There hasn't been much going on for awhile now with side scrolling fighters or as I call them, beat-em ups. There wasn't much going on in this genre when Dynamite Cop hit arcades and the Dreamcast, either. It's a shame to since some of the best games out there have been beat-em ups, like Final Fight, Double Dragon, and Streets of Rage. Dynamite Cop isn't the best of its kind and it's not outside of its genre either, but it's a good game.
The "story" behind the game involves the president's daughter being kidnapped by pirates while on a cruise. Your job is to save her and catch the baddies. You can play as Jean, the brunette female, Eddie, the lethal kick boxer, or Bruno, the character that would have been John McClane had Sega decided to keep the Die Hard license it used in the game's prequel, Die Hard Arcade.
Graphically the game isn't much better than Die Hard Arcade, which is to say it's not too great by today's standards. It does however have backgrounds which don't leave you thinking you could be anywhere. There are bathrooms, engine rooms, loading docks and captain's quarters. Animations are smooth and realistic and the variety of characters and their fighting styles are unique.
The sound is also well done, with pistols clicking as the safety is turned off to begin firing. I also liked the variety of weapons at my disposal its nice to get away from the usual firearm and start beating my enemy with a fish, urinal or vacuum cleaner.
Like many arcade game ports the game just doesn't cut it on a console in terms of replay and game length, even on high difficulty its still pretty short. In an arcade this kind of length is perfectly acceptable, but not so much when it comes to a home console. And speaking of the arcade edition, if you've played it and beaten it (especially with friends) then you really don't need to bother with this direct port. It would have been nice had they added support for an extra player, since there are three characters available, something that would have set it apart from the arcade version. If you haven't played it and can pick it up cheap then it's certainly a fun, if a bit of a short trip.