Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
Explosive action with Sega's duck hunt!
Sega's cutesy coin-op conversion Dynamite Dux (or rather Duck, since there's no two-player option) follows the tale of Michael Bin and his friend Lucy who receive an unexpected visit from Achacha The Great - a small but incredibly evil troll-type being. Suddenly, and without any real explanation, Mike Bin gets turned into Bin the blue duck, while poor Lucy is shoved into a bubble and whisked off to Achacha's lair.
Well miffed by the disappearance of his girlie chum, and the fact that he now has yellow webbed.feet and enjoys eating the green gunge out of ponds, Bin sets off in waddling pursuit of the big A.
Achacha the Great doesn't take too kindly to getting a punch in the gob!
Sumo pig attack! Luckily Bin-duck has the latest in waterfowl protection!
Bin gets clobbered on the head by one of the wolves' mortar shells!
Duck-man gets a crack at the spinny-ball end-of-level boss thingy.
Blue homing bullets go for the kill!
Destroying those green-clad, er... things, results in burgers which can be collected to replenish your energy.
A mid-level meanie in the shape of the King of the penguins, his cronies and deadly ice blocks. Well, it's different...
Between his bill and a final confrontation with Achacha, Bin has to traverse six scrolling levels full of weird and wonderful creatures who generally get in the way and have to be sprayed, shot, blasted or plain beaten up. Bin carries a pretty mean punch, though, and while a jab of the fire button results in a right jab, holding the fire button down sets his arm whirling windmill fashion as he winds up for a meaty right hook!
Along the trail, there are also a range of weapons which can be picked up and used, including a rock, bazooka, water jet, single shot gun and Spy Vs Spy 'Christmas pudding'-style bombs.
The enemy creatures vary in shape, size.and overall weirdness, featuring swarms of rats, snapping dog heads, sausage deer, gophers with shades, Sumo pigs, cross-eyed wolves with rocket launchers - you name it! Not only that, but there are strange mid- and end-of-level bosses, like fire monsters that spit flames, and swirling clouds with lightning bolts. These beasts usually have a central 'head' which controls the spinny bits, so you can attack and destroy the outer sections one at a time, or go straight for the head. As the head dies, so the outer sections gradually disappear until the creature is no more.
Once each level boss has been thrashed, a door opens up transporting Bin through a wild space vortex (like heavy, man) onto the next level. And eventually - as long as he doesn't get turned into duck soup - Bin meets Achacha himself in a battle to the death.
You get three Bins to complete the mission, although a continue option allows you to restart your mission from the beginning of the last level entered.
Sega's latest conversion is beautifully executed, with gorgeous backdrops, wonderful cartoony sprites and super-smooth multi-way scrolling. The soundtrack too, is good, with boppy tunes and decent sound effects. Unfortunately, the gameplay is pretty straightforward: ail you have to do is walk, punch and shoot, and not much else. It's also very easy, and the inclusion of an irresistible continue option means that you can finish the game easily in one sitting without really having try very hard.
This is a flippin' shame, because Dynamite Dux is a beautiful conversion (probably the best to date) and real good fun to play. It's perfectly suited to younger players, but if you're a bitchin' hard Sega fanatic, you'll be able finish DD in one go and won't really want to go back to it again.
(Hint: try getting someone to threaten to break your fingers if you use the continue option...)
▲ Wickedly smooth multidirectional scrolling
▲ Main duck sprite is excellent in every detail - especially his wind-up for the big punch!
▲ Superbly colourful and detailed cartoon-style backgrounds
▲ Brilliantly weird enemy characters - beautifully detailed and well animated
▲ Terrific versions of the original soundtracks for each stage
▲ Plenty of suitably comical arcade spot effects
▲ Five long levels to play through
▲ A variety of different creatures* and Bosses to contend with
▼ The action's all pretty simple stuff, with limited movement and no real strategy
▲ It's amazingly good fun!
▲ You'll want to keep playing if only to see the next level's graphics
▼ Continue option is useful, but means that you can finish the game in one go
▼ Once Achacha has been defeated, the appeal wears right off
Probably the closest conversion EVER for the Master System, Dynamite Dux suffers only from being far too easy to finish. Great for young gamers and anyone who is completely poo at playing games, though!