The Official Sega Genesis Gaming Thread

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The Official Sega Genesis Gaming Thread

Post by Lord Spencer on Fri Dec 25, 2015 12:15 pm

Now that I finally finished the my SNES reviews marathon, I am gong to review the SNES's competition. Clearly, the Genesis didn't have as many great games as the SNES; after all the era's strongest publishers didn't release games on it.

However, the system did have its share of great games, and as someone who only owned three Genesis games, I know there is a huge potential of discovering gems on the console.

Like with the SNES, I am going to review games based on a top 100 list:
http://retro-sanctuary.com/Top-100-Megadrive-Games-Page-1.html

After reading the list, I figured that I would review 41 games, since there are genres I don't like, and multiplayer focused games that would require me to have friends. Also, I am not touching sports games, as that is one genre that improves with each passing generation.
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Re: The Official Sega Genesis Gaming Thread

Post by RealGunner on Fri Dec 25, 2015 6:27 pm

Might relate a lot to this than I did with Snes
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Re: The Official Sega Genesis Gaming Thread

Post by Lord Spencer on Sat Dec 26, 2015 10:20 pm

#98

Game: Decap Attack.
Year: 1991.
Genre: Platformer.
Publisher: Sega.
Developer: Vic Tokai.



First things first, I am changing my rating system to better rate different genres according to their own rules. It will still be from 50 quality points, but every title will start from 25 and earn/lose points according to criteria important to the titles and genres themselves.

Right off the bat, the game makes a terrible impression. It starts with one of the loudest and most obnoxious sound effects I heard in video games. It only follows that up with more obnoxiousness in a what seems an attempt to comment on B-Horror movies, just like Zombies Ate My Neighbor.

When the game actually starts, it does manage to be interesting for a bit, but it could never shake off the bad first impression it had on me, until I formed an even worst impression.

Decap Attack is more than a game that fails to be a B-Movie inspired Platformer, it is a game that fails some basic gameplay principles.

"Max D. Cap's evil plan is totally Bogus"

To counter the more family-friendly image of the SNES, a significant number of Sega games tried to shoehorn in the bloody and the macabre so that Sega "does what Nintendon't". Decap Attack is obviously one of the games following that trend, as it is a complete redesign of an Arabian themed Japanese games with only few elements conserved.

In this iteration, you control Chuck, a Mummy with no face. Technically, that is not correct, as there is a face planted on his torso, and he can extend that face to hurt enemies. Why doesn't Chuck have a face? At first, when I found a skeleton head powerup, I thought it would be a smart design choice that would have gameplay elements.

Chuck could find different heads that give him different powers. Instead, Chuck only has that one head power-up that he can get, and his headless design is nothing more than a one-note joke. In fact, it is among a consistent string of inconsistencies in the game.

The evil Max D. Cap have risen from hell with his armies of demons to conquer the world. Except, the enemies in the game do no look like any form of a demon army, cartoonish or otherwise. In fact, they don't look like they are all from the same game. Similarity, the game's world is inconsistent, the locations do not follow any theme, and only the horror themed music being the sole consistent thread that ties them all.

Bosses look great, but their design doesn't fit with the world, and as a consequence, some look like rejects from other better games.

Its just all a slapdash soup of stuff that doesn't mix well, so much that the final mixture looks like a five day old stew where all the components have broken off and you can see where the various liquids separated and such.

Congested Soup: -6

"Chuck D. Head"

Did you get that? His name is Chuck D. Head, and his main form of attack is chucking his head about. At least when he has the skeleton power-up. Someone actually thought that was a funny pun. To be fair, the head chucking aspect of the game is the most fun, and it deserves the most emphasis.

When you have that power up (which you lose when hit), your attack sends the Skeleton head flying forward, damaging enemies as it goes. Then, it rests in a place damaging enemies that come into contact. If you don't pick it up, ot goes back to you damaging enemies in its retreat.

Obviously, it is a very powerful move, as it can one hit kill almost all enemies in the game, and you can pick up and throw as you move, literally destroying everything in your wake. It is oddly satisfying to throw your head around and destroying everything.

It must be said the actual platforming in the game is not so bad. In fact, Chuck moves responsively, and the action is fast. The action is especially great when facing some rather good bosses. Levels are usually large, and they contain a lot of items. These items can be used to help you in a multitude of ways.

Unfortunately, every third level (the boss level) asks you to find one item hidden in the stage that you need to progress. This unnecessarily slows down the pace in these third stages, although it does add a different twist.

At first, it appears that the gameplay is actually fun at best, and inoffensive at worst. That is until you realize that in latter levels, the game basically breaks some paramount gameplay rule; that a level can actually be beatable.

In some games, you are required to perform a difficult complicated action at some stage. An action that most players would fail at once or twice, learn from that failure and manage to conquer later. As an example, imagine having to run through falling platforms, but dying. When you are revived, the falling platfroms would be back in their place.

In Decap Attack, in at least two late levels, the platforms you need to progress do not go back if you die. Which means that if you died the first time around after knocking down a few of those platforms, you won't be able to finish the level.

This, coupled with the fact that there is no saving in Decap Attack can ruin runs, and is an unforgivable mistake for any game to make.

Some Fun Platfroming: +2
Chucking D. Head: +2
Boss Battles: +2
Failure in Basic Game Design:-10

"Be Careful Chuck"

Besides the fact that there is no artistic consistency to the game, the actual graphics look good. The sprites animate well, and Chuck moves really well. There are even some humorous touches to him, as with a Willy E. Coyote leg shuffle when about to fall down a pit. However, the background is a little bland, and some platforms are not easily visible as platforms.

As for the sound design, the music is suitable, and some tracks are fun. While the art is inconsistent to the theme of the game, the music, which sounds like something you could hear in Scooby Doo or another Horror-inspired Cartoon, is actually pretty thematic.

Unfortunately, the sound effects are horrible, and I am not just talking about the obnoxious opening sounds. Every time I jump, it reminds me of the value of Mario's jumping sound. Every time I Chuck that Head, I am reminded by the value of Contra's therapeutic firing effect.

All in all, Decap Attack ranges from acceptable to obnoxious in its presentation.

Sprite Design: +3
Sound: -1

In Conclusion:

Even if Decap Attack was not a broken game, it would be a fairly average game. It can be fun at times, and if you can withstand the obnoxious sound effects, you might even enjoy the music. Sure, it looks like a Frankensteinian amalgamation from other games, but tou might even forgive that as being thematically appropriate.

However, the fact that through regular play, the game can become unbeatable after one unfortunate death, that is unacceptable.

Ironically, that can be thematically appropriate as well. A game that didn't bother to add anything to its character design other than lacking a head might not care that much about testing the game as being actually complete.

Final: 17/50

"Tips"
1- Don't play the game.

"Next Game"

Well, that was an epic bad start. I think I actually was little too easy on the game. It was surely a headless meas (Get it). When compared to the first game I reviewed on the SNE (Blackthorne and I gave it a 29) it sure looks like a bad omen. However, the actual game in the SNES that I should have reviewed first was Final Fight which I gave an 18 to, so this is not saying much.

Next game is another B-Horror inspired game, Haunting Starring Poltergeist at #94. Here is hoping to avoid another horror show (or should I ask for an actual horror show).

Stay Tuned
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Re: The Official Sega Genesis Gaming Thread

Post by Lord Spencer on Sun Dec 27, 2015 5:36 pm

#94

Game: Haunting Starring Polterguy.
Year: 1993.
Genre: Action Puzzle.
Publisher: EA.
Developer: EA.



First things first, I am changing my rating system to better rate different genres according to their own rules. It will still be from 50 quality points, but every title will start from 25 and earn/lose points according to criteria important to the titles and genres themselves.

Poltergeists are a class of ghosts that cause mischief around the house, turning off the lights, making some weird noises, and sometime moving the furniture. In this game, the Poltergeist (or should I say Polterguy) is much nastier.

As Polterguy, you are tasked with scaring an admittedly unpleasant looking family away from the house. In a unique twist, this doesn't involve thematically inappropriate platfromer levels, but actually using your ghost powers to posses their house, and scare the living daylights out of them.

"I've got a radical surprise for the Sardinis"

Immediately ,you can recognize that Haunting is a unique game. In an isometric view, you wander around the various rooms of the house, looking for one of the four Sardini family members, and then you posses the environment to scare them. There are usually three types of scares, called Freight 'ems, but they all have a similar effect.

However, they all look widely different. I think there are more than 200 different unique scares, spread around four houses. These scares are the obvious stars of the show. Some are basic, like a couch suddenly growing spikes, but some are as elaborate as a shit man springing out of the toilet and throwing feces at the wall. Sometimes its too crass, but most of the time it is funny stuff.

If you don't enjoy these little animations, there won't be much to enjoy in the game, as they are the focus. With each scare activated, the Sardini family member's fear level rise, and then they run away from the room. Your job is to activate as many scares as necessary to scare all four out of the house. It might as well be a point and click adventure, with all you do is clicking on items you want to activate.

Unfortunately, the game wasn't content in being a barrel of jokes, and actually tried to implement some gameplay elements, which is where it fails.

A huge variety of Scares: +5
Innovative gameplay: +2

"Get back here you wimps"

Apparently, EA didn't think they could justify selling their game on visual gags alone. While that was a fair assessment, it shouldn't have meant shoehorning unnecessary gameplay elements into the mix. If you thought you could seamlessly move from room to room scaring the Sardinis, then you are wrong.

In order to use a Fright 'em, you need a resource called Ecto, but that Ecto also reduces with time and is only partially replenished through the frightened Sardinis. However, it is not a resource management game, because your Ecto will at least finish three times a level.

When that happens, you are transferred to an underground dungeon segment, where you hunt for Ecto. This dungeon is the only place where you could lose the game, as you hunt for Ecto drops in an uninspired level filled with stupid obstacles. Its not fun, and the only challenge is because the controls were not built for it.

Theoretically, you could spend more time in this stupid dungeon than actually having fun scaring the Sardinis. I understand that the game wanted to pad itself out, but it did so by having the busiest of mundane content.

To add insult to injury, there is also a totally unexpected, and completely shoehorned boss battle at the end.

Go to the Fun Dungeon: -5

"Don't you and your slimy family run away from me"

Obviously, for a game built on its visual gags, it needs those gags to be well animated. Thankfully, that is the case with Haunting, where both the scares and the family reactions manage to get a laugh.

Each member of the Sardini family reacts differently to the scares, with a number of funny reactions among them. As for the scares themselves, they are well animated, and as I said, funny most of the time.

However, the crassness of some of the jokes should be noted. In fact, the entire package is sometimes mean in its language. It is obviously a number of middle aged men trying to pander to the 90s skateboarding culture, with words like Radical and Dude thrown about. But it also is another obvious Sega Does what Nintendon't schtick, with some of the crassest gags being an obvious node to that.

Now, while the game does really well graphically, the sound is nothing to write about. There are literally just around 4 or 5 tracks, and the sound effects are thankfully not obnoxious.

Graphical Design and Animation: +5
Sound: -2

In Conclusion:

I confess that Haunting does well only because of its unique premise. The visual gags, while fun, wouldn't be able to carry an entire game. Instead, we are offered a punishing and boring dungeon sequence for the privilege of activating those gags.

However, there was literally no games like it then, and very little now. Its because of that, and because of the really well-done animation by EA that I feel this title is actually somewhat OK.

Final: 30/50

"Tips"
1- Focus on one family member at a time.
2- If you notice the dog, just run away from the room.
3- In the dungeon sequence, try and not get hurt, because there is actually a health bar.
4- If you reach the final boss, consider the game beaten, because it is not worth it beating him as well.
5- You are here for the gags, so diversify your Fright 'em selections.

"Next Game"

OK, that was much better than Decap Attack, even if I feel I wasn't as tough on it as I should. At least it wasn't broken, aye.

Next game is going to be my second platformer, which is the highest represented genre in the Genesis, and its Bubble and Squeak at #91.

Stay Tuned
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Re: The Official Sega Genesis Gaming Thread

Post by Lord Spencer on Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:09 pm

#91

Game: Bubble and Squeak.
Year: 1991.
Genre: Puzzle Platfromer.
Publisher: Audiogenic Software.
Developer: Audiogenic Software.



First things first, I am changing my rating system to better rate different genres according to their own rules. It will still be from 50 quality points, but every title will start from 25 and earn/lose points according to criteria important to the titles and genres themselves.

Bubble and Squeak is not the awful English dish made of leftover vegetables, it is one of the lesser known Genesis platformers, and one that is actually pretty unique. At its core, B&S is actually one giant escort mission, one that introduces a puzzle element to the game.

"Get Ready"

I don't know what is supposed to be the plot of B&S. Apparently, there are aliens involved, and an unlikely alliance between an alien and human boy is center stage. Unfortunately, the ambiguity regarding the plot is reflected by the ambiguity of the world's design.

Enemy sprites are boring, and the world, while looking good, is lacking in personality.

All in all, there is little in the game that separates it from the pack in terms of design.

Boring World Design: -4

"Kick that Alien up the ramp"

At first, I thought the game would be a simple platformer. The human jumps around and shoots, while the alien follows. However, the game soon unravels as an escort mission with puzzle elements. For starters, the blue alien cannot jump as high as you, so you will sometimes need to manipulate the environment to help him go forward.

Additionally, you will sometimes need that alien to throw you to previously unreachable ledges, or just step on his head to get that extra jump height. Many times, you must kick the alien into a ball, and send him flying through a set of ramps to reach a point in advance. Sometimes, you will need t actually race with that ball, and try and make it stop in a better point.

Unfortunately, this introduces one of the biggest weaknesses of the game. The fact that if you kick the alien into a ball, you don't exactly know where he is going to end up. This means that you take too many blind decisions, and with many stages having a time limit, it can cause undue frustration.

Besides the base gameplay, there is a poorly thought out Shmup section in between a lot of stages. It is poorly done because your ship is huge, and can only shoot forward. This causes it to get stuck to the environment, and makes avoiding one-hit-kill shots more difficult than it should. Thankfully, these portions are actually just bonus rounds and are not needed to finish the game


Gameplay: +2
Blind Decesion-Making: -1 [i]
[i]Bonus Stages: +1


"Does not look like vegetable leftovers"

While the world design of B&S is surely boring, you cannot argue that it doesn't look good. Graphically, this is a nice looking game, that animates really well. There is nothing too special about it, but it all looks really solid.

As for the sound, while I initially didn't like it much, there were some really good tracks. The music at the shmup sections is atmospheric and makes those sections worth it just to hear it alone.

Graphical Design and Animation: +2
Sound: +2

In Conclusion:

If B&S was a better designed game, its gameplay could have had carried it to a classic standards. However, it is one of those forgettable games, that didn't bother to differentiate themselves from the pack.

This one of those games that had smart ideas, but it couldn't be bothered to be special.

Final: 27/50

"Tips"
1- Try exploring the stage a little bit before kicking the alien.
2- In the Shmup sections, make sure to attack destructible blocks so that you cannot get stuck.


"Next Game"

A month later, I probably will forget about reviewing B&S, but that is better than remembering reviewing a terrible game.

The next game is the first shooter in this list, so I predict a tough time. It finishes up the first 10 in the list, ESWAT is @ #90.

Stay Tuned
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Re: The Official Sega Genesis Gaming Thread

Post by Lord Spencer on Sun Jan 03, 2016 12:28 am

#90

Game: ESWAT: City Under Siege.
Year: 1990.
Genre: Shooter.
Publisher: Sega.
Developer: Sega.



First things first, I am changing my rating system to better rate different genres according to their own rules. It will still be from 50 quality points, but every title will start from 25 and earn/lose points according to criteria important to the titles and genres themselves.

Shooters in the 16 bit generation are a dime a dozen. First, we have the top class tier like Contra and Metal Slug, then we get all the rest. ESWAT is one of the earliest 16 bit shooters, and as such was not compared to the great advances those two series made to the genre, nor was it able to learn from them.

Even though, this game is actually a fairly capable shooter, which could have been much better if not for a few serious shortcomings.

"Break E.V.E's Plan"

While the game's cover feature a man in a robot suit, you actually start the game as a fairly ordinary blonde cop. This cop only has a limited skill-set, and can only use a handgun. Only after the first two stages do you get the robot suit, and it makes a world of difference.

The decision to limit you in those two stages is brilliant, because it perfectly underscores how awesome the robot suit is. Once you get it, you feel its power in relation to you previous limitation, and with that power you are tasked with bigger missions.

Unfortunately, here is another game that doesn't bother to craft an engaging world design. The lack of narrative is to be expected in these early games, but the lack of a cohesive or interesting world is not.

Other than the robot suit, and one rather atmospheric level, there is nothing here which has not been done before. From the generic cannon fodder, to the nearly mandatory helicopter boss. ESWAT feels like it could have easily have carbon copies, SWATE and ESWET, lying around.

It doesn't help that the game is as expected, short, with no reason to revisit it after beating it once.

Generic World Design: -4
Holding the Robot Suit: +1

"Guard Silent City"

Before you get the robot suit, you can only shoot the lame handgun, and you have very limited health. If you played any other shooter, you basically know the drill, and at this stage in game development, there was no diagonal shooting.

Once you don that robot suit, its a game changer. Now, besides the increased health, you get access to an expanded arsenal as well as a jet pack.

You still have that lame gun, but now can have access to a rapid shooting weapon that completely outclasses it. Also, there is the missile weapon, which solves some of the diagonal shooting problem because it travels diagonally downward. Then there is the plasma cannon, which auto-charges a strong plasma shot. Finally, you have the one-time super move, which I personally only used once. Best of all, you can switch between these weapons at will provided you have them.

What is truley a game changer however is the jet pack, which, through use of fuel can allow you to hover, glide, as well as simply fly around. The best stage in the game uses that power to a great degree, and the game could have been much better if it actually asked you to use the jet pack more often.

Unfortunately, with the exception of two stages ,the game seemed afraid to deviate much from the confines of its genre. It focused too much on its mediocre shooting, while ignoring the potential of the jet pack.

This can be clearly seen in the pedestrian boss battles. Initially, you might believe these are some tough adversaries, until your realize that they cannot adequately deal with your flying power. Most bosses are rendered ineffective if you glide a little bit into the middle of the edge of the screen, and shot them with the diagonal missiles.

With that tactic, ESWAT becomes one of the easiest shooters I played.

Excellent Jetpack Mechanic: +4
Robot Suit Packs some Firepower: +2
Doesn't Use it Enough: -2
Easy ti Beat Bosses: -2

"Infiltrate Cyber Prison"

With as many shooters out there, any one that aims to make a name for itself must be technically sound, and has some solid presentation.

Thankfully, ESWAT does just that. The sprites are big and well-detailed, and while the backgrounds are nothing special, they are not bad either. Especially well done are the animations, which make the sprites pop that much better.

For instance, there was no need to have the robot morph into a ball, as he crawls beautifully.

Additionally, all the extra effects, such as shots and explosions are well rendered, and actually have solid sound design behind them.

Speaking of sound, there are some nice tunes in the game, although the soundtracks attempt at being more complex sometimes backfire. The second track I could imagine being much better in the SNES, where the sound chip is more advanced.

Generally, this is some solid stuff.

Graphical Design and Animation: +3
Sound: +2

In Conclusion:

ESWAT is a classical example of a game not recognizing its own strengths. If this game actually utilized the excellent jet-pack mechanic better, it it designed its bosses and stages to accommodate that, it might have been a strong enough game to warrant a sequel. Even with a silly sounding name like ESWAT.

As it is, ESWAT is merely a solid shooter in an overcrowded genre, one which could have been much better than it ended up being.

Final: 29/50

"Tips"
1- For the second boss, simply crouch down and shoot, your bullets can guard you against theirs.
2- For a lot of bosses, hovering (not flying) mid-air at the age of the stage and lobbing missiles at them is more than enough.
3- Missiles travel in the ground, and are great at defeating enemies under you.
4- The Plasma Cannon charged shot is great, and can destroy most enemies in one hit, it charges automatically if you don't shoot.
5- You need to use all your weapons if you don't want to end up in dangerous situations.


"Next Game"

Maybe a 29 is not too bad for the first Sega game on the list, but it could have been better. Hell, it could have EASILY been a better game if it had a little more ambition.

For #89, we are actually getting an ambitious game from EA, General Chaos. A real time tactics game, whatever that genre is.

Stay Tuned[/i][/i]
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Re: The Official Sega Genesis Gaming Thread

Post by RealGunner on Sun Jan 03, 2016 12:48 pm

I remember Eswat. That cover is quite nostalgic. I first played it in late 90s and always thought the guy was terminator Laughing
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Re: The Official Sega Genesis Gaming Thread

Post by Lord Spencer on Mon Jan 04, 2016 1:11 am

@RealGunner wrote:I remember Eswat. That cover is quite nostalgic. I first played it in late 90s and always thought the guy was terminator Laughing


That's true, it does try and latch on to the Robo-Cop and terminator trend.
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Re: The Official Sega Genesis Gaming Thread

Post by Lord Spencer on Mon Jan 04, 2016 1:58 am

#89

Game: General Chaos.
Year: 1994.
Genre: Real-Time Tactics.
Publisher: EA.
Developer: Game Refuge Inc.



First things first, I am changing my rating system to better rate different genres according to their own rules. It will still be from 50 quality points, but every title will start from 25 and earn/lose points according to criteria important to the titles and genres themselves.

General Chaos is probably one of the Genesis's most unique games, and probably the only one of its genre. Its a Real-Time Tactics game that involves commanding one squad of units in a battle against another squad.

A unique gem in the system, everything is great in the game, apart from it being as short as a tech demo.

"Paramilitary Pandemonium"

This is a military game, with cartoonish commanders and visuals. It obviously doesn't take itself seriously, as it depicts a war between General Chaos and Havoc, a war that is woven through several stages.

Unfortunately, this brief plot (if you can call it that) carries over to the game. In single player, you compete against the computer in a series of battles, numbering around 10 or 11 stages, and whomever wins more battles wins.

Once you beat the game, you can try and beat it again, and again, but you are always going to play the same stages even if in a different order. That's it. There are no more generals to fight, no twists on the regular battle stages.

However, the game does offer a neat little twist; local multiplayer. Up to four players can play co-op against the computer, or better yet, two players can duke it out against each other. While fighting against the computer can get boring after a time, the multiplayer component (if you can access that) is very interesting.

Short Campaign: -3
"Multiplayer: +5"

"The enemy is running scared"

So what is an RTT? I don't exactly know, but I have not played something similar to it that I can remember. There are two control schemes, for the two different types of squads. So lets get the less common squad out of the way.

The commandos squad consist of only two soldiers, each with more health than usual. You can control one solider individualy, and move them at well, while calling the other to follow you. Of course, you can switch it up, and attach with the push of a button. Commando teams are much more mobile than regular squads, but are more vulnerable, making them an interesting hardcore option.

For the regular squads, you control five soldiers, which come in five different varieties (squad can contain any number of any variety). You can order any soldier to move somewhere by using a cursor, and can then order all soldiers to fire with the hit of a button.

The trick is in maintaining the range of fire of each weapon, as well as trying to surround enemy soldiers and push them into your line of fire. Fights can get chaotic and intense, and it is a little difficult managing all the chaos in real time.

Fortunately, there is a basic training mode, which teaches the basics of the game as well as allow you to practice moving your units and firing at leisure.

To compensate for their lack of tactical awareness, the computer has more medics available to heal their soldiers, which sometimes can feel unfair, as you might not be fast enough to take advantage of your own tactical superiority. Which is why multiplayer is such a treat.

One part of battle that I didn't like and which creeps too often, are the close encounter attacks. In these situations, when two competing units are too close to each other, they engage in a basic brawl. When this happens too often, it slows down the pace of the game.

Overall, the gameplay in General Chaos is unique, fun, and truly deserving of the name.

Squad variety: +1
Great Gameplay: +4

"Alone, outnumbered, and loving every minute of it"

A great deal of the enjoyment you get from the game is due to its charm. The cartoonish visuals work well, and the action and animations and clean and clear because of it. However, other than the sprites, I cannot say that the backgrounds are anything special.

Sound is more of a mixed bag. I cannot say the soundtrack made any impression on me, as besides having some military tunes as inspiration, it was mostly dull. I think there were only about two battle tunes, and I couldn't differentiate between them.

However, the sound effects are really good. The mix of explosions, bullet fire, and flamethrower ejections lend an active action packed sense to the atmosphere. It keeps you on your toes as you command the troops.

Once the battle start, you probably won't notice the pedestrian soundtrack, as you focus more on those cartoon soldiers walking and fighting. As you focus on the medic coming in and healing the wounded, just as the enemy soldiers start to burn and disintegrate into skeletons. Now that I said it, it seems a little morbid, but it evokes the black comedy style of games like Metal Slug quite well.

Graphical Design and Animation: +3
Sound: +1

In Conclusion:

There are very few games like general Chaos. Personally, I have not played anything like it, and I enjoyed it very much. However, the campaign was woefully short, and it had no story element whatsoever. This meant that I needed to find other people to play with to properly enjoy the game.

However, the fact that it has such an amazing multiplayer component is actually strange. I wouldn't have imagined such a game to feature one, although it is much better with it. Recently, the designer of the game tried to revive the franchise in Kickstarter, but the funding came short.

That is sure a darn shame.

Final: 31(36)/50 (With Multiplayer)

"Tips"
1- Check the tutorial first.
2- Pay attention to the range of each soldier's weapon.
3- Try and keep your soldier spread out, that way grenades won't hurt them.
4- Conserve your medics for the last fight in the enemy's capital.


"Next Game"

I can say that General Chaos is the first game in this list that I really enjoyed. Unfortunately, it just ended too soon. Really a shame about the kickstarter not reaching the goal though.

Next up is the first beat 'em up in the list, Splatterhouse 3 @ #89. Now, I am not a big fan of the genre, but I am trying it because I was assured that it is a much better genre on the Genesis than on the SNES.

Stay Tuned
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Re: The Official Sega Genesis Gaming Thread

Post by Lord Spencer on Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:42 pm

#89

Game: General Chaos.
Year: 1992.
Genre: Action Platformer.
Publisher: Game Arts.
Developer: Game Arts, Gainax.



First things first, I am changing my rating system to better rate different genres according to their own rules. It will still be from 50 quality points, but every title will start from 25 and earn/lose points according to criteria important to the titles and genres themselves.

As an action platformer, Alisia Dragoon suffers from its gameplay limitations. However, in general, its aesthetic and overall experience makes it a good game.

Not without its problems, this is a game that is worth the plunge despite its shortcomings.

"Once again, the silver star fell from the sky bringing death and destruction"

Surprisingly for an Action Platformer of its time, Alisia Dragoon actually bothers to provide a story. As Alisia, you are going to go through 8 stages in order to stop the revival of some ancient evil. It is of course nothing special, but its nice to have.

In design, the game offers a mixture of high fantasy elements along with some high technology.

Its consistent, and the graphics tell the story of the sorceress Alisia going into an adventure to stop that ancient evil.

Consistent Design: +2

"Do you dare to challenge us?"

The action in Alisia Dragoon is somewhat strange. I don't know if you can call it a shooter, but her main and only form of attack involves shooting a stream of electricity from her hands. The catch is that the electricity streams automatically home in to enemies. This means there is limited action from the player in directing their attacks.

Another thing Alisia can do is summon one of four monsters to help her out. These monsters each attack in different ways, and they have their own health. Similar to the standard attacks, there is little control over how the monster behave.

With such little control over your own attacks, the main thing you will be doing is resource managing your electricity gauge (you can't shoot for ever), and trying to dodge enemy attack. This is easier said than done though, because the screen is often chaotic, and in some boss battles, dodging enemy attacks is like playing a bullet hell game with a seriously large target.

Thankfully, there are a bunch of healing items strewn about, and the earlier stages are not that challenging. Unfortunately, that is not enough in later stages, where you will feel the difficulty ramps up considerably. Worse yet, if you lose, you repeat the stage from the beginning, and there are no save options.

Limited Interaction: -2
Unfairly Difficult: -3
Monster Summons: +2

"Your life will make an excellent sacrafise"

Game arts are the studio behind the amazing looking Lunar games, and Gainax were known for their graphics back in the day. This clearly shows in Alisia Dragoon, because it is actually a fairly beautiful game.

While the character sprites are not anything special, they are well-animated, and varied. It is the background that steals the show. With 8 stages, each looking very different, yet are believable in a s single world. There is an excellent balance between the foreground, and the background, where you can see a lot of effort went in.

Best yet, is the fact that the game didn't rest on its laurels. In one stage, the game has you diagonally exploring a destroyed complex. It is something I rarely seen before, and it is done really well visually.

In sound, the main tracks are all really good. Its an overall solid soundtrack, especially in some stages. While I wasn't a big fan of the regular boss battle music, the final battle at least made up a little for it. Also, the sound effects were not complete garbage, as they are in many Genesis games.

Graphical Design: +5
Sound: +3

In Conclusion:

Many might actually enjoy the limited involvement in the core action of the game. It leaves them focusing more on dodging attacks, than dishing them out. And that's a fair point to make. However, I found it to detract from the overall experience.

Still, this is one pretty game, and with a design such as that, I was okay simply pressing the attack button and prancing around dodging projectiles.

Final: 32

"Tips"
1- Focus on dodging enemy attacks.
2- Explore the levels to find health and power-ups.
3- Switch monsters before their health depletes, or they lose all their level-ups.

"Next Game"

So, this was supposed to be a review of the Beat 'em up, Splatterhouse 3, but I simply cannot get into that genre at all. I tried, and I didn't not find any enjoyment out of it. Instead, I reviewed this game at a request from a Dtoid poster, and it was nice enough game.


Next game should be Phantasy Star III at #79 in the list, but I like to review game series in order. So I am going to jump ahead in the list and review Phantasy Star II which is at #67. Then, I will review PSIII later when I officially reach #67.
Stay Tuned
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Re: The Official Sega Genesis Gaming Thread

Post by Betty La Fea on Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:45 pm

You are probably experiencing a truth not many people ever want to admit right now:

Spoiler:
Phantasy Star was a better RPG series than Final Fantasy

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Re: The Official Sega Genesis Gaming Thread

Post by Lord Spencer on Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:54 am

@Betty La Fea wrote:You are probably experiencing a truth not many people ever want to admit right now:

Spoiler:
Phantasy Star was a better RPG series than Final Fantasy


While playing PSII, that's not even remotely close.

PSII is nearly an NES level RPG. Too much grinding, very little dialogue, huge maze-like dungeons, and crap music. The first two final fantasy games (even the second one), are better games than what I so far saw in PSII.

Still, I do see potential in the series, and hope PSIII and PSIV delivers.
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Re: The Official Sega Genesis Gaming Thread

Post by Betty La Fea on Sat Jan 16, 2016 3:19 am

@Lord Spencer wrote:
@Betty La Fea wrote:You are probably experiencing a truth not many people ever want to admit right now:

Spoiler:
Phantasy Star was a better RPG series than Final Fantasy


While playing PSII, that's not even remotely close.

PSII is nearly an NES level RPG. Too much grinding, very little dialogue, huge maze-like dungeons, and crap music. The first two final fantasy games (even the second one), are better games than what I so far saw in PSII.

Still, I do see potential in the series, and hope PSIII and PSIV delivers.


It was released during those times. You can't hold being a famicom type of rpg against it when that was all that was around Razz

You will forever have this stuck in your head:


Laughing Laughing
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Re: The Official Sega Genesis Gaming Thread

Post by Lord Spencer on Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:36 am

@Betty La Fea wrote:
@Lord Spencer wrote:
@Betty La Fea wrote:You are probably experiencing a truth not many people ever want to admit right now:

Spoiler:
Phantasy Star was a better RPG series than Final Fantasy


While playing PSII, that's not even remotely close.

PSII is nearly an NES level RPG. Too much grinding, very little dialogue, huge maze-like dungeons, and crap music. The first two final fantasy games (even the second one), are better games than what I so far saw in PSII.

Still, I do see potential in the series, and hope PSIII and PSIV delivers.


It was released during those times. You can't hold being a famicom type of rpg against it when that was all that was around Razz

You will forever have this stuck in your head:


Laughing Laughing


In my reviews, I judge a game with modern sensibilities in mind. First RPGs such as FFI and PSII have not aged well, and I don't think will score highly in my system.

Note, that a lot of the issues I am going to mention has nothing to do with the limitations of the past, and more to do with poor game design.

Also note that I might change my opinion after finishing the game. I look forward to you reading my review.
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Re: The Official Sega Genesis Gaming Thread

Post by Betty La Fea on Sat Jan 16, 2016 6:12 pm

@Lord Spencer wrote:
@Betty La Fea wrote:
@Lord Spencer wrote:


While playing PSII, that's not even remotely close.

PSII is nearly an NES level RPG. Too much grinding, very little dialogue, huge maze-like dungeons, and crap music. The first two final fantasy games (even the second one), are better games than what I so far saw in PSII.

Still, I do see potential in the series, and hope PSIII and PSIV delivers.


It was released during those times. You can't hold being a famicom type of rpg against it when that was all that was around Razz

You will forever have this stuck in your head:


Laughing Laughing


In my reviews, I judge a game with modern sensibilities in mind. First RPGs such as FFI and PSII have not aged well, and I don't think will score highly in my system.

Note, that a lot of the issues I am going to mention has nothing to do with the limitations of the past, and more to do with poor game design.

Also note that I might change my opinion after finishing the game. I look forward to you reading my review.


Ah I see. Yeah I can see it not holding up too well.

I think an RPG like Shining Force will definitely hold up. I know you will probably come across one of those while going through the list for the mega drive.

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Re: The Official Sega Genesis Gaming Thread

Post by RealGunner on Sat Jan 16, 2016 8:58 pm

Shining Force 2 is one of the best RPG i've ever played. 1 was great as well but likes 2nd even more
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Re: The Official Sega Genesis Gaming Thread

Post by Betty La Fea on Sat Jan 16, 2016 9:42 pm

@RealGunner wrote:Shining Force 2 is one of the best RPG i've ever played. 1 was great as well but likes 2nd even more


I have to play 2 now. I only played the first one about 10-ish years ago. I tried to play it as a kid in the late 90's when we still had the system, but every other block of text had some furigana word and I had no idea what was going on Laughing Laughing

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Re: The Official Sega Genesis Gaming Thread

Post by RealGunner on Sat Jan 16, 2016 9:45 pm

game has aged quite well. I attempted to play both back in 2013 and finished the 1st without feeling put off by it or anything.

I played it on Sega ROM on pc lol.

Game isn't well known though so if they even want to revive it, it wont gather much attention
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Re: The Official Sega Genesis Gaming Thread

Post by Betty La Fea on Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:00 pm

@RealGunner wrote:game has aged quite well. I attempted to play both back in 2013 and finished the 1st without feeling put off by it or anything.

I played it on Sega ROM on pc lol.

Game isn't well known though so if they even want to revive it, it wont gather much attention


I might have to "break the law" and rom it up too lol.

I think the battle system was a big reason why it isn't as popular. You have to think your way through it. With Final fantasy you can just grind your way up, and push through bosses.

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Re: The Official Sega Genesis Gaming Thread

Post by Lord Spencer on Sun Jan 17, 2016 8:32 am

Just a technical term, but Shining Force is not an RPG, it is an SRPG like Fire Emblem :coffee:
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Re: The Official Sega Genesis Gaming Thread

Post by Betty La Fea on Mon Jan 18, 2016 2:31 pm

@Lord Spencer wrote:Just a technical term, but Shining Force is not an RPG, it is an SRPG like Fire Emblem :coffee:


What exactly makes an RPG an RPG then? Turn based battle systems a la Dragon warriors?

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Re: The Official Sega Genesis Gaming Thread

Post by Lord Spencer on Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:26 am

@Betty La Fea wrote:
@Lord Spencer wrote:Just a technical term, but Shining Force is not an RPG, it is an SRPG like Fire Emblem :coffee:


What exactly makes an RPG an RPG then? Turn based battle systems a la Dragon warriors?


RPG is really the umbrella term for a lot of these games.

But with the huge variety of games within the genre, it is a better description of the game to call them by their sub-genres:

ARPG: The A standing for action, means that this RPG game is more action heavy than turn-based RPGs, and attacks are usually not dependent on a timer.

SRPG: The S standing for strategy, and these games usually mean you control several units, mostly in a grid based system (But could be free-control), and are mostly turn-based games.

JRPG: The J standing for Japanese, which is really what most the original RPGs were. It mostly compromises of Turn-based games and the Tales series these days.

WRPG: The W standing for western, which are RPGs made in the Witcher and Elder Scrolls mold. One RPG series that I cannot belive is being called such is the Mass Effect series, which is more of a 3rd person adventure than an RPG.

MMORPG: Huge online RPG.

There also less known terms thrown about, like TRPG, and RRPG, but these terms are the most widely used today.

In the end, all games can be technically called RPGs (Role Playing is involved in all games), but there is a certain nuance to the terminology that scribes a game better than simply using the RPG term for all of them.
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Re: The Official Sega Genesis Gaming Thread

Post by Betty La Fea on Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:48 pm

@Lord Spencer wrote:
@Betty La Fea wrote:
@Lord Spencer wrote:Just a technical term, but Shining Force is not an RPG, it is an SRPG like Fire Emblem :coffee:


What exactly makes an RPG an RPG then? Turn based battle systems a la Dragon warriors?


RPG is really the umbrella term for a lot of these games.

But with the huge variety of games within the genre, it is a better description of the game to call them by their sub-genres:

ARPG: The A standing for action, means that this RPG game is more action heavy than turn-based RPGs, and attacks are usually not dependent on a timer.

SRPG: The S standing for strategy, and these games usually mean you control several units, mostly in a grid based system (But could be free-control), and are mostly turn-based games.

JRPG: The J standing for Japanese, which is really what most the original RPGs were. It mostly compromises of Turn-based games and the Tales series these days.

WRPG: The W standing for western, which are RPGs made in the Witcher and Elder Scrolls mold. One RPG series that I cannot belive is being called such is the Mass Effect series, which is more of a 3rd person adventure than an RPG.

MMORPG: Huge online RPG.

There also less known terms thrown about, like TRPG, and RRPG, but these terms are the most widely used today.

In the end, all games can be technically called RPGs (Role Playing is involved in all games), but there is a certain nuance to the terminology that scribes a game better than simply using the RPG term for all of them.


Ah I see Shocked

The only thing I had heard of from that list were MMORPGS Laughing

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Re: The Official Sega Genesis Gaming Thread

Post by Lord Spencer on Sat Jan 30, 2016 6:12 pm

#67

Game: Phantasy Star II.
Year: 1990.
Genre: RPG.
Publisher: Sega.
Developer: Sega.



First things first, I am changing my rating system to better rate different genres according to their own rules. It will still be from 50 quality points, but every title will start from 25 and earn/lose points according to criteria important to the titles and genres themselves.

The Phantasy Star series is nearly as old as the Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy RPG series, and while it is held in high regard, it never reached the acclaim of those other two franchises. The second game in the series is the first on the Genesis, and is highly regarded by Genesis fans.

Unfortunately, this is an example of an early JRPG that didn't age well. Still, there are glimpses of the brilliance that made gamers love it 26 years ago.

"Mother Brain is essential to our life"

In theory, the plot of PSII can be both unique an engaging. Its about a society that came to depend on a super computer that manages all of its needs, and as such struggles when that super computer starts malfunctioning.

However, in practice, the game's story can only be implied through its archaic and poorly translated dialogue. With sentences having limited punctuation, no indication of tone, delivery, or basic dramatically nuance, the game struggles at delivering any story.

This was common-place in the early RPG days, which is why many pre-SNES RPGs aged terribly.

Take your party members for example. Other than their introductory dialogue, they do not speak for the reminder of the game. There is no exposition, no character growth, and you will only depend on the very few clues provided and outside information to make sense of the story and game world.

Thankfully then, the PS series is unique in that regard. Set in outer space, its generally an interesting idea to explore a frontier planet.

Terrible Dialogue: -3
Weak Characterization: -4

"Fool! You say such things but your powerless to stop me"

Like all the RPGs of the day, gameplay is divided into exploration and turn-based battles, which starts randomly in dangerous areas such as dungeon and the over-world. PSII's combat system is geared toward automatic play, where you can interrupt the combat to issue orders to your party.

This means that battles finish more quickly, with only the toughest battles demanding close micro-management from the player.

Of course, this doesn't mean its all on autoplay, as the player must observe all the information on enemy and ally attacks to see if they need to intervene and change the game plan. Some enemies can cause a lot of damage to all party members, which will require special focus on them with magic attack, or simply healing to counter their damage.

Outside of battle, you will be visiting a lot of dungeon and cities. The over-world is interestingly designed, especially the second planet you visit.

Unfortunately, due to its ancient design principles, this game is a chore to play. In order to progress through the difficult dungeons, you will simply need to grind for levels and equipment. Roughly more than half of my gameplay time was spent grinding. Since there are party members that cannot be in your party, the grinding time will increase if you want to use other characters. Which is why I ignored a lot of the other characters because I didn't feel like grinding more than I already did.

However, its not only grinding that will waste your time, but a multitude of other problems as well. It simply takes too much time to do anything in the game. Take healing for example. Once out of battle and you want to heal your party members, you must open the menu, go to the skill menu, choose the character whose skills you want to use, choose the skill, and then choose the character you want to use that skill on. Once you finish that five step procedure to heal one character, you are booted out of the entire menu and you need to repeat it again to use another healing spell.

Ironically, when you use items instead of healing spells, the menu doesn't boot you out of the whole thing, and instead you can choose to use another healing item. Suggesting the developers could have figured the same thing for the skills as well.

This is of course assuming you have a guide explaining what each skill and item does, because the game doesn't explain anything about items and skills. You are left looking online for clues about what each magic skill does.

Then we come to the game's dungeons, which are IMPOSSIBLE to navigate without a map or a guide. I have never seen such mazes in an RPG. Even with the manageable encounter rate of PSII, trying to navigate these mazes alone would be impossible.

Good Combat: +3
Too Much Grinding: -3
Caveman Design: -5

"The Many tragedies which have come to pass as the world falls into turmoil"

The visual design of PSII's world is both colorful, and aged. Especially out of combat. These are not the chunky sprites of other early RPGs, but an attempt at creating more "realistically" proportional models. This results in more unique models, and a different kind of world.

In battle, its similar to the style of Dragon Quest, but the backs of your characters are visible, and they are animated when they attack. Enemy models are also animate when attacking (instead of the vibration effects in Final Fantasy games) and are varied and interesting enough.

However, dungeons and cities are poorly designed, with some visual effects actually working against the player obscuring their view.

As for the game's sound, it must be said that it suffers a little from the Genesis's lacking sound capabilities. This results in several tunes sounding the same. Yet, these are some really catchy tunes, that fit well with the game world and are a delight to listen to.

There are only about 20 different tracks, which is small for an RPG but still OK considering this game's age.

Graphical Design: +3
Sound: +3

In Conclusion:

This a review I know many would disagree with. Many would say I am judging PSII harshly for a game of its time, and that it was a much better game if played in 1990. However, I am not reviewing this game in 1990, but in 2016. When making this review, I am making a recommendation for someone wanting to play the game now.

With that in mind, PSII has aged terribly, and as such I can only recommend to the retro enthusiasts. I can see how the game managed to attract such a fanbase back in the day. Yet, where games such as Chrono Cross and Final Fantasy 6 managed to stay great despite their age, PSII suffers too much from it.

Final: 20/50

"Tips"
1- Character order is important, those in the front are more likely to be attacked.
2- Use maps in the internet to play the dungeons.
3- Use guides in the internet to learn about Skills and Items.
4- Whenever you go to a new city, go back to your house and see if a new party member joins.
5- Grind a lot.

"Next Game"

Although PSII might be historically important, it didn't age practically well. As such, I spent most of my time with it struggling with its archaic design choices, rather than enjoying myself. I am hoping PSIII and PSIV aged much better.

Next game is apparently and interesting Adventure RPG also set in space. At #76, Starflight is another EA game on the Genesis. Here is hoping for some good time.

Stay Tuned
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Re: The Official Sega Genesis Gaming Thread

Post by Betty La Fea on Fri Feb 19, 2016 5:21 pm

Ouch. Crushed that game Laughing

Fair enough though.

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