Three Dirty Dwarves
Sometimes RPG board games can provide a type of escape from reality. When done the right way, this can be fun. When done in excess, one might consider it to be a delusional disorder. Nonetheless, Sega Soft's premier title, Three Dirty Dwarves, revolves around three characters from an RPG board game that four kids play to escape their troubled existence.
When four test tube babies grow up to be geniuses instead of perfect warriors, the evil General Briggs decides to use them to manufacture hi-tech weaponry. The only thing that can save the kids is their favorite RPG and the three heroic dwarves that dwell in the make-believe land.
TDD plays like a Final Fight game with cartoon characters instead of the buff martial artists. The dwarves and enemies are highly animated, looking like something out of MTV Oddities. Since the dwarves are warped out of their own make-believe world, they'll of course have to adapt to the new earthly world.
Luckily, the dwarves have fallen into a sporting goods store, and they use items from the present day as tools of war-items like bats, bowling balls and shotguns. Since the three dirty ones aren't accustomed to our day, they use football equipment and other odds and ends for armor.
With the dwarves, the enemies from the RPG world come through the portal the children open. That's who they destroy, eventually making their way to the mastermind of the game, General Briggs.
Each dwarf has his own method of attack. Taconic has a bowling ball and a pin. The pin is used like a club for close combat. The bowling ball is used to battle multiple enemies, preferably at greater distances. Next, there's Greg-he uses a bat for close combat He also has a sack full of baseballs which he tosses up I and hits toward his enemies. This is especially effective when gamers are confronted by a powerful enemy or a row of enemies. Finally there's the third dwarf, Corthag. His weapon isn't I as "hands-on" as the others. His shotgun packs a I wallop, but the intervals between shots is long so it pays to use the butt of the gun to knock the thugs to the ground. Although there are only three dwarves there is a fourth pseudo-dwarf.
By combining the powers and features of all three dwarves, players can have a morph-dwarf. This feature gives gamers an edge when they're in a bind. Check the Gamer's Edge for morph info.
Besides the regular attacks, the dwarves have other attacks that they can use like the full-auto shotgun that Corthag can use.
These require skulls-each of the previously mentioned attacks uses two skulls whereas the morph attack uses four. Gamer's can pick skulls up in the levels. They're found in boxes and from fallen enemies. It pays to save skulls, but it also pays to use them since dying isn't a good thing in an action game like Three Dirty Dwarves. Check out the Review Crew in this issue to see how the game scored. Maybe delusional disorders aren't so bad after all.
MANUFACTURER - Sega Soft
DIFFICULTY - MODERATE
THEME - Action
NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 or 2
Three Dirty Dwarves features some of the most hilarious animated cinematics since Chuck Rock II for the Sega CD. There has been a little buzz about the game, especially since the company behind it is SegaSoft--people's curiosity has been aroused. The game's controls are great. I had a lot of fun seeing what each dwarf was capable of. Some of their special moves are excellent-looking. The enemies and Bosses in the game are funny as all heck-they look like they're straight out of Liquid TV (if it was still around). At first, it seemed hard, but as you played it, it kind of became too easy. This could be a problem for long-term play.
Three Dirty Dwarves is an excellent side-scrolling Final Fight with a dose of humor. The cartoon cinemas were hilarious; for once, I didn't want to hit the button to skip them. The game was hard and easy at the same time. Wait, you ask. Flow can that be? Well, it was easy to get hit in the game. That's the hard part. The great thing is, your teammate can come and revive you, or you can do it yourself by wiggling the D-pad. The only real way to die is to have all three teammates die at once. This made it very enjoyable to play, taking any possible frustration out of the game. TDD is simple and fun, but definitely mindless.
TDD just goes to show that next-gen games don't have to be 3-D to be fun. This game tosses a few new features into the stale side-scrolling genre, like being able to choose between characters in the middle of play (kinda' like in Donkey Kong Countiy, except the dwarves can all join together for special moves). Two or three players will have a blast in the Multiplayer Mode. TDD is loaded with personality and features cartoony but likable graphics. The caitoon cinemas are especially weird and entertaining. On the downside, TDD is extremely difficult and often frustrating. Making it through the game's 15 levels ain't easy.
Any well-done Final Fight-style game is usually good enough for two players to waste some time with and have an enjoyable experience. Tliree Dirty Dwarves goes one further by allowing players to enjoy themselves with the grossly misproportioned characters in many challenging levels. I feel the graphics are perfect for what the game tries to be, along with the unusual form of attacks the heroes use. The enemies are also worth mention. There is actual strategy to defeating the Bosses and hilarious interaction with the pedestrians in the background-the perfect balance for what TDD tries to be.
2016-09-27 Three Dirty Dwarves game added.