Undercover Cops is Irem's attempt at a Final Fight-style brawler. It features simple yet challenging gameplay, bizarre enemy design, phenomenal audiovisual presentation, and a one-of-a-kind personality. It introduced the concept of ultimate attacks, which are basically death-blows on steroids. It also has a unique "Finess Trick" system that rewards using advanced techniques.
Everyone, the peace of our town is at its worst condition ever. I have a suggestion for improving it. It is to have City Sweepers clean up the villains!
O.K., mayor. Let's do it!!
ENTER THE CITY SWEEPER!
Undercover Cops is basically an alternate version of Final Fight. Zan is Guy, Rosa is Cody, and Matt is Haggar. Dr. Crayton, like Belger, is a short, cheating bad guy who has an easy first form followed by a hard second. And both games are about a city overrun by crime that has to be cleaned up by three vigilantes.
The US port of Undercover Cops is one of the worst cases of executive meddling in any brawler, perhaps even worse than Streets of Rage III. They renamed the characters and changed their backstories, removed about half the attacks, took out or changed several pieces of background art, and removed the voice samples from the music. There existed an Alpha version at some point that didn't have these issues, and there's even an Alpha Renewal kit that restored the normal version to its former glory, although both of these are ridiculously rare.
Undercover Cops has a board game RPG (similar to Sugoro Quest) spin-off on the Game Boy called Undercover Cops Hakaishin Garumaa. It's barely playable if you don't speak Japanese although the characters are the only thing that makes it an "Undercover Cops" game.
One of the items in this game is R-Type. R-Type is Irem's most successful franchise by far. It's a hard-as-nails space shooter with an H.R. Giger art style.
Undercover Cops is the best Final Fight knock-off ever made. It features huge movesets, plenty of enemy variety, unrivaled pixel art, and a phenomenal hip hop soundtrack. It's bursting at the seams with action, art, and personality. My only complaint is that several later enemies like the mole men are gimmicky.