The Sega 32X – it wasn’t rubbish. Honest

It made me smile when websites started speculating that the Kinect could end up being another Sega 32X. This is because similarities between them are vast – the Sega 32X also promised a new gameplay experience, bolted onto an already existing console, required software especially developed for it and was designed to extend the life …

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Theme Park

Released: 1995 Formats: Mega Drive (played), Mega-CD, SNES, PC, Amiga, 3DO When Bullfrog started developing Theme Park for the Amiga and PC I doubt that even in their wildest collective dreams would the game end up on the humble Mega Drive. But EA gets what EA wants, and conversions for both Mega Drive and SNES …

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Sega GameGear: An Appreciation

If you’re a follower of our Twitter feed then you may be aware that I’ve been collecting Sega GameGear stuff since the start of the year. After having been lucky enough to bag a few large bundles on eBay relatively cheaply, I’m not far off from having a complete collection of PAL releases.

Why the GameGear, you ask? Well, the handheld holds a lot of nostalgia for me – I’ve owned one since around 1994, when games for it were still being released. I also believe that it’s the most under-appreciated system ever with a huge catalogue of decent titles, many of which are largely unheard of.

Because the GameGear didn’t sell as well as Nintendo’s GameBoy many people see the system as another one of Sega’s failed attempts. Not so – eight million of the 8-bit handhelds were sold during its six year lifespan. When you bear in mind that the GameBoy Advance was around only for five years it can hardly be deemed a flop.

The majority of people also think of the GameGear as nothing more than a portable Master System. This isn’t a lie as such – for the first couple of years of the handheld’s existence most of the software for it was simple Master System conversions – but once the Master System started to fizzle out many developers started converting their Mega Drive games to it, often with decent results. The 8-bit versions of the likes of Earthworm Jim, Super Return of the Jedi, James Pond 3, Ristar, Dynamite Headdy, Gunstar Heroes and Jungle Strike remained just as playable even though scaled down slightly.

While building up my collection I soon became fascinated with finding out what titles were denied European releases. The amount of games that were US and Japan only is staggering. I’m not just talking about obscure RPGs like Lunar and Shining Force but games based on established brands and characters like Pac-Man, Greendog: The Beached Surfer Dude, Coca-Cola Kid, Tails’ Sky Patrol and the aforementioned conversions of Jungle Strike and Gunstar Heroes. On the upside though, Europe had a fair few exclusive releases including Mortal Kombat 3. Games were released right up until 1996, which is a whole year after the Sega Saturn and PlayStation was released.

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Spend it like Beckham

With that World Cup thing now upon us, we thought it would be a good idea to have a football feature up on these hallowed pages. But what to write about? A history of FIFA games? Sounds about as dull as watching Millwall play. The evolution of virtual turf? A bit too nonsensical, even for …

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Alex Kidd’s Brain Training

If somebody had told me back in the early 90s that in twenty years time it would be possible to buy a colour handheld with twenty 8-bit Sega games built in and it would cost under £10 to buy, I would have probably jammed Lego bricks into their eyes and called them a witch. But, …

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Sonic the Hedgehog’s 8-bit years

Sonic’s 16-bit hits are incredibly renowned – million sellers that have been talked about for decades, torn part and praised within the gaming press countless times. The blue-haired mammal’s 8-bit back catalogue doesn’t receive anywhere near the same level of coverage, and this is despite it being far more varied and interesting. Not convinced? More …

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Twenty years of middling Simpsons games


The 14th January 1990 will be a date recognisable to any Simpsons fan – it’s the date that the first ever episode aired on American TV, some three year afters the crudely animated 30-second shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show made the yellow fellows famous. To celebrate The Simpsons 20th birthday this month, we would like to present to you this sketchy history of The Simpsons videogames. Grab a Squishy and enjoy!


It’s rather sad to start this feature by saying that the first Simpsons videogame is also one of the best – Konami’s side-scrolling beat’em up The Simpsons: The Arcade Game (1991) let you play as four out of five members of the Simpsons clan as they fought Mr. Burn’s goons to rescue Maggie. It’s largely believed that there were no home conversions but this is untrue – there were versions for both PC and Commodore 64. You can see the C64 version in action on YouTube in its pixilated but faithful glory. Konami also released the little-known Bart’s House of Weirdness for PC (pictured) in the same year and then later returned to arcades in 2000 with The Simpsons Bowling.

Ocean’s Bart vs. the Space Mutants (1991) was the first major Simpsons console game, released on no less than 10 different formats. It was an actually quite innovative platformer – on each level Bart had to find different objects to foil the Space Mutants plans. The aim of first level was to destroy all purple objects; Bart could purchase rockets to blow apart purple shop signs and could also buy also cherry bombs to scare off purple birds. True to the show, any phone-boxes found could be used to make prank calls to Moe. The Amiga 500 version had an animated intro that took up an entire floppy disk.

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Namco Museum Virtual Arcade


No matter how much horsepower a console has you can guarantee on two things – somebody will release Tetris on it and Namco will bring out a collection of their ancient arcade hits. There are already been three Tetris games on Xbox 360 – Tetris Plus, Tetris Splash and Tetris Evolution – so if my assumption is to go by then Namco Museum Virtual Arcade is long overdue.

This is a very peculiar collection and for a good number of reasons. Fore mostly it’s the first Xbox 360 game to have a total of 1800 GamerPoints straight out of the box, with reason being that in addition to 25 arcade games there’s nine Xbox Live Arcade games present each with 200 points a piece. Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, New Rally X, Xevious and Dig Dug are just simple arcade ports while Pac-Man: CE, Galaga Legions and Mr. Driller Online are jazzed up re-makes.

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Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection

Sega Mega Drive Ultimate CollectionIt’ll be a cold day in Hull – sorry, Hell – when Nintendo releases a 16-bit retro collection of this magnitude. So, let’s use this review as a means to honour Sega for not being as stingy as Nintendo are with their primitive pixels. All together now: hip, hip, hooray!


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Sega doesn’t know their Sonics

Sega has slipped up! Next to the caption for Sonic 2 on the back of the new Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection (known as Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection in the US, for some bizarre reason) somebody has used an image of Sonic 3 by mistake. It’s an easy blunder to make in all fairness – …

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EA Replay

Why EA hadn’t jumped on the retro compilation bandwagon before now is a bit of a mystery. Maybe it’s down to format choice: when the Saturn and PSone were in their prime, the Mega Drive and SNES were still a recent memory. PlayStation 2 and Xbox were probably a contender at one point, but EA …

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