|Buy yourself a copy or add your name to be notified here!|
Here we go again: the holiday season! You've only got a few days left to wrap those gifts, gang! In order to take your mind off of the holiday doldrums, here's a game that is very peripherally related to Christmas. For some reason that I can't fathom, there really aren't that many games appropriate for the holidays. Aside from the bible games on the Nintendo and the occasional PC game hack or add-on that adds Santa hats to everything from Lemmings to Team Fortress snipers - there really isn't much in the Christmas game department. So here I am plumbing the limited well of Die Hard games to celebrate our snowy season!
So when we last left our grizzled hero John McClane: he was trudging through the original trilogy of Die Hard flicks in 1996's "Die Hard Trilogy" for the Playstation. A game that I recommended only based on the relatively low price point and the fact that you get 3 different games in 1 which was a novel idea and you could tell that the programmers really tried with that game. That game didn't hold up over the years but the NES is timeless, right? Surely this game should hold up much better than the pixelly, polygonal mess of sludgy Playstation-era gaming.
It's no mystery that movie licensed games are hit-or-miss and perhaps no system has more misses than the NES. Lethal Weapon, Total Recall, Terminator, Jaws, Rambo, Platoon, Friday the 13th: these are all games that I hold some quirky nostalgia for, but are ultimately terrible cash-ins. That being said, any of the Capcom Disney games were usually a success and Taito did a decent job with the Hannah Barbera stuff. Hell, even Willow was decently executed. So the question is: can Activision do what LJN, Bandai, or Sony Imagesoft were unable to do? Can they actually make a true-to-cinema representation of Die Hard?
|...and figure out what this buffoon is actually trying to say!|
|So many objects on the screen that my NES is having a seizure!|
So overall, one could argue that the game is a decent film tie-in based on the relative accuracy, the decently rendered cutscene graphics, and the fast action. However, the difficulty level of the game really mars the enjoyment level. Enemies pop out of dark corners from seemingly nowhere and will fire off bullets in all directions like a "bullet hell" style Shmup. They have a seemingly endless supply of bullets and have no trouble hitting you with most of them. YOU on the other hand are saddled with being able to shoot in awkward 90 or 45 degree angles with no real fluidity or finesse. This is predictable and expected of an NES game, but why can't the enemies be saddled with similar restraints. Or better yet, why can't the easy mode be easier? One of the only main differences between the two modes of easy or difficult is the randomization of floors. There are plenty of powerups in the game that can heal your hitpoints or foot power, but getting past the enemies and to a vending machine or medkit can be a struggle in and of itself - coupled with the fact that any corner that isn't in your immediate periphery is blacked out until you reach it.
|Monkey statues = awesome|
|But all of the gauze in the world won't cure his athlete's foot!|