Mega Drive C-D

Alien Brigade – By Atari

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 Captain America & The Avengers - By Data East

Captain America & The Avengers was originally released by Data East into the arcades in 1991. The game is a side-scrolling fighting/shooting game where Captain America and members of The Avengers team must face the evil forces of Red Skull. Data East ported the game to the Genesis/MD themselves and this version of the game has the distinction of being the only version they made that is a true port of the arcade game (the NES version is a different game altogether and the arcade port for other systems was done by Mindscape). In the game the player can choose from one of four Avengers: Captain America, Iron Man, Hawkeye, or Vision. Each of these heroes has different powers that can be used in combat. In addition to these selectable Avengers, there are other Avengers that come to assist you once you’rve collected special power-ups. Some of these include Quicksliver and Namor. There are five levels to play through, each level with a final boss that you’ll have to deal with. While many of the enemies you’ll face are generic, there are plenty of recognizable enemies such as The Sentinels, Mandarin, Ultron, and Grim Reaper. One or two players can enjoy the game but having a friend play with you makes things more fun. The game graphics are good, though not spectacular. The game sounds include digitized speech and there is cool, upbeat music that plays through each level. The control mechanism is not difficult to learn but it does take some getting used to. Overall, though, this is a good game that fans of Marvel’s superhero team will enjoy.

Review by TrekMD

7/10

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 Castlevania Bloodlines – By Sega

In the year 1897, Count Dracula ruled the Transylvanian countryside of Romania with an iron fist. Though he was ruthless in life, he was even more ruthless in death for he was the king of the vampires. Despite his power, Dracula was finally killed by Quincy Belmont. Unfortunately, Belmont also died and these events were witnessed by his son John Morris and John’s best friend, Eric Lecarde. Twenty years later, an amateur witch called Drolta Tzuentes casts a spell that brings back one Elizabeth Bartley, the niece of Count Dracula, who now decides it is time for the king of the vampires to make a return. Thankfully, Morris and Lecarde discover the nefarious plan and head to castle Dracula to stop Bartley from fulfilling her task. Though owners of Sega’s 16-bit console had to wait a bit longer to get an official Castlevania game on the system, the game was well worth the wait. When the game starts, the player selects between controlling John Morris or Eric Lecarde. Each character has its own special control features and weapons, something that adds variation in the gameplay as things have to be done differently with each characters in certain parts of the castle. The game has fantastic visuals with lots of gore and multiple monsters for the player to deal with, including vampire bats, skele-dragons, ravens, Medusa heads, and mecha-knights. There also are several cool bosses to deal with to add to the fun. As you’d expect, there are additional items and weapons to pick up that increase your chances of advancing through the castle. The music is excellent and the sound effects are also well done. This game is another winner!

Review by TrekMD

9/10

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 Chakan: The Forever Man – By Sega

Chakan is a title based on a comic book by Robert A. Kraus. Such games were common for that time but few were based on as dark a character as Chakan. Chakan is a martial arts warrior who is confident in his skills to the point of such arrogance as to suggest that not even Death itself can defeat him in battle. Unfortunately, this claim made the leaders of the many tribes so afraid of Chakan that they banned together to call the Grim Reaper and ask for his help at defeating the warrior. Death, of course, was not amused by Chakan’s arrogance and offered him a challenge: fight and defeat Death to be granted life eternal but fail to defeat Death only to become an eternal servant of Death. After days of battle, Death admitted defeat and granted Chakan his reward but with a “caveat” - he would be remain but a shell of himself forver wandering the world in search of evils to destroy. Only when the four evils are destroyed, will Chakan find peace. In the game, the player controls Chakan who must first travel in a central hub to select an elemental plane in which to play (Earth, Fire, Water, and Air). One a plane is selected, Chakan enters it and must deal with the enemies within. The player has endless lives (after all, Chakan can’t die) but if he is beaten in a plane, he is returned to the hub to start again. Chakan proves to be a very frustrating (almost infuriating) game with its unforgiving gameplay. Jumps have to be very precise and enemies are tough to beat. The endless lives come in handy! Only masochists are likely to enjoy this game.

Review by TrekMD

4/10

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  Chuck Rock - By Virgin Games

Chuck Rock was first released by Core Design in 1991 to home computers, with the character becoming quite famous until Core created Lara Croft. The game based on Chuck was such a success that it was ported to various systems, with the folks at Virgin creating the Genesis/MD version. The game is set in a prehistoric Earth similar to that of the Flintstones and our unlikely hero is a fat, square-jawed man with a beer belly. This is Chuck Rock, who also has his own catch phrase, Unga Bunga! Chuck is married to Ophelia but Ophelia always had an admirer in the evil Gary Gritter. While Ophelia was hanging the laundry (with Chuck watching TV and drinking beer), Gary uses his club to knock out Ophelia and take her away. It is up to Chuck to save his wife for this evil dude. With his clothes dirty, Chuck runs behind a bush and creates a leaf and twig set of pants and he sets off to the rescue. Chuck must cross five different areas in order to reach the dinosaur graveyard where Gary is holding Ophelia hostage. Chuck Rock should not be dismissed as just another platformer as this game is quite enjoyable and funny! In what other game do you get to fight your enemies with your beer belly? Yep, Chuck uses his belly to do a belly-butt but he is pretty good and jumping and throwing rocks at his enemies. The game has some really nice cartoon-like graphics and a catchy tune. To keep Chuck going (be sure to watch the heart meter), you need to find dinosaur steaks through the levels for him to eat and there are some puzzles you need to solve to advance through certain levels. This is a really nice title you should not miss!

Review by TrekMD

8/10

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 Columns – By Sega

Columns is a simple match three game which has groups of three coloured jewels falling from the top of the screen. You can move them left and right and swap their positions with the button to match three or more same-coloured gems either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally to make them disappear. The gems will mount up on top of each other and once they hit the top of the screen it's game over. The longer you last the higher your score and better your chance to get your name on the leaderboards. Columns is easy to pick up and when you pick the lowest level will give you hints to help you for the first three levels. Difficulty is increased by the jewel blocks fall faster, giving you less time to react. Keep your eye on the indicator which tells you what the next group of three will be so you can plan your next move. Higher scores can be acheived by clearing multiple blocks off by chaining the connections. Every now and then you will be thrown a lifeline in the form of a magic jewel, whatever colour you land it on will make every gem of that type on the screen disappear. Sega's puzzler will keep you coming back for more to beat your own scores but it also has a versus mode where two players can compete with each other. Add in a beat the clock (Flash) mode where you have to match three to a flashing jewel to make it disappear as quickly as possible, also with a vs or doubles option and there's even more reasons to play. The graphics and sound are good enough, not exceptional, but it's the gameplay which keeps you coming back. The background music may drive you insane after a while too, but the game is addictive. Columns is good addictive fun on your Mega Drive that will keep you coming back for more.

Review by dougtitchmarsh

9/10

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  Contra: Hard Corps - By Konami

If you’re a fan of running shoot ‘em ups, you will love Contra: Hard Corps (Probotector in Europe). The game is set five years after the events in Contra III and a team of four warriors referred to as the Hard Corps must deal with Colonel Bahamut who has stolen an left over alien cell. With this alien cell, Bahamut can create weapons that can destabilize the situation in a world that has yet to fully recover from the Alien Wars. When the game starts, the player has the option of choosing one of the four warriors - Ray Poward, Sheena Etranzi, Brad Fang, or Browny - before starting the mission. In addition, two players can work together on a mission. Each character has their own set of skills and there are four weapons each can carry. The weapons are interchangeable also, making the total number of weapons available 16! The game has fantastic graphics that are colourful, detailed, and well animated. This is coupled to great music and sound effects as well as frenetic, non-stop action. Something that is unique this particular Contra title is that there is a storyline that can be branched off in different directions, giving the game more than one potential ending. Contra: Hard Corps is not an easy game as there are plenty of enemies on screen and it does have a learning curve that can be steep, but it is a excellent title in the Contra series. Contra: Hard Corps may be the only Contra title for the Genesis/MD but it is as hard core as it gets!If you’re not as skilled with this type of game, using a Game Genie will help you out.

Review by TrekMD

9/10

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  Cool Spot - By Virgin Games

In 1987, 7-Up introduced the world to a mascot based on the red spot of their logo. This mascot was called Cool Spot and essentially it is the red spot with a mouth, arms and legs that wears sunglasses and oversized sneakers. Cool Spot was so cool that Virgin Games decided to make a game using the character, a game that was initially released only in the United States where 7-Up did not already have a mascot (in Europe, Fido Dido was the official mascot and this led to some differences in the game when it was released in that market). Cool Spot is a platformer and it is one that people may dismiss as nothing more than an interactive advertisement; however, the game is well done and quite fun. The story for the game finds Wild Wicket Wily Will holding captive a bunch of Spots but one! Yep, that’s the Spot you control in order to rescue all the other spots from Will. That lucky Spot was surfing when the traps were set so he starts off at the beach in search of his friends. Cool Spot can jump or shoot Cool Shots against the various enemies he will face. These enemies are vary from crabs, dragonflies, bees, robots, frogs, and others. In order to save your friends, you must collect spots that are found through the different areas you’ll move through. The number of spots varies by levels. Bear in mind that, though this is a platformer, the end of the level (where your friends are) is not always at the far right! Be sure to pick up bonus items for increased health and chances to continue the game. If you’ve never played Cool Spot, give it a chance. You will be surprised!

Review by TrekMD

9/10

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 Dark Castle – By Electronic Arts

Dark Castle started its life as an Apple Macintosh game that saw several ports to other computers and to the Genesis/MegaDrive. The game is a platformer where the player controls the character of Duncan as he travels within the titular dark castle avoiding enemies and solving puzzles before reaching the main enemy of the game. The story goes that the evil Black Knight has been terrorizing the people of the kingdom and it is up to Prince Duncan to topple the knight from the throne. To do so, Duncan must travel through 16 levels in the four different sections of the castle (Fireball, Shield, Trouble, and Black Knight). Only after the Prince has been able to collect the magical shield and the power to throw fireballs (instead of stones), may he face the Black Knight. When the game starts, the player must select from one of the four castle sections (by choosing a door) at a “main hall” within the castle. Once selected, the character moves into the castle section where mice, bats, and other enemies await. Does this all sound like elements for an interesting game? Yep, it sure does but don’t be fooled for one second! Dark Castle has fame for being one of the worst (if not, the worst) games for the Genesis/MegaDrive and I have to say that it is a well deserved “honour.” This game is horrible to play because of lousy controls, unforgiving mechanics (you can die from a simple misstep on a staircase), and terrible animation. The graphics can only be described as drab, though sound is surprisingly good since you are listening to Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor. My advise to you, avoid at all costs!

Review by TrekMD

1/10

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 Daze Before Christmas – By Sunsoft

Oh, oh, the Evil Snowman has decided that Christmas will not happen and he has captured all of Santa’s elves and reindeer! Santa Claus cannot let the children go without a Christmas, though, so races to rescue his elves and reindeer. Unfortunately, Santa will be facing a number of challenges on his mission. Giant rats, evil toys, and living snowmen all will do their best to stop Santa on his tracks. But Santa is not without means to defend himself as he has magic “snow” that will convert all these enemies into Christmas presents that are totally harmless. There are many wrapped presents that Santa needs to open in his search for his friends but he must be careful since the Evil Snowman has wrapped bombs and other evil enemies in some of them. And there’s Anti-Claus. No, he’s not an enemy that Santa must face. He is actually a devilish version of Santa into which Santa transforms if he picks up any of the hot cups of coffee that appear around the platforms he must traverse. Daze Before Christmas is a fun platformer title on the Sega Genesis/MegaDrive that truly conveys the magic of Christmas with its colorful graphics, music, and characters. Santa moves through different areas which appear through an Advent calendar, with a boss to be defeated after a given number of zones. Once the boss is defeated, Santa travels on his sleigh over multiple cities around the world to drop gifts through chimneys. While Santa is vulnerable to attack, he is invincible when he changes into Anti-Claus. He is, however, unable to use magic or pick up presents in this form. Overall a very good game that the entire family can enjoy.

Review by TrekMD

8/10

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  Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf - By Electronic Arts

“General” Kilbaba is a madman from the Middle East who wants to start Armageddon and you have been selected as the pilot to run preemptive campaigns in the desert to stop this maniac from starting a war. Each of the four campaigns have specific targets that you must destroy if you are to stop Kilbaba. The campaigns are Air Superiority, Scut Buster, Embassy City, and Nuclear Storm. Air Superiority is the easiest of the campaigns and it gives you an opportunity to properly familiarize yourself with the controls and learn the strategy needed to win. The other campaigns have increasing difficulty, more complexity, and more targets for you to deal with. Controlling the helicopter in the game is actually easy to learn and master and weapons control is pretty simple. You have access to machine guns, hydra missiles, and hellfire missiles by pressing buttons C, B, and A, respectively. You can also access a situation screen/map screen by pressing the Start button. This screen also lists your objectives for the mission you’re in. Though you could shoot anything and everything on screen, you need to refrain from doing so as your ammo is limited. You also need to avoid hitting civilians as that will cost you points. You do get more ammo by destroying proper targets ans rescuing captives. Desert Strike plays with an isometric view of the field and it has good graphics and sound effects. The game is fun and you do have to be alert as even soldiers that are running around can shoot at you and cause damage. Desert Strike is a game every Genesis/MD owner should have.

Review by TrekMD

9/10

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 Devilish – By Sage’s Creation

What we have here is a rather unique take on Breakout with a mixture of pinball elements thrown in to boot. Devilish sets the stage in a gothic-style environment where a prince and princess have been turned into stone paddles by a demon who is jealous of their love. Moved by their predicament, a magical ball comes into existence to assist the prince and princess as they fight to defeat the demons that now control the kingdom. The player, of course, is in the control of the two stone paddles which must be used to control the magical ball as it smashes into just about everything that appears in the playing field. Stones, bricks, gates, magical objects, and bonus items all appear throughout as the player continues to move forward to face a devilish boss at the end of each stage. Two things make this game unique: the way the paddles are controlled and the constant forward advancement within each stage. Each paddle serves a different purpose as the top paddle is primarily used to destroy the demons and objects while controlling the ball while the lower paddle is there as a protection to prevent the ball from disappearing at the bottom of the screen. The upper paddle not only moves horizontally but vertically as well and it can even be angled vertically, something that comes in handy when there are horizontal levels to cross. The lower paddle has more limited mobility (horizontally only) but is key to keep the ball playing longer if the upper paddle misses it. The graphics of Devlish are beautiful and sound is fantastic with superb music playing throughout. The bosses are nicely rendered and animated and do add another element to the gameplay. Devilish is a must in your library!

Review by TrekMD

9/10

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  Dick Tracy - By Sega

Calling Dick Tracy! Calling Dick Tracy! Every thug, gangster and hood is out in the streets! The quintessential police detective raises his arm and talks into his two-way wrist radio: Tracy here, I’m armed and ready! Growing up, I remember reading comic strips about Dick Tracy and watching cartoons about this famous fictional detective. Heck, I even remember the movie that starred Warren Beatty (I still have the soundtrack)! So, count me as a fan of the character so, when I learned there was a Genesis/MD game based on this hero, I knew I had to get it. I didn’t care whether the game was good or bad, I just wanted to get it. Thankfully, the game turned out to be pretty good. In the game you play as Dick Tracy as you go through various parts of the city (for a total of six stages) with the goal of bringing down Big Boy. You can jump, duck, shoot with your gun, or even use a Tommy (machine) gun to hit gangsters that shoot at you from the other side of the street. Of course, your machine gun does cause damage to anything it hits, so you’ll see windows, fire hydrants, and street lights blow up when they get hit. Each of the stages has a boss at the end that you must deal with and these are known characters from the comic strip such as The Brow, Pruneface, and Flattop. The game was actually inspired by the movie, so there are aspects of the game that play on that. Dick Tracy has bright and colourful graphics, excellent sound effects and music, and enjoyable gameplay. This is one worth having!

Review by TrekMD

8/10

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 Double Dragon 3: The Rosetta Stone - By Flying Edge

Double Dragon, great game. Double Dragon 2, another great game. Double Dragon 3: The Rosetta Stone, not so much. It appears that, ironically, something got lost in translation. Double Dragon 3 was released into the arcades in 1990. The game was then ported to various home systems, including the Genesis/MD. While the arcade version allowed for three simultaneous players, this was not possible on the Genesis/MD port. The story has Billy and Jimmy Lee returning from a two-year training mission only to meet a fortune teller who tells the brothers that only with the Rosetta Stones will they be able to challenge the most powerful of warriors. The stones have been scattered through the world, so the brothers must travel to different countries in the world to find them. There’s a total of five missions that take you to America, China, Japan, Italy, and Egypt. Different dangers await you at each of these locations. You have your skills to assist you with hurricane kicks, head butts, triangle jump kicks, throws, and locking head squeezes. Some of these attack skills need to be “purchased” at the Weapon Shop that you’ll find within each level. Rosetta, unfortunately, was not well ported from the arcade to the Genesis/MD. The game has lousy graphics, bland colours, poor animation, and bad sound/music. As if that weren’t enough, it really doesn’t matter much what kind of fighting move you choose as it won’t make a difference. Though the game does try to follow the arcade, it falls way short. You can skip this one in the series, at least on the Genesis/MD. Not really worth your time.

Review by TrekMD

4/10

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  Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine - By Sega

Tetris is a game that, to this day, remains one of the most addicting puzzle games ever. Clearly, many have tried to clone, copy, alter, or improve upon the formula of that game and many different puzzle games with similar characteristics have been created. Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine is one of those games and it is one that may be overlooked. I can say, though, that it is a mistake to do so. The character of Dr. Robotnik comes from the Sonic the Hedgehog games where he was the main antagonist. Well, This evil character is not content bugging just Sonic. He has created a machine that truend the folk from Beanville into little robots designed to rid the planet Mobius of music and anything fun. Robotnik has henchbots that are trapping the bean folks, putting them into groups, and sending them to dungeons. Thankfully, you’re here to stop them. You must group the bean folks together by matching their colours and setting them free. But you must be quick as the henchbots have taken notice and they will what they can to defeat you. You must be quick and strategic if you are to succeed! Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine is certainly a fun game but it is not an easy one. The henchbots are pretty smart and they are difficult to defeat. Of course, you don’t have to play just against the computer controlled henchebots. You can challenge a friend as well, which is always fun. If you want practice, you can play the game’s exercise mode which pits you against a timer. With its catchy music, colourful graphics, and addicting gameplay, Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine will have you coming back for more!

Review by TrekMD

9/10

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 Dragon’s Fury – By Tengen

If you are looking for a fantastic game of pinball, look no further than Dragon’s Fury. The game is a remake of Devil’s Crush, a game that had been released for the PC Engine/Tubrografx but one that takes the original formula up a few notches. The table is huge with three levels of flippers, tons of targets (including many moving targets), and six different bonus mini tables. The table combines elements of fantasy with horror as there are medieval devices, sorcerers, skeletons, skulls, monsters and even dragons (hence the name) in the game. Never mind the flying creatures that you can smack with the ball for bonus points. Many of these also help move the ball around the table. One of the coolest things to see is the head of the warrior princess gradually transform into a dragon so you can then push the ball through the dragon’s mouth and into a bonus stage. Speaking of bonus stages, these are also excellent on their own. These are single screen tables but they each have different themes and different targets that must be achieved for rack up the points. One interesting aspect of Dragon’s Fury is that it uses a password system to choose starting point level, turning the music on or off, and running a time-limited trial. I have no idea why anyone would want to do a time limit because I just can’t seem to stop playing this game when I plug it into my console. The graphics of Dragon’s Fury are just fantastic, the physics are as true as they can be, and the music is superb. This is a masterpiece for the Genesis/MegaDrive!

Review by TrekMD

10/10

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 Dragon’s Revenge – By Tengen

What do you do when you have created a fantastic pinball game? Well, you make a sequel of course! But can the sequel beat the original? Let’s find out. Unlike its predecessor, Dragon’s Revenge has a full story behind it. According to the story, the village of Kalfin’s Keep must sacrifice a person of pure heart every decade or the dragon who lives in the tallest mountain of Kareggedor will destroy the village. Things changed when the elder Darzel volunteered to be the next victim but that proved to make things worse as Darzel struck her own bargain with the dragon and now only the most beautiful maiden would be accepted in sacrifice. The time for the sacrifice approaches once more and three adventurers have come to Kalfin’s Keep - a sorceress, a warrior, and fighter. They try to stop the dragon from retrieving its sacrifice but they are trapped by Darzel. It is up to Rina, the sorceress, to bring forth The Mystic Silver Ball to help release the others and have a final fight with Darzel and the dragon. Dragon’s Revenge showcases great visuals, similar to the original game, but introduces new elements to the game. This time the face on the table is the face of Darzel. Hit the three pyramids that surround her and she will wake and float around releasing crystals with different properties that can give anything from extra balls to bonus points. Dragon’s Revenge also boasts bonus tables, much like its predecessor but the game, overall, falls a bit short. That’s not to say it is not worth playing it because the game is indeed lots of fun and still an excellent title.

Review by TrekMD

9/10

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 Dynamite Headdy – By Sega

You are the star of the Treasure Theater Show, you are Dynamite Headdy, a name you've earned because you have the best head in town. Unfortunately, you and your town of North Town have some enemies. The Dark Demon has decided that he wants to control the world by converting all of its inhabitants into his evil minions. One of those minions is Trouble Bruin, someone who completely hates Headdy and who will whatever it takes to be rid of him! In addition to Bruin, the Dark Demon has his Keymasters, elite guards who will do what they can to stop Headdy from reaching their master and stopping his evil plan. Thankfully, Headdy is not alone. He has two friends who help him along the way: HangMan and HeadCase. HangMan lets Headdy hang onto him to either pull himself up platforms or pull stuff Headdy’s way HeadCase lets Headdy switch heads so that he can gain new abilities to help him defeat his enemies. Some heads let Headdy shoot while others are small and let him fit into small places. Headdy must cross nine difference worlds (or scenes) in order to reach the Dark Demon. Dynamite Headdy is a very interesting and colourful platformer for the Genesis/MD. I think this may be the most colourful game I've played on the system, in fact. Two version of the game exist: a Japanese release and a global release. The difference between the two versions are visual changes, story elements, and dialogue that was removed) from the latter. These changes increase the difficulty of the global version. My suggestion is to find the translated Japanese version in order to experience the game as intended.

Review by TrekMD

7/10

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