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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published by: Namco
Developed by: Namco
Genre: Action
Release Date: October 18, 2005
Written by: Fairieprincessco

Believe it or not, the Dig Dug franchise started over twenty years ago. Dig Dug had its first appearance in the arcade back in 1982. It also made a couple appearances on older Nintendo systems, such as the Nintendo Entertainment System and the original Gameboy. In this original Dig Dug title, players act as an exterminator and must destroy all the monsters in the Earth's crust. Equipped with an air pump, players could destroy monsters by inflating them with air until they pop. Another alternative in defeating the monsters was to dig dirt around rocks throughout the stage so that they would fall, hopefully landing on the monster's head and squishing them. It might have not been as legendary as Pac-Man, but it was still a fun and addicting game nonetheless.

Classic Dig Dug action right here. Got to love the NES days!

Unfortunately, it's been several years since Dig Dug has been mentioned again. Even with Namco's compilations that contain a port of the original Dig Dug title, such as Namco Museum, Dig Dug is still easily overlooked by many gamers. Now, with Namco's upcoming title Dig Dug Digging Strike, gamers will either get to re-live classic Dig Dug gameplay or experience it for the very first time.

Thanks to the capabilities of the Nintendo DS, Digging Strike will build upon the original Dig Dug formula. Normally in Dig Dug, players only explored underground areas, constantly being surrounded by monsters, dirt and boulders. However, because of the dual screen feature of the Nintendo DS, Digging Strike will allow players to explore both the land above and below the ground. The top screen will represent the over world view while the bottom screen will represent the underworld view. This feature alone opens up many new ideas in this upcoming Dig Dug title.

Two screens are better than one.

While exploring the over world, players will come across small monsters and huge bosses. Hori Taizou (the main character of Dig Dug) can destroy the little monsters instantly, but he stands no chance at fighting the huge boss that creeps around on the land. Instead of using fighting tactics to defeat this boss, players will have to use their digging skills to get the boss off the island. In order to do that though, players need a way of getting to the underworld area. So for that there are a few holes in the ground on the over world in which Hori can enter which will take him to the underworld.

One of the first things players may realize about the underworld is the two long pillars that are on the left and right side of the island. These pillars act as stakes and are what hold the island together. The goal here is to dig around these pillars so that they loosen and fall all the way through the ground. This will cause a section of the island to fall into the ocean. If the boss of the land was on that section of the island, then it is then defeated, or sunk. This is what you want to achieve in Digging Strike. Once the boss is sunk, the player can then move onto the next stage.

Now would be a good time to learn how to swim.

It's good to mention that players will need to be cautious about their techniques in loosening pillars, since these pillars will only fall through if all the dirt below them is completely gone. These pillars can also drive through enemies, defeating them which is an extra bonus. Another important thing is players must pay attention to what section of the island is going to fall off. After all, the island to the left or to the right of the pillar is subject to fall. If the player ends up being on the section that is falling into the ocean, then it's game over for him or her.

Regardless of their being an over world and an underworld, it's safe to say that it seems like most of the action will be taking place in the underworld. This is how Digging Strike still manages to stay true to the original Dig Dug formula. In addition to making pillars fall through the underground, players can destroy monsters they come across in the ground. There's also many power-ups to collect, most of which will let the player decide what direction the pillars should slice the island. The ability to move boulders onto monsters to squish them is also available.

Quick! Move that pillar!

With 15 stages and over 80 areas to explore, Digging Strike is bound to give players hours of endless fun. There's also some mention of many mini-games to be available in Digging Strike. These mini-games may consist of Hori (or other characters) flying in planes or driving in cars to help out breaking apart islands. Overall, Digging Strike seems to be a solid title. It's an excellent reincarnation of a classic franchise reminding gamers that simple classic games can still exist today. Dig Dug Digging Strike is expected to be on gaming shelves in just a few weeks!

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