MEGADRIVE GAMES REVIEWS - E -

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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.

EARTHWORM JIM (1 PLAYER) 87% (region protected)

GROOVY! Earthworm Jim is an action platform extravaganza! You control jim, a space traveling worm yokel in a bionic muscle suit, and you are charged with rescuing a princess bug, along the way you will encounter all kinds of wacky enemies such as hampsters, psycho crows, dog puke, demons and snot monsters. This sets the tone for the whole game, it's totally wacky! Jim can run, jump, shoot, swing and fly. The game play is nicely varied, with stages of riding rockets (in 3D!) underwater, space, switch throwing, mini boss and boss levels (the first boss pukes fish at you!). The graphics and sound are right up there with the best on the Megadrive, the animations and sound are both hilarious and highly polished. This game would have scored a 90 plus if were not for superior versions on other consoles, while the Mega CD version has CD sound, the SNES version has much better graphics and animations, a more forgiving difficulty level, and terriffic sound. The Megadrive version by comparison is grainy with scratchy speech. Still a tremendously original and funny game. (also on PC, Game Boy, GBA, SNES, Master System, Game Gear, and Mega CD).

EARTHWORM JIM 2 (1 PLAYER) 90% (region free)

Jim is back for another adventure. Just about everything from the first game has been improved upon, the graphics, the mini games, the level layout, and most notably the speech samples are nice and clear. There are new weapons and abilities to discover, including firing a house from your gun, and the snot swing. Everything is tongue in cheek, as in the previous game, and the difficulty level is more forgiving this time around too. You will love the base humour and comedy animations as much as the gameplay and level designs. A truely entertaining title from start to finish. The SNES version boasts better visuals and audio, but best version is on the Sega Saturn. (also on PC, Playstation, GBA, SNES and Saturn). 

ELEMENTAL MASTER (1 PLAYER) 88% (region free)

At first Elemental Master looks unimpressive, but dig a little deeper and you will find it's an entertaining little top down shooter. The theme here is wizards and monsters, you can shoot forwards and backwards, and you of course can collect power up's found in treasure chests, some of these power ups have a funny effect on your eyes as the main sprite goes into ghost mode, theres also some really nice psuedo 3D effects that give the background a surreal look. The bosses look great and take an age to kill. This game is quite tough, but then so are all Technosoft shooters. Once you have had your four hits, it's back to the start of the level, and loose a continue, which I thought was a little unkind. The music is very good, but the shot noise can get on your nerves a bit. Honestly the screen shot does the game no favours, give it a try, you won't be dissapointed. (only on Megadrive). 

EMPIRE OF STEEL  A.K.A. STEEL EMPIRE  KOUTETSU TEIKOKU (1 PLAYER) 90% (region free) 

This side scrolling shooter form Hot-B, is one of the most entertaining on the Megadrive. Everything about the game is quality, great graphics, excellent music and huge boss fights. Set in a kind of mad max of the air, you get the choice of a bespoke plane, good for manoverability, and a zeplin blimp thingy which has more armor. You can fire forwards and backwards as well as unleashing your smart bombs, and collecting power up's that come in the form of health and little helper drones. I don't know what flavour it is, but there's bags of it, and I'm sure that this is based on an anime I saw when I was younger. I loved the part where you fight a particularly tough mini boss, only to turn tail and go chasing at high speed back through the tight caverns (you will need the plane for this bit). Outrageously expensive in Jap format, but never fear the U.K. and US versions are exactly the same and the Jap version doesn't even feature better cartridge and box art. (only on Megadrive).

EL VIENTO (1 PLAYER) 67% (region free)

 El Viento is a side scrolling platformer from top software company Wolf Team. You take control of a high jumping, boomerang throwing girl with magic powers (although the magic power is more like a chargable shot rather than a smart bomb). The game has a few smart touches, but more annoying ones. It's almost as if it's been over engineered for maximum frame rate. The enemies are well drawn and varied, but the backgrounds are simply too busy when on the move, because this game is fast, too fast for it's own good (playing on a 50hz pal machine helps a little) there's a strange screen wobble when you go up and down stairs, which looks harsh on the eye, explosions are blocky and pixelated, and are accompanied by a fart noise. The music is really quite good, but sound effects are few and poorly chosen. This game can't have been play tested properly when it was made, because all the right ingredients are already there, it's just too hard, too twitchy and too busy for it's own good. If you are after a game of this type, check out Alisia Dragoon to see how it can be done well. (only on Megadrive).

ESWAT : CYBER POLICE (1 PLAYER) 68% (region free) 

Eswat is a platformer shooter, not to be confused with the Sega Coin-Op of the same name (the Master Sysytem version is closer). Set in the near future you take control of a cop that can dons a Robocop style suit that increases you firepower and abilities. At the end of each round you will confront a boss, either an attack vehicle, villain or on one level it is slime. Eswat has decent visuals and sound, but man is it hard, from level two onwards you are constantly getting your ass kicked, and there is no password system to make it any easier either. The game controls are fine, but the difficulty level makes it a chore to play, the slime round is nigh on impossible, I couldn't beat it years ago, and I can't beat it now. The Japanese version is even harder. (also on Master system).


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