Die Hard Arcade

After the 'three games in one' extravaganza of Die Hard Trilogy comes AM1's coin-op caper, Die Hard Arcade. You know, the one where you run about figthing loads of strangely dressed bad guys in a kind of 'not much like the film' type way. Okay, so maybe you don't know because it didn't really make an appearance in that many arcades. Anyway, the fact that it was produced on the ST-V board (like the most splendid Athlete Kings) means that we now have an identical version on the Saturn.

The game takes the form of a kind of 3D Streets of Rage affair with the basic story being that you are a cop who's sent in to rescue the Presidents daughter from the clutches of some mad tyrant bloke who looks nothing like Alan Rickman and more like Shun Di in a shirt and tie. It all takes place in a big skyscraper (alright so that bit is like the film) and sees you having to deal with several enemy foes at a time on each level. At your disposal is a comprehensive array of moves all executed using the punch, kick and jump buttons. "Oh come on Jon, it's just like Virtua Fighter then", I hear you say. No not really, because there's also the grappling element that means you can indulge in some rather un-gentlemanly conduct in the manner of repeated head butts, dirty ground fighting techniques and knees to groin, or lower abdominal area as they call it on Match of the Day.

On top of all that are the weapons. Littered around are various items such as Broomsticks, Golf Clubs and that classic weapon of destruction, the Grandfather clock! Of course with the building being full of international terrorists there's loads of guns and stuff too, the best of which are the Anti-Tank gun and the seriously damaging to your health Rocket Launcher. But if you're really clever, you can be a sensible and good natured nineties type cop, and simply handcuff your opponent, thus taking them out of action for good. I'm sure most of you would rather plump for the Rocket Launcher method though.

In between levels there's an animated cut scene where you have to test your reactions with a simple timed button press. This usually means taking out a bad guy with a flying punch or kick or dodging a speeding truck. It's pretty easy but serves as an enjoyable respite from the previous mayhem.

There is a downside to this game though, and it's a serious one. It's just way too short. You can easily finish it within an hour. As an arcade game it's perfect but on a home console you expect a bit more lastability for your money. The inclusion of the bonus game Deep Scan doesn't really help, because it's quite frankly rubbish and only makes the game even easier by giving you more credits.

Don't let me put you off too much though, Die Hard Arcade is immense fun while it lasts and the presentation, as you'd expect from Sega, is top notch. If only they'd put a few more levels in..............

ukr:jon mclane

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