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.
NBA JAM T.E. (2 PLAYERS) 85% (region free)
Man! There are so many versions of this game, it's real chore comparing them all, so here goes ..... NBA Jam is a great arcade 2 on 2 basketball game that features all the teams from the mid 90's and addictive gameplay. Best played with a friend, your player is assisted by a computer controlled drone, and is capable of turbo sprints and gravity defying slam dunks, somersaulting through the air and smoking, before smashing the flaming ball through the net, accompanied by the commentator shouting "KABOOM!" and "he's on fire!" The turbo feature works best with shoulder buttons to hand, so you should use a six button joy pad on the MD. NBA Jam is one of the best 2 player games on any 90's console. The best version is on the Sega Saturn (almost arcade perfect), but they all play pretty much the same. If I have to choose between the 16 bit versions, then I choose SNES, for better control, graphics and speech samples. (also on PC, Mega CD, Game Gear, Saturn, Jaguar, SNES, Gameboy and Playstation).
NEWMAN HASS INDY RACING: FEATURING NIGEL MANSELL (2 PLAYERS) 79% (region free)
A fine attempt at beating Monaco GP for a 'in the cockpit' style f1 racer, but sorry no cigar. The play mechanics are pretty much the same as the afore mentioned game, but lacks the features and the playability, the graphics are good enough, even with some track side objects in 3D. The sound of the car engine is more annoying than most, and the telegraph poles are here bizzarly, as in most 16bit f1 games, but still this is a decent arcade style racer. The SNES version of this game features better graphics, no speech samples, and worse car driving experience, so the MD version is best for once. (also on SNES).
NEWZEALAND STORY THE, (2 PLAYERS) 70% (region free)
The Newzealand Story is an old school action platfomer. You have to jump and shoot cute baddies to make it to your baby, who is locked in a cage at the end of every level. Visually, this is the best looking version of the game, it even betters the arcade, featuring more colors, power up's and Megadrive only levels, but the music and sound effects are nearly the same no matter which console it's on. It's also one of the toughest versions, despite doing away with that nasty time limit. Aimed at youngsters rather than wisened old gamers like my self, I think that the difficulty level is too high, and will put them off, but if you can ignore the sickly cuteness of it all and persevere theres a decent game in there to be had. (also on Spectrum, C64, Atari ST, Amiga, PC Engine, NES and Master System).
NHL HOCKEY '98 (4 PLAYERS) 80% (region protected)
It was rather pointless reviewing ALL of the EA Sports NHL games, because the differences are only minimal, released in 1997 (I know hard to belive) NHL '98, is exactly the same as NHL '97, so I suppose that makes it joint best of the bunch, although if you already have NHL '96, you aren't missing out on much. The graphics are quite small, and not a great use of color has been employed, but that isn't really the point of these games, the players animate and control well, and a good game flow is evident. The sound is minimal but what is here, is good. The 4 player mode really extends the life of this game, and this is the best ice hockey game on the MD. (only on Megadrive).
NIGEL MANSELL'S WORD CHAMPIONSHIP (1 PLAYER) 79% (region free)
Nigel Mansell's World Championship is the only third person F1 game on the MD, the game features all the circuits, all the real drivers names, and a tune up option. The action is viewed from behind (a la pole position) and you play as Mansell himself against all the other computer drones, you can choose to qualify for grid position, or just race from the back. The sensation of speed is good, and the frame rate doesn't suffer, rivals can be a pig to pass on the narrow circuits, but your car has the legs to catch them easily. The graphics are good, and the animation of the car kicking sideways, or spinning is especially good. The sound is your normal 16bit engine drone and tire squeal as you would expect, not great, but par for the course. The controls feel just right, and the difficulty is spot on. Strangely though there are telegraph poles lining the sides of the track .. health and safety might have something to say about that i'm sure. There is a SNES game of the same name, by the same developer that is much better than this, but it is so different, that it should not be compared. (also on SNES)
NO ESCAPE (1 PLAYER) 10% (region protected)
Normally I would save one of my ten slots per review letter for a more deserving game than this utter abomination of a game, but the fact is that there aren't that many games to review for 'N' means I must fill the slot with 'something'. This is the dire game of the equally dire movie of the same name. It tries to be a kind of action platformer mixed with shades of Flashback. This game is bad on so many levels, the control it's self is ok, but right from the start you are bombarded with enemies that take too many hits to kill and they dont stop coming. Run away then I hear you say, you can't! From the start the ground opens up to reveal traps, and while you go through your 'climb out of the pit' animation, the enemies follow, and are much better at avoiding the traps than you. What ensues is constant frustrating deaths, acompanied by grating, repetitive music, and poor visuals. The SNES version is just as bad, with slightly better graphics and sound. AVOID! (also on SNES).
NORMY'S BEACH BABE O RAMA (1 PLAYER) 60% (region free)
Normy is a platformer where you take the role of a aging beach bum, trying to rescue the hot beach babes from the aliens. The platform action feels amatuer, while the control of normy isn't terrible, it feels stiff, and action doesn't flow like it does in the best platformers, this is much more like 'Chuck Rock' only not as good. Normy can dash and do huge jumps, he can pick up weapons such as throwing stones or the springy boxing glove. The graphics aren't up to MD standards, all of the sprite designs and animations are a little ropey, reminisent of Viz cartoon characters. The 90's comic book humour has aged badly, and if you laugh at any of the speech bubble jokes, then you are probably stoned off your head, which is unlikely because the music is grating to say the least, and sure to kill your buzz. Man. (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 a new review.