SEGA 32X GAMES REVIEWS PART 2

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METAL HEAD (1 PLAYER) 78%

Ah a proper 3D polygon mech game for the 32X, except the gameplay is quite arcadey next to other titles of this genre, which is a plus in my book (imagine the controls of Doom 32X). The graphics are very good (for a 32X) they are crisp colorful and fast (I've seen worse Saturn titles). You take control of a 30ft robot and stomp around the city, blasting the crap out of other mech's and tanks, with an array of weapons. You can play in either 1st or 3rd person views, using your radar to hunt your enemies down, you can strafe, sprint and gun all at the same time, a la Doom. The sound track is appropriately metal, and adds to the arcade style feel. This game really needed a 2 player or deathmatch feature, because the single player gets repetitive quite quickly. It would definately have made a higher score. If you're in the mood for a quick 20 minute blast every now and again, this is worth getting if you can find it cheap enough.

MORTAL KOMBAT 2 (2 PLAYERS) 88%

MK 2 is a one on one fighter in which you pit human and mystical combatants against each other over surreal and spooky stages. O.k. I'll admit I'm not really a MK fan (complicated specials for such a frantic game, and block on a button ferchistsakes!) I much prefer Street Fighter and Tekken ... but I did get in to it for a while, and MK fans will not be dissapointed, the 32X version is a big step up from the Megadrive version, the graphics are almost arcade perfect (the backgrounds are generated by the Megadrive, everything else is done by the 32X) as is the sound. The gameplay is fast and fluid, and the sprites are nice and big. Probably the best console version around.

MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP (2 PLAYERS) 30%

You can't polish a turd! (sorry any polish people) and that's what this game is I'm afraid. As you've probably guessed it's a dirt bike racing game, (dirt being the appropriate word) and it takes place over supercross style stages. The graphics are gaudy, pixelated and blocky, and the controls are spoiled by an appalling frame rate that makes the whole thing jumpy, choppy and unplayable. AVOID.

NBA JAM TOURNAMENT EDITION (2 PLAYERS) 85%

KABOOM! RAZZLEDAZZLE! HE'S HEATING UP! The ramblings of a dribbling idiot to those who haven't played NBA Jam. 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, the 23X version is sharper than the Megadrive version and features some different easter eggs, but aside from that it's not really any different. 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 lends it's self best to a six button joy pad. NBA Jam is one of the best 2 player games on any 90's console, period.

NFL QUARTERBACK CLUB (5 PLAYERS) 50%

It's an american football game similar to the Madden series on the Megadrive. It has decent enough graphics, the sound is crisp and clear, and the gameplay is fast and fluid, it's a good job that it has a multiplayer option though, because the computer is no challenge at all, and that's what's wrong with it ... it's just too easy to score. The spin and speed -burst controls are fool proof, no fun at all, also on the play-calling screen, you can't tell which plays are running or passing. I'm not a big fan of american football games anyway, but if you're a fan of Madden and the like, maybe you'll enjoy it a bit more than I did. Just make sure you have a friend to play against.

PITFALL THE MAYAN ADVENTURE (1 PLAYER) 86%

Pitfall is a great little platform game set in the mayan jungle, your character must run, swing and jump in order to traverse the jungle, with a boss at the end of each stage. Armed with a variety of weapons ranging from catapults and boomerangs to smart bombs, so you can inflict maximum death on all the lovely animals (there's no RSPCA in the mayan jungle). It's not just the animals trying to hamper your progress though, quick sand will swallow you up, platforms and tree branches break away and the foliage and fauna will spit poisonous barbs at you. The graphics are very good, surpassing the Megadrive by a fair bit, and on par with the SNES version, they are smooth and fluid, especially the animation of the main character (backgrounds are done by the Megadrive, main graphics are 32X). The sound quality is the same as the Megadrive version, although this is no bad thing as the Megadrive version is excellent, the gameplay and control is also the same as the Megadrive version. If you dont own the Megadrive, Mega CD or SNES versions, then this is a worth while buy, and will keep you entertained for days, the reason it didn't score any higher is that the SNES version is slightly better all round, due to a nicer control system, better colors and running a bit faster.

PRIMAL RAGE (2 PLAYERS) 40%

Primal Rage is a  2D prehistoric themed dinosaur\ape one one one fighter with digitized sprites and mortal kombat style gore, your beasts are capable of extreme acts of violence, such as the puke and fart attack (no really). The graphics are o.k, the sprites are larger and much more detailed than the Megadrive and SNES versions, the sound is the same, nothing to shout about, but the gameplay is boring as hell, the farting and puke moves are only funny for about 10 seconds, and that's if you can pull 'em off, other wise it's just randomly mash the buttons for 50 seconds and hope you win (or maybe not). Why make a 32 bit version of a rubbish 16 bit game? If you've played the arcade version you'll know what I mean. As it stands, this is probably the better of the cartridge based versions, but that doesn't stop it from sucking dino-ass.

RBI BASEBALL '95 (2 PLAYERS) 60%

It's a baseball sim, it has all the features that other baseball sim's have, such as team options, base steals, play options and the like. The graphics are nice, big and colorful, when you bat your player takes up the whole screen ... which is nice, the sound is quite sparse on the ground though, and it doesn't give the feeling of playing in a big stadium. There's nothing really wrong eith the game, it's just that thre are more entertaining games of the genre on both the Megadrive and SNES. If you are a big baseball fan though, add 10% to the final score for the prettier graphics.

STELLAR ASSAULT (2 PLAYERS) 86%

Called Shadow squadron in the U.S, this game is rockin' it's a 3D polygonal space shooter played from the 1st person perspective and everything Darxide should have been. Right from the outset you know your in for a treat, when your ship is launched space mountain style into warp speed before slowing onto deep space to confront enemy ships. The graphics are nicely done, no polygon clipping and some of the ships are HUGE! and you can fly straight into them. When you destroy an enemy ship there is a nice explosion followed by fragmentation of all the polygons. The gameplay and controls are a joy to use, first you pick your targets on the radar, you can accelerate up to them, and when the cross hairs pass over an enemy, they are highlighted by a red graphic and you can blast away and do barrel rolls to avoid incoming fire. The pace isn't that hot, but the whole thing feels polished and well thought out.

SPACE HARRIER (1 PLAYER) 60%

Why would Sega bother to make an arcade perfect conversion of a late 80's system 16 game for 32X, when the Megadrive already has Space Harrier 2. For those who don't know, Space harrier is a third person shooter, your character hovers around holding on to a rocket powered laser gun, shooting aliens, flying saucers and rocks, while dodging incoming fire, there are also bosses to contend with, but the action never lets up, you just continue to the next stage with no break a la Out Run. The whole game feels like a frankenstein of 80's Sega coin-op's, the way the ground scrolls toward you looks like it was ripped from Out Run, the sprite scaling stolen from afterburner, and the music laughably snatched from what sounds like a Master System, even the speech has been ripped off, you'll recognize "get ready" from Afterburner and "aaargh" from Altered beast. In my opinion this game offers nothing over the Megadrive title, except maybe better scaling and a smoother frame rate. They might have had an interesting game on their hands if they had included an updated version with the original - added some weapon power up's, broke it up into easier to digest levels, wrote some decent\new music and sound effects, and maybe a 2 player mode. Die hard Space Harrier fans will love it for being arcade perfect, the rest of us will find it repetitive and boring.

SPIDERMAN WEB OF FIRE (1 PLAYER) 76%

Only for 32X, web of fire is alot like all the other Megadrive spidey games, you can web, swing and punch your foe's, the graphics are nice and well animated, but nothing a Megadrive couldn't do (albeit with less colors) the sound is strictly Megadrive with an electro guitar sound track in the background. Not a lot to say really, the controls are good and the gameplay is smooth ... I just wish the game featured some classic spidey foe's such as Doc Oc, Lizard, Mysterio and Venom would have been nice, instead there are a host of unknown bosses I have never heard of, also the difficulty is a tad too high, due to dodgy collision detection and having to start from the begining of a level when you die. An opportunity missed to make a great spidey game methinks.

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Dont forget to check out part 3 of this guide.    konami*man.

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