Review by SegaSaturn2kX

"Streets of Rage for the Saturn!"

Die Hard Arcade otherwise known as Dynamite Deka in Japan originated as an arcade game on Sega's ST-V board. As you fellow gamers may know, the ST-V board was basically a Sega Saturn with extra RAM. Sega's decision to have an arcade board that is comparably powered to its home system allowed for many conversions in both directions. DHA was one of those games.
I never watched the Die Hard movies, but I have learned that this game slightly mirrors the plot of one of the movies hence the movie license. I wonder if it did anything to boost the sales.
DHA is a classic 2 player beat em up presented with a 3-d engine. It is as close to Streets of Rage as you are going to get on the Saturn, and that is not a consolation prize.

Graphics -- 8/10
The character models are distinct and there are several different ones for all the baddies. It is not like Final Fight where you fight the same looking dude over and over again. Admittingly the polygons are ugly but they animate fluidly and the closeups of the polygon models reveal facial detail. The hectic fighting sequences look realistic. Even with all the action and multiple characters onscreen, there is never any slowdown. Popup is also controlled very well since the game is linear. DHA may not have the clean look of VF2, but the polygons are solid. There is no flickering like Last Bronx or breakup like Fighting Vipers. Cutscenes appear to use the game's graphic engines and do an admirable job.

Music/sound -- 7/10
The music in this game is catchy and pumps you up to beat down on some terrorists. The voices, however, are poorly done. Unfortunately you can often hear it loudly and clearly.

Gameplay -- 10/10
This aspect of DHA is where the game truly shines. As mentioned earlier it is a 3d beatem up that plays exactly like oldschool 2d beat em ups. Although you are given complete freedom to move around the level, the game has a set path. There are two characters to choose from, John McCain and a girl. Unlike in Burning Rangers where the guy and girl characters are exactly the same, there are some slight differences between the two. One example is that the girl cannot be hit in the crotch. Both characters have a ton of moves. You have the basic punches and kicks, combo, jumping attacks, multiple throws & grapples, dragon punches, flash kicks, and hurricane kicks. The move list is very impressive considering DHA is not a fighting game. Many people say this game is too easy; well try beating it with the default setting of credits and then get back to me. The game is short, but it provides its thrills. After you beat the boss, you and your co-op partner get to duke it fighing game style.

Last words
DHA comes included with a classic Sega arcade game entitled Deep Scan. It is a submarine game where you are a boat on the surface of the water. Your goal is drop mines/bombs on the submarines underneath. Slow and boring? Yes it is, but scoring well on the game gives you more credits to spend in DHA.
Even though it is a stretch to call it a movie based game, it is a rare example of one that is actually good. I consider it to be one of the darkhorses in the Saturn library thus it can be purchased very cheaply.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 07/14/05

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