Hello again, welcome to my A to Z games review of over 260 of the best (most popular) Megadrive titles. I will give a brief description of each game and rate it from 1 to 100%, 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.
CANNON FODDER (1 PLAYER) 87% (region free)
Hahaha! War has never been so much fun! Cannon fodder started life on the Amiga, where you used the mouse to direct your little soldiers with the pointer, and I'm glad to say that Sensible did a sterling job transfering it to the consoles, everything is intact for all console versions, with slight differences to each. The controls are simple and easy to use, you move the pointer with the D-pad, send the troops with the B button, and fire where ever the pointer is with C. So simple, and so addictive. You will play across large maps and have to shoot enemy soldiers, and blow up buildings to complete missions, the difficulty level is perfect, and the graphics small, but that is the nature of the game. There is no real in game music to speak of, only the dieing screams of your enemy's. Addictive stuff indeed. (also on Amiga, 3D0, Jaguar, and SNES).
CASTLE OF ILLUSION : STARRING MICKEY MOUSE (1 PLAYER) 92% (region free)
This is one of the best Megadrive games of all time, platform nirvana for young and old alike, and one of the few MD games you will want to play again and again. The level designs and storyline are enthralling, ranging from a spooky forest to a chocolate and sweetie land. The graphics are bright, colorful and well animated, and the sound is excellent (even by snes standards). Somehow Disney have managed to make a game that is easy for kids to play and challenging for adults too! Enemies are despatched "Mario Style" by bouncing on their heads, as well as being able to throw apples and the like, the obligatory end of level (disney style) bosses require you to work out their attack pattern in order to defeat them. I can't sing this game's praises enough, The Wicked Witch has captured Minnie, go save her ... NOW! (also availible for Master System and Japanese Saturn)
CASTLEVANIA : NEW GENERATION A.K.A. CASTLEVANIA : BLOODLINES A.K.A. VAMPIRE KILLER (1 PLAYER) 90% (region protected)
The ONLY Castlevania for Megadrive, and I have to say it's a good 'un. You must choose one of two characters to take on the demons and monsters of the night in order to get to a final showdown with Dracula himself, your hero can upgrade his whip or pike staff to varying levels of range and destructfulness, you can also throw projectiles such as knives and axe's. As well as the platform action and endless goon slaying, there is also some great end of level bosses to defeat, ranging from Giant Werewolves to ghostly Knights and Warlocks. The graphics are quite good by Megadrive standards, well drawn and atmospheric, but its the special effects that really push the machine to it's limits, there is sprite scaling and rotating, water reflections and even a bit of fake fire transparency. The sound is also very good, adding to a sense of adventure. Not as good as SNES Castlevania's, more of a N.E.S. Castlevania on steroids, and probably as good a platformer as your gonna get on the Megadrive. (only for Megadrive).
CHIKI CHIKI BOYS (2 PLAYERS) 85% (region free)
Chiki Chiki Boys is a great arcade conversion of a Capcom platformer, while not arcade perfect everything remains intact. You choose one of two players at the start, and one of two levels to play, one is a ground based platformer and the other takes place among the clouds. Your character has a sword attack as well as smart bombs, that can be collected from treasure chests as well as extra health an coins. The game has a decidedly kiddy look and feel, but the gameplay is challenging enough for any adult gamer. The graphics are large and colorful, with some nice warping effects here and there. The bosses are wacky and well designed, often requiring you to fend off their minions while trying to get hits in on them. The sound is excellent with merry jingles all the way through, but not much in the way of sound effects. What I like about this game is that you can't just mash your way through, you must think about what you are doing, or your game will be over quickly. While This is a very enjoyable romp, it's no Sonic or Mickey beater, but a worthy addition to your platformer collection. (also on PC Engine CD).
CHUCK ROCK (1 PLAYER) 70% (region free)
Chuck Rock is a prehistoric platformer by Core of Tomb Raider fame. Chucks only form of defence is his podgy belly which he uses to attack the Dinosaurs, cave men and bugs. The graphics are average, but it's the funny animations, and cartoon stylings that bring some character. The audio is well matched, with jungle tunes and plenty of 'ooga booga!' and 'uugg!' in there too. There's points and energy to pick up, and as expected some large dino boss shodowns. Lots of people rave about this game, and some may think that I have marked it unfairly, but I am comparing it to other similar games from the genre and era, there is Chuck II, Joe & Mac and the Bonk (BC Kid) series, all of which are much better than this. Chuck's belly attack doesn't have enough range for my liking, and the controls could be better, plus I would have liked some power up's in there too. The best version of this game is on Mega CD, purely because of the CD audio, the SNES version looks much better, but plays like a pig in comparison. (also on Master System, Game Gear, Mega CD and SNES).
CHUCK II SON OF CHUCK (1 PLAYER) 82% (region free)
Chuck II improves on the previous game in every way. You play as baby Chuck, the style and presentation of the original game is still here, except now you have a range attack with a club, which you can stand on, the enemies are more interesting, the control is better, the bosses are better, and there is more interaction with dino's. There's neat little set pieces in the levels to break the action up a bit too. The graphics and audio are slightly better too. Chuck II could do with a bit of a speed up though, and his platforming abilities feel as stunted as they ever did, and not as fun to play as some other like minded titles, such as BC Kid on the PC Engine. The Mega CD version is best. (also on Game Gear, Master System and Mega CD).
COMIX ZONE (1 PLAYER) 95% (region free)
Comix Zone is in my top ten 'must have' games for the Megadrive, you play as a kind of 80's yuppie meat head trapped inside a comic book. An evil artist is constantly drawing monsters to attack you on the pages while you move from panel to panel. Everything is in here, fighting, weapons, exploration, puzzle solving and comedy elements. Speech bubbles pop up with text from time to time, and punches, kicks and explosions are accompanied by text overlays of 'pow!' and 'boom!' but to name a few. I love the way you choose your route through the game by swinging across the panels and pages, this may sound like a gimmick, but it's so well done it really sucks you in. The graphics are supurb, especially the animations, and the sound is equally faultless. The six button pad is used for this game, but not essential. If I had to pick any fault at all it would be the lack of continues and no password system. Another original game from Sega that you must buy. (also on GBA, Xbox360 and other virtual consoles).
COOL SPOT (1 PLAYER) 70% (region protected)
Cool Spot is the mastcot of 7up soft drinks, for this corperate platform shooter. Spot can jump and climb ropes as well as throw what can only be described as fizzy drink gas, in any direction. Spots enemies depend on his location, at the beach it's crabs and bees, inside the ship it's mice and spiders, while in the water it's frogs. Spot is easy to control, apart from a horrible dragging resistance when he initially starts to walk (this applies to all versions) I don't know why programmers added this because it's crap. Spot must collect enough spots to allow him to free one of his spot buddies, which finishes the level. When you collect a spot, a handy pointer shows where you should be heading, and collecting 7up bottles replenishes health. The level designs are decent. The graphics are well drawn and animated, but some how seem bland and bare, I don't belive that the MD's color pallete has been well used here. The music is very good, bluesy style. Playing cool spot doesn't make you think about 7 up, it's well executed, It's just missing something. The SNES version features better graphics, and inexplicably extra background graphics, but still feels sterile, and the MD version plays better, with enemies much easier to hit, the crabs on the first level of the SNES port are almost impossible to hit on purpose. (also on Master System Game Gear, Game Boy and SNES).
CORPORATION A.K.A. CYBER COP (1 PLAYER) 40% (region free)
Originally written for the Atari ST and Commodore Amiga by Core in 1990, Corporation can be considered as one of, if not the, first, first person shooter (or FPS) as it came out a few years before 'Wolfenstein 3D'. The action is viewed through a small window, with a confusing user interface surrounding it, you enemies are mostly robots, cyborgs and cameras. The graphics themselves are very bland indeed, with 90% of the play area in black and white, and the frame rate is horrendous, the Megadrive is simply too slow to handle any of it. Coupled with clunky controls and low frame rate, Corporation is for masochists only. There are features in the game that allow you to upgrade your cyborg body parts, and the ability to use psi powers, but you will probably switch off long before that.(also on Atari ST, Amiga and Megadrive).
CRACKDOWN (2 PLAYERS) 65% (region free)
Crackdown is an arcade conversion of a top down maze shooter by Sega. Unfortunately Crackdown hasn't aged very well, the gameplay of the original has remained intact, but I have to say isn't that much fun anymore. The playing field is viewed through a small window, and the graphics are very small and bland indeed. The rest of the screen is occupied by the map which shows the location of bombs that you have to lay, ammo, and time left to complete the level, and this is all very fine and good, but a massive portion of the screen is taken up, showing you what enemy types there are, and what weapons they have, which is pointless, because you must shoot all in your path regardless. Quite often you find it hard to line up a decent shot, and there are annoying deaths aplenty, so using your smart bombs and missiles is not an issue, because you will most likely die anyway. Once your bombs have been counted, the timer starts counting, and you must exit the level before they blow. I think Sega tried to stay a little too true to the arcade, and missed a great opportunity to make a better console version. (only on Megadrive).
If there is a MD game you would like me to review, please feel free to e-mail me through e-bay ... I will be happy to add an extra review.