Sega CD Reviews F-G

Final Fight CD
Grade: A
Publisher: Capcom (1993)
Reviewed: 2002/10/11

screenshotFor 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.

Our high score: CJS 330,000
1 or 2 players 

Grade: B+
Publisher: U.S. Gold (1994)
Reviewed: 2012/6/2

screenshotThe 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 is 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
1 player 

Grade: F
Publisher: Psygnosis (1994)
Reviewed: 2015/11/1

screenshotThis intricate platformer takes place in an enchanted world with cozy cottages and lush forests with huge leaves you can hop between. The artistic graphics and delicate orchestrated music call to mind Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse (Genesis, 1990), but Flink is a lot less fun. The main character looks like a little prince with a cape and bowl haircut. I'd really love to punch him in the face.

As you start a new game you're approached by a harmless-looking old man who is fatal to touch. Your enemies mainly consist of slow-moving elderly people. I'm surprised there's not a nursing home stage. You can knock people off the screen, but that requires pouncing on their head not once but twice. Flink also has the ability to slide down hills and toss objects.

One thing that really sucks about this game is its unforgiving collision detection. Touching any creature spells instant death and the problem is exacerbated by enemies that appear unexpectedly. It's really hard to catch an edge while leaping between ledges. The spell casting feature might have been interesting if it weren't so complicated.

After collecting a scroll with a magic spell, you then need to collect magic potions along with a laundry list of ingredients. What a chore! If that's not bad enough, you need to be in a specific spot to use a given spell! I'm not sure what's more nauseating - the overcooked gameplay or the cheesy musical score. Flink is one platformer that asks a whole lot of the player but offers little in return. © Copyright 2015 The Video Game Critic.

Formula One World Championship: Beyond the Limit
Grade: F
Publisher: Sega (1994)
Reviewed: 2012/2/7
Rating: General Audiences

screenshotTrue 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 "Grand 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.

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1 player 

Ground Zero Texas
Grade: D+
Publisher: Sega (1993)
Reviewed: 2003/7/18

screenshotFrom 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.

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1 player 

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Screen shots courtesy of Shinforce, Sega CD Universe, Moby Games