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|Dynamite Headdy; Greatest Games You've Never Played #2|
|Topic Started: Feb 5 2008, 05:06 PM (221 Views)|
|SabreCut||Feb 5 2008, 05:06 PM Post #1|
Don't worry guys, I got a good price for selling you out
Dynamite Headdy - SabreCut
Back when I was a kid, it seemed the world was trying desperately to keep Sonic the Hedgehog 3 out of my hands. I searched stores for months, but never found it until one day it appeared at the bottom of a shelf in Virgin. I bought it, locked it into Sonic and Knuckles and played the hell out of it. But since everyone has played that game, why am I mentioning it here? Earlier that same day, I bought another game. It was called Dynamite Headdy. And it is the game this article is about.
Dynamite Headdy was released in 1994 for the Mega Drive/Genesis, so whilst it wasnít early in the life of Segaís most successful console, it certainly wasnít as late as Ristar was and that has achieved huge acclaim whilst hearing about Dynamite Headdy is a rare occurrence. This is partly because of the game being made by Treasure, meaning it is overshadowed by the far more popular Gunstar Heroes (and their later releases such as Ikaruga and Sin and Punishment), which is a shame since I personally believe that Gunstar Heroes is decidedly average and also that Headdy was one of the greatest games of all time, thus making it an obvious candidate for this series.
The premise of the game is this: you are a puppet named Headdy, his home is attacked by the Dark Demon, Headdy escapes and goes off to fight the villain. Pretty average stuff as far as story goes, but it leads to a wonderful variety of levels set in the themes of theatres and puppet shows. Treasure holds to their usual very high standard of level design and background detail: everything looks and feels great. Most impressive is the sound, comprising of weird and wacky voice clips and a great soundtrack which kicks in at the right moments. My personal favourite song is a version of the Nutcracker, played by an orchestra in the background whilst you fight a giant robotic dog that drops bombs. And thatís one of the more sensible fights in the game, donít even get me started on the giant head that opens up like those Russian dolls to reveal gradually older, smaller but tougher heads. This game is insane, but its insanity brings an incredible level of charm.
But perhaps the most insane thing about the game is the main character. Heady kills enemies, grabs things and does pretty much everything by using his head as a weapon. He beats things up with his face! And aside from being incredibly awesome, it gives Dynamite Headdy its unique edge over other platformer games.
Throughout the levels, Headdy can pick up attachments for his head, which allow him to use his head in various different ways. Examples are having a head that moves across nearly the entire screen rather than a short distance, or a head replaced by a vacuum that sucks up all enemies on the screen, or even shrinking him or making him able to climb walls, both opening up new passages in the levels. Aside from giving the game variety, they also contribute to its charm and likeability. Itís very hard to play Dynamite Headdy and not instantly be taken under its spell by its cuteness.
But donít let its cuddly nature deceive you; this game is eats coal for breakfast and craps diamonds after dinner. The first four or five levels are extremely easy, but everything after that is impossible on your first try. Iíve owned this game since 1995 and I have never beaten the seventh level because the boss of that level is utterly impossible. And before you all deride me for being awful at games, I finished Viewtiful Joe on Ultra V Rated and F-Zero GX on Master.
Thankfully, this game is one of those that makes you come back time after time for more punishment. Itís frustrating at times, but not so much that you want to tear the cartridge out and throw it into a blender, it remains fair at all times and Iím pretty sure its beatable if time is taken over it. Amazingly, itís never a chore to learn how to beat these bosses or work your way back up to fighting that impossible fight, it remains fun, even when playing it through for the millionth time.
Thatís why it gets a position on this list. The game is sadistic in its difficulty in the later half of the game, but it still remains a triumphant achievement in gaming due to its incredibly original setting, great soundtrack, terrific weapon system and its overall amazing charm. And, best of all, if you donít have a Mega Drive hanging around, itís now available on the Wiiís Virtual Console for 800 points. If you have the points to spare and were thinking about buying (say) Sonic 3, like I was all those years ago, please donít miss out on this game. It really is fantastic and you wonít regret your choice.
My theme, picked by Bugmeat|
Stuff about me? Well, if you really want to know...
Killian, level 8 Cavalier
Evander, level 7 Pegasus Knight Mors, level 8 Brigand
Aodh, level 20/6 Nomad Trooper Gunnar, level 20*/10 Warrior
(Avatar picture was not drawn by me. obviously)
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