30 Games Of April – Day 30

Dynamite Dux
Factfile
Developed by: Sega AM2
Published by: Sega
Released: 1988
Format played: Sega Master System

Um…okay.

Ostensibly Dynamite Dux us a side scrolling beat ’em up but frankly that hardly does justice to all the crazy going on here.

I thought my boy would enjoy watching me play a retro game and, knowing nothing about this, figured I’d give it a try. Little did I know what I was letting us in for.

Your girlfriend has been kidnapped and for some reason you’ve been turned into a duck. Off you quack through the streets on a mission to rescue her. But you are no ordinary duck. And these are no ordinary streets. Are you ready for this?

Look out! Here come some angry yapping dogs. Watch it! There’s a group of violent pigs in dresses heading your way. Heads up! There’s a dog with a grenade launcher. Find cover! Here comes some sort of spinning cloud monster with a lightning storm flying round it. Ooh yum! Some health restoring cake.

This game is utterly bonkers. I thought it would be perfect fare for my boy to watch. My Spidey sense tingled when I took out a pogo stick jumping dog with a rock. It positively throbbed when I whipped out a machine gun to take out a swarm of angry somethings. And it near well exploded when I started attacking all in sight with a pocket of bombs.

Now I don’t mind some crazy but I can’t say I really enjoyed myself that much. The 8 way scrolling is admirable, as is the inventiveness behind the concept. But it’s a little monotonous, collision detection leaves a lot to be desired and end of level bosses are irritating as all hell. As is the animation that plays each time you’re hit, one of those aggravating ones that seems to go on forever, your avatar going down in instalments, a frustratingly inactive few seconds when you just want to get on with it.

Dux started out in the arcades. It’s much the same game, save for the far superior visuals (natch) and more aggressive enemy attack patterns. Whichever version you plump for, it’s nuts.

30 Days, 30 Games

Whew, we did it! So, what did we learn?

Well firstly that I could do it. It was hard, and there were certain points when I thought I would have to chuck in the towel. Trying to manage a house with twins whilst being an attentive husband and, you know, going to my actual job, makes it difficult to find the time to properly invest in either the playing time of a game or the time required to write it up.

There were games and systems that I never got round to playing. My Steam library is conspicuous by its absence as indeed is any form of PC gaming. I barely touched the PS4 and the Spectrum and C64 were often too much hassle. But once I accepted the limitations of a daily format, I found games that matched my time constraints, making adjustments to my daily routine to find the time to do them justice. I had to tell myself that good enough is good enough.

I started to recognise common writing techniques that I employ, certain phrases and constructs that I lean on to achieve a desired effect. I gradually came to accept that my blog-style of review writing has a merit of its own, perhaps offering a genuineness that can be lost in the editing process for longer pieces.

But most importantly, I reminded myself that gaming is just great fun. Forget trying to be perfect, forget trying to complete everything. Play. Write. Post. Repeat.

Now let’s see what’s next on the list.

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