Remember Sonic The Fighters (aka Sonic Championship)?
A Sonic fighting game in which you could fight the likes of Tails, Knuckles and a whole range of characters from the Sonic universe in an arcade setting, Sonic The Fighters was absurd on paper but it really was one of those “let’s give it a go” type of games where the developers clearly just wanted to try it out, not knowing if it would do well or not.
It would be weird if there wasn’t a Sonic fighting game, whether’s this one’s any good or not, let’s put it that way.
One of the characters in the game was Bean The Dynamite, a green duck with a penchant for throwing bombs. He was hardly the best fighter to pick in the game but there was something about him.
Yes, as it turns out Bean was inspired by “Bin,” the blue duck from Dynamite Düx. His colour was changed due to him looking way too similar to Sonic (as Sonic clones so often do), his bow tie became a red neckerchief but he retained his love for explosives.
Different versions of Dynamite Düx open with different plots.
While in the arcade, Bin and his friend Pin are the pets of some pink-haired girl called Lucy who gets kidnapped by baddie Achacha.
On the Sega Master System, these events play out in a somewhat more hilarious way.
Taking a page out of Toki, in which a dude is turned into an ape for some reason and you have to play the rest of the game then rescue your beloved as an ape, the Master System version of Dynamite Düx turns some blond guy, Lucy’s boyfriend I’m guessing, into…
A blue duck who throws bombs.
Now that just makes perfect sense.
The transformation is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it affair so chances are you’ll see some guy, then some duck and you’ll have no idea what the hell just happened.
Guess which version of the story I prefer?
Anyway, the game itself is so not like a Sonic The Hedgehog game it’s surprising that someone even made that connection and put some Sonic clone in that particular game, let alone took that same clone and dropped him in a Sonic game eventually. A side-scrolling beat ’em up in which you pick up food and weapons as power ups, Dynamite Düx isn’t exactly a fast-paced game but it is overall challenging enough.
The enemies you face are odd, to say the least.
What are these, you ask?
You also meet rollerblading cats, pigs with Elvis-style haircuts, pink dragons, crazy bulls and dogs with giant heads but tiny, almost nonexistent bodies.
Let me switch to the arcade version so you can actually see what they’re meant to look like. Also, punching those dogs is way more satisfying there.
Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.
The graphics on the Sega Master System version, as you can probably already tell, really lack a certain cartoonish Tex Avery-ish quality plus the lack of detail sometimes is a bit distracting.
Just look at how the dogs disappear in the red background.
Good call on the red there, game designers.
Some of the enemies, by the way, are oddly stereotypical.
The controversial side of Dynamite Düx, ladies and gentlemen.
Who knew that Bean The Dynamite’s history was so interesting?!
Now, the other thing you’ll notice playing the game is that the power ups make little to no sense as they randomly pop up in the strangest of place.
One second you’re just hanging out, shooting at unarmed cats with a bazooka, the next…
By the way, Sonic frowns on mindless animal killings. His thing is saving puppies and bunny rabbits, not annihilating them! Just thought I’d point that out. What kind of role model is this “Bin” or “Bean” anyway?
And I thought his thing was throwing explosives so how come he can pick up all these weapons you’d expect in a Duke Nukem game?
Oh, I almost forgot, what power-up do you think shows up after killing a sausage deer?
Hot dogs actually almost makes sense, that’s the goofy part.
It’s definitely cool that Bin can aim and shoot in several directions but the perspective in the game is so unnatural that it can be hard to guess where to shoot or be sure if your projectiles will even reach the enemies.
Dynamite Düx is not a bad game, it’s just unintuitive sometimes, especially on the Master System. It’s very tempting to just walk past the sprites half the time. That’s not always possible, of course, but a lot of the time that works.
I like the cartoonish look of the game and its in-jokes like when Colonel Sanders himself shows up and roots for you in the first level.
That’s pretty funny.
There are way more jokes in the arcade version, though, as the superior graphics and increased detail bring with it more subtleties like silly street signs and pictures.
I mean, an Italian restaurant called “Restaurant Italian” with a menu consisting primarily of spaghetti, that’s pretty great.
I do love how they couldn’t fit the word “spaghetti” on that little sign, by the way.
The bosses in the Sega Master System version are mostly wimpy: flames, stars, rocks…
Nothing too exciting.
Especially since the rocks, clouds and pinballs all look and basically act the exact same.
I’d like to point out that, in the arcade version, you get to fight not only a rock monster…
But a group of rabbits holding a dragon…
And you get to explode a bunch of mice into a fleshy, disturbing mess.
That’s always fun.
Just ask Krusty.
A couple of cool effects you get in the Master System version I do like though, I’ll admit.
One of them is the trippy transitions where Bin flies down some kind of vortex leading to the next level.
The other is the face he makes when he takes a hit.
Even with that Pee-Wee Herman bow tie, that’s not a dignified look.
All in all, Dynamite Düx is an entertaining if average game. It looks better and plays better on the arcade so I’d say look for that version or for something close enough to that version before you hunt the Master System one down. Then again, the latter does have that genius opening…
Bean The Machine may act all “swag” these days wearing that pointy green haircut with pride but let’s not forget his humble beginnings and that shady past he’s tried so hard to hide from us!
As for his game, I’d probably like it more if it had penguins.
I like penguins.
Most things could benefit from more penguins.
Fine, that’s pretty good.
The penguin king I particularly appreciate.
If only the penguins were throwing ice cubes, though.