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Dynamite Deka / Die Hard Arcade

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Dynamite Deka 2 / Dynamite Cop
Dynamite Deka EX: Asian Dynamite

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Dynamite Cop / Dynamite Deka 2 (ダイナマイト刑事 2) - Arcade, Dreamcast (1999)

Even though the second game in this series lacks an official movie tie-in, Dynamite Deka 2 / Dynamite Cop is basically "Die Hard on a Boat". In turn this was technically the plot of Speed 2: Cruise Control, a movie best forgotten, and a concept that this silly little video game executes to far better effect.

Wolf Hongo is back, and his group of "modern day pirates" have hijacked a cruise liner, which - of course! - just happened to be ferrying about the president's daughter. (It appears to be a different girl this time, at least.) This time you have three different characters to pick from - Bruno Delinger, Jean Ivy, and Eddie Brown, and while they technically have different movesets, there's not really a huge difference between them.

At the beginning, you can also pick three different approaches to infiltrate the submarine - you can jump out of a plane and parachute onboard, take a speedboat and grapple onto the side, or scuba dive straight into its lower decks. The route will determine the path throughout the rest of the game, and while each path shares some of the same rooms (and the same bosses), there are unique areas in each route, so you need to play the game through three times to see everything. There are four stages in total, plus a final boss fight, leaving a single playthrough slightly shorter than the original, but it's a much larger game overall.

For the most part, the fighting work very similar to the original. You can now face and attack in all eight directions instead of just left and right, and there are a number of cool grappling suplex moves that are easy to pull off and immensely satisfying to watch (and listen to, given the exaggerated bone-breaking sound effects.) You can also pick up disabled enemies and use them to whack other bad guys, a bit like the Kunio games. In addition to the numerous weapons, there are also "P" icons, which will grant your character additional strength for a short amount of time when you collect enough of them. The game runs on the Model-2 engine, meaning a rather substantial visual upgrade compared to the original. Unlike the first game, this one was developed entirely in Japan, although the music is once again supplied by Howard Drossin.

While the first game was fairly faithful to the style of American action movies with a bit of Japanese arcade-game silliness, Dynamite Cop takes everything much further and joyfully revels in absurdity. The rocket launchers and anti-tank rifles in the first game were fun, but this game has ship-to-ship missiles which blow up enemies with miniature mushrooms clouds. Even fairly innocuous objects like soda machines and arcade cabinets will explode upon impact when thrown. The game takes the theme of "modern day pirates" a little bit too literally, with most of the terrorists dressing like they stepped out of a theme park. In addition to the guys and gals dressed in garish neon ascots and ridiculous eye-patches, you'll find people in shark outfits. Throughout the ship, you'll fight enemies in a nightclub, in a casino, and a gym. You will fight a gigantic sushi chef while wielding an enormous tuna. At some point you will fight a gigantic octopus. The final battle is, again, a fist fight with Wolf Hongo, although this time he's modified his body with cybernetic enhancements and can shoot lasers out of his eye. It's the sort of thing that acts as both a loving emulation of action movies and a gloriously over-the-top parody.

Dynamite Cop was ported to the Dreamcast, although the upgrade in hardware didn't do much to the visuals other than displaying them in a slightly higher resolution. All of the cutscenes have been pre-rendered at a higher quality though. A few minor things have changed in these, like the president's daughter now hiding in a bright pink suitcase rather than beneath a desk. Upon completing all of the standard courses, you can also unlock a second, more difficult set of missions. There are also a number of extra costumes for the characters.

The game can also be upgraded to version 1.1 using a special save file, which allows you play as Caroline, the second player character from the first game. When the game was initially released, you were supposed to get this save either through a disc included with a magazine, or through downloading it straight from the official website. Nowadays, the easiest way to obtain this is to download Dream Explorer, a fanmade disc full of pretty much every save game for every system and load it onto your VMU. Like the first game, there's also a port of a very old Sega arcade game, which will earn you bonus credits. This time it's Tranquilizer Gun, published in 1980, where you control a hunter in the jungle who must track down various wild animals, sedate them with your rifle, and drag them back to your truck for points. Its political incorrectness is an interesting throwback to an earlier era.

Quick Info:

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  • Makoto Uchida

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Dynamite Cop

Dynamite Cop

Dynamite Cop

Dynamite Cop

Dynamite Cop

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Dynamite Cop


Dynamite Deka EX: Asian Dynamite (ダイナマイト刑事EX 〜アジアンダイナマイト〜) - Arcade (2006)

There's a reason that the third game in the series is called Dynamite Deka EX and not Dynamite Deka 3. That's because it's really just a revised version of the second game, featuring completely new graphics and an upgraded power-up systems. It was developed by a team in China with supervision from Japan. The concept is actually closer to the first game than the second, featuring a terrorist takeover of a skyscraper. However, it now takes place in Hong Kong rather than an American city. There are again three characters to play as, though Jean Ivy has been replaced with Caroline Powell (the grown-up daughter of the president from the first game) and Eddie Brown is gone in favor of Jennifer Genuine.

Since the levels and layout are essentially the same as Dynamite Deka 2, it offers the same three infiltration options - parachute on the roof, take a wagon up its side and grapple up, or dive to the local docks and walk right in. At first glance it does appear to be a brand new game, because all of the graphics are completely, 100% new, but the parallels are pretty easy to see when you're familiar with both games. For example, in the second game when you're running along the deck, you'll see a lifeboat pulled up next to you. In Dynamite Deka EX, you're running along scaffolding on the side of the building, and the lifeboat has been turned into a construction elevator. Most of the interior now resembles various Chinese offices and apartment buildings. The fight against the sushi chef is now a battle against a panda bear.

Unfortunately, while Dynamite Deka EX runs on the Naomi hardware (it was probably built on the Dreamcast version of the second game), the artistry really isn't on the same level, and most of the new textures are artistically dull, with the whole color scheme permeated by browns. The new soundtrack is also rather boring. The game isn't entirely a retread, as some cutscenes and bosses are different. The octopus has been turned into a giant living statue, and the president's daughter now hides outside the building window. The Game Over screen, where a cook tosses together a plate of fried rice and writes GAME OVER in red sauce, is also bizarrely appropriate. The ending is different as well.

Mechanically the only difference lies in the power-up systems. Rather than picking up "P" icons, there are three different colored briefcases that trigger a "costume" change, allowing your character to take on a different persona with different movesets. In addition to their default persona, each character has three costumes:

Most of these are fundamentally ridiculous. One of them is a Chinese hopping zombie. Another is a floating Buddha-like character who attacks with psychic powers. And it's strange that a character as fundamentally "AMERICAN!" as Bruno would morph into someone named Jihad, even though that's almost balanced out by his Hulk Hogan-style wrestler. That's to say nothing of the jester or S&M Voldo-style character. When piled on all of the ridiculousness already present in the core game, it transcends to a new level of campiness.

Dynamite Deka EX was certainly an odd thing to release in 2006. Not only was it visually dated, but the beat-em-up genre had been dead or quite awhile, and this one obviously doesn't do much to upgrade it. It is, however, still just as goofy and fun as it ever was. It was never ported, and thus exists only in arcades and on emulators.

Dynamite Deka EX

Dynamite Deka EX

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Comparison Screenshots


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Dynamite Deka / Die Hard Arcade

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Dynamite Deka 2 / Dynamite Cop
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