Arcade Appreciation April #10 - Dynamite Duke
by, 17 Apr 2012 at 06:48 PM (413 Views)
I have about an hour and a half before House of the Dead 4 finishes downloading. So let's kill a bit of time talking about this underrated title from Seibu Kaihatsu.
This game combines elements of Cabal/NAM-1975 and Crossed Swords. Certainly it is an odd mix but this game works very well. Basically as you trudge through each of the nine stages you'll be assaulted by various soldiers and their heavy artillery. When they're far away you can gun them down but if they get close you gotta punch and occasionally kick to get rid of them. Aside from moving left or right you can evade attacks by holding down to duck and then moving left or right to lean out of the way. When dealing with close-range adversaries you can either look for openings in their attack or attempt to stun them with a straight punch. Either way you can hold up to perform a devastating uppercut or hop kick.
Duke is a fair bit hardier than most other protagonists he shares this genre with. He has a pretty sizable lifebar that can take some punishment and even a few desperation bombs when the situation looks a bit hopeless. Still I found myself getting my clock punched repeatedly because I was diving into bad situations and not focusing on the most dangerous individuals first. Tanks, ninjas, and basically anything that either does a lot of damage or covers a wide area need to be dealt with first. The bosses are also pretty challenging since each of them have their own moves and must be fought in a particular manner. Still if you manage to get to these fights with a lot of health remaining usually things will turn out well. Despite getting wrecked pretty terribly on my first playthrough, I noticed a dramatic improvement on my second attempt at the game. I went from using 5 or so continues in the first four stages to none (I died at the 4th boss). I still have a ways to go but it's really appealing to make so much progress in a short amount of time.
Also it's really entertaining landing hits in the melee-based portions of the game. Maybe it isn't nearly as satisfying as a good beatemup but finding openings and exploiting them never gets old. So all in all I think this game is worth checking out. All you need is 15 minutes or so to get through it.
Still really want to check out Zero Team someday.
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