Review by Cold NRG
"An average beat-em-up"
Die Hard has undoubtedly been a huge commercial success in the States and world the same. That's why Sega decided to bring Dynamite Deka to the States and slap the Die Hard label on it. Fox had more control on the Die Hard Trilogy game, resulting in a game that was more true to the Die Hard movies. Actually, Die Hard Trilogy follows Willis' character through the Nakatomi Plaza, killing baddies. Well Die Hard Arcade is the same principle except it's more of a beat 'em up than action game. You work your way through the building in attempts to save the kidnapped girl.
Imagine a great arcade translation... Now imagine an arcade that never looks too great to begin with. That's basically what happens here. The Saturn version is visually identical (except for the smoothness) to the arcade version that never look too great to begin with. I'm not complaining, no. I think they're perfectly suitable for this type of game. They're colorful and vibrant.
The characters in the cutscenes, while blocky, sport very good detail. I'm honestly impressed by the real-time cutscenes. They're very crisp and the characters look perfect for this sort of game.
Bottom line, the graphics work well for this kind of game. They're the best things about this average game.
The sound has a heavy Japanese influence. The cinematic music during the cutscenes is short and sweet. The characters sound very Japanese (from the dialog to the grunts in general). Very, very pitiful voice acting---it's not laughable, it's sickening.
The control is the worst part of this game. Moving your guy around screen is difficult. Running proves to be a pain in the butt because he just won't move fast enough. You have to tap forward repeatedly REALLY fast to get any kind of result. It's even more sluggish than the likes of Tekken!
On the plus side the moves you can do (and have done on you) is pretty cool. There are all sorts of little strings you can pull off.
Gameplay in this game is just summed up by two words: frustrating & lacking. Not only is running difficult to pull off, you can't attack while moving upward or downward. In other words, if there's a guy at the top of the level and you're towards the bottom you have to move up FIRST before being able to hit them. You line up with them to be able to attack them. How frustrating this is. And sure there are strings to be pulled off but what's the point? You'll have the game finished in an hour (or less) and wanting your money back.
On top of this, the game is just too linear anyway. There's no alternate routes whatsoever. So when you go through it the second time (doubtful that you would want to, but hey) you'll get the feeling of deja vu. There's just absolutely no replay value AT ALL.
All in all Die Hard Arcade is an average beat-em-up. I hate to use the term, but this game is mediocre. You should be able to find some enjoyment out of it if these games are your cup-of-tea.
I really don't like reviewing games that I don't like but it has to be done. That's why I've kept this review short and sweet. Usually I want to inform the gaming public about games that might be overlooked due to media distortion. Well, in this case I would recommend overlooking this game unless you can score it for a cheap price (around five bucks). Otherwise, look elsewhere. And if you need a Die Hard fix on the Saturn, I'd recommend getting Die Hard Trilogy (Saturn/PSX). You can't go wrong with that game.
FINAL SCORE: 6/10 (Average)
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 03/13/03, Updated 03/13/03
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