sega gen­e­sis clas­sics

XBox: The Official Magazine (US) - - CONTENTS -

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.

Hog off

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!

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