Die Hard is one of my very favorite films; the story of the perpetual underdog NY cop who has to take down a group of terrorists to prevent them from A) killing a group of hostages B) stealing millions of dollars and C) save his hostage wife so he can patch up his flaky marriage. Everything was perfect from the infamous, Nakatomi Plaza setting to the witty evil German Hans Gruber. Even John McLean's white vest fashion style became a staple of the action heroes wardrobe and not just known for men who beat their spouses. The film had everything you could ever wish for in an action movie, and more. 

"Die Hard is classic 80s action, "Yippee-ki-yay!"

Back in 1995, Sega released Die Hard Arcade for the Sega Saturn, a 3D Streets of Rage type game in which you played a New York cop , complete with white vest, who is taken to the roof of a skyscraper to stop a group of terrorists who are trying to open the building's vault. Sound familiar? Although indisputably influenced by the aforementioned movie Die Hard Arcadee wasn't originally a Die Hard title at all (it was released in Japan as Dynamite Deka/Detective). Sega obtained the license for the movie with the game's Western release and simply changed the name to Die Hard Arcade.

Still, the game was a huge amount of fun and one of the best examples of 3D Scrolling Beat 'em up genre due to the simple but initiative controls and the freedom which was given to the player to use practically anything on screen as a weapon.
Sega took considerable artistic license with its original release

Dynamite Cop, or Dynamite Detective 2 as it is known in Japan, is stripped of any official Die Hard movie license but is pretty much the same title only this time on a bloody big boat! The Bruce Willis lookalike, Bruno Delinger is back, vest and all, and this time your mission is to rescue a highjacked luxury cruise liner which has been taken over by pirates.



The game opens up with you choosing one of three different routes onto the ship (by air, underwater or just straight up on a rubber dinghy) and from there on its the same hilarious combat to that of the first game. Players are free to use practically anything they can see to take down the barrage of enemies, each with its own hilarious results. Personal highlights are the pepper shaker which you use to blind your enemies, the ship's cannon which blows them across the screen, and also the fact that you can even whack a kidnapper in the face using one of his own allies. It's this over the top action that makes Dynamite Cop such a blast to play.




Control is kept simple with only three buttons, one for punch, one for kick, and another for jump. Yet, there are still a variety of combos to explore as well as the hilarious throw moves that can be activated if you attack close to the enemy. Another addition is that you are now able to attack in all eight directions as opposed to just left and right like in the first game. Quick Time Event sequences, in which the player must press a particular button within a short time limit to alter the impending scene, e.g jumping out of a window to avoid a group of enemies, are back and make a nice change of pace to the fighting action.
 
Bosses range from the crazy to the down right insane!

The game, understandably considering its origins as a Model-2 game isn't the best model in the Dreamcast showroom but it is a very stylized and colorful game due that typical Sega arcade appeal. Some of the locations like the nightclub and casino really stick out with that classic 90s style and look great. I played the game through VGA for this review and everything looked amazingly sharp and colorful, just don't focus too much on the character designs because close up they really show their Model-2 roots.

Locales include kitchens, casinos, and even a funky discotheque!
Roughly taking around 20 minutes to complete the only real criticism I had of the game was its length. You get the feeling that Sega skimped a little on the extras and should have offered a couple of exclusive stages for the home release. While the game does offer three missions depending on which area you enter the ship from each is essentially a variation of the other with all of them reusing the same area at one point or another. It does offer a few throwaway extras such as artwork and a few extra weapons but largely feels insufficient.

Get close to activate a suplex
Actually, a little known secret (thanks Gamefaqs) is that Dynamite Cop can also be upgraded to version 1.1 using a special save file, which allows you play as Caroline, the player two character from the first game. At the time you were required to download it from Sega Online but as the servers are long gone the easiest way to get it is to grab one of the VMU disks from the web which features complete saves for practically every Dreamcast game ever made.

Practically, anything can be used as a weapon. Even the toilets!
Dynamite Cop is a short but ultimately entertaining experience. In the game, you'll fight a pair of pirate fatties, a giant chef,  a huge octopus and a pirate captain who shoots lasers from his eyes, and you'll do it armed with apples, a rice ball, and massive frozen tuna fish. The controls are simple, it takes 5 minutes to pick up, and you'll be finished before the end of the hour. It's literally wham-bam thank you ma'am, but luckily its just so zany and enjoyable enough that you'll be coming back for those short spurts of adrenalin gaming, time and time again. And that if anything makes it the perfect retro game.