Die Hard Arcade


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 7

Sound: 9

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 7

John McClane can't catch a break. Everywhere this guy goes, some terrorist decides to ruin his plans and wreak havoc on an unsuspecting city. The same goes for "Die Hard Arcade," a fast, unrelenting beat-em-up that ranks among the best. Shame it only lasts about 15-minutes.

White Fang, a group of international terrorists, has seized the Nakatomi building, the same place that went under attack in the first "Die Hard" movie. This new group has taken hold of Missie Harrington, the president of Nakatomi Corporations only daughter. Leave it up to John McClane to take care of this situation.

Supporting up to 2-players, here's a title that breaks a few of the rules other games in the genre created. Each segment is only one screen. You cannot move left and slowly take down enemies. Everything is self-contained on each screen. There's still plenty of room to maneuver and the environments prove to be the best part of the game.

Though not as wacky as the sequel ("Dynamite Cop"), Sega lets played grab just about anything and wail away on the White Fang. Chairs, pipes, missile launchers, grandfather clocks, hair spry, anti-tank missiles; you know, the usual. Handguns do play the biggest role, and are the only weapon that can be carried over from scene to scene.

Basic combat minus weapons is just a dumbed down version of "Virtua Fighter." That's not a bad thing. Combos are brutal and effective and the sheer amount of maneuvers that can be performed keep things fresh. You can even arrest thugs if you have a gun. This puts them out of commission regardless of how much life they have left.

Breaking up the various fights are quick-time segments (made somewhat popular by "Shenmue"). These brief moments simply require a press of a button at the right moment to escape (much like a FMV title). Miss and you'll be forced to fight or take damage.

Character models are decent for a console that doesn't handle 3-D very well, but the backgrounds are pretty rough. They're obviously compensating for the characters. None of the music is from the movies, but it could be. These are excellent tracks and compliment the various screams and yells nicely.

Most people are immediately aware of the main problem going against this title. It's short. Real short. In fact, it could be one of the shortest games ever made. If you turn off the cinemas before you start, you could probably do a speed run in 12-minutes. Keep them on and it will take you around 25. That is mostly due to some nasty load times. There are no alternate endings, no separate paths, nothing.

There's not much a challenge here either. Only the final boss really turns on the heat. At least earning credits is fun. Players can partake in a Sega arcade classic "Deep Scan" to earn them. The more points you earn, the more credits you can take with you into the main game. Ironically, you can play this game on one life than you could all of "Die Hard Arcade."

This doesn't make the game terrible. In fact, it's almost perfect as far as arcade games are concerned. You just really have to feel for the poor saps that plunked down $50 for this back when it was new. There's almost no way to get your moneys worth at that price. If you can find it cheap enough, than this is an excellent buy. There's still plenty of entertainment value.


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Last updated: Saturday, December 04, 2004 08:59 AM