Starsky and Hutch (Playstation 2)*

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Released nearly 30 years after the debut of the television series that inspired it (and several months before the 2004 feature film remake), Starsky & Hutch is a mission-based driving game featuring the edgy, undercover cop duo and their trademark red and white Gran Torino. In the style of the TV series, core gameplay involves high-speed chases through a three-dimensional Bay City. Players are motivated to perform big jumps and other high-speed feats by more than just the goal of catching the criminal, however. Starsky and Hutch must do their job with style -- or not at all.

As the heroes zip through crowded thoroughfares and crooked alleys, a "Viewer Rating" (VR) score represents the level of excitement the car chase is producing for a theoretical television audience. A steady string of successful stunts will keep the rating high, but viewers will be bored by drivers who play it safe. If the VR level drops too low, the mission is lost. Beyond the driving challenges, the game also features a good deal of shooting. One cop will draw his pistol and hang out the passenger window to auto-aim at various targets while his partner drives. In two-player games, one gamer can take charge of the shooting while the other controls the car.