DYNAMITE DUX / Sega / Arcade
Dynamite Dux is one of those "quirk for quirks sake" games that seems like it's more concerned with being cutesy and goofy than it is with actually being a good game.
It's two-player simultaneous co-op, and you step into the roles of Bin and Pin, two penguins whose owner Lucy gets kidnapped by some pervo magician. The game kinda looks and plays like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles knockoff, but with crappier graphics and sound, and you can face and attack in eight directions instead of four. Bin and Pin use a punch attack and can jump, and the punch button can be held to do a wind-up punch that shoots damaging ki-wind or something out in a short wave. The enemies also seem to be heavily armed for how cutesy they are, and you can snag their weapons throughout the game to build a Contra-esque arsenal of machine guns, flame throwers, rocket launchers and bombs.
You start out in some sort of modern city, but the end of each level sees you traveling through some sort of time gate into the past - feudal Japan, the American Old West, and etc. In spite of the time travel, the enemy roster seems to stay largely the same through the levels - you keep getting attacked by the same severed dog heads and hopping hot dog moose. The bosses seem to have some sort of weird elemental theme - a giant flame, a rock with a spinning debris shield, etc.
The concept really isn't bad at all, but the gameplay is frequently awkward and clumsy, and the levels just don't seem particularly well thought out. As bizarre as everything is, the game falls into a repetitive and fairly tiresome beat-em-up/shooter pattern pretty quickly that it never gets out of, and the boss encounters are never really impressive or inspiring. The graphics and boppy music are OK, but kind of on the tepid side. And this isn't relevant to the rating, but I'm not sure how it didn't get the pants sued off of it with "Kentucky Friend Chicken" and the Colonel refereeing the bonus level boxing matches (which are alright for two players but sheer pain for one person to take on the dominating CPU.) Not sure why these guys want to hang out with the Colonel either ... who knows when he'll get an idea to expand his menu.
* Gameplay Video