One of the interesting aspects of human nature's standards is a desire for more: the average human will always eventually desire more than what they got, thus prompting the will to succeed. An excellent example would be the advancements in technology which is often done so to appeal to a desire for improvement. In the realm of the video game, every generation brought various changes and advances in technology, with game play growing longer and more complicated over time. Whether this means games have grown better is largely a matter of opinion, but the increase in how complicated can not be doubted.
Arcade games are the simplest of games that have remained relatively unchanged in game-play mechanics, if not graphically. A perfect example of this would be dig-dug, which has progressed graphically for around three decades, yet is still the same game at heart. This documentation will explore a specific home-brew version, however, which primarily adds a Pokémon element: Pikachu Dig Dug. It is not much different than the original dig-dug for the Nintendo Entertainment System
In brevity, this particular home-brew version scraps the original character sprites, and replaces them with various first generation Pokémon: Pikachu being the replacement for the player's character, Charmander replacing the dragons and Voltorb replacing the remaining enemies. Instead of what would appear an air compressor/bike pump, the player would continuously shock their subterranean adversaries relentlessly, but the boulders are still the same. The sprites chosen for the AI were poorly chosen, for neither are true underground enemies: Perhaps a Geodude or another rock/ground Pokémon would have been better suited instead of Voltorb, for instance. The graphics are still highly functional and simple, which is what made the original possess its nostalgic value. Asides from these visuals, though, this game is identical to the original version, as stated before and these are the only noticeable differences. Oh an audio level, it is exactly the same audio as the traditional NES dig-dug audio, so if one's audio was desirable then, than it would be acceptable now. If is unacceptable, however, than some faster paced Iron Maiden and Metallica should suffice, with some of AC/DC's heavier material like the Razors edge, will add the required levels of energy to pump the player's blood into a Voltorb-killing frenzy.
The levels and game-play are identical, with responsive controls and addicting game-play (bearing in mine the latter being subjective). Essentially, the player's objective is to eliminate all the other Pokémon on screen by either lining them up and crushing them with rocks, or by zapping them with Pikachu's attack. Since the former requires more strategy, it is worth much more points to set up a long line of opposing Pokémon, but over time, with the exponential difficulty increase, it is harder to do so.. To say annihilating the adversaries with the zap attack requires no skill is rather false, because the player can't attack multiple enemies charging at them simultaneously, unlike Emperor Palpatine, and in later levels it is possible to easily be cornered or outrun. The game will end when the player's lives are depleted and Pikachu dies on a journey to the center of the earth.
Like most arcade games, there is little to no story, but a brief paragraph of text before the game could have been included to explain why Pikachu is exploring a realm in which it is at tis weakest. Whether this is necessary or not is debatable, but a brief story would have been an intriguing option.
Overall, there is little to say for this particular hacked version of a classic arcade game. One of the key points is that there is virtually no change, but perhaps the phrase "don't fix what isn't broken" would fit this hack perfectly, but there could have been changes: the level layout should have been changed, a different soundtrack used based on the theme, a change in the actual underground layout to fit closer to a Pokémon theme, different sprites utilized, and a BRIEF story added. This hacked version is essentially a repackaged dig-dug, for better or for worst, under a new name with a new mascot. This is an example of how advancement is in relative terms, but it will advance simply because humans desire to see a change.
Graphics 9 Sound 7 Addictive 10 Depth 4
Pikachu Dig Dug Description: Dig Dug Hack