Friday, January 25, 2013

Dukes of Hazzard Video Games - 100th Post


The Dukes of Hazzard is a popular property.  It has had its ups and downs, but it has remained popular since 1979.  Video games have become increasingly popular over roughly those same thirty-four years.  Of course the two would have to intersect.  This is my 100th blog post here on DukesCollector.  I thought it would be fitting to celebrate with a discussion on all of the Dukes of Hazzard Video games that we have been treated to.  This post will include pictures of the game cartridges, discs, and boxes as well as video of each game in action.  Please enjoy my 100th post: Dukes Of Hazzard Video Games.


The first Dukes video game came out in 1984. It was released for the ColecoVision Family Entertainment System by Coleco.  It was also compatible with the Adam system, though I don't know what that is.  This game was the only Golden Era of Dukes video game.


I have one game with the original box and one French language version of the game.  






The game follows an original story about Jeremiah Stinge, a scheming financier and his dastardly plot to capture Daisy and hit the road.  You play as Bo and Luke and you must chase him down while keeping an eye on your rear-view mirror and not let Boss Hogg catch you.  I find it interesting that they would introduce a new villain just for the game.  It is also strange that Boss chases you and not Rosco.


Playing this game proved to be a challenge.  Not that game itself, but gathering everything needed to make it work.  Jeff happened to have a ColecoVision at his house.  The first time we hooked it up, we thought we could play Dukes but found out we needed the above pictured Expansion Module 2.  Jeff didn't have one, so we spent some time playing Dig Dug, Smurfs, Centipede, and Q*bert.  I searched the internet for one, but couldn't justify paying for something I would use for about 10 minutes tops.  I ended up at the Video Game Vault in Uniontown, PA and they were nice enough to loan me the module so I could play the game.  I was surprised the the module had a gas pedal included.  I don't think newer steering wheel add-ons have that today.

The story is in no way portrayed in the game.  You just drive and try not to crash or get caught.  But I was surprised with the graphics and controls from 1984.  I don't remember anything on Nintendo being like this.  It certainly had a Pole Position arcade game feel to it.  I also like the digital dixie horn sound effect.


You have to install the standard ColecoVision controller into the module and the joystick acts as a gearshift.  You have to drive with your left hand, shift gears with your right, and accelerate with your foot.  That's a lot of coordination for an early 80s video game.  It isn't easy either.




Here is a video of Jeff playing the game.  He was better at it than me.  Notice how much you have to turn the wheel for the car to turn.  As expected, the game was fun for about 10 minutes.  I'm glad I got to play it once, but I don't need to ever play it again.  I am very grateful to the Game Vault for loaning me the steering wheel and of course Jeff for having the console in his basement.  Video games have come a long way since 1984.

The mid to late 80s saw the explosion in popularity of the Nintendo and later the Sega Genesis.  But of course this was the Dark Ages for the Dukes and there were to be no video games.  But the silver Era sure brought a wealth of them.

 
The Dukes of Hazzard: Racing for Home came out in 1999 for the Sony Playstation.  It was an immediate success.


The box featured new artwork that had not been used on any other Dukes merchandise.  This game again introduces a new villain.  This time around, Black Jack Perril kidnaps Daisy to get revenge on Uncle Jesse.  Poor video game Daisy, she needs to duke it out.  This game featured the voice talents of all of the living cast members except John Schneider.  Waylon Jennings also reprised his role as Balladeer for this video game,  something he did not do for the reunion movies when he was still alive.  You got to drive the General Lee and other cars from the show.  For some reason, the General is not a Charger in this game, it's close, but just not right.



The game was a world of difference from the Coleco game.  In 1999, I was at a point in my life where I didn't think I needed to buy another video game console.  The last one I had was a Sega Saturn and I hadn't played it in years.  But if Dukes was coming out for PS1, I needed to own a PS1.  I have had every Playstation since.  Just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in, to video gaming.


The game was a huge hit.  It was later rereleased as a Greatest Hit on Playstation.


It was also released for PC.  The box for the PC game was huge.  The box says the Playstation was a top ten game.


The PC version came out a year later and is the same game as the Playstation.  I loaded it on to my work computer, and it works just as well.  It's fun to have the game at work.


Racing For Home was also released for the Game Boy Color.  Again, I had a Gameboy back when they first came out, but I had to play this game so I bought a Gameboy Advance when this game was released.  Given the limited capabilities of the Game Boy, this game is quite different from the PS1 version.  It features a top down view of the cars and a limited version of the story.  You do get to drive different cars other than the General, including Daisy's Jeep and Uncle Jesse's Pickup.  This is what a Dukes game would have been if it was released for Nintendo in the 80s.  Maybe Super Nintendo.



The original Playstation game was such a success that it was quickly followed up with a sequel.


At the same time the Gameboy and PC versions of the first game came out, Dukes of Hazzard II: Daisy Dukes It Out was released for Playstation.  About time video game Daisy got some revenge.  This time around, John Schneider was also a part of the cast, along with everyone else.  The game was very similar to the original, but had a deeper story, and more gameplay.  Daisy was the center of this story, and she didn't even get kidnapped this time.




This cardboard stand-up display that I was lucky enough to get my hands on promotes the release of Daisy Dukes It Out for Playstation as well as the original on Playstation Greatest Hits, Gameboy, and PC.

Shortly after the release of the second game in the series, the Playstation 2 was released in 2000.  Video gamers were taken to another level of gameplay.  It took a little time for another Dukes game to come out, but fans were treated with the Dukes on the next level in 2004 with The Dukes Of Hazzard: Return of the General Lee.


This game was released on both consoles of the time, Playstation 2 and X-Box.  At this point, I already had a PS2.  It finally featured a General Lee that was the correct Charger and was much improved from the previous versions. Inspiration came from Grand Theft Auto III, letting the player free roam through Hazzard completing side missions, as well as the main story line.  The only limit to the game was the inability to leave the cars.   


The box, once again, featured original artwork.  It also advertised the release of the show on DVD.  


Boss Hogg was the main bad guy in this game.  It also featured the 00 Mustang.  The story followed the Dukes trying to save the local orphanage from Boss, who was trying to foreclose on it.  Boss was trying to raise money from the foreclosure to build a statue of himself in Hazzard square.  Now that is a scheme befitting of ol' JD.



The final Dukes video game is a lot of fun to play.  Preparing for this blog post, I put them all on my Playstation 3.  I plan on playing this one entirely again soon.  The cut scenes really captured the feel of the show.  The game starts with the boys driving a black Charger and the first mission is gathering parts and orange paint from the junkyard to create the legend.  The voice actors hired to portray Boss and Uncle Jesse did a good job.  This is the last time the actors played their roles from the show, and the interviews, which were extras on the game, showed that they had a lot of fun doing it.  The Playstation 2 version works on the current Playstation 3, though the X-Box version is not compatable with the X-Box 360.  If you have a console that will play the game, it would be a lot of fun to play for the first time, or revisit.

The Dukes aren't as popular as they were in the early 80s, the late 90s, and mid 2000s, (Golden Era, Silver Era, and beginning of the Modern Era) so there are no more Dukes video games planned.  That isn't to say we won't get one in the future.  Every time WB realizes Dukes are popular, they release new products.  We have seen new items like the tin signs, and pint glasses.  Maybe soon we could see new video games.  I can imagine a General Lee driving app being huge.  Time will tell.

Thanks for reading 100 blog posts here on DukesCollector.  We are only getting stated.

3 comments:

  1. Congrats on your 100th post, Larry! Keep it up. I love reading your stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Cool stuff, great collection! And also, happy 100th! =)

    ReplyDelete
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