Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dynamite Headdy Review (Sega Genesis)

Time for a retro-review of Dynamite Headdy for the Sega Genesis. This game was designed by Treasure (Gunstar Heroes, Radiant Silvergun, Ikaruga, etc.) and stands as one of their earliest triumphs. Dynamite Headdy takes place in a fictional puppet world where the main star, Headdy, must defeat the evil Dark Demon and his keymasters to restore peace to the theatre. The game is a platformer much like Ristar; but with a twist. Headdy can switch heads to fight differently, these range from turning his head into a powerful hammer to more comical things like a pig that snorts projectiles.
The game's levels are fun and varied. Each stage in the game is wildly different and forces the player to use their head (sorry had to.) Bosses are insanely creative as well( just check out the first level's boss, a Giant Weenie Dog Float fighing to "The Nutcracker" theme.) The difficulty can be incredibly challengning toward the middle of the game onward; but the game stays fun. Dynamite Headdy also has alot of funny things thrown in to amuse the player, one example being the level titles. Levels are based on movie puns, such as one being called "Stair Wars" and another "Toys in the Hood".
As in most Treasure games, the graphics are outstanding. It is easily stands with Sega's best visuals of the era. The soundtrack is also very well done. Cool tunes are abound, Headdy's rival's theme, Trouble Bruin, will stick with you long after finishing the game. Sound effects are nice and weird, like a strange chipmunk voice saying. "You got a secret bonus point" at certain moments.
Dynamite Headdy is available in a variety of forms. The game was ported to the Master System, Gamegear, Sony PS2, , and Wii Channel, and most recently the PS3 and Xbox 360. Of these versions the import only PS2 port really stands out on the "Sega Ages Gunstar Heroes Treasure Box" (say that five times fast.) This version has a super play of the game, concept art, and has the Master System and GG ports included ( you also get Gunstar Heroes and Alien Soldier, helluva deal really.)
With so many ways to play the game there is no excuse to ignore it. Treasure fans probably own a few versions, and Sega fans should own at least one. If you enjoy a good, oldschool 2-D platformer look it up, you will be happy you did. For you modern gamers it was recently released on the Sonic Ultimate Collection disc for PS3 and 360, and runs you a mere $30; the discs also has Phantasy Star 1-4 and Streets of Rage 1-3...a steal for so many great games. Maybe one day Treasure will bless us with a sequel.

Random Stuff:
  • First Boss Video:
  • Dynamite Headdy for the Master System was released only in Brazil, so it carries a high price tag among collectors.
  • Many regional differences exist between the Genesis and Megadrive versions such as one boss being changed from a massive baby doll to a killer robot for the U.S. audience.
  • Another regional difference is the game's secret ending. Instead of fighting a fictional theatre owner and thugs, players faced the President of Sega and his bodyguards!

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