Cadillacs and Dinosaurs: The Most Wanted Arcade Beat'em Up
A distant era, in a galaxy not-so-far away (the USA), saw the Dc publishing house embark on a quest to revitalize its comic book lineup, featuring iconic characters like Superman and Batman. In this innovative landscape, a bold proposition emerged: to weave a tale where dinosaurs and humanity coexisted, seamlessly blending with contemporary technology, including weaponry, machinery, and even the iconic Cadillac. And thus, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs was conceived.
Possibly fueled by the audacity of this proposal, Dc took the leap, and the public's response was nothing short of overwhelming. So much so that the producers decided to explore further avenues, venturing into the realm of animated series (noteworthy for its distinctly Japanese influence). This endeavor found success, riding on the wave of popularity generated by the original comic.
Inevitably, the transition to a video game adaptation followed suit, bringing forth a unique focal point—intense beat 'em up action. The year was 1992, and only Capcom, renowned for their prowess in the gaming industry, could undertake such a task. They diligently crafted a beat 'em up masterpiece that not only dominated arcades at the time but continues to captivate audiences in modern circuits. It's no coincidence that it hails from the creators of Final Fight, sharing numerous similarities with the iconic title.
Attempting to encapsulate the grandeur of Cadillacs and Dinosaurs solely through words proves to be an insurmountable task, but I'll endeavor to provide a comprehensive overview, starting from the beginning.
First and foremost, you insert the coin, as customary, and then confront the pivotal decision: selecting a character from the following four:
- Jack: The quintessential protagonist hero. Crafted for equilibrium, Jack's balanced attributes render him somewhat unremarkable to avoid complications.
- Hannah: The inevitable tough girl. Boasting exceptional speed and agility, she possesses a unique and valuable specialty: acquiring superior items. The only drawback is her relative vulnerability.
- Mustapha: Also recognized as the man whose cap never falls off (and occasionally removes it himself—could he be related to Terry Bogard?). A middle-of-the-road option, featuring commendable speed and potent hits. His specialty lies in powerful kicks.
- Mess: The fourth and final character, embodying the classic archetype of the Haggar—enormous, robust, and deliberate in movement. His specialization lies in sheer brute strength. Nonetheless, the disparity in speed may not be as pronounced as expected, providing an advantageous playstyle for those who choose him.
Cadillacs and Dinosaurs kicks off with a concise intro, signaling the presence of a compelling storyline within the game. Brief narratives unfold between each phase, providing a seamless connection to the overarching plot. As for the stages, the game encompasses eight levels, which might seem limited initially. However, the diverse scrolling dynamics and occasional integration of the Cadillac, coupled with the expansiveness of each screen, contribute to an extended and engaging gameplay experience.
Backtracking isn't an option, and it's not advisable either due to the imposed time limit. The control scheme in Cadillacs and Dinosaurs is elegantly straightforward, managed with just two buttons. The jump button and attack button, when combined, unleash a spinning special attack to fend off adversaries. This sets the stage for dynamic movement, with double-tapping in a direction enabling swift running and introducing opportunities for additional attacks. Speaking of adversaries, while the variety may not be vast, the existing diversity is sufficient to maintain engagement.
Weapons play a pivotal role in Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, offering a versatile array. Notably, the final bosses from one phase may reappear in subsequent stages as regular enemies, sometimes even in duplicate. A noteworthy feature is that timely evasion can lead them to inadvertently attack each other. The arsenal includes a diverse range, from throwing rocks to wielding bazookas, knives, uzis, torches, sabers, and revolvers—leaving nothing to be desired.
Additionally, the game features destructible elements, referred to as interactive elements within each scenario. Similar to Final Fight, you encounter barrels (usable as weapons), stacks of tires, statues, and more. Moreover, certain pipes and traps can be shattered with powerful blows. Envision all these elements magnified in a multiplayer setting, and prepare to be captivated.
Graphics in Cadillacs and Dinosaurs
Despite the somewhat rugged animation in Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, the graphics shine, leaving no detail overlooked. The environments are not only admirable but also vast. Objects are perfectly recognizable, allowing you to identify them before picking them up.
Above all, the game excels in portraying characters, both protagonists and antagonists, depicted almost identically to those in the series. They boast significant size and speed. Even the dinosaurs emerge impressively, as players find themselves facing pterodactyls, triceratops, and the entire fauna.
Music & Sound
It's regrettable that arcades share space, as the noises tend to blend together, making it challenging to discern the soundtrack of any game. Nevertheless, the melodies in Cadillacs and Dinosaurs are excellent, featuring a variety of tracks that suit each situation. The sound effects surpass the average, encompassing the destruction you cause, punches, shots, and, of course, the engine of the Cadillac and the roars of the dinosaurs. Additionally, the protagonists enjoy digitized voices accompanying certain hits and at the end of each stage.
Below, you can download the bezel or overlay for this game, eliminating the unsightly TV borders, just click here.
Cadillacs and Dinosaurs boasts impressive graphics, outstanding music, and is not only playable but also addictive—all for just five bucks. A classic that should be on the radar of every arcade enthusiast. However, exercise caution with your wallet, as the game's addictive and challenging nature may take a toll on your paycheck. Playing solo renders it nearly impossible to complete without using continues. The experience improves significantly with more friends joining your game. Now, I'm left with one lingering question: What will be the cost of a round of Cadillacs & Dinosaurs after the introduction of the euro? An intriguing mystery awaits...