Hello again, welcome to my A to Z games review of over 250 of the best (most popular) Megadrive titles. I will give a brief description of each game and rate it from 1 to 10, accordingly games will be judged against other consoles from their era. As a bonus I will say if a game is region protected or not (i.e if a game is region protected, it will only play on a machine from the same country, or will need a converter) I will also say if the game is known by another name, or if it is availible for other consoles. konami*man.
B.O.B. A.K.A. FUNKY SPACE B.O.B. (1 PLAYER) Score: 8 (region free)
Bob is a platform shooter in which you control a cartoon style robot assaulting an alien colony. Bob has a choice of weapons he can collect ranging from wide shot and flame throwers to heat seeking missiles, plus he has gadgets he can collect that let him fly, jump high and smart bombs. The enemies are blob type aliens and robots, bob has to traverse the hazardous levels in order to find the exit on each level. The graphics are cartoony, with comedy animations for the main sprite, speech bubbles that say lame things like 'Yo!' and 'Dude!' and some funny death sequences, the backgrounds are mostly uninteresting. The audio is good with some nice sound effects and electro music. You are better off learning the level layouts and firing before the enemy is on screen, or there will be cheap hits galore, some of the ledges will tempt you with a power up, so that you fall into lava, and to your death, only then will you know that you must use the helicopter hat. This tricksy theme carries on through out the game, and may spoil it for some, but persevere and there is fun to be had. The SNES version is best by far, except this time it isn't just for graphics and sound, the Megadrive version makes you go into a pause menu everytime you need to change weapon or gadget, which you are required to do constantly, while the SNES version lets you use the shoulder buttons on the fly, plus the control of Bob is a little better. (also on SNES)
BATTLEMANIA DAI GIN JOU A.K.A. TROUBLE SHOOTER VINTAGE (1 PLAYER) Score: 9.5 (region free)
Sequel to the excellent Trouble Shooter, Battlemania Dai Gin Jou improves on the first game in just about every way, you still choose your smart bomb attachment at the begining of every level, and you still have the same core game play style of having a partner shooting back to back with you. Now there are more options and better anime style presentation to the menu's and cut scenes, the graphics have been beefed up, with better sprites, explosions, bosses and some nice psuedo effects such as reflections and transparencies. The audio of the original was already good, but this one is even better. I'ts the game play of Battlemania that has made it so legendary in MD shooter circles, the switching of concentrated fire from front, to front and rear works brilliant, and the smart bomb that needs time to charge after use, but never running out is a refreshing idea. Battlemania costs a pretty penny on ebay though, and it's a real shame that it didn't get a European release, it would have sold by the truck load, and probably spawned a load of sequels. (only on Megadrive)
BATTLETOADS (2 PLAYER) Score: 6.5 (region protected)
Not to be confused with 'Battletoads In Battlemaniacs' on the SNES, Battletoads is still a side scrolling beat 'em up/platformer, but the action is viewed from much further away, the gameplay is pretty much the same as the afore mentioned SNES title, with the same comedy animations such as massive boots, ram horn headbutts and anvil hammer hands, but is much less responsive and less polished, with even more dodgy collision detection. Aside from the regular, bash the foe till he dies parts, there are set pieces that have followed over from the NES version. The first boss fight takes place through the eye's of the enemy while you hurl bolders at him, whilst level two is another take on the elevator stages that seem to be in every beat 'em up, where our hero is absailing down a tunnel, sound good? Well If I were reviewing the NES version it would get a score of around 8, but on the MD it's a travesty. Honestly it's almost an exact port of the NES version! So lazy a port that they couldn't even be bothered to remove the weird shadow under the character that shouldn't have been there, on the absailing level. The MD should have had a completely re done version, the graphics and sound are Master System standard, including the amount of colors used that is. Still, I would choose this over Battletoads & Double Dragon any day. (also on NES, Game Gear, and Gameboy)
BATMAN (1 PLAYER) Score: 8 (region free)
Batman is a side scrolling platformer based on the 1989 blockbuster movie. The game closely follows the film storyline with cut scenes and level design, starting in the axis chemical plant and ending in the final confrontation with the Joker in the clocktower, you have the usual punch and kick attacks as well as the grappling hook and batarangs at your disposal (best saved for the end of level bosses) you even get to drive the bat mobile and bat copter, in the shoot 'em up stages. While not graphically beautiful, Batman has a polished look about it, the sprites are small but suit the platform nature of the game. The game is fun and challenging (if a little short). It's very similar to the N.E.S. game of the same name also made by Sunsoft. If you are a Batman\Megadrive fan this is the one to get as Batman and Robin and Batman Forever Suck. (also availible for N.E.S.)
BATMAN RETURNS (1 PLAYER) Score: 7.8 (region free)
I know the screen shot is tits, but I challenge you to find one that isn't too dark. Batman Returns is the game of the best Batman movie ever made, it's an action platformer and you play the part of the caped crusader (naturally). Armed with your fists and feet, batarangs, grenades, a grappling line, and oddly a swarm of bats, you once again take to the streets of gotham in search of the Penguin and Cat Woman. Batman is mostly platforming action, and a lot of the time you will have to take a leap of faith to see where you have to go, until you have worked out the level lay out and where the enemys are you will take lots of unavoidable hits, and frustrating deaths. The graphics in Batman Returns are a mystery, they have been drawn properly, but they are grainy and dull, it looks like only half of the MD's colors are used, the first level is almost entirely blue and black with hues of purple, it make enemies quite hard to pick out. The Audio doesn't suit this game at all, the music and the sound effects are lame, baddies make a nice fart noise when they are destroyed. I had the Mega CD game years ago, so never bothered with the MD version, and you will be suprised what a difference a driving stage, presentation, and great music makes. (also on Mega CD).
BIO HAZZARD BATTLE A.K.A. CRYING (2 PLAYERS) Score: 9 (region free)
Bio Hazzard Battle was a big suprise, it is one of the best shooters on the Megadrive, the whole theme is bizzarly based on bugs and all manner of creepy crawlies, even the player ships are a strange cross between bugs and deep sea creatures. There are four ships to choose from, and each of the ships use the four weapon power up's avalible differently, all ships can charge a super blast by holding the button down (a la R-Type) I would recommend that you try them all to find your favorite. The enemies range from little limpit creatures (that look suspiciously like hairy ball bags), to great hulking monsters that follow you through the level, and bosses that fill the screen. The gameplay is very satisfying with more variety and options than most, Heck! the game even boasts a simultanious two player mode, a rarity with MD shooters. The graphics are excellent, some of the giant millipede type creatures have a slimy 3D look to them as they writhe and twist across the screen. The music is equally good, some of the best on the MD. If you quickly glance over this game you will be doing it a great dis-service, because at first it looks bland and grainy, even sub standard, but the game just gets better and better as you play on, revealing some awsome graphics and gameplay. (only on Megadrive)
BLADES OF VENGEANCE (2 PLAYERS) Score: 8 (region free)
Blades Of Vengeance is a mythical hack and slash platformer, in the same vein as say, Rastan or Cadash. You choose one of three warriors, to battle monsters and ghoulies across harsh environments, the players are typical for this type of game, Barbarian, amazon and Wizard (tramp) all have the abilities to jump, slash and use magic that is collected from chests, with the exception of the Wizard who fires projectiles from his staff, although this only does half the damage of the weapons. The magic items are collected from chests, and include healing, invisibility and shield but to name a few. The game controls very well, items are selected from the pause screen and activated with the 'A' button, the enenies are fairly easy to beat, it's the level designs that being the difficulty, which is set just right for this type of game. The graphics are good, with large detailed player sprites, and some nice sprite warping effects and backgrounds, I'm not too sure that the background music suits the dark theme so much, but it is well done never the less. How much you enjoy the game will depend on weather you like this style of game. EA didn't make any Nintendo games back then, so this is the only one, and it's pretty good. (only on Megadrive).
BONANZA BROS. (2 PLAYERS) Score: 8 (region free)
Bonanza Bros. is an arcade conversion of a Sega coin op. A very original and fun game, you take control of a robber complete with swag bag, robbing buildings, and avoiding or whacking security guards and the cops. A certain amount of gear must be nicked inside a time limit, before you can exit the level (shown on a handy little map). Your character can shoot, hide in alcoves and knock out the the security by smashing doors in thier faces, be carful though, as all of these things can be done to you as well. The gameplay and controls are a hoot, but Bonanza Bros. was designed and is meant to be played against a second player, thus the split screen and squashed graphics. The graphics themselves are pretty basic, but you don't mind because they have comedy and character. The music can get a little repetetive and annoying after a while. I just wish that the one player game was full screen (also on Master System).
BOOGERMAN (1 PLAYER) Score: 8 (region protected)
Boogerman is a platformer packed with base humour, it's impossible to descibe to someone what goes on in the game with out sounding like an eight year old who makes it up as he goes. Boogerman is the janitor or something, of a nutty professor called stinkbaum, who has a portal to the world of Xcrement .. can you see where this is going. Boogerman's attacks are disgustingly funny, to kill enemys he flicks snot at them, spits greenies, and burps in their faces, he can also light his farts and fly around the screen. The worlds are equally gross, everything is covered in snot, and you can swing or bounce on the stringy bits, Boogerman flushes himself down the toilet to do bonus levels. I know what your thinking .. this game can't be any good, but it actually plays very well, the animations are cartoon quality and the gross things have a purpose, although the way the graphics have been done in not many colors make it hard to see enemy sprites. The audio is very good, with quality music and squelchy fart noises galore. Strangely the SNES version looks and plays slightly worse, taking no advantage of extra the colors avalible or the superior sound chip. (also on SNES).
BURNING FORCE (1 PLAYER) Score: 8 (region free)
Burning force is a third person, pseudo 3D shooter, that shows similar, lesser games of this style/type how it should be done. If you are a fan of Afterburner or Space Harrier, you will enjoy this game. Burning force has much more to it than the two afore mentioned titles, and more of a sense that you actually have a say in what happens. There is upgradable weapons, jumps and two different types of craft to pilot per mission, one craft hovers along the ground, whilst the other is a fighter jet. There is a ton of different enemy and bosses to battle, keeping the action from getting stale too quickly. I especially like the bonus rounds where you fly through rigns and pick up power up's, pilot wings style. Because of this variety, and the fact that levels never go on too long before changing styles, the game remains fun, by the time you have just got settled into a hover level, it's mini boss time, or bonus time, and so on. The graphics, though quite simple, suit the action perfectly, ok the sprite scaling and animation isn't as progressive as it could be, but it's a small price to pay for a smooth frame rate. The music I have to say is inbetween adequate and annoying, not overly looped or badly composed, just a sign of the time it was made I suppose. Burning Force is the reason that I marked Afterburner and Space Harrier so harshly, It just blows both of those games out of the water in playability, and is actualy fun to play .... now if only Namco had made a mode 7 SNES version ... that would have rocked! (only on Megadrive).
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