Good old Dylan Dog! He's not a dog, that much is obvious, and he doesn't even look like a Dylan. A Brian perhaps, or maybe a Stuart, but not a Dylan. And yet the game treats him as if he's a computer celebrity to rival Sonic The Hedgehog. Stranger and stranger... After some Nancy Drew-type investigations, it transpires that Dylan Dog is Italy's number one comic book character, which just goes to prove that when it comes to thinking up really butch names for comic book heroes, the Italians haven't quite got the knack. Dan Dare, that's a butch name Dylan Dog? Sounds a bit Disney, doesn't it?
Anyway, casting aside the rather mysterious nature of our hero, let's see just what this spooky Italian offering is all about. Apparently Dylan went to a bit of a knees-up in some mansion or other last night, but unlike everyone else he didn't have a tipple or three of finest Bavarian booze. Just as well really, because for reasons best known to the brewery, the happy juice has turned everyone into homicidal maniacs. There's a moral for you there kids - if you don't drink you miss all the fun. So, poor old Dylan is stuck in an old mansion with a crap name and loads of axe-wielding nutters. Dylan's razor sharp instinct tells him to get out of there pronto, and it's up to you to do it. Oh, and if you could find out just why the beer sent everyone bonkers, that would be quite nice too.
Arcade adventure? Yes it is, actually. The usual mix of running around, scrapping and picking up objects Any good? Well, it's bearable I suppose. The good points - the graphics are great, with nice realistic animation and loads of tomato ketchup splattered all over the place. You also get plenty of tunes that change as you go on, but very few meaty FX to go with the gore. Whenever you reach an important point in the game, you get an animated scene to illustrate it, which is quite nice. And that's about it for the good points actually.
The bad points - it gets very boring. You never seem to make any progress, you pick up objects that don't seem to serve any purpose and wander through rooms that appear interesting but aren't. You only get six bullets for the whole game, which means you have to indulge in far too much hand-to-hand combat. And, blow me down, hand-to-hand combat is crap. You punch, then they punch. Worlds are born, stars go supernova, the universe revolves, and eventually they fall over dead. It's also nigh-on impossible to die. I spent five minutes being attacked by a maniac with a power drill, and barely lost any energy. Challenging it is not. Plus, the control system is annoying. You have to push up to go through a door, but that also makes you jump. Be prepared to spend a lot of time jumping in front of doors before going through them.
It's always a shame to see a potentially good game spoiled by some thoughtless and generally lazy programming, and that's exactly what's happened here. The presentation is almost perfect and the graphics are always nice and gruesome, but the actual game itself seems to have buggered off. Perhaps it was in there when they sent it out but it got lost in the post, I don't know. But when I played it, it was definitely a fun-free zone. Looks like Dylan's destined to remain in obscurity for a bit longer.
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