Vice: Project Doom Review

I look forward to covering retro games that I haven’t played before, and thanks to the Nintendo Switch Online service, I usually have at least one fresh NES game to cover each month. Vice: Project Doom is one of two games to be added this month, and while I was familiar with the game’s title, I never actually knew much about the game. Fast forward to today and after having three great sessions playing the game, I’m as ready as I’m ever going to be to highlight this game’s joys. So, with this introduction out of the way, let’s take a look at my new favourite NES game, Vice: Project Doom.

Solid Action Gameplay

Vice: Project Doom really delivers in the gameplay department. It’s a solid action game through and through, and one that reminds me of classics such as Batman and Ninja Gaiden. For the majority of the game, you’ll be platforming and fighting your way through traditional sidescrolling action stages. You have access to three different weapons, which is actually where I make my comparison to Batman. Those three weapons include a laser whip (I thought this was a sword) that is great for melee attacks, a magnum for medium ranged attacks, and a powerful hand grenade that can deal double the damage with its explosion. While the platforming is fairly light, the game keeps delivering a variety of enemies, so you’ll find yourself using all three weapons to reach the end of each stage. You’ll also utilize your weapons to come up with the best strategy for taking out each stage boss, as well.

While the sidescrolling stages are extremely fun and definitely the highlight of this game, there are two other types of stages to discuss. First, you have the car racing, shoot ‘em up stages, one of which actually opens up the game. These are short, fast-paced stages that play similar to classic shooters. Second, you will encounter a couple of “light gun” stages. These stages play like those light gun arcade games and actually fit this game quite nicely. Both stages play well and help give the game a cinematic feel.

Interesting Story

Vice: Project Doom not only surprised me with its solid gameplay, but it also kept me interested with its story. The story follows a vice officer named Quinn Hart who sets out to investigate the manufacturer of a strange green gel. This green gel is a source of nourishment developed by an alien race in order to survive on earth. These aliens also developed clones as a means to blend into society. However, the gel had a different effect on humans - think drug abuse - and the mysterious manufacturer profited from the human’s addiction. Of course, it’s up to Hart to uncover the secrets behind this green gel.

The story is experienced much like it is in Ninja Gaiden with cut-scenes that play before, and after stages are completed. Unlike Ninja Gaiden, the story is a little easier to understand here. However, the story does take its own twists and turns throughout, but culminates in a fantastic, satisfying finale.

Gorgeous Visuals

Along with its strong gameplay and story, Vice: Project Doom delivers an absolutely gorgeous looking game. While the sprites are quite good and serve their purpose, the game’s fantastic looking environments are the standout here. I haven’t played every NES title, but I feel like I can say that this game has some of the best visuals on the console. In particular, I loved the use of colors here to create some unique looking stages.

Nostalgic NES Soundtrack

While the soundtrack may not be as strong as the rest of the game, I’d still consider it pretty good. Even though I have never played the game before, its music delivered a sense of nostalgia. This sense of nostalgia can no doubt be attributed to the familiar sounds produced by the NES hardware. Overall, the music helped push the action forward and it never made me cringe, so this is definitely another joy.


Vice: Project Doom is a strong NES title and perhaps one of the best action games on the console. The game features an interesting story, fantastic gameplay, gorgeous visuals, and a decent soundtrack. I’d call it a hidden gem, but I’m not really sure that it is one. Die hard NES fans definitely know about the game, so maybe it shouldn’t be classified as one. Regardless, the game is fantastic and if you haven’t played it yet, there’s no better time than now, especially because it’s readily available for Nintendo Switch Online members.

Final Score: +4

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