Review by Flyersfreak85
"An amazing game that never got the due justice it deserved"
Introduction: I'm not quite sure what creator Mark Schultz was on to when he created a series about two distinctly different things, but for being such a short lived series, Cadillac's and Dinosaurs sure was impactful. What started out as a comic book series based on a futuristic idea where Dinosaurs comes back after the year 2513AD, the series features three heroes (Garage owner Jack Tenrac, his mechanic Mustapha Cairo, and the guy who for whatever reason exists, Mess O'Bradovich) and the heroine (Hannah Dundee, explorer and vested love interest of Jack's with blue hair and rather amazing cleavage for a video game gal). Along the line of the title of course is the use of a Cadillac, which one of the four will always drive to the scene of the crime when they are needed to thwart the hunters or a rival gang.
That brings us to 1993, when Capcom got the license to make a video game on the series that, for all intent and purposes, was pretty much coming to the end of its run in popularity. However, this game was not only a good beat-em-up style fair, it also was a lot of fun with silly quirks and hilarious character interaction that makes you want to come back and play it all over again.
Gameplay: At its core, C&D is eight levels of side scrolling beat-em-up action, but it manages to be a lot more than that. While most of the games in this genre can be by-the-book in terms of how serious the overtone of the game is and how it plays along, C&D is more a lot more fun given how Capcom decided to put things in it that make it standout from other games.
If you are going to play this game, I would suggest playing it with at least one other person or two (since most cabinets had support for three players) because the interaction between characters is pretty funny. Namely, when you stand around for so long next to another character, Jack and Mess will launch the other character into the air, whereas Mustapha and Hannah will whip them across the screen, along with some sarcastic comment like, Gotta get going.
C&D has a line that's best compared to Capcom's biggest genre hit from four years prior in Final Fight: Jack is Cody, Mess is Haggar, Mustapha is Guy (albeit a good bit stronger) and Hannah would be Jessica, that was if she was able to be selected. This is a good thing because you cover all the bases in terms of character strengths and weaknesses, and they all respond as such when you use one or another.
The use of weapons in the game makes it more enjoyable as well: in some games, you don't have any weapons, but in C&D you got a slew. You have your conventional knife and wooden stick, dynamite, grenades, and a couple different type of guns, including a hand-gun, an uzi, a pretty much useless six-shot rifle, a 4-shot bazooka, and the rare and powerful A-16 chain gun. Once you run out of bullets, you will launch the gun as a weapon unless you pick up more ammo for them before you can throw the gun away.
Enemy selection is vast and, outside of Dr. Fessenden, are a lot of generic and forgettable goons, though that doesn't mean they aren't PITA caliber. Vice (and as he reoccurs a common enemy, Colt), Hogg, Slice (and later in level seven, the horrible creatures known as Slicesaurs), and Morgan are some tough stage bosses, while Tyrog morphs three times (don't ask) and Fessenden won't go easily either. The common enemies aren't that tough, though in droves and if fronted by the fat guys, can be challenging.
---Gameplay Grade: 9/10
Controls: Two buttons, but plenty of options to perform moves. One button punches and one button jumps, and when pushed together they perform a desperation move which takes energy from your health bar. Additionally, each character can do a jumping kick in the air, by jumping and holding punch the character will fly across the stage, and if you toggle the joystick twice in any direction and hit punch, you get the helpful dash attack. While all four can be of great help, I always found Mustapha to be the best for this attack, as he kicks forward and covers a larger distance than the other three can.
---Controls Grade: 9/10
Graphics: The graphics fit the mood of the game, that is, if a stage is meant to be dark it's dreary but if it's outside than it's well colored and detailed. The backgrounds look good, the final part of stage one looks an awful lot like a redraw of the final part of the slum stage in Final Fight. The characters look well drawn and animate well, both enemies and the heroes, and Hannah's ere style speaks for its self. Another funny touch is the character speech bubbles: on top of what I mentioned under gameplay, the heroes will also have things to say after they die, after they defeat a boss, and if you blow up an enemy with a grenade they will yell something unique.
---Graphics Grade: 9/10
Sound: Capcom usually does a good job with their soundtracks, and nothing else needs to be added on to that here. The music in the game is really good, even though it sometimes repeats at various points in the game, but it's a pretty solid soundtrack the whole way around. The sounds are funny, what with the enemies death cries, the heroes' death cries, and what they say from time to time, and the sound of breaking barrels, gunshot clapping, and knife stabbing all sound like they should.
---Sound Grade: 9/10
Challenge: If you are looking for a tough side scrolling game, C&D will probably not fill that quota: outside of a few rough spots, this game isn't that hard, and even with one player, you can usually go at least five levels in before you need to use a coin to continue: the best I've done is get to level seven before I used a credit.
---Challenge Grade: 3/10
Final Thoughts: C&D was a great game, it just sucks that it never got the type of loving that other crossover games got because not only was the series not as popular, but what popularity it did have was dying out by the time late 1992/ early 1993 game around. What's even more of a shame is the fact that this game was never ported to SNES or Genesis, though a C&D exists on Sega CD, released in 1994, but it's far from this game. If you can't afford the cabinet or can't find one, emulate it, because you won't regret it in the least.
---Overall Grade: 9/10
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 09/19/12
Game Release: Cadillacs and Dinosaurs (US, 12/31/93)
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