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Platform

Nintendo DS

 

Genre

Classic Arcade

 

Publisher

Namco

 

Developer

Namco

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

Q4 2005

 

 

- Story is decent

 

 

- Just isn't interesting

- Not too pretty

- Sound acts up

 

 

Classic Gaming: Donkey Kong (ColecoVision)

 

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Dig Dug: Digging Strike

Score: 6.0/10

 

Every so often a developer decides to take a look in the vault and see what old, yet popular series they have laying around that deserves revitalizing.  After they pump out this new and improved game it either gets people excited, or else it people start thinking, “Well...It’s game X”.  The latter is exactly how I felt playing Dig Dug: Digging Strike.  The core mechanics that have made the game a classic are still there, but there just isn’t anything compelling about the game.  Even with quite a number of gameplay tweaks added for this game it’s very difficult to get excited about it.

 

dig-dug-digging-strike-1.jpg (27996 bytes)        dig-dug-digging-strike-2.jpg (30264 bytes)

 

Following the hero of Dig Dug, Hori, the middle-aged digging expert is starting to feel a little insecure because of all of the positive press his son, Sasumu (star of Mr. Driller) has been getting.  Now he sees something on the news about a country in peril, and leaps into action to prove that he can still be a hero.  It would appear that hordes of monsters have infested the country and now Hori plans to save it.  It’s all campy tongue-in-cheek shtick, and for some reason the president in the game looks suspiciously like Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi.

 

In order to save the country in question, players have to dig beneath the island nation.  Here they will fight normal monsters, collect treasure, and, most importantly, dig beneath giant spikes in the ground.  Once these spikes have been driven in far enough they will cause part of the island to sink into the ocean.  This 

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is important because on the screen opposite to where the digging action is happening, a boss creature can be seen walking around an island.  Players need to plan their sinking correctly so that the boss falls into the drink too, thus winning that island.

 

While digging still remains the core of the game, there are a bunch of new features, like the aforementioned bosses, the ability to operate 

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vehicles, and tons of weapons, and treasure that can be used to unlock yet more equipment.  However, there’s just no getting away from the fact that the digging aspects of the game feel “same old, same old”.  For the first little bit things are fun, but after a few hours in the experience loses its charm.

 

Even the presentation is far from dazzling.  The visuals are minimalist, looking like something from the SNES much of the time.  What’s particularly annoying, though, is that the sound has a habit of kicking out sporadically while playing.  It’s so distracting that one would be much better off simply turning off the volume on their DS while playing.

 

dig-dug-digging-strike-3.jpg (33434 bytes)       dig-dug-digging-strike-4.jpg (34745 bytes)

 

At the end of the day, Dig Dug: Digging Strike simply lacks any lasting appeal.  While it may be tempting to say that long-time fans of the series may get a kick out of the game, if they’re purists they’ll likely have a problem with the gameplay tweaks added for this installment.  This is a game that will quickly be forgotten as it gets buried by far superior titles in the coming months.

 

Mr. Nash

(December 11, 2005)

 

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