Review by StickFigures720
Reviewed: 12/30/14 | Updated: 01/04/15
Three maximum adventures, one explosive package!
Die Hard Trilogy
"Three maximum adventures, one explosive package!"
+ Addictive gameplay
+ Great soundtrack
+ Great controls
- Can get repetitive
- Minor oddities
The graphics would look crude and simplistic by today's standards, but they do look nice. The environments are 3-dimensional, with plenty of lighting and lots of transparencies. In order to prevent the camera from zooming in, the walls near the edges of the screen will turn transparent. It may seem weird looking at first, considering that you can see what's in the rooms on the sides, but it makes the gameplay smoother. The character models are okay, they somewhat resemble 2D sprites illusioned to look 3D, which does work, but it can look quirky at times. The framerate is decent, but later on, the game can slow down when there are a sheer amount of enemies onscreen.
The soundtrack is well done and the enemies sound decent. John McClane is voiced by an imitator which sounds surprisingly almost like Bruce Willis.
The controls are smooth and are slightly slippery. L1 and R1 strafes, L2 and R2 does evasive rolls, X fires your gun, Circle switches grenades, Square throws a grenade and Triangle jumps. Moving in this game works well and doesn't have the "invisible walls" issue. The only issue with the controls is that McClane cannot move forward or backward and strafe simultaneously, and he move and turns in a slightly slippery speed, but these two problems are very minor nitpicks.
Difficulty: Challenging but manageable
Die Hard has a decent challenge, even when the AI has its faults. The terrorists will fire upon you just fine, but they won't bat an eye when they see a hostage escaping. The amount of damage you take depends on the gun the terrorist is using.
Die Hard is an early example of a third-person shooter. Third-person shooters weren't common back then, but Die Hard pulls it off quite well. You can move anywhere, shoot at the bad guys, rescue hostages and even save hostages from being executed, which grants you an extra life. Getting extra lives are important as they extend your health. Unlike most games, the lives combine your health, therefore making it one long life. Die Hard is an arcade-type of game, which means that it keeps score. You can gain millions of points in this game, but it doesn't penalise you so much for killing a hostage; all you get is a small drop of points. Die Hard is pretty violent with lots of blood sprays, throw a grenade into a group of bad guys and they'll literally dissolve into a rain of blood.
DIE HARD 2: DIE HARDER
+ Great soundtrack
+ A sheer of action on-screen, complete with excellent explosions
- Aiming with the D-Pad is unfriendly and adds fake challenge
- Some items are hard to shoot with the D-Pad
The graphics are the same as Die Hard, but now the characters are seen even closer, because the perspective is through McClane's eyes, as this is an on-rails shooter. Like in Die Hard, the environment is in 3D, with 2D-looking sprites illusioned. Unfortunately, the closer perspective reveals the quirky animations of the terrorists and hostages.
Die Hard 2 uses the same sound bytes as Die Hard, with only a little more lines to add. The soundtrack is still great, with each level having their own tracks.
Die Hard 2 is meant for a lightgun and a PlayStation mouse. I own none of those, so I have to deal with using a controller. The button controls are fine, but moving the cursor with the D-Pad is a pain. There are instances where I'm trying to shoot a box that's far away, but I can't because one tap on the D-Pad seems to only move it so far. Also the framerate will occasionally drop, screwing up your aim even further. The sensitivity can be controlled, but the digital D-Pad doesn't seem to make the changes very effective. However there is a manual button that speeds up the cursor, which is ideal if the sensitivity is low.
Difficulty: Somewhat tough
While shooting the bad guys are simple, aiming them is simply more of a challenge. Also there are lots of hostages running around, which sometimes doesn't make sense; for example, why are there so many hostages in an airport runway? A hostage would sometimes end up being in your line of sight, which leads to shooting them by accident. Whenever you get shot, a "SAFE" indicator appears, which serves as temporary invincibility, like in Super Mario Brothers whenever you get touched. There are also power-ups, such as shields, health, weapon pick-ups and more.
Die Hard 2 is an on-rails shooter, meaning your movement is predetermined and you can aim your crosshair anywhere on screen. The idea is like in Die Hard; you shoot terrorists and try not to shoot hostages. This game also keeps score and it works the same way. This game is incredibly violent, as shooting terrorists will cause lots of blood sprays, and using rockets can turn a terrorist into a skeleton.
DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE
+ Quick handbrake turns work well
+ Decent soundtrack
- The time given on some bombs can be too strict
- Normal steering is ineffective and rather slow
The graphics are well done with large sizes of New York being on each level and the pedestrians are decently animated. Since this is a driving game, you'll be seeing lots of cars on screen. The cars look decent, but the physics can be a bit quirky.
The soundtrack is great with music matching well for each district, such as Harlem with rap music. John McClane still sounds great, but what I'm disappointed is that Zeus doesn't sound like Samuel L. Jackson.
Die Hard With a Vengeance is the typical driving controls, but what I like about the controls are the quick handbrake turns, L2 and R2, which allows you to instantly make 90° turns; if you let go of the gas and press one of the handbrake buttons, you'll make a 180° turn instead, which can come in handy. The flaws with the controls is that the steering is rather slow and ineffective for sharp turns and crashing into objects can bounce you back, which can get annoying, especially when you have little time left, getting you killed.
Difficulty: Very challenging but gets frustrating much later
Die Hard With A Vengeance is a tough game. While it gives you a reasonable difficulty at the start, some bombs are given too little time, either due to the car or the lack of time pick-ups.
As obvious, this is a driving game, like in the movie, there's a whole lot of driving. The idea is that you are suppose to disable bombs, which can be found on your radar as a red arrow; the blue arrows lead you to switch cars, such as switching from a taxi cab to a police car. There's also a time limit on each bomb, and if you don't get to the bomb on time, New York will go up in flames and you lose a life. How do you disable the bombs? Have you ever tried crashing into them, having them explode and counting it as disabling them? Illogical, but still fun. While not as violent as Die Hard 1 and 2, Die Hard With a Vengeance has its fair share of extreme violence, such as how you can run over a pedestrian at will; if you run over them in first-person view, you'll end seeing a red sea of blood on the windshield, complete with McClane automatically using the windshield wipers to wipe out the blood stains. But no matter how many times you run them over, they can't permanently die.
Die Hard Trilogy:
Movie-based games are notorious for being lukewarm to bad, but Die Hard Trilogy isn't one of them. Die Hard Trilogy is like what it says, "Three maximum adventures, one explosive package!" While they probably won't go as well as stand-alone titles, but combining them somehow makes it greater than the sum of its parts. This trilogy-in-one pack is one of the most memorable games for the PlayStation, also considering that the game was released back in 1996, when the PlayStation was still a new console. This game is a definite must-have, especially as a Christmas gift. Note that these games do not exactly follow the story of each movie.
"Yippee-ki-yay motherf_ _ _er!"
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Die Hard Trilogy (Greatest Hits) (US, 12/31/97)
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