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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Dynamite Cop Review

Original Release:
Japan: June 1, 1998
North America: November 3, 1999
Europe: October 14, 1999

Game Details:
1-2 Players
VMU enabled
Standard Controller, Arcade Stick

Dynamite Cop is a Beat Em Up sequel to the arcade and Sega Saturn release of the aptly titled “Die Hard Arcade”.  The only thing that separates the sequel from its precursor is the lack of the “Die Hard” license. Dynamite Cop builds upon the formula set by its predecessor and further builds upon the gameplay mechanics with rather commendable results. Players can now select between 3 distinctly unique protagonists before selecting 1 of 3 missions (of various length and difficulty) to journey through, ultimately leading to the same final boss of the game (Wolf Hongo!). The games control system is what to be expected from the genre with 3 buttons that control Punch, Kick and Jump actions. With this simple button configuration at your fingertips lies a wealth of options to which you can execute various moves and techniques. This is where the games true charm of DC lies! The amount of ways to deal damage onto your enemies is rather impressive. There are extensive amounts of combos, holds, throws and various advanced maneuvers to explore as you tear a new one onto any pirate dumb enough to stands in your way. Weapons and interactive objects set about each area only sweeten the deal to this aspect of the game. The games controls are practically perfect making all such actions at your disposal a breeze to do.  

You have to invade the ship! Clear the pirates and rescue the hostages, especially the presidents (ugly) daughter!

Originally released in the arcade using Sega’s Model 2 hardware, the games visuals, while state of the art perhaps for its time, wasn’t up to the standards that can be seen on the Dreamcast console. Graphical enhancements were in fact made to the Dreamcast port which include full CG cut scenes to the cinemas (as opposed to the in game graphics that were utilized in the arcade version) a more vibrant color palette to the games 3D environments and slightly refined character models. Even with these improvements, the Dreamcast port still looks dated and does not harness the power of the console. Still, while the games visual presentation won’t wow even the most jaded Dreamcast gamer, it still manages to get the job done. With that said, I would like to note that game visuals look vastly more appealing through the use of a VGA adapter. The games color and sharpness looks SO improved, you’ll never want to go back to standard video connections again. Trust me on this, the game looks way better than it should on a VGA signal for some reason! 

Nothing special but all the audio that you were treated to in the arcade version has been reproduced on the Dreamcast version flawlessly which is always a positive in these arcade to home conversions!

No bones about it, I love this game! Perhaps it’s simply due to my undying love for the under-appreciated genre. Perhaps it’s because it’ll be the closest thing I’ll ever get to a Street of Rage 4 on my Dreamcast. Or maybe because it takes the fundamentals which make up the genre, and crafts it to perfection so well with flawless intuitive control, a very deep fighting engine, and weapons galore to explore as well as exploit, creating a Beat Em Up so perfectly sound, it makes me wish all others in this territory were as solid as this offering. The game is not perfect! Much of its apparent flaws are a result of the genre it represents as well as its arcade heritage. Even with these setbacks, the masters at AM1 threw in enough extras to keep you coming back for more if the heart of the game doesn't already evoke that.


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