Gotta go with Guardian Heroes. It has a lot more depth compared to the other games. I've beaten the game dozens of times over and even have my own route map printed out. I've beaten the game on the hardest setting, while taking the hardest possible route. So it shows how much enjoyment I've derived from the game over the years. Admittedly, I haven't played the game in a long time, but I'm sure I'll get back to it some day.
Full Disclosure: I've never played Three Dirty Dwarves and I've only played the Japanese version of Guardian Heroes...
..but C'mon. There's no way that those games are better than Die Hard Arcade.
Let's consider the 2D beaters Streets of Rage and Final Fight. They both set the bar for the genre, and part of the reason why they are fun, is because of the variety of moves you can do and the weapons you can pick up, that changes the gameplay. Those weapons are very important, because they keep it from being too repetitive.
So you're sick of jump kicking, doing combos and suplexes? Fine. Grab that pipe and crack heads. Then after you're done with that, pick up the knife...Well, in Die Hard Arcade you can pick up a machine gun and a 9 millimeter and a Fireman's Axe and a Rocket launcher... That's right, a Rocket Launcher, and you can shoot them with a rocket and watch them get back up. It's as fun as it is hilarious.
Plus, Die Hard has an actual, legit move list. You can learn different combos, takedowns, and special moves. You can actually throw a dragon punch, and no I'm not joking! Look it up. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Dwarves have the Bowling Ball and pin, the baseball bat and a shotgun. That's it. Whoopdy-doo.
As far as Guardian Heroes, it's a one player game, imo. Would you like to beat up foes, shoot em up and blow them up, or swing a sword for ten minutes and sit through a wall of text? No disrespect to the game, but novels are supposed to be read in private and the only thing saving the multiplayer is Battle Arena Mode. If you want 3-4 player action, play NBA Jam T.E. If you want two player beat em up, play Die Hard Arcade and call it a day.
Looking back at some of the current polls it looks like Baku Baku has beaten Bust-A-Move and Puzzle Fighter, PDS reigns over SF3 and Grandia, Radiant Silvergun has wiped the floor with Souky and Garegga, Mr.Bones has beaten Shinobi X and Jurassic Park, Last Bronx beat Dead or Alive, X-Men is in poll position against MSH and Darkstalkers, Pandemonium has triumphed over Bug Too! and Clockwork Knight 2. Exhumed has dominated Duke and Quake while Virtua Cop 2 had beaten House of the Dead and Virtua Cop 1 and Fighting Vipers has a lead over VF2 and Virtual On with VF2 finally moving into 2nd place. So far most of the results are how I imagined them to be with a few minor suprises.
Only two polls remain close: Golden Axe Duel is level with Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 and Die Hard Arcade is joint first with Guardian Heroes. Looks like the feelings on these two are quite evenly matched.
Plan B's the safe way, step on ya A-Game, SKY'S THE LIMIT!
I just wish there had been a 2D Streets of Rage on Saturn. SOR2 is my favourite 16 bit game (closely followed by EA Hockey, Sensible Soccer and Micro Machines).
Streets of Rage 3 never gets any love lol. Thats my favorite one. Btw Micro Machines 1 or Micro Machines: Turbo Tournament?
SOR3 is deeply flawed and is a frustrating experience. Bare Knuckle 3, however, is fantastic. I don´t know why they upped the difficulty so much in the english version, but it makes the game a pain to play.
Anyway, as for the poll, I have to vote DHA. I´ve not played the other two, but they do look great. I still think DHA would win though since it´s an amazing game. This feels like what SOR4 would have been if Sega had bothered to make it. Great combat, inventive levels and bosses, and a degree of goofiness that makes you smile from start to finish. Also, like the SOR games, the final boss is a cheap POS.
I managed to pick up a CIB Guardian Heroes for 50 quid, so I've finally got around to playing it.
I went through one playthrough (with Randy).... and it's fine. The variety of moves on offer are certainly a plus point, and the multiple paths / levelling up is also pretty neat. But aside from that, it's nothing really special. The enemy variety is good enough, without being great and the game also does something that surprises me ...... it is a Treasure game with only a few bosses, and they're shit. I was really expecting the bosses to be a highlight, but they were just guys for the most part. I didn't need to do anything different to any other enemy. Bosses are normally something that Treasure are really creative with, so they kinda dropped the ball here. Now I am worried about playing Silhouette Mirage, since I fear that may be the same.
But yeah, after playing GH, I am firmly sticking with DHA.
Btw Micro Machines 1 or Micro Machines: Turbo Tournament?
I know this wasn't intended to be an open ended question but... the original MM1 imo has much, MUCH superior handling physics to it's fancier looking sequels imo. MM2 & MM96 are so super slidey slidey, I can hardly enjoy playing the actual game.
MM1 is just mega. Especially the MD version (SNES's collision detect was way off unfortunately... NES ver. was surprisingly awesome though!)
"One of the FINEST third party 3D fighters on ANY 32-bit system!"
"Pick this one up and I PROMISE you won't regret it. After two polarising [Toshinden] games, they finally got everything RIGHT. Call it a case of third time lucky, if you will!"
"MORE Saturn owners should take greater PRIDE in this exclusive…"
Ordinarily I'd vote on a poll where I've played two of the three games, but even between Die Hard Arcade and Three Dirty Dwarves, it's a tough call. Both excel in different ways. Certainly Die Hard Arcade is the deeper, more complex, and ultimately more replayable of the two, but Three Dirty Dwarves has much more variety, plus a sharper and to me more appealing visual style. Also, while Die Hard Arcade is too short to need a save/password feature, my preference is always for medium-length games with a save feature over short games with no save feature. It's just the sort of gamer I am.
So I'm holding off until I've acquired Guardian Heroes. At worst, once I've played it I'll be able to make a fully qualified vote. At best, it will prove to be my favorite of the three, making the neck-and-neck battle between Die Hard Arcade and Three Dirty Dwarves a non-issue.
"It's not who does it first, it's who does it best!" - Mark Gruenwald