sega genesis classics
Make Mine a gin & Sonic pleaSe With a ’90s revival in full swing and a Mega Drive Mini console on the horizon, Sega Genesis Classics kick-starts the iconic console’s 30th anniversary in style.
The system perhaps represents the company’s finest hour, so whether you are veteran pixel junkies or new to Sega’s 16-bit treasures, the collection will certainly keep you entertained. There’s a lot of bang for your buck here as well.
Golden Axe, The Revenge Of Shinobi, ToeJam & Earl; they’re all here and playable in glorious high definition. And let’s not forget everyone’s favorite blue hedgehog, complete with Tails still annoyingly in tow—but together they’re no longer leading the pack, as there are dozens of seminal titles to sift through.
Move aside Sonic 3, and so long Knuckles, as cult classics Gunstar Heroes and Alien Soldier, developed by legendary software house Treasure, push to the forefront of third party offerings. Overlooked by many in their day, both retrospectively help cement the Genesis’s original promise of pure arcade action at home.
Graphically that action scales up perfectly on the Xbox One X, displaying crystal clear pixel edges with a rich color depth. Sega is gunning squarely at player reminiscence with a virtual bedroom providing an interactive ‘hub’. Games can be selected from a shelf, and retro paraphernalia in the form of a CRT monitor, strewn VHS tapes, and
“There are dozens of seminal titles to sift through”
even a stack hi-fi, all serve as visual cues to control emulation settings.
Scan-lines can be added to a simulated 4:3 display complete with control over the curvature of the screen edge, and while a ‘stretch to screen’ option is available, who would want to when there’s a mix of retro themed borders to choose from.
Not every bundled game will be considered a classic, though: The 2D conversion of Virtua Fighter 2 is an altogether different beast to its revolutionary 3D arcade cousin. Its inclusion is all the more confusing as neither Street Fighter II nor Mortal Kombat appear. But it’s not only fighting game aficionados who may feel short-changed; shmup fans will notice that Thunder Force IV is MIA, with only the obscure Bio-Hazard Battle providing some bullet hell relief.
Where the collection does have things covered is with its JRPG selection. Fans of both the Shining Force and Phantasy Star series are well catered for, and the ability to play the J-NTSC versions is a nice touch.
The biggest update is the inclusion of online multiplayer that offers players a chance to team up with friends over a bout of Streets of Rage II—no more fighting over that spare controller with the dodgy D-pad.
There’s also a variety of ways to save and load progress, and although slightly contrived, it grants players the kind of control yesterday’s kids could only have dreamt of. The very existence of save states provide a chance to complete those more punishing titles. By far the coolest addition, though, is the ability to video-rewind gameplay.
The collection will appeal to those with a fond memory of an age when blast-processing (greatest exaggeration of our time) enabled Sega to go head-to-head with the big N. But we can’t help but feel there’s an opportunity missed here: The inclusion of 32X and Mega CD emulation would have been most welcome. Anyone fancy a game of Sewer Shark? No? Just us then.
this is exactly the way oXM remembers the ‘90s, fly-kicking local clubbers and eating chicken out of the bin. good times!