The Double-A Team: Miami Vice on PSP was a bloomy slice of the future
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There's something rather special about Miami Vice on PSP, but it's only special to me. Years back, when the PSP was a force, that screen so wide and dreamy, that weight, that complicated heft, Miami Vice on PSP was the first game I ever reviewed. Rebellion! Of course the first game I ever reviewed was made by Rebellion. Perfect.
What do I remember now? Two things. Firstly when you loaded up Miami Vice you were given a choice: Crockett or Tubbs? Clearly one of the greatest choices in any video game ever. Secondly, when you played Miami Vice - this was 2006 - you were chucked into one of the very first cover shooters.
Not the first - that was Killswitch I want to say? - but definitely pre-Gears, which was also 2006, but I really think hadn't yet come out. I bumbled through Miami Vice thinking, this is interesting! Cover! Not realising that I was about to be drowned in cover for the next ten years at least, bombarded by cover in Gears, Uncharted, and everything else.
Interestingly, Miami Vice had cover you could clip to, but it didn't do much in the way of making your general movement work with cover. This is Gears' great trick, I think, the whole horizontal platformer thing where you basically slide from one piece of cover to the next. Miami Vice was a lot more clunky, but this worked if you ask me, because it made you feel - well - like Crockett or Tubbs, dashing through one firefight to the next, feeling a bit ragged and exposed.
It also had really beautiful lighting. The whole world of Miami was shot through with this golden, peachy fuzz of sky: godlike smog, lit from within, as if the sun was setting on a thousand meth labs burning. Looking at a trailer now I also see boat sections - I definitely remember something was there to break up all the cover-shooting - but I can't remember them with any precision.
What I remember was inching around tables and chairs, risking the odd headshot, feeling that here was shooting but also stealth and something that felt a bit like a newish approach to traversal. Overall, I felt like Crockett and or Tubbs! Thanks, Rebellion - I owe you one.