And you thought it was safe to walk the streets...
Three Dirty Dwarves
for the Sega Saturn allows you to become three of the nastiest and dirtiest heroes that ever carried a shotgun, a baseball bat and a bowling pin. The plot is simple. Four kids that were created in a genetics lab in upstate New York are being held against their will. So, they created a link between their world and another parallel world (which they disguised as a game that looks something like Dungeon & Dragons), found some heroes (Greg, Taconic and Corthag, the dwarves) and brought them into their world to save them. The title is an interesting cartoon (if you have small children around they should be amused); but be forewarned, this game is very difficult. It requires a lot of quick thinking and creative, new ways to overcome the onslaught of bad guys out to kill you.
Three Dirty Dwarves is a side scroller, much like many we've seen before, but with a few twists. One of the things that makes this game different from other kill-everything-you-see games is that your opponents come at you from all directions in all different shapes and sizes. Three Dirty Dwarves takes a step beyond attacking from 'in front' and 'in back' and attacks you from the bottom, from both sides, from the scenery and from out-of-nowhere! I mean, there's nothing more shocking than being attacked by a guy that just jumped out of the background building. Or, being grabbed and choked by a hand from the depths of New York's sewer system.
The Dwarves aren't the Three Musketeers, but they take the phrase "All for one and one for all," very seriously. Every time you are hit, your character lies senseless on the floor and you resume play using one of the other characters. But that is not the end of it -- the Dwarves are dirty for a reason. If one of your dwarves gets knocked out: smack him, slap him, beat him up! (It's all good.) Your abuse is just what he needs to get back on his feet again (so that you can use him at another time) . Interesting game, huh? It's not easy. To stay alive in this game you have to learn how to take a hit. In fact, if you play with a friend you might (strangely enough) hear yourself say, "C'mon, hit me!", just to stay alive.
Staying alive, however, is another task in itself. Making it through the first few stages on the "Easy-Squeezy" level is really not that easy. If you ever wondered what it would be like to walk through the streets in the middle of Bronx after midnight during an all out gang war, you should probably try this game. It's just like real life. Giant rats, a guy named Pitt Bully (who, by the way, wears vicious dogs like pajamas), evil paper boys, naked guys with censor boxes around their sensitive areas, shopping cart ladies that mummify you with bandages and many, many others who will, when given the chance, beat you down like a red-headed stepchild. I found myself playing just to find out what they would bring out (from all and any directions) to beat me with.
Although this game is very interesting in regards to content, its visuals and sound are like a walk back in time. The sound effects are generally interesting and at points, highly amusing. The music, however, needs a little more variety. Don't get me wrong, the music sounds fine, nice and loud on a surround sound stereo, but it does get old quickly. However, you can always turn down the volume and continue playing without any problems. With all the new and innovative visual effects around these days you would think our heroes would be more aesthetically appealing. But, our heroes and their surroundings lack the "polished off" look that we Sega Saturn owners are used to.
Now to the big question: Should I buy this game? If you're into great sound and visual effects -- you should save your money. If there are two people playing or if you just love side scrollers -- this could be a fun game if you don't mind a little abuse. Unfortuantely, at its core, Three Dirty Dwarves has nothing truly new. It is a challenging game, but I would save my money for a one with a little more technological edge.