MEGADRIVE GAMES REVIEWS - L -

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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.

LAST ACTION HERO (1 PLAYER) 15% (region free)

Last Action Hero is the game of the same name as the Swarzenegger movie, and it could be one of the worst games on the Megadrive. Most games I playtest to refresh my memory and to compare across other consoles for at least 20 minutes to an hour (more if it's a good 'un) but 5 minutes was enough for me to truly hate this game. There are no options for difficulty and such, the graphics and animations are awful (much worse than the picture shows) and the audio gets on your nerves as soon as the game starts. The gameplay is walk along beat 'em up style, but even this is totally wrong, spoiled by stiff clunky controls, too few moves and dodgy collision detection. The difficulty level is insanely high from the start. Did I mention this game sucks donkey boner? This review goes for all versions of this game, except the NES, and thats because it is totally different to the 16 bit versions. (also on Gameboy, Game Gear, NES and SNES).

LAWNMOWER MAN, THE (2 PLAYERS) 70% (region free)

The Lawnmower Man is the game of the virtual reality movie of the same name. You take control of either Jobe or the woman (who's name excapes me). The game is split into three or four different play styles, the first is a kind of Contra style, platform shooter, where you have to shoot soldiers and monkeys, and collect CD's in order to open up the VR worlds. The VR worlds are split between, 'fly through the gaps', 'shoot little VR demons' and 'fly and shoot' sequences. The Lawnmower man is a kind of jack of all trades, and master of none. The 3D VR set pieces are very well done (for a Megadrive that is) the polygons don't have anything as grand as textures, but then not many games did have textured polygons in 1993, but everything moves smoothly with no frame rate problems, and the third person fly and shoot part, puts some 3D Sonic levels to shame, with it's speed and color, all very psychadelic. On the flip side the platform shooter part is below par, the graphics are grainy and it isn't always absolutely clear what you must do. The audio is above average, with some decent techno tunes, and scratchy voice samples, but thankfully there aren't many of those. There is a certain amount of fun to be had with this title, but the game doesn't let you settle on any one play style, and you get the feeling that the Platform and VR parts don't feel homologated, the platform shooting is a little too difficult, and the VR missions don't carry enough substance. The SNES version features better graphics and sound, but strangely not better 3D, and the platform shooter part is more confusing. (also on SNES)

LHX ATTACK CHOPPER (1 PLAYER) 62% (region free)

 

I know that Sega pioneered the 3D revolution on the home consoles, but honestly they should have left it well alone, and did their 3D stuff in the arcades until it was time, the hardware was simply not up to the task, the 32X was inadvertantly the cause of the death of Sega's console effort, because it cost so much to develop, the dual 3D chip technology was used in their Saturn console, and as we all know even that wasn't so good at 3D either. LHX Attack is a 3D helicopter game before it's time, the features are quite astounding for a MD game. 3D polygons are used for the players copter, enemy vehicles, buildings and some of the landscape, you can even view your copter from multiple angles whilst playing, but the only one worth using is the cockpit one, as all your hud's and data screens are there, plus things get very choppy on the frame rate in any other view. The landscapes are understanably baron, and pop in of objects are constant, but none of this matters because LHX is so boring, enemies hardly ever fight back, and missions carry no sense of drama or danger. The controls would be excellent, but the frame rate issues would spoil any control set up. If you really must play a 3D helicopter shooter on your Megadrive, then try Thunderhawk on the Mega CD, it's actually quite good. (only on Megadrive)  

LION KING  THE (1 PLAYER) 87% (region free)

Disney 16bit platformers were awesome back in the day, and The Lion King is no exception. The Lion King is a joy to play, even if you are older and didn't like the cartoon (in which case you must be dead inside and have no soul). The main character (Simba) animates and controls perfectly, and is a joy to use as he bounces on bugs and reptiles, clings to the edge of ledges, sqeeks his little 'meow' to scare enemies, and slashes with his claws (later on in the game when he is big Simba). The game keeps you interested with changes of pace and game style throughout, you will platform, swing, ride animals, fight bosses, and even eat bugs in a mini game as Pumba the Warthog. The games follows the cartoon closely enough for fans to get a little extra enjoyment out of it. The graphics are really well animated, with a good dose of disney magic injected. The sound is admirable for the notoriously limited Megadrive's Z80 sound chip, great tunes and even the speech is clear, recognisable, and scratch free. Impressive, almost 'most impressive'. The best way to play Lion King is on the SNES, the presentation is better, and the sprites are larger, but more importantly that great gameplay and control is even tighter, making the game that much easier and pleasurable to play through, the SNES version features more speech, and that music is pure Disney delight. Add this one to your collection, if you don't already have the superior SNES version. (also on Master System, Game Gear, Game Boy, GBA and SNES)

LOST VIKINGS , THE (2 PLAYERS) 90% (region protected)

The Lost Vikings plays like a thinking mans platformer. You, or you and a friend control 3 characters, each with their own skills. One can jump, another can sheild, and the other can fight, you will need to think about who you move to where, in order to escape the alien ship. Items and switches, zero gravity, and demolition objectives are all here to enjoy, and there's a handy password as well. The level designs keep you glued to the screen, the graphics are very good, while the pumping techno sound track keeps your toe tapping. This is a game that I just couldn't put down, the SNES version is even better, with more colors and effects, and a sound track with more speech samples, which for once the programmers wisely decided to re-do, and leave out some of the voice samples for the Megadrive version. Whichever version you get, MD or SNES, you will not be dissapointed, as they play exactly the same, with a six button controller of course. (also on SNES) 

LOTUS TURBO CHALLENGE (2 PLAYERS) 60% (region free)

Lotus Turbo Challenge feels like a beta point to point racer, evidence of this is shown in the sequel, but we'll get to that later. Championship and 2 player modes are avalable, but a very sparse menu, and no choice of cars, or any in game music for that matter. The check point time limit is ludicrously tight from the off, and there are unlikely objects in the road such as logs and boulders, but this matters not because none of it seems to make much difference to your times. The graphics are simple and lazy, with no great animations for turning or wheel spin, the sound ditto. If I had to sum this game up in a few words, it would be, unfinished and boring. EA obviously rushed this out, because Lotus 2 is exactly the same game, only with the features added that it should have had in the first place! (only on Megadrive).

LOTUS II RECS (2 PLAYERS) 65% (region free)

Lotus 2 adressess many of the problems of the frankly unfinished first game, but is by no means a great point to point racer. The graphics are greatly improved, but still sparse and bland. There are championship, time attack, and two player modes to try, plus a choice of Lotus' most famous cars. It plays a little like 'Jaguar XJ220' on the Mega CD, but not as good. Hitting other cars and road furniture still has little effect, and the random logs, and rocks in the middle of the road are still evident in this game. All of the other lotus cars are dog slow, but the timer is tight (not as bad as the first game), and in championship mode you will have to make pit stops for fuel. But Lotus 2 is fast, and there is no slow down at all, and all 4 music tracks are absolutely brilliant, it's just a shame that you can't have engine and effects noises at the same time, you have to pick one or the other. Lotus 2 feels like it could cope with much more, I haven't tried the 2 player mode so I can't comment on that. So for now the king of MD point to point racing is still 'Outrun 2019'. (only on Megadrive). 

   

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