Tagged "SEGA Mega Drive Classics"

Dec 04
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games No Comments

It’s the big one! Although a few bits and pieces are due out over the next fortnight, this week is definitely the last ‘major’ one of 2018 for new releases – publishers and indie developers are tripping over themselves in order to get their games out in time for Christmas.

Just Cause 4 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate are the big hitters. Nintendo are presumably holding back reviews of Smash Bros. – the biggest Switch release of the year – until closer to launch in order to prevent spoilers. We’ll take a closer look during our weekly eShop round-up, but rest assured that it’s an exceedingly generous package. How Nintendo has managed to cram so much content onto a cartridge is a mystery. Absolute masters of their own craft.

It’s pretty much a case of business as usual for Just Cause 4 – sloppy but satisfying chaos and carnage that’s marred by dated mechanics. We’ve also heard a few complaints of performance issues, with the PC version in particular being buggy. Still, reviews are clocking in at 8/10, which is encouraging for those not excited by the other ‘triple AAA’ releases out this winter.

Other notable new releases include THQ Nordic’s Jagged Alliance: Rage!, card-based RPG Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales, tactical shooter Mutant Year Zero, the PS4 release of PUBG, mech brawler Override: Mech City Brawl, and The Council’s fifth and final episode. Fans of Persona will also be in their element, as a duo of dancing spin-offs gain belated western releases via SEGA.

This week isn’t all about everything shiny and new. Far from it, in fact. Wonder Boy is back in Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom – a game five years in the making.

VideoChums called it a “phenomenal game and one of the best Metroidvanias ever made” before dishing out 9.1.

The PlayStation Classic launched on Monday, meanwhile. We get the impression a vast amount of pre-orders were cancelled before release – it initially sounded promising, but once more details were revealed, it became apparent Sony are skimping on the good stuff. It was met with a lukewarm reception due to shoddy emulation, a lack of features, and a hit ‘n miss line-up of titles. Somebody at Sony should be forced to play the PSone version of Rainbow Six from start to finish.

We aren’t done with retro stuff yet. The Bitmap Brothers’ action classic GODS receives an Xbox One remaster, SEGA Mega Drive Classics makes a belated Switch appearance, while Battle Princess Madelyn brings Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts back from the dead.

Monica e a Guarda dos Coelhos may also be of interest, based on a series hardcore SEGA fans may be familiar with – over in Brazil, the Wonder Boy games were reskinned with this cartoon license. This appears to be a tower defence shooter of sorts. And yes, that’s what it’s called on the UK digital stores. Why they didn’t use the translated title – Monica and the Rabbit Guard – is beyond us.

Don’t forget Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and Tetris Effect both receive physical releases this week. avaliable for around £25. If you’re after a stocking filler for somebody, look no further. Better than a Brut gift set and socks combined.

New release showcase:

Just Cause 4

Reviews:
Recommended – Eurogamer: “Weather effects and party balloons see a knockabout charmer return in decent form”

8/10 – TheSixthAxis: “Just Cause 4 is the best entry in the series to date, offering spectacular free-wheeling destruction on a scale that’s not been attempted before. Rico remains one of gaming’s most enjoyable protagonists, but more than ever before, it’s really all about what he’s capable of doing rather than the events unfolding around him”

7.9 – IGN: “Just Cause 4 is a slightly better version of Just Cause 3’s destruction-fueled action, but lacks a big new idea to give it an identity of its own”

Sega Mega Drive Classics (Switch)

Reviews:
8/10 – Nintendo Life: “When you take into account how much quality there is on offer here, Sega Mega Drive Classics becomes an easy recommendation”

4/5 – Switch Player: “While not everything is a classic and there’s a few notable omissions, this is still a great mixture of genres couple with neat emulation gimmicks. For Nintendo fans, it’s also a great time travel machine back to see just how the other lived during the great console war”

5/10 – God is a Geek: “While it has loads of games for the asking price, I would rather spend more and buy quality releases piecemeal or buy another collection for the Switch where there is a lot more to the release than just old roms with a few extras”

PlayStation Classic

Reviews:
3/5 – The Guardian: “It looks nice, it’s easy to use and the games are fun to revisit, but the functionality is bare-bones – and all the swagger is gone”

3/5 – TechRadar: “Because it doesn’t enshrine the best-remembered games from the ’90s, the PlayStation Classic isn’t quite everything we hoped it’d be. But what it lacks in software is made up, in part, by its lovingly crafted hardware”

5.5 – IGN: “The PlayStation Classic is more like a halfhearted nod than a top-shelf tribute to Sony’s era-defining console”

Mutant Year Zero

Reviews:
4.5/5 – Windows Central: “Mutant Year Zero is a compelling and enjoyable blend of exploration and tactical combat that will keep you playing day after day”

8.1 – PC Gamer: “Its mix of tense tactics and realtime exploration gets much right, but Mutant Year Zero doesn’t feel quite finished”

7.9 – IGN: “In changing the interplay between stealth and combat, Mutant Year Zero spins an interesting and intense new perspective on turn-based tactics that pushes you to get the most out of every move you make”

Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight

Reviews:
8.5 – Destructoid: “It’s one of the more engaging rhythm games I’ve played to date, even if I wish it was open from the start and had more to do”

8/10 – GameSpot: “Although many of Persona 5’s tracks struck a chord because of their evocative attachments to the events of that game, these songs come back around to remind you just how special that journey was. And the fact that these amazing tracks are tied to a great rhythm gameplay system make this game a fantastic new way to enjoy Persona 5’s tremendous music and revisit the Phantom Thieves”

7.0 – God is a Geek: “Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight is a rhythm game that is very good but one that should’ve been released later on so it could’ve had a more varied soundtrack with better remixes”

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Jun 05
By Matt Gander In Reviews No Comments

Retro compilations tend to fall into one of two camps. Some are genuine labours of love, filled to the brim with celebrated classics and a bounty of bonus features; a rare chance for long-running publishers to revel in self-indulgence and share their biggest past hits with gamers new and old.

Others, meanwhile, are little more than quick cash grabs – seemingly random assortments of vintage games lazily bundled together with little care or attention. Using a few big names and gooey nostalgia to sell, they’re hastily shoved out the door.

SEGA’s Mega Drive Ultimate Collection from 2009 lived up to its name, unquestionably put together with passion. A tough act to follow, but not impossible – due to a few omissions, it wasn’t quite a definitive package. Sadly, SEGA Mega Drive Classics doesn’t expand upon its predecessor to give long-time fans an all-encompassing collection, feeling like an attempt to make a quick buck off the current retro gaming resurgence.

This collection offers over 50 first-party titles, plus a few modern-day staples such as save states, the ability to rewind and fast-forward gameplay, online play, and a handful of bite-sized challenges. While this may sound reasonable, all these features are pretty much expected in any retro collection nowadays (save perhaps for the challenges), and most games present have been wheeled out numerous times before.

most games present have been wheeled out numerous times before

Online play is a bit of a shambles too, ruined by lag and an awkward matchmaking system. There are no lobbies or such – you’re simply paired with a random gamer and presented with a choice of two (!) games to play. If players are unable to settle on a decision, matchmaking starts over.

Considering the XBLA Vintage Collections from 2012 were able to provide a smooth online experience, this is something inexcusable in 2018.

Sadly, laziness (or ineptness, in some cases) is a reoccurring theme. The menu screen – resembling a ‘90s teenager’s bedroom – is ugly and unappealing, with games selected simply by plucking them off a shelf. Presented in a uniform fashion, they come from a world where blue spine Mega Drive games never existed. No box art, manuals, or anything of the sort – this collection is purely for those that want to play games, rather than delve into their history.

Moreover, this is a collection for those who aren’t too bothered about authenticity – emulation is a far cry from M2’s re-releases. Off-key sound-effects are the biggest offender, along with a few graphical glitches such as misplaced tiles. This is in addition to the already mentioned lag.

While the number of games on offer can be considered as generous, it’s a somewhat odd assortment. A lack of extras suggests this package is for the more ‘casual’ market, yet the most dominant genre here is, bizarrely, JRPGs with eleven in total. While some are quite easy to get into – such as Shining in the Darkness – the majority aren’t particularly conventional by today’s standards, coming across as acquired tastes. That said, the ability to save anywhere and fast-forward reams of text does make them a tad more palatable than when they were first released.

Speaking of acquired tastes, both Columns and Columns III are here. With the excellent Dr Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine (aka Puyo Puyo) present, one or the other would have sufficed. A minor quibble, but one that proves that this isn’t a carefully handpicked selection – SEGA has simply chucked in everything they currently have at hand.

Then we have the usual titles that were never really that great in the first place, such as unimpressive early releases Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair and Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle, the punishing overhead shooter Crack Down, the irritatingly twee and overly simplistic Flicky, and the lacklustre launch title Super Thunder Blade. We’re tempted to throw Gain Ground in with this bad bunch too, but if memory serves, it did have its fans. The same goes for Altered Beast; a game so bad it’s good. It’s a classic, but for all the wrong reasons.

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Jun 04
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

Proving that retro gaming is more popular than ever, both SEGA Mega Drive Classics and Street Fighter 30th Anniversary managed to elbow their way into the UK top ten.

SEGA’s collection made #5, while Capcom’s slightly better received compilation entered at #6.

It’s FIFA 18 that dominates the top 40 this week, however, thanks to price cuts and the free World Cup update.

The popular sports sim knocks Detroit: Become Human down to #2.

Far Cry 5 rose three places to take #3 while God of War moved up one position to #4.

Overwatch: GOTY Edition remains at #7, State of Decay 2 fell from #2 to #8, and Dark Souls Remastered dropped from #3 to #9. Then at #10 it’s the evergreen Fallout 4.

SEGA Mega Drive Classics and Street Fighter 30th Anniversary aren’t the only new arrivals – Tennis World Tour debuted at #31 while the allegedly painful to play Agony made #32.

Other notable happenings include Sea of Thieves rising from #28 to #15, and Destiny 2 dropping from #8 to #29. Over in the single formats, meanwhile, Owlboy swoops in at #16 in the Switch chart.

May 30
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games No Comments

Like a nationalised railway service, the gaming industry was seemingly distributed by the bank holiday. Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection, SEGA Mega Drive Classics, Agony, and Yoku’s Island Express all launched at midnight on Tuesday, or thereabouts, but due to the long weekend reviews didn’t go live until later that morning.

In the case of Agony, it was as if the publisher had something to hide. This hellish survival game, set in genuinely disturbing environments coated with rotting flesh and other human remains, has spent almost two years in the development. It generated a minor buzz in the run-up to release, but sadly for those waiting in anticipation, it’s nothing short of disappointing.

“My excitement for the game was quickly quashed behind bugs, crashes and unbalanced gameplay, failing to live up to the potential of the game’s core ideas and outstanding visual design,” said TheSixthAxis’ reviewer, before handing out a poor 4/10.

User reviews echo this, with Xbox One owners mentioning audio issues that make it almost unplayable.

Review scores for the other games mentioned above are mostly positive so far. Yoku’s Island Express, a Metroidvania with pinball elements (think along the lines of Sonic Spinball) has been billed as one of the year’s biggest surprises. Speaking of Sonic Spinball, SEGA Mega Drive Classics isn’t quite the collection it could’ve been, but most critics claim it contains enough outright classics to warrant the entry fee. We’ll have our own review up shortly.

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection is better still – a genuine celebration of all things Street Fighter, with online play and bonus features galore. And unlike Mega Drive Classics, it’s available on Switch too. Hurrah for that.

As for the week’s indie offerings, STAY on Xbox One entails helping a mild-mannered fellow escape from a rancid abode. It’s intriguing, but doesn’t quite reach its potential.

Moonlighter meanwhile has arrived to a waft of 9/10 reviews. It’s the roguelike to end all roguelikes, apparently. We’re also going give Mining Rail a shout out because, well, just look at it.

New release showcase:

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection – PS4/XO/Switch

Reviews:
9/10 – Nintendo Life: “While some of the games included in this compendium are rendered somewhat superfluous by the fact that far superior sequels and updates exist alongside them, Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection remains an utterly essential purchase for any self-respecting fighting game fan”

9/10 – Destructoid: “Though SF30 doesn’t quite live up to its potential as a comprehensive historical document, ultimately, The Fight is all that matters. In that regard Capcom, some 30 years later, just scored another K.O. We await your return, warrior”

8/10 – Push Square: “Fans of the franchise will really appreciate having so many entries in a single place, and the wealth of customisation options, online modes, and extra content in the museum will go down a real storm”

SEGA Mega Drive Classics – PS4/XO

Reviews:
95% – Gaming Trend: “Sega Genesis Classics boasts an amazing collection of 50 games, all of which will keep you busy and entertained for hours. Some of the games can be challenging to a fault, but that’s just the way some old school games were made. The games hold true to their original forms and bring you a cartridge full of nostalgia that you can pop right into the console of your heart”

4/5 – Hardcore Gamer: “When comparing this to past Genesis collections, some of the omissions such as Ecco and the arcade versions are noticeable, but it makes up for their absence by adding more games that haven’t been included before”

6.0 – God is a Geek: “SEGA Mega Drive Classics is disappointing, but I’m still not sure if it’s because many of the games are boring, or if I was expecting more options and extras”

Yoku’s Island Express – PS4/XO/Switch

Reviews:
8.5 – GameInformer: “To think, Sonic Spinball was onto something all of those years ago. Yoku’s Island Express is delightful and fun from start to finish”

8.0 – God is a Geek: “From the charming opening movie to the wonderful title sequence, Yoku’s Island Express will use its adorable charms to pull you in and, unless you’re a heartless husk, you’ll fancy sticking around until the end credits too”

8.0 – IGN: “Yoku’s Island Express is a novel Metroidvania-pinball hybrid that stands as something wholly unique and incredibly fun”

Moonlighter – PS4/XO/Switch

Reviews:
9.0 – PlayStation Lifestyle: “Moonlighter is going to be a game you’ll pick up, play, and instantly want to tell your friends all about. It encourages discussion – how much a certain item costs, how to navigate the metagame of the increasingly tricky Resident Evil 4-style inventory system with its cursed items requiring a shuffle of your bag – and feels like, honestly, the endgame of all roguelikes”

4.5/5 – GamesRadar: “Moonlighter manages to perfectly balance the best bits of Stardew Valley, Dark Souls and Binding of Isaac for a game that just keeps you coming back for more”

7.9 – Video Chums: “It feels like a minimalist game but it also has enough to do to sink your teeth into for over ten hours”

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