Let's face it: 1991 was a great year for games. Just one look at this Nintendo Power cover and you are taken over with nostalgia. One reason that 91' was such a power house is not only because of the culminating rivalry between SEGA and Nintendo, but because just that previous year Super Nintendo/Famicom was flying off the shelves. Games for NES that came out in this time are what I call "grave games" because 16-bit was taking over and NES was being phased out. A great thing about "grave-games" though, is that they are usually a developers last chance to show off a major success or completely bomb.
VICE: Project Doom is a multidimensional, action packed, NES success which rivals early SEGA in its complexity and graphic design. The developers wanted their players to know that NES could still stand against the coming wave of consoles and made games like VPD to be their flag bearers. Like a mixture of Contra, Castlevania, and Journey to Silius, VICE: Project Doom is an action packed adventure platformer featuring smoother controls for attacks plus attempted game-style crossovers that just rule. The game features driving levels and 1st person shooting levels in addition to it's constant run-n'-gun style play. Movement and strikes are unprecedentedly smooth and the game features 3 types of weapons for which players collect ammo throughout each level. Use your sword as a constant to hack through mutants and armed guards, then blast a few bosses with your pistol and/or sticks of dynamite. It's a multilayered kind of fun.
Another super improvement to previous games like VPD is the health bar! That's right, no more dying from one fucking hit, Contra fans. It takes about 7-8 smacks, bullets, punches, or ninja daggers to kill P1 in VPD and the continues are endless. REJOICE! In between each level, quirky cinematics lock you in for the ride and it becomes clear that developers spent a lot of time making this gem of a game. I seriously could not stop playing, even after dying many times in the stupidest of ways. That's a good sign.
Really, the only gripe I had with VPD was that I couldn't save at any point. I left my ROM running for about 3 days just to beat the damn thing. A game this big and bold needed at LEAST a password system, but alas it does not. Below is a playable link and the entire spread from Nintendo Power circa 91'. Wicked Basement, right? Enjoy!