Mega Drive L-N

Alien Brigade – By Atari

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 Lemmings – By Psygnosis / Sunsoft

If you never played Lemmings then you couldn't have lived through the golden age of gaming. The little green haired Lemmings made it onto almost every available platform and then jumped off of them. Yep, those suicidal little fellows just couldn't help themselves, so it was your job to help them instead. The Mega Drive/Genesis version of Lemmings works in the same way as any other: you are given a set amount of creatures entering the screen, you are given a set number of abilities they can have, and then you have to use those abilities to save a percentage of the Lemmings to make it to the next level. Each level has different abilities and different puzzles to solve in order to save the critters from their doom. In some levels you need a blocker to stop them wandering off the end of the platform to their demise, some need to be dug to get to a lower level to reach the doorway to salvation. As you get further along the difficulty is raised, and you will need to combine the abilities to save as many Lemmings as possible, and the puzzles get harder to solve and you need to act quickly. As a gamer used to using a mouse in Lemmings, though, the Mega Drive controller isn't my weapon of choice for quickly moving around a screen. This adds to the difficulty as you try to move the crosshairs over the correct icon and back to a Lemming to change his ability, often leading to vital seconds and lives lost. That is my only negative in an, otherwise, perfect game. It moves along nicely, colours, sounds and fun are all just the same as any version I can remember. Even the password save is available! Overall, Lemmings is a great puzzle game which has survived the test of time and remains great fun and challenging to play. The Mega Drive version is totally playable and loses only slightly if you have been used to a mouse on an Amiga or other computer of the era. Well worth sourcing a copy for your 16-bit Sega.

Review by dougtitchmarsh

9/10

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  Lion King, The - By Virgin Interactive

In 1994 Walt Disney Studios released an animated movie that, to this day, remains one of their best - The Lion King. The movie followed the story of a young Simba, heir to the Pride Lands, who must learn to face his past to become the king he is meant to be. The success of the movie meant that games would be developed and it fell to Virgin Interactive to create it. As with Aladdin, Virgin involved Disney artists to ensure the game would have graphics as stunning as those from the movie. In the game the player takes the role of Simba as both a cub and a young adult lion as he must face challenges like those of his life story in the movie. As a cub, Simba can defeat his enemies by jumping on them and he can roar to make enemies vulnerable to his attacks, stun them, or to solve puzzles. Remember the wildebeest stampede from the movie? Well, be ready to survive it! If you manage to survive, Simba grows into an adult lion who can now maul or throw his enemies. As you play, you must keep your eye on the health metre for Simba will die if he runs out of health. Eat grubs and other insects (but avoid spiders) to replenish health. A roar metre is also available so you when you can roar at your enemies. The game has hidden bonus levels where you play as Timon or Pumbaa. Get ready for eat some bugs here! The Lion King has gorgeous graphics and music from the movie has been included. So, if you “Can’t Wait to be King” or believe in “The Circle of Life” you’ll be pleased! This game is really excellent and highly recommended. Oh, and Hakuna Matata!

Review by TrekMD

9/10

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  Magic Girl - By Gametec

A long time ago in the Ho Yu galaxy there was peace on the planet Allah. The people of Allah lived in harmony with natures and experienced 1000 years of pace. Unfortunately, Allah is under attach by an evil force originating in a black hole. Evil creatures have caused havoc on the planet by destroying villages and taking lives. One small village was obliterated and all but one survived. The one survivor was a young witch called Ring and Ring is determined to avenge her family and friends. Can Ring survive against the evil forces attacking Allah? Magic Girl is a vertical shooter similar to Raiden in style. You control Ring, the Magic Girl, as she flies over Allah attacking the enemy forces from the black hole. Ring is equipped with a “generic” attach that changes based on the various power ups you pick up as you advance through the various levels of play. Ring also has a limited number of more powerful attacks, a spell powerful enough to destroy any enemies that appear on screen. When the end of a wave is reached, Ring must face and destroy bosses while avoiding their firepower. These bosses take plenty of hits to be destroyed, so be ready to be at it for a bit. Magic Girl has cartoon-like graphics with many goofy-looking characters for you to face. The bosses themselves have wacky designs as well. Game music is nice but not very sophisticated. Overall, this is a good game but it feels a bit generic as a shooter.

Review by TrekMD

7/10

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 Mazin Saga: Mutant Fighter - By Sega

When I saw this game I could not help but get it as it brought back memories from when I was growing up. You see, I’m a big fan of Go Nagai and his Mazinger manga TV shows. This game, however, doesn’t follow that storyline but takes a different look at the same characters. In the year 1999 the world is in Chaos as Godkaiser Hell (Dr. Hell in the TV show) and his Steelmask Force have attacked without warning with everything in their arsenal, ranging from Bio Beasts to nuclear weapons to germ warfare. Only Professor Kabuto knew this was coming and he had prepared a bio-armour he called Mazinger Z. His son, Koji wears the armour to become a super warrior capable of defeating Hell’s vicious army. Mazinger Z must fight the Steelmask soldiers until he can grow to a size where he can defeat Hell’s Bio Beast. Mazin Saga is a side scrolling fighter game with two stages: the ones where you are human-sized and fighting the Steelmasks and one where you are a gigantic robot fighting the boss monster. These are divided into three waves and the final boss fight. During the waves before the boss fight, the giant Bio Beasts will try to stomp on Mazinger while he is human-sized. Quick moves with your sword will deter the Beasts until you reach the final stage of each level. There’s a total of six rounds/stages which take you around the world (Tokyo, India, Europe, New York, Egypt, Ultimate Battle). In Tokyo you will face one of the classic Mazinger monsters, Garada K7, a nod to the TV show. Mazin Saga has cool graphics, fun gameplay, cool music, and excellent control.

Review by TrekMD

9/10

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  MERCS - By Sega

In 1990, Capcom released a follow up to their successful arcade game Commando. That title was called MERCS. MERCS was first released to the arcades but it was soon adapted to home consoles. Sega produced the Genesis/MD port of the game but they offered two variations of the game: Arcade and Original. The former follows the arcade game to the letter while the latter adds new levels and Weapon Shops to buy power-ups. While the arcade version allowed for up to three simultaneous players, the Sega version only allows for one player. The story behind MERCS is that the world is facing revolutions and terrorism like never before. The US government has tried to use their military to deal with these threats but that has proven ineffective. There is only one recourse, hire professional mercenaries (known as Mercs) and deploy them to use their anti-terrorist training. You play the role of a Merc who must penetrate enemy lines to fulfill the missions given to you by the government. MERCS is truly a fantastic running shooter for the Genesis/MD. The gameplay is quite similar to Commando but the game adds bosses, power-ups, and more varied locations than its predecessor. In Original Mode you can also switch Mercenaries to get different skills and weapons. MERCS has nice graphics and animation and the sound effects are music are also well done. The gameplay is addicting and having the two different modes of play adds replay value. The only weakness for this game is the lack of a two-player mode since it would be even more fun to play with a friend helping along. Nonetheless, it is an excellent title and definitely worth having.

Review by TrekMD

9/10

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  Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker - By Sega

In 1988 Michael Jackson released a film with the title Moonwalker. The movie was a collection of short movies that took the form of music videos from Michael’s Bad album. The movie was a success in the box office and it inspired various video games for the arcade, home computers, and a number of home systems. The Genesis/MD got its own version of the game which was unrelated to both the computer and arcade versions. In the game Mr. Big and his goons have been kidnapping every child on Earth with the goal of wiping out love from our planet. Only Michael, Mr. Moonwalker himself, can stop Mr. Big. To do so, he must use the Star Magic superpower sent to him by a shooting star. Michael must search through Club 30, the streets, graveyards, and caverns to free every child and return love to the world. With the Star Magic Michael can do a Spin Attack. Press the button longer and off goes his Hat Attack. Press it even longer and everyone (and I do mean everyone, even the dogs) will fall to Micheal’s Dance Attack. Michael can also use a magical dust that shoots from his fingertips to stop enemies. You must keep an eye on the Star Magic Bar, though, for if it turns red Michael is out of power and must use his fists to attack. Moonwalker has excellent graphics but where the game truly excels is in the music department. Renditions of songs from the movie and from Thriller are used through the game. In addition, you’ll hear Michael’s “woo” scream as well as catch phrases like “who’s bad?” As a game, Moonwalker is pretty good but not spectacular but all the little touches related to the King of Pop make it a worthy title.

Review by TrekMD

8/10

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 Micro Machines – By Codemasters

In 1986 Galoob introduced the world to some special new toys called Micro Machines: The Original Scale Miniatures. The Micro Machines were initially cars and trucks of the times, trains, emergency vehicles, tanks, boats, airplanes, helicopters, and motorcycles and eventually expanded to include ships from Star Trek and Star Wars and franchises such as GI Joe, Power Rangers, and James Bond. With such fascination with the Micro Machines, it is no wonder that video games based on these toys were developed and in 1993 Codemasters released the first of many games based on the miniature vehicles. This game is a top view racing game that is fun and unique. The game can be played by one or two players (simultaneous) and the players can select from several characters (each with their own skill set) to be the drivers of their vehicles. A total of nine different Micro Machines can be raced on 32 different tracks, all in nine different environments. The environments vary from pool tables, bath tubs, kitchen tables, school desks, and work benches. These different environments are part of the uniqueness of the game and add to the charm. The goal is to complete all tracks against all the different characters to become the Micro Machines Champion. If two players of very different skills are competing, it is even possible to select characters with handicaps to make things more even. The graphics are not spectacular but they certainly work very well for this type of game. The controls are well done and it doesn’t take long to learn how to best control the vehicles. This is certainly an enjoyable title for kids of any age.

Review by TrekMD

8/10

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 Mr. Nutz – By Ocean

Competing against the likes of Mario or Sonic can be quite difficult and may results in games that are good being ignored or forgotten. Add to that the name of some of the characters that may make them less appealing to some. Such is the case with Mr. Nutz, a platformer game that has a squirrel as its main character. The story of Mr. Nutz is that the world is getting colder and colder as the Yeti is trying to take over. Mr. Nutz must fight all of the Yeti’s cronies as he travels to find the Yeti himself and stop him from freezing the world. Mr. Nutz must travel through six different worlds and use his wits, his tale and the nuts he carries to defeat his enemies. As he travels through the different worlds, he will face several challenges as well that require the he properly explore them. In some worlds, it’ll be necessary to pull switches to open doors and those switches may be nowhere near the door that needs to be opened! As with many platformers, there will be moving platforms, death pits, and other hazzards that must be dealt with. Mr. Nutz is a very enjoyable platformer. The game has bright, colourful graphics, great sound, and a very nice musical score. The menu on the title screen lets the player configure some functions, the most practical of which is setting the “run” function as automatic rather than having to press down a button. A password feature is available so you can pick up where you left off. This game is definitely worth trying out.

Review by TrekMD

9/10

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  Ms. Pac-Man - By Tengen

There are certain games that need little in terms of introduction and Ms. Pac-Man is certainly one of them. You are, of course, lady Pac-Man running around mazes eating dots while avoiding ghosts, chomping on bonus items, and chasing ghosts once you’ve eaten a power pellet. Ms. Pac-Man was highly successful in the arcades as it took the original Pac-Man formula and expanded upon it while improving the gameplay. So, how do you take this game and move into a 16-bit console and improve it even further? Well, there are a few ways. First, you have to keep the original arcade mazes but you take advantage of the graphical capabilities of the system and enhance the look of everything. The character, the bonus items, even the mazes have been given a pseudo-3D treatment so they look even nicer than in the arcade. In addition to the arcade mazes, the game offers three additional maze types: Mini, Big, and Strage. Mini are smaller mazes that have less vertical scrolling (something that is used with the standard arcade mazes), Big are extra big mazes that expand upon the original mazes, and Strange are exactly that, unusual maze designs. There’s a total of 36 mazes in the game. In addition to the maze changes, the game offers single, two-player alternating, two-player competitive, and two-player cooperative modes. In the two player modes, one player plays as Ms. Pac-Man and one as Pac-Man. You also have a Pac Booster to give extra speed which can be used all the time or activated by pressing A or C buttons. Ms. Pac-Man on the Genesis/MD is a superb title but it has one glitch: it doesn’t like the six-button controllers. Be sure to use a three-button controller or even an arcade joystick if you have one.

Review by TrekMD

9/10

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