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Gory but uninspired run 'n' gun thrills
The Dangerous Dave series is a long-running franchise of clever and inventive platformers that originally sprang from the mind of Jon Romero, the legendary designer best known for his work on the likes of Doom and Quake. However, this instalment wasn't programmed by Romero but fortunately it largely retains the series' enjoyable mix of side-scrolling Mario-inspired thrills. It is however, extremely gory and violent for such a game, so be wary when firing this one up if that sort of thing bothers you. This time around, our eponymous hero is on the trail of the evil Dr Nemesis (who also turns up in the Catacomb series) who has kidnapped Dave's little brother Delbert (well, at least it makes a change from princesses). What follows is a colourful but rather graphic adventure, where Dave makes his way through a series of multi-directional scrolling levels, blasting wolves and other such supernatural-themed creatures, like zombies and bats. There's not much to the game beyond leaping around and unleashing hell with your trusty shotgun, with none of the puzzles as seen in Rick Dangerous or the like, so in many respects this is a pretty simplistic game. However, there is a certain degree of charm to its old-school gameplay and it is fun for a while in a mindless sort of way. The graphics are decent enough, with smooth scrolling and reasonable sprite design but are nothing to write home about, which can also be said of the sound. The humour adds in a little personality to Dangerous Dave but unless you are a die-hard series fan this stands as a less-than classic platformer that can easily be skipped.
Daves Risky Rescue is a cool platformer
Much in the style of the first Duke Nukem game (which was actually a platformer) and also reminiscent of Xargon, the third installment of Dangerous Dave is a sturdy platformer that is a staple of DOS platformers, much in the way Super Mario was for the NES console. Instead of making his way through steel and glass environments, Dave is for the time being traveling through a maze of trees and vegetation, but the later stages will change the environment quite a bit. The controls are simple and intuitive, set a button for jumps and another one to shoot and try to get the enemies before they get to you. Also, you have to dodge projectiles, negotiate your way from platform to platform and make sure you don't miss any of the weapon upgrades. You can also replenish your life with the appropriate potions but, be careful, they are in short numbers and need to be spared as much as possible. All in all, Dangerous Dave 3 is a very playable and enjoyable platformer that will remind you why the 90s DOS platformers were so special. Whether you're going to play it in one sitting or in 5 minute chunks the game will still remain in your mind for days to come, if not more!