Mega Drive E-G

Alien Brigade – By Atari

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  Earthworm Jim - By Shiny Entertainment

Here is an example of someone thinking outside the box while having plenty of fun at the same time. Earthworm Jim is a platformer but one that doesn’t take itself too seriously (something evident by the storyline for the game and the game itself). In the game the player controls a worm called Jim. Jim has survived being eaten by crows and has been hiding underground. When he comes out to see if it is safe, an indestructible spacesuit falls atop him. The suit fell from a renegade’s ship that has just been destroyed by Psy-Crow (who is under the command of the evil Queen Pulsating, Bloated, Festering, Sweaty, Pus-filled, Malformed, Slug for a Butt). The suit evolves Jim who now finds himself with wonderful powers. Jim realizes what Psy-Crow’s evil plans are and he decides to find the Queen’s twin sister and save her from her imprisonment. Jim starts his mission and most survive nine levels of weirdness if he is to get to the Princess. Through these levels Jim will face a cacophony of enemies and challenges. Some of this enemies include Major Mucus, Doc Duodenum, and Peter Puppy. Jim has all sorts of skills (he can fly, jump, shoot, etc.) that you must use to help him survive his mission. Earthworm Jim boasts some really good-looking graphics and character animation. Everything has a cartoon-like appearance and the gameplay is mixed up enough to keep you engaged. The music is also really good. The only issue that I don’t like is that there are no passwords or saves so you always have to start from the beginning after you lose. Overall, though, this is an excellent game that all Genesis/MD owners should have.

Review by TrekMD

9/10

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  Ecco The Dolphin - By Sega

I will admit that I’ve always had a fascination with marine mammals, specifically whales and dolphins. In fact, my college thesis was about whales and dolphins! So, when I saw a Genesis/MD game that had a dolphin as its main character, I was intrigued. Ecco is a young dolphin that is out searching for his pod (family) which has been swept from the sea by a mysterious storm. Ecco must cross the vast oceans and explore underwater realms while avoiding the many dangerous creatures that inhabit them. Ecco must solve puzzles and use his echolocation and “song” if he is to save his family...and the world. The game features a total of 25 levels, all of which are quite large and full of mystery. Ecco The Dolphin has gorgeous graphics that are detailed, colourful, and beautifully animated. Though the story of the game has unrealistic elements, it is interesting how this is counterbalanced by things that are based on the reality of how dolphins move and communicate. To keep you even more grounded on reality, you have to keep two things in mind: oxygen and food. Ecco is a dolphin, a mammal, and he requires both to survive. Ecco can’t stay in the deep forever as he must come up for a breath of air. You can see how well the oxygen is doing by monitoring a meter of cubes at the top left of the screen. Just above those, is a bar of gray cubes which monitors the food. This game also boasts some truly gorgeous music with scores that fit the environment Ecco is in. Ecco The Dolphin is an excellent puzzle game for the Genesis/MD that I can easily recommend.

Review by TrekMD

9/10

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  Eliminate Down - By Soft Vision

OK, here’s a game whose title makes very little sense and which does not really give you any clue as to what the game is about. Eliminate Down is a horizontal shooter for the Genesis/MD where the player controls a ship capable of shooting in various directions (you choose the weapon you want to use) as you fight vicious alien enemies through eight different levels. The story sets mankind in missions of exploration during the 30th Century. Unfortunately, the Amuleto, a group of rather nasty aliens, decide that they want to invade the Earth. The only thing that can stand in their way is a new space fighter called the Steel Pyron. This ship has been designed with combat in mind and has been equipped with the tactical technology needed to handle the Amuleto and just about any threat to humanity. The Steel Pyron is equipped with three types of weapons: a forward blaster, a rear laser, and diagonal four-way bombs. Power ups can be collected along the way to enhance the weapons of the ship, though this is limited to three levels of “enhancement.” One of the power ups includes a shield that will protect the Steel Pyron from two enemy hits. Eliminate Down is a really good game that fans of horizontal shooters will love. There are plenty of enemies to keep you busy and lots moving around. You’ll face more than one boss per level also as each of the eight levels is long. The graphics look sharp, with good animation and colour. The music plays at the same hectic pace as the game itself! Besides the main game, there’s also a mini-game that plays much like Concentration. So, get ready to enjoy lots of elimination. Down what? I don’t know!

Review by TrekMD

8/10

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 ESWAT: City Under Siege – By Sega

ESWAT IS: the toughest fighting force alive ESWAT MEANS: Enhanced Special Weapons and Tactics ESWAT: City Under Siege, released on the Mega Drive in 1990, is a run and gun shooting game with platform elements that is based on the arcade game Cyber Police ESWAT, released a year earlier. Liberty City is under threat from the E.Y.E. criminal organisation and it’s up to you, as a young rookie cop, to rid the streets of these wrongdoers once and for all. As a member of the ESWAT troopers it is your mission to navigate through eight levels and infiltrate the terrorist headquarters to put a stop to the evil that is consuming the world. You start the game as a lower ranking officer with rather low key firepower but you are expected to advance through the ranks and achieve ESWAT status with which you are bestowed the Ice Combat suit. This mechanical exo suit enables you to dish out some seriously sweet justice. Initially it beefs up your standard shot power but you’re arsenal can be increased to include various weapons such as rockets and flame throwers. But that’s not all. The suit also increases your energy level and gives you a freakin’ jet pack! The sprites are nicely detailed and the levels have a cool industrial aesthetic which is supported by the mechanical nature of the enemies. The game clearly draws inspiration from the modern action culture of the era. The music on each level is a great accompaniment, especially during the boss battles. It also boasts some funky digitised speech. ESWAT is one of the early classics of the Mega Drive era and although it doesn’t have the appeal of some of the more well-known titles around at the time it’s certainly worth checking out, if only for the legendary intro sequence.

Review by Joe Musashi

8/10

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  F-22 Interceptor - By Electronic Arts

Are you ready to take command of the next generation Air Superiority Fighter? Get aboard your F-22 Advanced Tactical Fighter and battle land, sea, and air targets in 100 different missions in four combat zones: Iraq, Korea, Russia, and the USA. That not enough for you? Create your own missions using the Mission Generator. In your missions you will face more than 20 different enemies which include, among others, T-72 tanks, Hind helicopters, AA guns, Mig-29 fighters, SAM sites, and gunships. Of course, your F-22 comes with its own array of advanced weapons, weapons you will need if you are to survive. F-22 Interceptor is a flight simulator for the Genesis/MD, a genre that had limited titles in the system. Interestingly, the F-22 jet was not a reality until 15 years after this game was released! As flight simulators go, this is a decent game for the console. Unfortunately, the game suffers from slow down and choppy animation. You do have two views to select from, cockpit and third person from behind the plane. When you fire a missile, the view changes so you can take control of the missile and guide it to its target. The graphics themselves are rather simple and plain but they do convey the 3D environment the simulator requires. Game sounds and music are good but they are not enough to make this a fun gaming experience. I would suggest that if you are looking for a thrill, you play After Burner and leave this alone. If you are into simulators, however, this is a very cheap game to get.

Review by TrekMD

6/10

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 Frogger – By Majesco

In Frogger you guide the titular character across a busy road, then across a fast flowing river and into his little home on the riverbank. Good, simple, old fashioned gaming at its best. Probably sounds boring to those brought up on a diet of First Person Shooters and huge, expansive RPG's, but I beg to differ. The gameplay is fun, and does get very challenging as you go up the levels. Level one gives you a few cars and lorries to dodge and big gaps to get through, traversing the river is made a little more difficult by having disappearing turtles and different speeds of logs. Get your six frogs home to get to level two and things speed up as more cars and lorries come along with smaller gaps to hop through and the river suddenly becoming infested with crocs disguised as logs and other critters waiting to eat you. And so the difficulty is ramped up giving you more of a challenge each level. Frogger is an old 8-bit classic which remains as such on the 16-bit Mega drive as the graphics and sound haven't been upgraded much at all, leaving the game feeling very old. All the graphics look blocky, fine for the 8-bit debut of the amphibian, but sadly lacking for the next level of gaming which the Mega Drive represents. Similarly with the sound, we have been given some very old style effects and a tinkly tune, both of which could have had an upgrade. You could call this keeping it true to its roots, or you could say it's a bit of a cash in on old software. All in all, a perfect rendition of the original game but really for a single game it should have had an update or six, or been bundled with some others to make a retro collection.

Review by dougtitchmarsh

6/10

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  Gain Ground - By Renovation

In the 31st Century humanity has finally ended poverty, war, and discrimination. Peace is on Earth and live has almost reached perfection. Even such peace is not truly perfect, however, as humanity has become so unaccustomed to war that people can no longer defend themselves. Humanity’s survival instinct has been suppressed. To help revive this will to live, the United Earth Government has created an artificial construct, the Gain Ground System. In this system, people can train to survive. Unfortunately, the computer controlling the system has gone berserk and no one has been able to escape. Three brave soldiers, survivors from earlier training sessions, have been asked to enter Gain Ground once more to rescue those trapped within. Gain Ground is a survival shooting game where the player must select a character to fight through the hordes of enemies through five rounds, each consisting of 10 stages. Initially, only three characters are available to choose from but the player can “rescue” other characters through the stages so there are up to 20 different characters to choose from. Each of these has a unique skillset. You must select carefully the optimal character for each stage. Regardless of character, your goal is to reach the EXIT at the top of the screen, destroy all enemies on screen, and rescue any of the “captives” spread through each stage. You must do this before the time runs out or a life is lost. Gain Ground can be played alone but it is more enjoyable with a second player. The game does have nice graphics and the music is cool but the latter can feel repetitive. Overall this game is fun because of its unique style of play.

Review by TrekMD

8/10

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  Gargoyles - By Buena Vista Interactive

In 1994 Walt Disney Animation introduced the world to a fascinating animated series called Gargoyles. The show follows the adventures of a group of gargoyles, creatures that turn into stone during the day but are free roaming at night, who are under the leadership of Goliath. The show had moderate success but it was enough to encourage Disney (through Buena Vista Interactive) to make a game for the Genesis/MD based on the series. Greg Weisman, the show’s creator, was also involved in the development of the game (I recently had the opportunity to meet him). In the game, Goliath has awakened in Castle Wyvern and he senses the presence of an old evil, The Eye of Odin. Goliath must find The Eye and destroy it for he is the only one with the knowledge and the power to do so. You control Goliath in his mission both in the past and the present. In the past he must contend with Vikings who attack Castle Wyvern and, in the present, he must deal with robotic foes across the rooftops of New York City, where the castle has been rebuilt. Gargoyles has some pretty impressive visuals that are highly detailed, have plenty of colour, and are complemented by excellent animation. The musical score that plays is inspired by the music from the show (composed by Michael Giacchino & Patrick Collins). There’s a total of 11 levels to play through, each level ending with a boss fight that is followed by a short animatic that gives you the story up to that point. Gargoyles, however, is not perfect. Your attacks don’t always work well and they sometimes leave you vulnerable to attack. Overall, though, this is a very good game that anyone can enjoy, even if they are unfamiliar with the TV show that inspired it.

Review by TrekMD

8/10

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  Gauntlet IV - By Tengen

When it comes to fantasy games there one game that will always come to mind, Gauntlet. The first Gauntlet game was launched by Atari to the arcades in 1985. The game allowed for up to four players to participate simultaneously by playing as either a Warrior, a Wizard, a Valkyrie, or an Elf. The goal was to travel through mazes, using a top view, to gather treasure and find an exit while destroying and/or avoiding a variety of monsters ranging from ghosts to demon, to sorcerers. The original game was very successful and it inspired sequels in the arcades and various home ports. The Genesis/MD version of the game was released as Gauntlet IV in Western markets with the game offering four different modes: Arcade, Quest, Battle, and Record. Arcade mode plays just like in the arcade. Quest mode works like an RPG where the player must defeat four towers and solve the mystery of an ancient castle. Battle mode has the players fight each other to the death. Record mode is for only one player and it allows passwords to be used. In Record mode the player doesn’t die but, rather loses points when health is lost. Gauntlet IV does allow for up to four players to enjoy the game by means of the Sega Team Player or the 4-Way Play multitaps. Visually the game is an accurate representation of the arcade, even in how the screen is split to show the score for each player. Sound effects are also reproduced from the arcade. Where the game is different from the arcade, and this is in a very positive way, is in the addition of an in-game musical score. Gauntlet IV is an excellent title for the Genesis/MD that should be part of your game library.

Review by TrekMD

9/10

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 Ghostbusters – By Sega

Zuul has been defeated and business has been slow for the Ghostbusters. Things are not staying slow for much longer, though. Earthquakes have been hitting New York with increasing frequency, earthquakes that are being caused by hordes of ghosts that are making their way to the city to scare everyone. Suddenly the Ghostbusters find themselves in a frenzy as clients call requesting their services! Ghostbusters on the Genesis/Mega Drive bears no relation to the game created by David Crane (which was ported to the SMS). This game is a platformer where the characters have to hunt down ghosts in different buildings. You get to choose from one of three Ghostbusters: Peter, Raymond, or Egon. After choosing your character, you have to choose one of four ghost-infested buildings (Home Sweet Home, the Apartment, Woody House, or High-Rise Building). In order to finish your task you will need to get weapons and tools at The Shops (Item and Weapons). You enter the shops at the beginning of a case where you can buy anything from an infrared scope (to see in the dark) to pecking duck (to restore your life). You can also get energy tanks, explosives, and other weapons. Once you are ready, the game become standard platformer fare as you move about the buildings chasing ghosts and fighting bosses. Visually, Ghostbusters has a cartoon feel to it as the Ghostbusters look like bobble heads and most enemies are bright and colourful. While most enemies are creatures you’d expect to see in a Ghostbusters game, some appear out of place. Regardless, this is an enjoyable game, though not one that ties into any of the movies.

Review by TrekMD

7/10

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 Ghouls ‘n Ghosts – By Capcom

In this sequel to Ghost’n’Goblins, you once more play the role of Sir Arthur as he faces the Prince of Darkness and tries to save the princess. The Prince of Darkness has pillaged the land paralysed the people by instilling fear in them. He has released hordes of creatures to stop you from reaching his fortress and reaching the princess. Will you take the journey? Ghouls’n’Ghosts is truly a fantastic sequel and it is every bit as hard as the original. You will travel through four different stages before reaching the fifth and final stage at the Castle of Evil Demons. Each stage is full of a multitude of creatures that will do everything they can to stop you. These creatures include skeletons, weasels, poisonous flowers, pigmans, rock turtles, bi-fangs, fire bats, and flying goblins, among others. There are also many weapons you can use in your journey. You start off with a sword but you can find a big axe, a super sword, fire water, discus, and daggers. Each of these weapons has different properties against the enemies. There are also different armours you can find, including one that lets you use magical powers to defeat enemies. It is funny, though, if you get hit while wearing an armour, you lose the armour and you are running around only in your underwear until you are able to pick up another armor. Of course, having no armour means that you’ll be killed at the mere touch of anything. Ghouls’n’Ghosts has beautiful graphics, great music, excellent sound effects and offers tons of challenge. It may be one of the most difficult games to play but it does offer unlimited continues that help you advance through the levels. Just be ready to die a lot!

Review by TrekMD

9/10

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  Gley Lancer - By Masaya

In Gley Lancer you play the role of Lucia, a 16 year old star fighter pilot from the Earth Federation. It is the year 2025 and a race of unknown aliens declares war on humanity and the Federation. During the battle, Admiral Ken is captured by the enemy when his ship is warped from the combat zone. The admiral is Lucia’s father and she decides that it is up to her to rescue her father along with the four alien teleportation technology modules on the ship. To do so, Lucia enlists the help of her friend Teim to steal and pilot the Gley Lancer, a new CSH-01-XA prototype fighter, on this rescue mission. Gley Lancer is a horizontal scrolling shooter for the Genesis/MD. The game starts off with some nice anime-style animation where the characters and events are introduced. I must say that this looks like something out of a Sega/Mega CD game rather than a cartridge. Before you get to play, you are offered a number of the option to choose the formation for your Gunners. You can then choose your starting point and the action starts. By shooting the silver and blue pods you’ll find along the way you pick up your Gunners. The Gunners have various types of weapons (twin shots, laser, 5-way, burner, spread bomb, saber, and bound shot) and you can have two of them at the time. As you pic up newer pods, their weapons will change. Glay Lancer is really a cool shooter for the Genesis/MD. The game excellent graphics, cool music, and plenty of action going on. The animated sequences look great and there’s lots of detail in the various zones you have to cross. Though the game was only released in Japan, reproduction English carts can be found.

Review by TrekMD

8/10

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 Gods - By Mindscape

Gods is a platformer where you must explore, fight, and solve various challenges while playing the role of a hero who has decided to take up the challenge of the Gods. The prize for surviving the challenges is that of immortality. Clearly, the Gods will not make it easy for you to achieve this goal. You will need to slay four guardians in an ancient city. These are found in four areas of the city, each area with four different levels. Through these areas you will find not only the guardians but also their many minions, chaotic beasts that will stop at nothing to defeat you. The four areas are the city itself, the temple, the labyrinth, and the underworld. You’ll face the guardians at the end of each area and you’ll also have a chance to shop for new weapons from merchants. Choosing the right weapons makes life easier, as you’d expect. And, believe me, you must take any help you can get because this is one tough game to play. Besides fighting enemies and avoiding traps, you will need to solve puzzles in order to complete levels. These puzzles add another element to the game. Gods has good graphics with large characters and plenty of colour. The environment has an ancient Greece feel to it, which makes it quite attractive. Game sounds are good and the music. In fact, the in-game music creates a dark mood that fits the game well. Overall, Gods is a good game for the Geneis/MD. Now go show those Gods what humans can do!

Review by TrekMD

7/10

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  Golden Axe II - By Sega

Three warriors defeated Dark Guld when he previously tried to take control of the world. While he may have been defeated, Dark Guld was not gone and he is now back with a vengeance. He has rebuilt his evil forces and they are now creepier, slimier and even more disgusting than they were before. Dark Guld has stolen the Golden Axe, a simple of peace, and he is ready to use it for his evil plan. Once more the barbarian, the Amazon, and the dwarf must risk their lives to stop Dark Guld...this time forever. Get ready to traverse six dangerous levels full of evil creatures to then come face to face with Dark Guld himself. Golden Axe II takes the formula of the original Golden Axe and improves upon it. Some of the fighting moves have been improved and you can now gauge your magical attacks by altering their power. Overall, though, the gameplay remains the same. There are two modes of play to choose from: Normal and Duel. In Duel mode the players fight enemies in an arena while in Normal mode things work in the standard side-scrolling beat ‘em up fashion. The game can be played by one or two players, with the latter being simultaneous. Golden Axe II has excellent graphics with good animation and plenty of colour. The musical score that plays through the game is fantastic and fits the game perfectly. Whether playing alone or with a friend, Golden Axe II is an excellent game and another one that should not be missed in your Genesis/MD library.

Review by TrekMD

9/10

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  Granada - By Renovation

It is the year 2016. Nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles have been banned by the international community since the 1990's but that doesn’t mean there are no weapons of war. Enter Granada, the Hypertek-Cannon Tank (HCT). The HCT comes armed with multi-directional interceptors, long-range homing missiles, and other weapons designed to totally obliterate any enemies. The HCT is also equipped with shields for defence and a sophisticated radar system to locate targets. You are in command of Granada and you are in a mission in Tobora wher eyou will face off with the flying battleship Astarsha and the enemies own version of the HCT, the Valsic. Can you survive? In this shooter you control a tank which can freely move in any direction through the various stages of the game. The look is from overhead, which gives you a good view of the playing field. You can use your radar to find your targets and move about to defeat them. Once the level is cleared, you will face the boss of that level and these bosses each have unique weaknesses you have to exploit to defeat them. Sometimes finding their weakness means not shooting at them! In the early levels the game’s difficulty is manageable but once you hit level five, things get dicey. Still, this is such a great shooter that you won’t mind. The game has good graphics and the animation is pretty cool. I love how the whole screen shakes when there is a large explosion. Granada’s music is well done and the upbeat nature of the score fits the game quite nicely. This is really an excellent title for the Genesis/MD that every owner of the system should own.

Review by TrekMD

9/10

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  Gunstar Heroes - By Sega

The Gunstar family has protected the planet Gunstar 9 (G-9) for generations. The most powerful enemy they defeated was the evil robot Golden Silver. White Gunstar, when he was young, stopped this evil machine from drying up G-9's resources by extracting the four Mystical Gems from Golden Silver. It was these gems what powered the robot and, without them, White Gunstar trapped the robot in one of G-9's moons. Years later, White Gunstar has four children: Red, Blue, Yellow, and Green. They now are protectors of G-9. Things have been at peace but one Colonel Red is bent on taking control of G-9 and he wants to use Golden Silver for his evil plans. Colonel Red kidnapped Green and used a mind-control device to get Green to disclose the location of the Mystical Gems. With the Gems at hand, Red turns the planet’s worker droids into deadly machines that threaten G-9. It is up to Gunstar Blue and/or Red to retrieve the gems and stop Red from reactivating Golden Silver. Gunstar Heroes is a fast-paced side scrolling shooter that is sure to get you hooked very quickly. The game has stunning visuals that are bright and well animated and the music is just as excellent. The action is non-stop and the game can be played by one or two players (simultaneously). Choose which Gunstar brother you want to play as, choose your weapons and starts shooting. There are four weapons to choose from. You can carry two at a time and these can be combined to form a superweapon (for a total of 14 weapons). So, are you ready to be a hero?

Review by TrekMD

9/10

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 Gynoug – By Masaya / NCS Corp.

Gynoug is a side scrolling shooting game, with a mythical theme, released in 1991. It was named Wings of Wor in the US. You assume the role of the winged hero, Wor, a Battle Master of the planet Iccus and, in typical fashion, you’re the only badass that has a chance of single handedly saving the planet from the invasion of the Mutants of Iccus, led by the evil Destroyer. This is a daunting task, however, as the games six levels are littered with all kinds of enemies and two bosses per level! Luckily, you’re provided plenty of opportunity to power up your weapons, magic and speed by collecting various items. The pace of Gynoug is fast and frenetic, especially when Wor is fully tooled up and flying around at full speed. This can make the controls a little twitchy and quick responses are required to keep our hero alive. If you do get tagged by a mutant, you instantly lose a life but you’re immediately thrown right back into the action and with only a minor hit to your weapon power. The gameplay is complemented by a fantastic musical score that is in keeping with the quick tempo on screen and helps to distil an energetic atmosphere. Overall I think Gynoug is an often overlooked gem of the Mega Drive. It’s not perfect but there is enough variety to keep fans of the genre returning in an attempt to beat it, but with the difficulty settings of Normal, Hard and Hyper you’re going to need a lot of skill to reach the end boss who does not appear in the manual but is listed with the provocative statement, “PREPARE FOR THE WORST!”. Good luck!

Review by Joe Musashi

9/10

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