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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 July, 2003, 07:18 GMT 08:18 UK
Game revives old TV show
Nostalgia sells - and is pretty good at reviving interest in veteran TV shows, argues Daniel Etherington of BBCi Collective in his weekly games column.

Starsky & Hutch game
Crime-fighting duo return in virtual form
A red Ford Gran Torino with a white swoosh down either side. TV culture has produced few more iconic cars, although there are a few contenders - KITT in Knight Rider, the General Lee in The Dukes Of Hazzard, Del Boy's yellow Reliant Robin.

As soon as the Starsky & Hutch game begins, you get a rush of nostalgia when the cartoony version of the Gran Torino cruises by on-screen.

The original Starsky & Hutch TV series ran from 1975 to 1979. But, despite decades of repeats, it is not exactly fresh in the consciousness. That is where the game comes in.

It both reinvigorates the characters and brand, and updates them into a contemporary form.

This form is, of course, a chasing and shooting-based video game.

Hollywood treatment

Although Starsky & Hutch has passing similarities to Driver, The Getaway and Grand Theft Auto, it is actually defined more by a light-hearted take on nostalgia about the TV series, its characters and its essence.

Starsky & Hutch game
Like so many TV series before it, Starsky & Hutch is getting the Hollywood remake treatment

This means that, in the format of episodes, you get to chase bad guys round the streets of Bay City with Hutch leaning out of the car blasting away.

You can even perform stunts. The more you achieve, the higher your Viewer Rating. Bore the audience with humdrum driving or let the baddies elude you and it drops to zero, in other words failure.

You can even combine controllers, steering wheels and light guns.

However, not only does the game give a dose of nostalgia that is both naff and hip, the revival of the brand is also timely in raising awareness for the new movie.

Like so many TV series before it, Starsky & Hutch is getting the Hollywood remake treatment.

CPT Holdings Inc, the owner of the brand has licensed it to Empire Interactive for the video game and presumably to Warner Bros for the new movie, starring Ben Stiller as Starsky and Owen Wilson as Hutch.

It has been said before, but nostalgia really is big business.

Starsky & Hutch is available now for PS2, Xbox and PC.

Daniel Etherington writes for BBCi Collective, exchanging views on gaming, music, film and culture.


SEE ALSO:
Different game, same voice
16 Jul 03  |  Technology
Veteran games inspire artists
20 Jul 03  |  Technology


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