Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (39505)
Written on  :  Dec 11, 2004
Platform  :  NES
Rating  :  3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars

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Dig Dug does more than just dig

The Good

Dig Dug, the hero of the last game, is on a beautiful Caribbean island for some R&R after having killed the evil Pooka and Fygar once and for all with his trusty pump. Underneath a palm tree, he lies in a hammock, dreaming of scantily-clad native girls catering to his every wish. He wakes up shortly later, only to find that the island has been overrun by the same two monsters that he destroyed earlier, As Dig Dug, you need to get rid of them once again, and the only way that you can do this is by doing what he did in the last game.

Alternatively, you can make use of the holes scattered around the island where trees were pulled out, by drilling between them. If you drill in the right places using Dig Dug's jackhammer, then the block of land in which the hole occupied it will sink into the water, hopefully destroying any Pooka and Fygar who is on it.. Not only does drilling earns you more points than inflating, but it also creates some interesting shapes, depending on the terrain that sunk.

Using whichever method to kill them doesn't waste any time. It takes about three or four pumps to make enemies explode, but it takes only two seconds to do that. Although it takes the same amount of time with the drill, once you use it, you have to decide which of the nearby holes that are to be connected, then get the drill over to that hole by pressing left or right on the NES's D-Pad. While you are doing that, enemies may not be far behind, and depending on their distance, it may be impossible to use either methods. All you can do is quickly go to another area then come back to the spot when the coast is clear. I always end up in this position.

Dig Dug II uses a top-down viewpoint, rather than a third-person viewpoint likes its predecessor. Although every character in the game is rather small, most of the island can be seen at once. This lets the player get a good look at what dangers lurk on a portion of the island, and not having to side-scroll, colliding into the dangers without warning. Users who have played Dig Dug will know that the last enemy that remains always tries to run off the screen. In this game, an enemy will jump into the water if he is the last one standing, although it takes some time for him to do this.

Other things that I like about this game is just before the start of each level, the game tells you how many enemies are in the level, which gives you an idea of how difficult the level will be, since each island is structured differently and enemies usually follow you all around the island until you finally give up. Also, if the island takes up more than one screen, the game scrolls to show you what the whole island looks like, and that you can plan ahead what you are going to do about the terrain.

The Bad

I felt that every island needed a bit more detail, other than the holes and the enemies. A few palm trees couldn't have hurt. The music in the game changes when there is only one enemy, but it is crap.

The Bottom Line

Dig Dug II is a port of the original coin-op version, and it only got ported over to the NES. This port is faithful, including the sound and graphics. The game uses a top-down viewpoint, meaning that you can see all of the island at once. You have two weapons that you can use to kill the same enemies, Pooka and Fygar, but only one of these are the most effective. Once you kill them on the island, you proceed to the next, difficult one. At the time, DD2 was a lot less popular than its predecessor, so Namco didn't make any further sequels.