Saturday, February 9, 2013

VGR Die Hard Trilogy

John McClane thought he could enjojy some quite time, a regular, normal Christmas, eggnog, a fuckin' Christmas tree, a little turkey. 
But, nooooo!
What were the odds the same thing would happen to the same guy three times in a row?!

Die Hard Another Day in these classic Eyz reviews!

VGR: Die Hard Trilogy
From Probe Entertainment/Fox Interactive
Played on Sega Saturn
Also available on PSX & PC

Type Arcade 
Year 1996

Simpy a year after the release of the third Die Hard movie turned out to actually be the year for the franchise.
Not one but two separate DH games were simultaneously released by different publishers and developers.

The first one was Sega's Die Hard Arcade, the other was the Die Hard Trilogy on Playstation/PC/Saturn.

Developed by none other than Probe Entertainment (Alien 3, The Terminator and the later equally titled Alien Trilogy), experts in actual good movie tie-in games, the game was one of the first
Fox Interactive produced games long before the many Simpsons game they did later on.

The game - as the title implies - features a 3-in-1 sort of package.
It covers the entire classic Die Hard Trilogy of films.
But rather than simply adapting quickly each movie's storyline quickly under a half-assed concept, DHT proposes three completely separated titles.
And even better.
Three full fledged titles each based around its own ideas.

Die Hard one offers a sort of third person-based shooter.
Die Hard 2 is a sort of linear first person shooter.
And Die Hard 3 is a driving game.
Probably the best examples of what was made in the arcades back in the mid-90s.

The idea is the same across all three, to put the player in as NYPD officer John McClane through the plot of the three classics.

Shall we begin?


1988, the Nakatomi Plaza in LA.
McClane is trapped in a building with a bunch of criminals posing as terrorists.

This first episode is actually a 3D remake of the old Die Hard 1 game.
The general idea, the core gameplay is still the same. Only it was a bit extended and changed to a more arcade pace.
There's still a dozen of terrorists to defeat... only now, per floors.
To move unto another floor you need to get rid of all of them. Also the game still works around your field of view. Things get into the dark as it gets far from you. You can even still ambush enemies in corners like in the Nes game.
The game still retain a bit of it "over the top" point of view rather than the close 3rd person you have in games nowadays.

There's several guns to play with, from John McClane's regular beretta to a shotgun, a rifle, a machine...
You can also collect various types of grenades.

Enemies won't see you in the distance, so you have to play with it to play it a bit stealth or go guns ablazing.
There's hostages to save around. It's not required and only contribute points. Though beware, later on some enemies might hid amongst them.
There's also some Boss characters that will be harder to kill but grant you another life.
You start in the garage unlike the movie then move on to the reception, construction floors, offices, maintenance rooms,..
It doesn't exactly follow the film's plot, the movie's executive floor (where Takagi gets killed) is only seen around the 10th floor you visit!

The game is 24 levels long. They get harder sometimes, some other times easier.
It gets a bit repetitive near the end.
There's also Bonus Scenes, which are inspired by the roof scene in the original movie. They're a real pain in the ass, because you can actually get killed and lose a life in there...
Thank god for the saves....


The hardest one indeed!

Die Harder is actually a remake as well, this one's based on an old Amiga-only game (here's some pics for you: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5).

This one's a rail shooter.
Meaning you don't exactly see nor play as McClane directly. You control is gun, what you shoot on screen. The pacing, the rhythm moves you on-rail following the steps of the second movie.
It starts a Dulles Airport entrance then take some minor liberties to have some shooting start all over the place.
McClane goes to the lugage area, some tunnels crawling with enemies, the runway, the church and finally freefalling in a fight against your enemies' plane(!!).
Sounds about right.

The game is really, really difficult.
There's usually too many enemies shooting at you, or you have to recharge you gun and not enough time for it...

I guess this one would have been easier if I had a gun controller... (it sucks doing it with the regular control pad!)
The game itself is actually quite impressive. The scenery is entirely destructive.
You have to sometimes outthink your enemy, see what you can destroy that will allow to kill those bad guys easier. A roof? A destructive car?
You can find here as well several guns, a double beretta, a MP5, AK-47s...
The other buttons are used for grenades and rockets you can pick up additionally to your main gun.

This one's shorter, even if it might take you longer. It's 8 levels long.

DIE HARD 3: With a Vengeance

Simply called With A Vengeance in game, it's probably the easiest one.

This one's closer to simple arcade driving games - and entirely original though I wonder if it was based on a scrapped title actually.

Die Hard 3 as you running around in a car all around New York.
Your mission is to stop the bombs the mysterious terrorist Simon has planted everywhere.
And how will you manage to do that?
You stop bombs by making them explode(?)!
That's right, find them before the timer runs out and run over them (more like shoot them in the sky).
There's also some enemies you will have to defeat, meaning you have to hit them with your own car several times to make them go boom.

This one's quite violent visually if I may say so, well more like over-the-top.
You can run over pedestrians, which will make you lose some points.  You can horn to make way though.

The settings will repeat themselves a lot here sadly.
 Die Hard 3 will take you from the streets of Harlem to Central Park, Wall Street and Chinatown (remember that from the movie??). Finally the aqueduct and a boat to face off against Simon at night in an helicopter for the last confrontation. (wasn't it the opposite in the movie?)
There's also some Bonus Levels that will have you chasing the train in the subway to prevent it from reaching a bomb before you.

There's some other cars you will either play or have to find hidden in the levels, the regular taxi cab, a cop car and more!

This one's not really difficult and won't take you long once you get the hang of it.
Listen to Zeus, he will give you some advices more useful than the in-game compass.
On the Saturn it was the only one to actually be compatible with the "3-D" analog stick.... WHY'S THAT?  It would have made the above other two so much easier...!?!
There's some great little bits like you can follow ambulances paving the way like in the movie.

Overall, it's a pretty ambitious title.
Three separate original games in one? Two are actual remakes of older classics?
Probe once more delivers some great quality experience like they did with so many other licenses in the past.
Even if the graphics are a bit clunky (even at the time).

The best of what was made at the time.

I wonder what a Die Hard Trilogy would have looked today for an eventual modern trilogy of Die Hards from the 2000s (Die Hard 4, 5 and 6)?
A third person "escort mission" shooter for Live Free or Die Hard
A 2-weapons regenerative-health FPS for A Good Day to Die Hard in Moscow? (Metro much?)
And what would DH6 be? A pseudo-westernized RPG like
Mass Effect?


The game was fairly identical from one port to another.

The music is your usual random techno beats from the time.
Just Die Hard 2 manage to actually have a surprising good score and some rockin' tunes.

If you're a fan or manage to find a copy pretty cheap, do yourself a favor and try it!
I give it:
2 / 3 Pacmans!

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