Not too long ago I was digging through my old portable game systems and showing them to a friend. We went through the Neo Geo Pocket Color, Nomad, Game Gear and the Turbo Express, but it was the Lynx that he was the most excited about. I asked him what his favorite kind of game was. I have just about everything for the system, from classic arcade games to platformers to racing games ... but he wanted something with guns. After looking over my games I realized that there aren't many Lynx games that fit into that category, how can you have a game system without some sort of gun game?
That's when I found it, Dirty Larry: Renegade Cop. As the title character (a rumpled sort who can be seen sprawled out in sunglasses, handgun and boxer shorts at the game's title screen), you'll walk the streets of Steelburg, USA, on the trail of drug dealers, crooked public servants and any other suspicious character you feel like shooting at. With bare knuckles or bullets, you'll fight knife-wielding hoodlums, bearded bikers and killer clowns who stalk the subways with baseball bats.
No easy game, Dirty Larry counterbalances the intense punch-and-shoot action of Larry's workday with cleverly animated intermissions and some super-strange enemies. Being slugged by an overweight woman wearing too much makeup is good for a laugh, but can somebody explain the shaggy-haired Nirvana reject who bursts into flames and chases after you like a leftover stuntman from Ron Howard's Backdraft?
Though it's generally a well-designed game -- as evidenced by the careful Xenophobe-style stereo placement of each sound effect -- Dirty Larry: Renegade Cop is not much more than an extremely simplistic kill-em-all contest. It doesn't have the zany sense of humor that carried Kung Food, nor is it blessed with the name recognition of Batman Returns. But it succeeds on the same level as those two titles, and, if you can overlook the main character's slightly stiff movements and the plot's relentlessly linear structure, there's plenty of action here for anybody who still owns a Lynx.