quest, at the time] on my 8MHZ Epson Apex system, with 640KB ram and a thirty meg hard drive, running Dos 3.2 and Xtree [menu driven, think Windows Explorer in text mode that kicked absolute ass left, right and center. I used Dos mostly, but I pulled Xtree out for all the hard tasks]. I only had 8 colours, but friends had an EGA monitor.

The game itself is again, fairly primitive. The gameplay is one button [spacebar, plus escape to return to Sylia's apartment]. The animation is equally primitive. It reminds me of the flying shooter Gall Force game that I have, in that it kinda jumps as it scrolls. Sierra adventure games, [Hero's Quest I was released at the same time] are far in advance in terms of technical achievement and interactivity. On the plus side, it is far easier to play than the Bubblegum Crash! game for the PC Engine, as the decreased interactivity means that I can get my head around what's happening and can actually play the game.

Screen shot: You can make up your own caption. I'm speechless.

If you're thinking of playing, you will need some knowledge of Japanese, or you can try trial and error, which will take forever. I am stuck currently at a point where I need to translate some Kanji. I'm not all that good, and I've been guessing at meanings. Navigation is accomplished via a five option menu in Sylia's apartment [Press 6 to cancel and repeat the last message]. Once you've selected where to go, use the keypad to move around. To talk to people, walk up to them from below and hit the spacebar. To walk through doors, just walk up to them. It's like a simpler version of "Sorcerian", if you remember that game.

Okay, here's a summary of the game up to the point where I stopped for today. As I type this message, I am about to restart the intro, to try to understand it better. In future, perhaps I can fully translate it, but for now, my guesswork and bad lingual memory will have to suffice.

The intro starts with KS pictures. Then we get to the important part. A boomer [Bu-12b] is loose in 13 chome [I think] , "B-Block". Nene contacts an officer named "Schneider" [age 28, anti boomer AD policeman], and he gets ready to suit up in his K-11. He gets there to find out that his suit has been taken by a "Mister Gregory". Gregory has taken it to fight the boomer, and promptly gets blown up, just as Nene remarks that there's something funny about [I'm not sure, the text flashed off the screen too fast, I'll need to do screencaps]. Then we get a shot of Nene looking horrified. After that, we have a part where all the sabers are shown [chara descriptions].

Now we move to character selection. I picked Linna.

We get some dialog at this point, and it has a lot of Kanji. Sylia say's we've got work tonight, but Nene isn't here yet. She asks Priss if she knows where Nene is. Priss gets flustered and says she doesn't know where Nene is [well, that's roughly what she says, she adds parts about "computer hacker" and such]. Linna retorts that Nene is an honest/hard-working/earnest girl [unlike Priss]. Priss gets mad and says she's got a part time job as a DJ [she's pretty mad now]. Sylia interrupts their argument, using terms I've heard my Japanese instructor say many times [not my fault, though]. Sylia reminds them of the eleven regulations at this point. Basically, they have a job, but as Nene isn't here, they cannot do it.

Priss re-assures Sylia, and says that Nene must be at the AD Police building. Someone can go down there and pick Nene up. She then asks [for the benefit of the gamer] where the ADP building is. Sylia then informs the gamer. She says some other stuff, but it's not truly relevant.

Now, it's off to the streets to search for Nene. In short, I looked for her at the ADP building, and couldn't find her there. They suggested I look at a place called "Junk" [a mall? Nene's apartment?] and I couldn't find her. Now, I'm trying to find Mackie and I will ask him. I shortened this part because I didn't really have a chance to read it. I can lengthen it later, if anyone wants it.

I have the game, and I want to make sure that everyone who wants it gets a copy. If someone can lend me some webspace to put it up, that would be great. Failing that, I will try e-mailing it out, perhaps to a small group who will then take requests. I get around a hundred visitors from this group to my website during each art update, so the numbers may be similar for this game. At any rate, I want to make sure it is distributed to preserve it.

Dr Raven - I saw Brian's original review on, and asked for permission to archive the game file and post his review here. If you have any questions you can email Brian at

BACK to BGC Games | BACK to Mackie's Database | BACK to