Saturday, December 02, 2006

Sega Genesis Collection: Da review

I just started Zelda, so I'll update you on my progress. Since Metal Slug Anthology has been delayed(again!) to the 14th. Zelda is thus going to be my primary source of single-player entertainment.

And now, a very belated review of Sega Genesis Collection!

$25 netted me over two dozen Genesis games. Now, I was a SNES kid, so this collection holds no real nostalgic value to me. I remember playing some of these games at a friend's a while back, but the grand majority are new and shiny. Okay, shiny is going a bit too far. They're new...and dusty. Like some photograph from 1935 you found in your attic.

For the most part, you get a good value for what you pay for. Even though Sonic 1 & 2, Ristar, and Flicky were packaged in Sonic Mega Collection, and Vectorman 1 & 2 in Sonic Gems Collection, it's stil kinda worth it to get them all in here (especially since the Vectorman games were surrounded by crap in Gems, with Sonic CD being the major, major, major, major exception there.) Plus, you get a few cult favorites thrown in for good measure, and some trash. Even so, the good kinda outweighs the trash, and even tha€t very same trash has some entertainment value in them. It's also to be noted that alot of these games will be downloadable on the Wii's Virtual Console for the equivalent of $8 a pop, so this is a pretty good deal considering the alternatives.

The individual games:
Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
Alex Kidd used to be Sega's mascot. I have no idea why Sonic took that role from this PJs wearing elf freak...anyways, this is pretty average NES-era platforming stuff. You go through levels, hitting things with your punches that Alex watches like the All-Seeing Eye, and collect coins. You also get some power-ups, but they aren't interesting enough to mention. The only thing that really stands out is Alex's ability to dropkick cars in the first level. Amazing.

Altered Beast
This was once the Genesis pack-in game. It is really a spectacularly stupid game, and not that good, either. However, it's spectacular stupidity nearly makes up for it. You walk across the stage punching and kicking things, until you smash the blue dogs to get your power-ups. The first power-up tears your shirt(a sign of POWER), the second one beefs you up to ridiculous levels(thus proving that your a 'roider), and the third one turns you into your creature form with incredibly cheap abilities. All this is further humorized by the bad voice clips("POWER UP!", "WELCOME YO YOUR DOOM!"). So while you may not actually enjoy playing it, you can atleast get a cheap laugh.

Bonanza Bros.
An interesting title. Basically, your hot dog-esque thieves must sneak into and around a house, picking up the various junk while avoiding or stunning armed police or SWAT with your gun(phasers are apparently set on 'pussy'). It's pretty much a stealth game from back when stealth games weren't hip with the kids. Probably alot better on 2-player, though.

I still can't quite fathom while Sega feels this game is a 'classic'. In a world of Puyo Puyos, Tetris Attacks, and more recently Meteos', Columns is pretty damn boring. Really not much else to say.

Comix Zone
Pretty nifty for being another hard-as-nails beat-the-crap-outta-things game, since it takes place within a comic book that requires you to flip around various panels and see some of your enemies being drawn into the game. If this comic was real, I would never buy it, but it's fine as a Genesis game.

Decap Attack
Another platformer, this time you play as a mummy that fires a head out of it's head. It's name is Chuck D. Head. When he jumps, it sounds like he's farting. Enticing, is it not?

Ecco the Dolphin
Still one of the most bizarre game concepts ever created: a dolphin travels through time to battle aliens and save his pod. Swimming around and 'listening' to your fellow sea life's 3rd-grade philosophical ramblings and 'solving' tedious 'puzzles' in your undersea realm, however, does not allow the enjoyment of this game to anywhere close to the weirdness. Even so, Ecco has a pretty deadly scream of pain.

Ecco: The Tides of Time
Even one boring time-travelling dolphin game wasn't enough! This one uses a 'good future/bad future' gimmick that was also found in Sonic CD. Without the narration by Tom 'Doctor Who Numero 4' Baker found in the later Dreamcast game, it's just another practice in 'Who the fuck cares?'

Ecco Jr.
MORE! This one is aimed at the young 'uns and forsakes the extreme annoying difficulty of the first two in favor of completely wholesome tasks that are nonetheless boring as hell. This one also comes with a 'Parents Section', which allows moms and dads to teach their children facts about dolphins while they play. Combining video games and education? Absolutely diabolical.

This was also featured (as I mentioned) in Sonic Mega Collection, and thoughout the two games, my opinion on Flicky has never changed: I dislike it. Basically, you run around to frantic and annoying music and collect baby chickens and bring them back to the exit while avoiding cats and lizard(or throwing flower pots at them). After an initial 30 seconds of 'What the helll...', you then say to yourself 'no more'. Just because the lead bird was later integrated into some Sonic games does not forgive this load. In fact, the main Sonic game featuring flicky was 3D Blast. Oh boy, it's a legacy of suck!

Gain Ground
The name alone has inspired a new expression among my posse, but you are not interested in our in-jokes, are you? No, you wanna hear about Gain Ground. Well, you walk all your gun/spear/bow armed warriors to the end of the top-down perspective stage, or kill all the Mongolians in sight. That's really all it is. It's fun for a level or two, but after that...well, let's just say that the game needs to GAIN MORE GROUND.

Golden Axe
It's also pretty dumb, but it's still fun. Play as the dwarf (playing as anyone other than the dwarf is an abomination), hack up some cloned barbarians, and kick those impish bastards who carry potions and food. Better with two, although that means SOMEONE's not gonna be the dwarf. Whoever doesn't play as the dwarf will henceforth be known as 'the forsaken one'.

Golden Axe II
Not all that much different from the first one, although the imps have been replaced with Orko-looking bastards carrying bibles. Still dumb fun, and you must still play as the dwarf or be shamed forever.

Golden Axe III
A bit different from the first two, mainly with your lack of an ability to play as the dwarf (WHAAAAAT?!). But you still beat up guards, but this time the guards have teamed up with fat midgets! Alot of people say this game is bad, but I don't see why. Albeit, you can't play as the dwarf, thus making this game terrible.

Kid Chameleon
Generic platformer ahoy. Despite being able to transform into several different douchebags in this virtual reality world, I really can't muster much enthusiasm for what is essentially running from left-to-right collecting valuables. Anyone who buys SGC for this is a fool and a Nazi.

Phantasy Star II
I hear this game has a pretty sizeable cult following. I really wouldn't know, I played it for a few minutes and found the auto-combat(you tell it what to do, yes, but when you tell it to go, it just goes on until you tell it to do something else) and huge bleeding(literally) frogs to be a bit jarring. I don't really feel like playing a traditional RPG right now, anyways.

Phantasy Star III
Apparently the black sheep of the PS series. I wouldn't know, I went through the opening part, laughed at it, and then didn't feel like playing it anymore.

Phantasy Star IV
Cut 'n paste: "I went through the opening part, laughed at it, and then didn't feel like playing it anymore." You can tell I am a really big fan of RPGs, eh? Well, I do like some, but for the most part I just kind pull up enough ability to play through lengthier games like this (I must complete Zelda, though). Maybe one day I'll actually, you know, play one of these games.

I remember that my friend had this, and we played it all the time. It's a bit different from most of the other platformers in the collection, as the little star kid uses his Stretch Armstrong-inspired 'Super-Grope' ability to get around. I like it, but I can't say it's a game you'll all adore.

Shadow Dancer
It's a sorta prequel/sequel to Revenge of Shinobi, but instead of just running around killing things very un-ninja like, you must now dart around saving hostages while simultaeneously killing things very un-ninja like. You also get a dog to help you attack. Despite early frustrations (this game is hard), I actually like it.

Shinobi III
If I had to pick a 'best game of the collection', this would be it (mainly because Sonic 1 & 2 were featured in other collections). It's just a really well-designed, fun ninja action romp with tons of cool ninja techniques. How the main character is considered all that skilled in ninja-ing, what with him wearing the very stealthy color of WHITE and just running right into the face of everyone and killing them in the most unsubtle fashion possible. Then again, the same question could be asked of most ninja games. Just play it and enjoy, it's guaranteed or I hate you.

Sonic the Hedgehog
You guys don't seriously want me to explain this game, do you? It should be common knowledge by now.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2
ctrl+v: "You guys don't seriously want me to explain this game, do you? It should be common knowledge by now."

Super Thunder Blade
It's a game about an attack helicopter, but you honestly can't tell half the time with all the million things attacking you at once and the bad graphics. Seriously unplayable stuff.

Sword of Vermillion
Honestly, I sped through the intro and then never even tried the main game. Sue me.

It's an action game starring a robot made of green balls. I can't beat the first boss. You may have some legal ground on the lawsuit for this write-up.

Vectorman 2
It's pretty much the same as the first, only with more morphing and bug shooting. Goddammit, I love shooting those buzzing bastards. Oh, and the game is okay, too.

Virtua Fighter 2
What happens when you take a very 3D game and put it on a very 2D console? Well...uhhh...this. Imagine Virtua Fighter 2, take everything that made it a true classic(including the old man drunken monkey fighter), and what you get is this version. The most redeeming quality: Your character's low-G jumping ability. I don't honestly know how that redeems the game at all, but that's the best thing I can come up with. Humor me.

There are also some unlockable arcade game, but I can almost guarantee that they won't hold your attention for more than 5 minutes.

I know, I make this sound very negative. But that's just to up the entertainment value of this rushed piece. The game still has enough good to warrant $25. Even if it missing some very crucial games (all three Streets of Rage titles, Toejam & Earl, and Gunstar Heroes. The latter two will be soon available on the Wii virtual console, though.)

There, are you satisfied, you vicious little...Overreacting. I will actually write something good some time in the future. Something that I didn't pound out in 30 minutes with no editing.



At 1:39 p.m., Anonymous Judy Down+B said...

Ugh, why would they even bother to put that version of VF2 in there? It's not like it was what the Genesis was known for having. They could've put ToeJam & Earl instead. :(


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