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.
TANTO R PUZZLE AND ACTION (2 PLAYERS) 80% (region free)
Tanto R is the brother of the equally madcap and fun party game, Icidant R. The premise is the the same, you and a friend or you against the computer face off in a series of memory, button bash and match 'em mini games, when all your continues are used it's game over. The graphics are bright and colorful, and there are tons of scratchy voice samples, not that that matters, because I dont understand Japanese. I really wish I could read Japanese, because all the menus aren't english either. Still, it doesn't take long for you to work out what each puzzle requires, and since there is no english equivalent we will have to make do. (only on Megadrive).
TEENAGE MUTANT HERO TURTLES TOURAMENT FIGHTERS A.K.A. TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES TOURAMENT FIGHTERS (2 PLAYERS) 58% (region protected)
What a sack of crap! This game being as bad as it is, is a complete mystery. If you have played the most excellent SNES version you will know what I mean. The Megadrive can't compete in terms of graphics and sound with a well made SNES game, thats a given, but the most important bit, the game play, has been totally spoiled. The Streetfighter II special move set has been scrapped, and there is only two buttons for attack, and what is there, is unresponsive, clunky and difficult to execute with intent. Two characters are also missing, but that doesn't really matter, as you won't play this long enough to miss them. There's lots of speech samples, but these are terribly scratchy. I'm baffled by the differences between the two console versions, both share the same name, and are published by the same company, yet they are clearly two different games. It must be the case that a different team worked on the MD version, then hopefully sacked afterwards. The only decent thing in this game is the Music. (also on SNES).
TINY TOON ADVENTURES ACME ALL STARS (2 PLAYERS) 68% (region protected)
Acme All Stars, is a cutesy sports multi game. The games are Basketball, Soccer (football to us), Bowling, Whack a Mole and Race. All the characters from the T.V. show are here, well drawn and well animated, the audio is very good too. But Acme All Stars is a bad game, because none of the games on this cartridge are done very well, with all games suffering from sluggish, basic controls, and lack of fun. The best game on the cart is Basketball, with the worst being Bowling. (only on Megadrive).
TROUBLE SHOOTER A.K.A. BATTLE MANIA (1 PLAYER) 89% (region free)
Trouble Shooter definately has character. You control two young girls, flying around the screen, blasting everything in sight, at the start of the level you must choose your weapon and smart bomb, your gun can be powered up by collecting icons, and your smart bomb can be used indefinately as long as it is charged up. You can have both girls fire in the same direction, or back to back, depending on what the action requires. The graphics are very detailed and cartoony, and the bosses are large and well animated too. The sound track is fast and pacey to match the action, and there are a few scratchy voice samples thrown in for good measure. Trouble shooter is a very enjoyable romp, if a little too short, and if you can find it cheap enough, it's sure to entertain you for a couple of hours. (only on Megadrive).
TRUXTON A.K.A. TATSUJIN (1 PLAYER) 79% (region free)
Man this game feels old, even for a Megadrive shooter. There's nothing wrong with Truxton per se, it's just a little boring. Your craft can collect three different types of shot, and it also has a smart bomb, which when dropped flashes the Truxton skull logo on the screen, enemies and bosses look a bit naff, and the graphics in general, though well drawn, are boring and uneventful. The audio is the same as the rest of the game 'shades of grey'. But Truxton is easy to play and the difficulty level is just right so it does what shooters should do, however the MD is famous for it's shooters, and there are tons of better ones out there. (only on Megadrive).
ULTIMATE MORTAL KOMBAT 3 (2 PLAYERS) 80% (region protected)
I must admit to not being the biggest fan of the Mortal Kombat series in general, but I did play them a lot as a teen, right up to the Playstation version of this one that I'm reviewing right now. If you don't know about mortal kombat (and I doubt that) it's a one on one beat 'em, set between real and etherial worlds, and the combatants are mix of humans, specters and monsters. At the end of each match you will have a brief moment to enter a button combination that, if entered corectly will produce a disgusting or funny death animation on your opponent. To successfully pull of one of these 'Death Moves' you will have to stand in a 'very' specific spot while you enter your cryptic poke on the joypad, usually something like, back, back, forward, forward, light punch. Having to look these up on-line and practice getting them perfect is not my idea of fun, and you only feel like a anal saddo when your friend asks what you had to do to make it all happen. Thankfully the series has addressed this to some degree in modern MK games. Mortal Kombat is famous for it's fast game play, blood and violence, as well as it's comedy death sequences. Midway has done a tremendous job on the limited megadrive hardware, all the important stuff is here, albeit a bit watered down. Some speech samples and frames of animation are missing, and the menu's are different, but the all important game play is the same, except the controls are a little more fiddly than on the other consoles because of the Megadrives control pad (a six button arcade stick works best). It is worth mentioning that UMK 3 is NOT better than Mortal Kombat 3. You see, instead of increasing the cart size to make room for all the extra characters, MD owners had to make do with an overall drop in quality, the most noticeable being speech samples and sprites. I would always choose quality over quantity, who wants two versions of Sub Zero anyway! Compared to the SNES the graphics are a bit grainy and the backgrounds not as nice. The best version is on the Saturn, if you can put up with the pauses for CD accessing. (also on SNES, Saturn, Xbox360 and other virtual consoles).
ULTIMATE QIX A.K.A. VOLFIED (1 PLAYER) 60% (region free)
How do you say this, I think it's pronounced 'kicks' but I'm not sure, anyway, Qix is a puzzler, where you have to draw boxes on the screen to reveal the picture, and power up's, whilst avoiding getting hit by various floating nasties, that fire projestiles, you can draw a box around them to destroy them. If you are half way through drawing your box, and you line is broken or you are hit, you loose a life ... simple. There are three modes of play avalible, and three difficulty levels, some allow you to shoot, and in others you must simply reveal a certain percentage of the screen to finish the stage. In games of this type, the presentation, music and sound effects must be spot on, whilst the main sprites graphics are acceptable, the background reveals are bland and uninteresting, the sound effects are minimal and poor, and there is no in game music at all, only a repetitive alarm, that sounds off in the background, (annoying) plus the difficulty level is too high from the off. Not a terrible game by any means, but some obvious, and easy fixes should have been addressed. N.B. 'Volfied' is often misread on the JAP case as it looks like it reads 'Volfiev'(only on Megadrive).
UNDEAD LINE (1 PLAYER) 80% (region free)
Undead Line is top down shooter, much like Elemental Master. You control a knight, equiped with, three floating mace balls, that rotate around, and a shield, plus an assortment of projectiles, that you collect from treasure chests dotted around the area, what power up you get depends on how many times you shoot the chest as it cycles through daggers, axe's, flame and a little helper, that acts like a side pod, giving you extra fire power. The other type of chest yeilds speed up's, health, invincibility, or death. There are actually many more power up's than that, I couldn't possibly list them all, I like the way that your helper power up reflects the stage that you are playing, if you are on the lava stage your helper will be fire bats, and you can get up to four. All the stages are themed, the ruins level is a blatant rip off from Splatter House, with the main character from that game breaking through the floor boards, blood splatered everywhere and even those pink creatures are there, severed heads and polterguist blowing out windows all add to the flavour. The bosses are pretty unimpressive though, a big worm and a wizard is what I have encountered so far. This game is solid, the enemy must be killed, there is no dodging and letting them drift by, they are relentless. Getting killed sends you right back to the begining, once you have used your three spinning shields, thats it! until you have lost all your lives and go to the continue screen. The games graphics are small but well drawn, and there are no special effects to speak of, the same is true of the audio, it just gets the job done, however I did find myself coming back for more, and that can only be a good thing. (only on Megadrive).
UNIVERSAL SOLDIER (1 PLAYER) 60% (region free)
Universal soldier is a platform shooter, based on the crappy Jean Claude Van Damme movie, that is a direct rip off, of the highly over rated Turrican (both games from Accolade). It plays and looks like an early Amiga game, your hero can run, jump and release smart bombs, as well as collect power up's for his weapon, and health. Every thing about this game is sub standard for a MD shooter, the graphics are poor and bland, and the audio is pathetic. I could forgive all this if the gameplay was decent, but controlling the main sprite feels unnatural (just like Turrican then) the level designs are buggy (just like Turrican then) and it is no fun at all (just like Turrican then). The SNES version features slightly better graphics and better sound effects, but is still a rubbish game. Maybe I'm being a little harsh, and Turrican fans will like this, as a sort of expansion pack, but this game engine has not aged well, and there are plenty more shooters of this type on the 16bit consoles to choose from. (also on SNES).
URBAN STRIKE (1 PLAYER) 89% (region free)
Urban Strike is the third game in the series, and probably the best. You control a helicopter, plus one or two types of vehicle in order to complete missions. At your disposal are rockets and machine guns. The Strike games have always held a small amount of realism in that you must constantly keep an eye on your crafts armour, ammo and fuel. The location of everything can be accessed via an easy to understand map screen. The graphics while not stunning are detailed and well drawn, the sound is reduced to helicopter noise and gun fire ... but what else do you need. Urban Strike is one of those games that you can quietly loose hours on, lucky there's a password system then eh? I also like the fact that some missions require you to rescue people, not just blow the crap out of everything, and this game also allows you to go on foot. For once the Megadrive gets the best version of this game, as the SNES version offers nothing else except muddier controls, and a few more colors. (also on SNES, Gameboy and Game Gear).
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