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.
SATURDAY NIGHT SLAM MASTERS A.K.A. MUSCLE BOMBER (2 PLAYERS) 80% (region protected)
I can't stand wrestling, not even as a form of light entertainment. Anybody hero worshiping semi naked roid men play fighting, and thinking that it's real or cool, has obviously never been in a real fight and taken a punch in the face, or are indeed eight years old. I've mostly shyed away from the sim type wrestling games, but this one is a Capcom fighter, with character artwork done by a Manga artist no less, and everybody knows that Capcom do some mean arcade fighters, plus Mike Haggar of Final Fight fame is in there too. From a selection of eight fighters (two are un selectable bosses) you take to the ring armed with attack, jump and grab/pin buttons, you can also double tap for running into the ropes and pull off specials too. All the usual stuff you would expect is here aswell, you can pick weapons up outside the ring, climb the turnbuckles force submissions. It's all very arcadey and easy to access, which is great, infact on the easiest mode it's a little too easy, so it's better to play on normal mode straight away. The SNES version wins due to bigger sprites, more colors and much clearer voice samples, plus it boasts a four player battle royal multitap option, while the MD version gets an exclusive death match mode. (also on SNES).
SHINOBI III A.K.A. THE SUPER SHINOBI 2 (1 PLAYER) 90% (region protected)
Shinobi 3 is the sequel to the brilliant action platformer, Revenge Of Shinobi. Like it's older brother Shinobi 3 keeps the same core gameplay, and adds an expanded move set, improved ninja magic, more detailed graphics and even a stage where you ride on horse back. The graphics are top notch, with nice touches such as leaves blowing in the wind, plenty of sprite warping and psuedo transparencies, the audio though very good, isn't quite as good as revenge. Like the first game, the levels are varied, and bosses require you to work out a tactic in order to defeat them. This is a worthy follow up and i'm glad they didn't mess with it too much, but Revenge Of Shinobi is still king of the ninjas for me. (only on Megadrive).
SPARKSTER ROCKET KNIGHT ADVENTURES 2 (1 PLAYER) 86% (region protected)
Sparkster is the sequel to the highly acclaimed Konami platformer Rocket knight adventures. Quite a bit has changed (for the worse), Sparkster has a separate button to operate his jet pack, and it recharges a bit quicker, and he no longer fires when he swipes with his sword, another thing missing is the great mini set pieces and mini boss battles, that I loved so much from the first game. The bosses them selves aren't as good, the first level sees you fighting the train from a certain Shinobi game. Graphical detail and great tunes remain, just not as good. This sequel lacks the variety and flare that it's older brother has, still it's one of the better platformers on the Megadrive, and a worth a look. The SNES game of the same name is totally different, and is more like the first game, only better in every way. (only on Megadrive).
TEENAGE MUTANT HERO TURTLES THE HYPERSTONE HEIST A.K.A TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES RETURN OF THE SHREDDER (2 PLAYERS) 89% (region free)
TMNT The Hyperstone Heist is the Megadrive equivelent of what SNES owners got in 'Turtles In Time' and they are natural sequels to the arcade game, and I must say, it's every bit as good as both of those. A scrolling beat 'em up with a TMNT flavour, that plays well enough even if you don't like the Turtles. With colorful, well drawn graphics and excellent sound, TMNT Hyperstone has bags of character and the game play to take on any scrolling beat 'em up on the Megadrive, including Streets Of Rage. (only on Megadrive).
TERMINATOR THE, (1 PLAYER) 68% (region free)
Terminator is absolutely solid, even on the easiest setting this game is just too frikkin hard. A shame really beacuse it has great graphics and audio, the pesentation is spot on too, it feels just like the film. Kyle Reese gets to use grenades, machine guns and explosives. It's a constant bombardment of skynet vehicles and terminators that really bog you down. But all is not lost because there is a Mega CD version that addresses some of these issues, as well as adding some new ones. (only on Mrgadrive).
THUNDERFORCE III (1 PLAYER) 95% (region free)
The best of the Thunderforce series, and possibly the best shooter on the Megadrive. This side scrolling shooter is how they all should be done, the controls are tight and easy to use, three buttons control speed of ship, weapon selection and fire. The graphics in TF3 are detailed and sharp, the worlds you visit through out the game are varied and laden with character, you even fight under water! The bosses are gorgeous to look at and fill the screen, and theres a real sense of occasion with them. The frantic soundtrack gets the pulse racing, and the gun sounds are satisfiying. TF3 is difficult to start with, but after a few goes you will be in the groove and onto your third world. There is a SNES conversion of sorts, called Thunderforce AC, but it doesn't play as well and lacks the character of the original somehow. This, in my opinion is THE definitive shooter for the MD. (also on Saturn and SNES).
THUNDERFORCE IV A.K.A. LIGHTNING FORCE (1 PLAYER) 89% (region protected)
Thunderforce 4 is a technical tour de force in Megadrive terms, every single special effect or psuedo effect is used to the max. The game jumps straight in to a level select, where you choose what order you want to tackle the game in. Two buttons control fire and direction of fire. You can choose wheather you want to fight top or bottom screen, and of course there are the obligatory power up's. TF4 is a tough game to beat as with most MD shooters, but some of the deaths you will incur are as a direct result of Technosoft over using parallax scrolling and depth effects, some times you wont even know whats hit you. As I've said the graphics really showcase what the MD is capable of, but they are almost too busy. The audio is a mix of awesome TF quality tunes and awful MD quality speech samples, that announce the type of weapon you've just picked up, you won't understand what she's saying, it's that bad. If TF4 wasn't so busy, and had some of the parallax layer graphics stripped back, it would be the undisputed No.1 shooter on the MD...shame. (also on Saturn).
TOEJAM & EARL (2 PLAYERS) 70% (region)
Toejam and Earl is an action exploration game. You must find parts to rebuild your ship across ever revealing maps. Along the way you will meet some weird and wacky characters, and you must collect presents in order to reveal power ups that enable you to do things like run, jump and swim. It's all done with a sense of humour, and toejam and earl will eat hours of your time. The graphics are so so, and the animations of the main characters is good, the music is funky bass guitar style rythyms that get you into the funk. The controls and map are easy to use. I found the game pretty boring after I got used to the initial goofyness , but there is a two player split screen mode I havn't tried, that would probably ramp the score up a bit. (only on Megadrive).
TOEJAM & EARL 2 PANIC ON FUNKOTRON (2 PLAYERS) 89% (region protected)
Toejam and Earl 2, is comletely different from the first yawn inducing game. It's an action platformer, laden with great animation, variety and comedy. The humans have landed on funkotron, so you must search around the screen for them, and put them in jam jars, then toss them in the garbage. The mini games are great too, the first one you will encounter is a 'Pararappa' style, copy the beat game. The makers of this game seem to be confused with the differnce between hip hop and funk, the theme and design is hip hop, but the music is definately not, not even that gay 80's fresh prince type. The audio is excellent, with clear speech (what????) and excellent funky bass guitar style tunes (it's what the guy from mighty boosh would be into). There are handy indicator arrows, and the game has a password feature, so playing in small hits is not a problem. If you like Megadrive platformers, then this should be on your shopping list. (only on Megadrive).
TOY STORY (1 PLAYER) 89% (region protected)
Toy Story is one of the best platformers on the MD, it follows the movie quite closely, and has bags of variety and character. The graphics in Toy Story are digitised to look like their CG movies counter parts, and psygnosis have done a terrific job considering the MD's small color palette. You control woody, and your missions follow the order of the movie, you will have to jump, swing and whip your way through to beat the game, some levels are your standard fare platforming challenges, while others will have you complete mini games, one level lets you take control of the cowardly dinosaur, while another is the grabber machine with the green alien toys. This is a highly polished game, only trumped by the SNES version which has more colors, and much better sound. (also on SNES).