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AUGUST 18, 1997


Computer Game Review

  by Rick Brewster
   Die Hard Trilogy
   There have been many games based on movies. Unfortunately, 99% of these games have been terrible, non-interactive shadows of their respective movies. Fortunately, Die Hard Trilogy bucks the trend and gives us three good games based on the movies: Die Hard, Die Harder, and Die Hard With A Vengeance.
   Die Hard places you in a skyscraper filled with terrorists. It's your job to free all the hostages and take care of the bad guys. Once each floor is cleared of terrorists, you need to find a defuse a bomb before it goes off in 30 seconds. This one is a blast to play, although it is very hard. You only get two lives, and unless you can find some of the rare health or extra lives, you won't survive long. Luckily, you can at least save the game on each level so you won't have to restart from the first.
   Die Hard 2 is basically a clone of Virtua Squad (orVirtua Cop in the arcades and Sega Saturn), but it does a much better job. The mouse control is terrible, which is disappointing. I was hoping to be able to just point & shoot, but instead I ended up using a game pad, which ended up working well, to my surprise.
   Die Hard 3: With a Vengeance is a racing game where you drive around the streets of New York chasing after several bombs that need diffusing. This one is probably the best of the three games. It's enormously fun driving around Central Park and chasing a hot dog truck with a bomb inside it. Luckily, to diffuse a bomb all you have to do is run over it.
   The three games are very dependent on the speed of your system -- if you have a slow computer, control will be rather sluggish. On a 3Dfx Voodoo graphics accelerator (i.e. a Monster 3D), gameplay becomes very smooth, surpassing the Playstation version in graphics, gameplay, and control. Unfortunately, it still takes a Pentium 166 system to get the full frame rate. Without a 3D card, the game at 320x240 resolution the graphics are below the Playstation version.
   In the end, Die Hard Trilogy is a great game. Not only is it based on a movie, but it's also a Playstation port! Either of these two could have condemned the game in the hands of different programmers, but Fox and Probe seems to have put together a winning formula.
   Created by: Probe Entertainment
   Publisher: Fox Interactive (www.foxinteractive.com)
   Category: Arcade
   Price: $50
   System Requirements: Pentium 120, 16MB RAM, Win95, 11MB Hard drive space, CD-ROM
   What you really need: Pentium 166, 3Dfx Voodoo or Rendition Verite based 3D Accelerator, 50MB Hard drive space, gamepad
   Highs: good music; fun and easy to learn gameplay
   Lows: needs a FAST computer; Die Hard 2 has shoddy mouse control; compatibility problems
   Content Rating: R for violence, blood
   Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
   Next week's review: Putt Putt Travels Through Time