MEGADRIVE GAMES REVIEWS - M -

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Hello again, Over the next couple of months I will be writting an 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.

MAXIMUM CARNAGE SPIDERMAN VENOM (1 PLAYER) 70% (region free)

I played this game alot when it came out on the SNES, replaying it now I have to wonder why. The charcters are large and well animated, but everything has a thick black outline around it, and the backgrounds are bland. The move set is very good though, and Spidey and Venom control well enough, with plenty of moves to pull off. Countless numbers of the same goons in different colors will constantly stream at you, broken up with wall crawling sub levels, and bosses. Most of the villans are here, with guest appearances from some heroes too. The main part of the game gets very repetitve and boring, while the bosses tend to be solid, working out an attack pattern doesn't help because you will take the hits wether you like it or not. The SNES version boasts better audio, and slightly better visuals. (also on SNES).

MEGA BOMBERMAN (4 PLAYERS) 94% (region free)

Mega Bomberman is one of the best games on the Megadrive. It's actually a port of a PC Engine game called Bomberman '94, and is the first really good update to the series after the original Bomberman, with the inclusions of extra power up's and the ability to ride on the backs of kangaroos that not only gift you one extra hit from enemies before you die, but also have their own abilities, such as kick bomb, jump and walk through walls. You must lay your bombs with care in order to destroy enemies, power up your Bomberman and break the crystals in order to finish a level, any scenery you didn't destroy turns into coins for you to collect, and a hundred gives you an extra life. After finishing five or so levels, you will confront a boss, these are challenging and great to look at, ranging from banana riding monkeys to giant robot crabs that snuff the fuse out on bombs that you have laid. The level designs are very good, and spread across every kind of setting you could imagine, space, vocano, under water, ice and jungle but to name a few. Battle mode also deserves a mention, up to four players can face off when a muti tap is used, adding hugely to the games replay value. Everything about this game is quality, sound and graphics, it has to be said though, the PC Engine version from whence it came, runs and looks that little bit better, despite the Megadrive's bigger color palette and faster processor. As a note to those using a modified MD, the PAL cart suffers a bit of slow down in some of the levels, notably the under water one, when in 60hz mode, I'm not sure what the NTSC cart is like, coz it's super rare. Mega Bomberman should be in every Megadrive owners collection, It rocks! (also on PC Engine).

MEGA GAMES 2 (1 & 2 PLAYERS) 100% (region free) 

Contains 'Golden Axe', 'Revenge Of Shinobi' and Streets Of Rage. See reviews for details on separate games. (only on Megadrive).

MEGAMAN THE WILY WARS A.K.A. ROCKMAN MEGAWORLD (1 PLAYER) 65% (region protected)

Megaman Wily Wars is a collection of re-mastered NES games on one cartridge, I have to admit to not being the greatest Megaman fan in the world, I find it frustrating and restrictive, especially when you consider all the other great platformers avalible that don't promote rapid hair loss. But if you loved Megaman on the NES then this MD version will be just the ticket, the essence of the original has remained completely untouched, it's what Mario All Stars did for the original Mario trilogy on SNES. The Graphics have been re touched, with vibrant colors, and better effects, but are instantly recognisable, every enemy, ledge and platform has been reproduced exactly how it was in the original. The Audio has been duplicated in the same way, except it's a full orchestra in comparison, it is thing I liked most about the game, ditto the controls and collision detection. Megaman is a highly revered platform shooter for some, but for me, it just hasn't aged well, I can see why it was called Rockman in Japan. For those of you wishing to try Megaman for the first time, I would recommend one of the later Megaman X games on PS1, as these will be far cheaper than their SNES counterparts. (only on Megadrive). 

MERCS A.K.A. SENJOU NO OOKAMI 2 COMMANDO 2 (1 PLAYERS) 85% (region free)

Mercs is a top down arcade shooter conversion from Capcom, and a very good one too. Almost everything from the Arcade is here except the three player mode. Almost everything can be blown up, crates, and larger foes usually reveal power up's for your gun, or health, you are also armed with a Mega Smasher smart bomb that damages the whole screen. Through the levels you will get to drive vehicles, and confront bosses that are usually planes or tanks. The action is frantic, and although your character controls quite well, it could have really done with a button to lock your direction of fire (wouldn't be an arcade conversion then, would it?) The graphics are small and average, but faithful, but Mercs is a tough game as a one player, and would have really benefited from a two player mode, also the Audio is terrible. The best version to get is the Saturn one, released on the 'Capcom Generations 4' disc, that one IS arcade perfect. (also on Atari ST, Master System, Playstation and Saturn).

MICHAEL JACKSON'S MOONWALKER (2 PLAYERS) 88% (region free)

The greatest entertainer of all time? or alien faced, alcoholic weirdo? Wether you like Michael Jackson or not, Moonwalker is a damn fine game. Not to be confused with the excellent arcade shooter, Moonwalker on the MD is an action platformer, with nods towards Rolling thunder and Castlevania. MJ's attack methods are original, punch and kick are accompanied by a short range shower of stars, holding the attack button and pushing a direction sends him into a moonwalk, all of Jako's signature moves are here, and acurately animated. The magic button has a power bar, thats replenished when you save a katy, that are dotted around the level, all katy's must be rescued to finish the round, and confront the boss that bubbles the chimp will direct you to. Holding down the magic button has different results depending on when you release it, a short hold will result in MJ throwing his hat (which can be steered) and a long hold will act like a smart bomb, causing all enemies on screen (even dogs and zombies) to dance themselves to death. If MJ runs out of magic he is left with regular kick and punch. The levels take you through some of jako's best music video's, including, Smooth Criminal, Beat It, and Thriller, with the music to match each (Another Part Of Me being the most accurate). All the whoo hoo's and aaow's! are here too. MJ can transform into a lazer shooting robot too by catching shooting stars, but this doesn't last very long, and is a rare occurance, and you will have to be in the exact right place and time. The difficulty level is just right, starting very easy and progressing to rock solid by the time you get to the grave yard, which sends never ending streams of flying zombies at you. Moonwalker is a good game, forget that it's MJ and get with the funk! (only on Megadrive).

MICKEY MANIA (1 PLAYER) 92% (region protected)

Mickey Mania is an action platformer with bags of character, and it really does suck you in as it takes you through mickey's most famous cartoons, starting with the black and white steamboat willy, his first ever appearance. Mickey can bounce on enemies heads, or throw marbles that he collects, there are handy checkpoints on each level, and bosses faithfully reproduced straight from the cartoons, also along the way are little puzzles, but these are fun and easy rather than taxing to work out. The graphics and sound are excellent, with beautiful animations, almost on par with the SNES version, but first place goes to the Mega CD for an extra level and CD quality music. Mickey Mania is a technical master stroke on the Megadrive, and comes a very close second to the wonderful Castle Of Illusion for playability. A must have surely. (also on PC, Mega CD and SNES). 

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 a new review.
konami*man.

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