Retro Review: Die Hard Arcade

Die Hard Arcade

Platform: Sega Saturn

Released: 1997

Developer: Sega

Publisher: Sega

Some films are seemingly ripe to be made into videogames, in particular action movies as they have the perfect ingredients to give fans the chance to relive moments from their favourite blockbuster. Making a good game is easier said than done and a lot of the time cynical publishers see a movie game tie in as a way to rinse money from people who enjoy a particular franchise. You only have to check out my previous reviews of Cliffhanger, The Terminator and Lethal Weapon to see that movie tie in output is hit and miss to say the least!

The Die Hard franchise has had a number of video games based on the movies, but the late 90’s gave us two cracking games including Die Hard Trilogy and Die Hard Arcade. I won’t say too much about the movies themselves as I don’t want to incur the wrath of my editor/wife who complains that I ramble on rather than getting to the point. I can hear her voice in my head as I type saying, “isn’t this supposed to be a videogame review!?” I will just say that I rank the Die Hard movies in the order they were released with the first being an all time classic. It isn’t any surprise to see that the quality of each sequel diminish and it is no understatement to say A Good Day to Die Hard is utter shite! If by any chance Bruce Willis ever reads this review I would beg and implore you Bruce, please just stop making Die Hard movies!

Die Hard Arcade follows the plot of the original movie but also takes liberties with the story, which doesn’t make a lot of sense if I’m completely honest. Terrorists have taken over Nakatomi Plaza and are holding 30 hostages including John McClain’s wife, but for some reason the makers of the game decided that rescuing your wife wasn’t enough and thought that throwing in the President’s daughter would add more tension! Did they watch the movie?

As you would imagine, Die Hard Arcade gives you (and a friend) the chance to beat the living crap out of the bad guys who are holding the hostage’s captive. Dynamite Cop released on the Sega Dreamcast is the sequel to Die Hard Arcade which I reviewed last year. Rather than rehash the same review I would recommend you check out my thoughts on Dynamite Cop as they are essentially the same game. The combat and gameplay are practically identical with the only real difference being the graphics and sound. There is even a section that appeared in both games where the President’s daughter is hiding in the desk where the main bad guy is sitting. I mean how incompetent are these terrorists!?

There are some very funny moments in Die Hard Arcade and I’m not entirely sure they are intentional. The female terrorists in particular dress like they belong on a street corner rather than in a highly trained group of fanatics! There is also a rather amusing encounter when McClain ventures into a toilet. Watch the video below and let me know what you think the man is doing at the urinal? Don’t even start me on the guy who emerges from a cubical wearing only his pants!

Special mention has to go to the inclusion of submarine hunting retro game Deep Scan. You can play this fun little title to earn extra credits for the main game.

Die Hard Arcade is a really fun experience albeit a short one, but maybe you could have a double bill of beat ‘em up action and play Dynamite Cop as well?

Graphics – Bright and colourful with a nice variety of enemies (especially the females) to keep you entertained. 7

Sound – Some excellent speech and the music adds a lot of tension and excitement to the game. 7

Playability – Good beat ‘em up fun especially with 2 players. 7

Re-Playability – I definitely would like to see if I can get a bit further than I did but I would need to mine (get it?) some extra credits from Deep Scan to help. 7

Overall – I had a lot of fun revisiting Die Hard Arcade after all these years and recommend you check it out especially if you’re a fan of beat ‘em ups and the movie franchise. 7

Review by Chris (co-host of 60 Minutes With)