Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Nerdicus NES Review #176: Dig Dug II

Title : Dig Dug II

Publisher : Bandai

Developer : Namco

Genre : Action / Puzzle

Players : 1 / 2 Players

Release Date : 1989

Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $5 - $10

Everyone know's Dig Dug. That cute, little white suited miner, drilling his way into the dirt only to unleash swarms of monsters. Seriously, what a bizarre concept. Then again, we've seen crazier over the years haven't we? I honestly only played the first DIG DUG on atari, and never experienced it in the arcades. That is, up until DIG DUG II came out. I played the hell out of that game, and once again drained my college savings on trying to beat that impossible, headache inducing drill-fest.

I can't say I remember who bought it for the NES, but I do remember having it. Not even sure why, I didn't even like the game that much. Probably because I couldn't even get past the first ten levels. Hell, I was only 6 at the time so I'm not exactly sure I was gamer material back then. It was probably my dad. He liked those Atari-styled arcade games.

Still, gotta love that box art, eh?

DIG DUG II is actually quite different than it's predecessor. Instead of showing a semi-side scrolling view of the main character..who actually had a name did you know that? Taizo are now playing in a top-down perspective. And, unlike the first one, you are actually situated on multiple paradise islands. I guess that explains the title, Trouble In Paradise, eh?

Though the scenary is different, the goal is the same. Kill all the monsters, of which there are only two. Pookas, the goggle wearing red balls who just bounce around like idiots. Then there are the Fygar dragons who can kill you either by touching you or breathing a row of fire in your direction. Oh, the amount of times I've gotten burned alive. Fun stuff. Just like the first game you can kill monsters by making them explode by pumping them full of air. But what's the fun in that when you can drill the land mass from underneath their feet and watch them drown in the ocean waters below! SUFFER YOU DAMN MONSTERS! SUFFER AND LET YOUR LUNGS FILL WITH SALTY GOODNESS!

The game angers me, sorry.

Of course, you can't drill anywhere. You can only use the jackhammer and drill away at designated markers on the map. The best method is to try to lump together as many monsters as possible in an area you know you can drill an entire segment off. That's where the puzzle and strategy elements come into play. Sure, you can be lazy too and just try to spam the inflation button and use that to kill everything but you'll quickly get outnumbered and swarmed by monsters, especially in tight areas of the map.

And don't forget, the more land masses you destroy, the more vegetables you get! Don't ask...that's what happens..carrots appear. I don't get it.

The game is all about racking up points. Monsters will eventually kill themselves if they find out they are outmatched, so try to kill them as quickly and en masse. Still, the game has an incredibly difficult progressive system. By level 5 you'll find yourself crying to your mommy. Or maybe that was just me.

DIG DUG II might not be the most visually appealing game, and it really seems to be ripped straight from the arcade, but that doesn't really matter. The level design is what truly makes the game memorable. You'll have to think, and think fast as to what fault lines you're going to drill in order to take out as many enemies as possible. 

The real kicker to this game? The music. Oh boy, this is some of most catchy tunes you can find on a NES game, and it really doesn't get much better. Prepare to bob your head.

Other than that, it's a simplistic game with a huge challenge factor. Not my cup of tea, but you know what, the game holds its ground in 1989 and continues to bring players to this day. Do yourself a favor and check out some of the record runs for this bad boy. It's insane what people can do with a jackhammer and a balloon pump!

Final Score (out of 5)

 Until Next Time, Keep On Gaming!



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