Current-Gen Gamers Deserve The Cadillacs and Dinosaurs Remastered

With the Cadillacs and Dinosaurs Remastered, gamers would not need to get out of their houses to play the game but, instead, play with others online, a dream come true for any 90’s kid.

By RON, Posted 07 Jul 2021

When it comes to beat ‘em up games, Capcom titles often make it to the top of the list and the depths of our hearts. We remember fondly games like Final Fight, Alien vs. Predator, or the rather obscure Captain Commando, but one game that is especially good at what these titles did great is Cadillacs and Dinosaurs. This game took the formula, added an over-the-top IP, and just ran with it. The result is one of the best games in the genre and one that most remember fondly. But, alas, due to forces outside of our grasp, this game has never had a proper console release, and it is destined to live in our memories, in dusty arcade cabinets, or as not-so-legal emulators online. And that is not a way to treat legends of this caliber.

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Cadillacs and Dinosaurs offer a fresh take on the genre by adding actual living dinosaurs within the game, and while it might seem too outlandish or impractical, their presence is very much appreciated. The in-game logic of having to beat the crap out of these animals to save them and make them snap out of their trance is brilliant, as it offers a chance to fight them but not treat them as enemies per se. the real enemies, the humans who capture them and experiment on them are also very interesting lore-wise. We are not talking about the generic run to mill beat ’em up disposable grunts without actual names but instead the people pulling the strings and creating these weird splices of humans and dinosaurs. The creatures that come out of this abomination of nature are magnificent, both creepy and menacing. It offers a lot of potential as enemies and is truly challenging. Speaking of challenges, the game is an arcade title, we get it, the objective was to munch as many of our quarters as possible, and sometimes the enemy’s attacks, especially with bosses, can feel kind of cheap. But we are dealing with half human-half dinosaur enemies, they are supposed to be challenging. I get it, and I accept it.

The game feels a lot like a product of its era and perfectly blends elements we see in other games of its' genre. The combat and character movements in Final Fight; the use of weapons like in The Punisher, and the menacing outlandish creatures of Alien vs. Predator. As if this game was paying homage to the genre as a whole, and it does so wonderfully.

Cadillacs and Dinosaurs is long, longer than most beat ‘em up, but it doesn’t feel repetitive or monotonous, not for one bit. Each level has a unique flavor. For example, the first level does not even feature dinosaurs, and it comes as a bit of a surprise when they appear in level two, which is now a gorgeous jungle. Now for the Cadillacs, they fit perfectly in the obligated vehicle level in this type of game. The enemies start as mundane but as you progress, they become increasingly bizarre. The neat part is dinosaurs are not only there for show, they are an actual threat to consider, and they can also attack enemies, which is as satisfying as it is fair. There is blood and gore, not only from the prehistoric munching of these creatures but from exploding enemies with grenades and rocket launchers too. After all, why use only kicks and punches when you have an arsenal of high-caliber weapons to your disposal? Not to mention how funny it is to use rocks to knock the enemies out.

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Just like dinosaurs themselves, this game is a relic of a bygone era, simpler times in which games offered joy in their purest form. And just like John Hammond did in Jurassic Park, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs should be resurrected and incorporated into the modern world with a triumphant roar. After all, we are living in strange times driven by nostalgia. Let us take a look at games like Cuphead and its massive success, or titles such as Hollow Knight, and Shovel Knight, which pay heavy homage to classic games. People crave this kind of old-school gaming experience to revive the sentiment or share it with someone new. Most people who grew up feeding arcade machines quarter after quarter would be more than happy to hear this title is making a comeback, and more importantly, willing to get it for themselves, as a digital or even as a physical collector’s edition. These kids are now grownups, ones that can afford their games or, in some cases, they already have kids of their own with whom they would be happy to share memories of one of their favorite games. It is an opportunity to create new fans and to give old fans a token of appreciation.

Cadillacs and Dinosaurs was designed as an arcade title, which brings a whole set of tropes and given features, such as unforgiving bosses, but a remastered version designed for a home release would be a perfect opportunity to rework some of these features and modernize them, like Scott Pilgrim vs the World did back in the day. Perhaps even adding some extra elements, like new appearances to existing characters, newcomers, different types of enemies, and even extra levels. The template is there and with enough love, it can be rediscovered as the masterpiece it is. There is even a chance to include nods to the TV series or the original comics, both very successful niche products. Maybe characters present in these media that were absent from the original game, or even better, to feature them as bonus material in the remastered version. Just like most Saturday morning cartoons; the Cadillacs and Dinosaurs series achieved a cult following and will be welcomed with open arms by fans and newcomers alike.

Now for the hard sale, there is definitively a market out there. The game has something in it what many titles desperately want, a reputation, and a good one for that matter. There are plenty of platforms eager for guaranteed successes, and this title could be one of those. The first thing that might come to mind is the Xbox Game Pass, which is famous for including old arcade games, and their sequels, in its repertoires, like the Metal Slug titles, the Battletoads remake, Double Dragon Neon, Streets of Rage 4, and Xeno Crisis. But there’s also a chance for the Nintendo Switch, as eShop includes retro arcade games such as Contra, the Double Dragon series, the Streets of Rage series, and even the fan-favorite, Sunset Riders. Not to mention the chance to capitalize on the fact PC players often download the Cadillacs & Dinosaurs ROM illegally and would welcome an official release via Steam or any other service. Lastly, let’s not take for granted the power of content creators and streamers, most of which would be very happy to receive notice of an official Cadillacs & Dinosaurs release. All it takes is a couple of big names to play the game to get the snowball rolling.

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The game is long gone but definitively not forgotten. RePlay even named it the 9th most popular arcade game ever to be released. Not to mention action figures based on the franchise are still being sold in places such as eBay and Amazon, with articles reaching past beyond the $100 mark. A remastered version of the game should not be hard to achieve, after all, Capcom has done so in the past, with titles such as the Mega Man collections, the Resident Evil remakes and remasters, and the remaster of the cult classic, Duck Tales, to overwhelming success. In a time filled to the brim with remasters and remakes, it is time for a colossus such as Cadillacs & Dinosaurs to make its glorious comeback and make the same impact it made in 1993.

As a personal note, more often than not each time I come across a cabinet of Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, in arcade bars or arcade halls, I immediately run to it and play it with aims to finish it. Because the game is excellent and playing it with friends makes it even better. With a remastered version, people would not need to get out of their houses to play the game but, instead, could play with others online, a dream come true for any 90’s kid.

Sarwar Ron, NoobFeed
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General Information

Publisher(s): Capcom
Developer(s): Capcom
Genres: Beat-'Em-Up
Themes: Arcade Game, 2D Platformer
Release Date: 1993-04-01

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