Publisher: Capcom (1993)
For all you Sega CD fans looking for some side-scrolling, butt-kicking mayhem, Final Fight CD is a good choice. The gameplay is exactly like Streets of Rage (SOR), but these fighters are HUGE! The three playable characters are Guy, Cody, and Haggar. Unlike SOR, the Final Fight locations are entirely urban, including slums, bars, a subway, underground fight clubs, and industrial areas. The scenery isn't spectacular, but it's constantly changing and never boring. The characters are nicely detailed, and their huge size lets you take out three or four bad guys with one kick! The cast of thugs includes all the usual suspects, including the spiky-haired punk, the fat guy, the Neanderthal man, huge bosses, and some fine looking hookers (with handcuffs even!). It's a nice touch how the bosses struggle to get up before they finally collapse in defeat. Along with the standard punches, throws, jump kicks, and special moves, there are loads of knives, swords, and pipes available to keep the bad guys at bay. In a nod to Street Fighter, there are two bonus stages thrown in that let you destroy a car or smash glass panels. The jazzy Miami Vice-inspired background music is crystal clear but not particularly memorable. Likewise the sound effects won't really catch your ear. But if you're looking to kick some ass, don't hesitate to pick this game up. Unlike the lame SNES version, the game supports two players. My wife thinks it might be better than Streets of Rage. You be the judge. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: U.S. Gold (1994)
The Genesis version of Flashback was marketed as "a CD Rom game in a cartridge", so what does that make this? A CD Rom game on a CD Rom? That sounds a lot
less impressive. The opening cut-scenes in this version utilize full-motion video, which was a pretty big deal back in the day. Unfortunately the grainy picture quality compares poorly to the clear visuals of the Genesis version. The actual game looks and plays exactly like the cartridge. Flashback an amazing futuristic adventure with rich graphics, fluid animation, and a compelling storyline. One major difference between this and the cartridge is the music. The Genesis game was largely a silent affair, with short musical interludes kicking in when the action got intense. In this version you'll hear a difference right away in the opening jungle stage. Tribal drums alternate menacingly between the stereo speakers, and then a booming orchestrated chorus (with vocals) kicks in. It sounds like something you'd hear in a Terminator movie, and it lends weight to the proceedings. Flashback for the Sega CD is not necessarily a better game, but audiophiles may find this version more appealing. © Copyright 2012 The Video Game Critic.
Save mechanism: Password
Formula One World Championship: Beyond the Limit
Publisher: Sega (1994)
Rating: General Audiences
True to its name, this realistic racer extended well beyond the limits of my patience. Formula One is one of those titles that try to hide its shortcomings behind layers of fake realism. It greets you with grainy race footage and high-octane music intended to psyche you up. The "Gran Prix" mode offers a full slate of races that take you to locations around the globe. The problem is, all the tracks look exactly the same
, so it doesn't matter if you're in Japan or Brazil. Digitized images of crew members brief you on track conditions, but tailoring your wheels and transmission doesn't seem to matter much. You get a behind-the-wheel view when racing, but steering is a nightmare. Scaling and rotation effects are used to convey movement, but the controls are touchy and the animation is herky-jerky. It's hard to even stay on the track, and it doesn't help that the courses are packed with sharp turns. Should you accidentally swerve into the pit lane, you'll look on in horror as a horrendously pixelated crew descends upon your car. Completing a single lap is an ordeal, so even the thought
of ten-lap qualifying round is too much to bear. At one point I noticed big pixelated squares on the edge of the road similar to those in Super Mario Kart
(SNES, 1992). It's interesting how two games can use the same technology and arrive at vastly different results. © Copyright 2012 The Video Game Critic.
Ground Zero Texas
Publisher: Sega (1993)
From what I had heard about this game, I was hoping Ground Zero Texas would be another Night Trap, but it's not even close. Certain aspects of the games are similar, like the concurrent events you can switch between using camera controls. But Ground Zero is more linear, and plays much like a target shooting game. The plot involves a small Texas town infiltrated by aliens who assume the form of normal townsfolk. There are four cameras to switch between, aimed at main street, a hotel, plaza, and cantina. Unlike Night Trap, you are directed where to look, so there's no much freedom. Once you select an area, you just move a cursor around the screen and shoot anyone who points a gun at you (they'll also have a green box around them). Many stages are just static scenery with people popping out trying to shoot you, much like the old Lethal Enforcer games. Shooting the same people over and over gets tiresome. Check out the terrible actors that throw up their arms and fall back when they get shot, sometimes while smiling. You also have to sit through numerous video clips that convey a slow-moving storyline, although there are a few surprises that happen just as you're nodding off. Pay close attention the first time you play, because the most unlikely characters will pull out a gun and try to blast you without warning. I've been known to enjoy games like this, but Ground Zero Texas did not win me over. The video clips aren't very entertaining and the shooting is just repetitive. And for the record, the game was actually filmed in California. © Copyright 2003 The Video Game Critic.
Heart of the Alien
Publisher: Interplay (1994)
Save mechanism: Backup RAM
INXS - Make My Video
Publisher: Sega (1992)
Here's a game for people who watched MTV when they actually played music videos. Make My Video lets you edit together random video footage and spice them up with special effects to create your own INXS video. There are three songs: Heaven Sent, Baby Don't Cry, and Not Enough Time. All three of these are very good and well-suited for video-making. There are two play modes: Edit Challenge and U-Direct. In Edit Challenge you try to edit a video to certain specifications, and you're rated when it's done. U-Direct lets you make the video however you want and even save it when you're done. The editing process on-the-fly as the song plays, where you flip between three screens of running film. Each displays random clips that include old movies, cartoons, nature shows, scantily clad women, and yes, the band. The clips are so varied and fun to watch that it's hard NOT to make a good video, although there's not much room to be artistic. The special effect controls let you slice, dice, color, freeze, mix, mirror, and freeze the image (to name a few). Most of these effects just make the image harder to see, especially if you use combinations, so it's best to be conservative. Unfortunately, VERY touchy controls make it difficult to initiate a given effect at the right instant, and that ruins what could have been a very respectable CD game. © Copyright 2000 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: JVC (1993)
Joe Montana's NFL Football
Publisher: Sega (1993)
This overhyped trainwreck of a game was probably the first nail in the Sega CD's coffin. How did this monstrosity even get out the door?? This game is actually far worse than any previous football game released for the Genesis. Let's start with the graphics. The extreme pixelation is unforgiveable, and the blockiness reminded me of some old Atari 2600 titles! The framerate is so poor that it's hard to figure out what the heck's going on amid the choppy mess. Just keeping track of the football is not easy. Next the pitiful controls have the worse response time I'm ever seen in my life. The game is consistently a step behind your commands. Then there's the sound, which may be the biggest crime of all. You'd think that being a CD game, this would at the very least offer some decent live play-by-play commentary. But no - commentary is only heard when you're choosing your plays, and it talks about about the previous
play. Heck, even regular Genesis games had live commentary in 1993. The sound effects are practically non-existent, with the exception of the water-faucet crowd in the background. Finally, I have to mention that the computer opponent is incredibly slow and stupid. Often the cpu-controlled player will just stand there after a hand-off or catch. The game's one redeeming feature is the "Ask Joe" option, which is available during time-outs and displays a video of Joe giving advice for the next play. That's cool, but it's the only bright spot I could find. Sega must have been under a lot of pressure to release such a half-baked game. © Copyright 2000 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Sega (1993)
Keio Flying Squadron
Publisher: JVC (1994)
Rating: Kids to Adults
Recommended variation: Medium
Our high score: 42,000
Publisher: Konami (1993)
Lethal Enforcers II: Gunfighters
Publisher: Konami (1994)
Recommended variation: Easy
Our high score: 1,942
1 or 2 players
Links: The Challenge of Golf
Publisher: Virgin (1994)
Link shows a lot of potential at first. An opening video sequence provides a nice video of a beautiful golf course with voice narration describing it in detail. Before each hole, you see a nice video fly-over and description of the hole. All these attractive video clips give you a false sense that you're about to play a great golf game with actual digitized graphics. But once you see the "real" game graphics, you'd better have a barf bag handy. These hidous graphics are far worse that the Genesis PGA games, and the holes don't even vaguely resemble what you saw in the video clips. I can't even see the freakin' fairway! Okay, so I've established graphics suck, but how is the gameplay? A CHORE! It's a CHORE to play this game!! You have to wait between 5 and 10 seconds of loading time between each SHOT! Can you imagine playing a 6 player, 18 hole tournament with this game? It would take days!! Links has a bunch of options and modes, but what good are they in a game this bad?? © Copyright 2000 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Rocket Science Games (1994)
Lords of Thunder
Publisher: Hudson Soft (1995)