In the early 90’s I played a lot of 2D side scrolling beat’m up games. My most favorite games in this genre are: Turtles in time on the SNES and the Streets of Rage series on the Sega Master System and the Sega Megadrive/ Genesis.
But my most favorite game in this genre is Super Double Dragon on the SNES.
So what makes this game so great you might ask. First of all its Double Dragon! I’m not saying that every Double Dragon game is awesome but the Double Dragon Games on the NES and Sega Master System are pretty good. Second of all and probably the most important fact is the moves. You can perform lots of moves including Combo combinations, round house kicks and lots of grabbing.
For example you can block an atack with the block button, grab the opponents arm, twist it around and Kick him on his back. Meanwhile you can also choose to punch him or throw him but most spectacular is to keep kicking him and your character will twist the opponents arm again and gives him a spectacular hurricane kick right in the face. You can also charge your powers for a super round house kick or some super power up for your muscles for a short period of time. There are also lots of weapons and items in the game like sticks, nunchaku’s. barrels etc. This gives the game some extra action especially in the multiplayer mode. You can play with a friend as the Double Dragon brothers Billy and Jimmy. This is where the fun really starts!
The game has lots of missions in different area’s like the streets, the airport, in elevators and on top of a train. The graphics are really good for its time. There is lots of detail and the colors are nice and bright. The sound and music is superb, classic Double dragon themes are now in full stereo and remastered what gives the game a true nostalgic feeling.
The ememies are sometimes a little bit predictable and lack of difficulty. But the game is still very challenging. Like the other Double Dragon games there are some bosses you have to defeat. They’re certainly not easy but that gives the game some extra challenge.
In overall I think this is one of the best games in the SNES library. So if you like Streets of Rage, Turtles and retro games and you have a SNES, its a musthave!
Shining Force 2 has a very special place in my heart. This game is probably in my top 3 list of the best games I’ve ever played. Shining Force 2 is a game part of the popular “Shining series”. Its a tactical Role-Playing game for the 16 bit Sega Megadrive (Genesis in the US) and was launched in october 1993 and developped by Sega’s Sonic Software Planning.
The story is about a kingdom called Granseal what is in parrel. A thief called Slade the Rat stole two jewels in a Shrine in the kingdom.
These two jewels are the jewel of light, and the jewel of evil. But by stealing these jewels he accidently breaks the seal and the king of the Devils called Zeon is released. He was imprisoned for several centuries. A fellow devil then possess the King. You are Bowie a student of the wise Sir Astral and together with your classmates you form the “Shining Force”. You have to fight the invading devil army and you have to find the jewels and the “Holy Sword” to defeat the devils and reseal the devil King.
During your journey you can expand your force, you can walk through villages and small towns and talk to people, and eventually people will join you. Sometimes you have to fullfill certain missions and you will receive new soldiers for your force. Shining Force has a turn based strategy battle system. Battles take place on a square grid, and each unit occupies a single square. Each turn a Character can move and can perform one action like: Atack, cast a spell or use an item. You have won the battle if you have defeated all the devils. You lost the battle when your leader Bowie is dead. If you lose you will be transported to the nearest town to revive your friends at a priest and start the battle again. When you select the enemy you want to atack and you confirm, a cutscene will start and you see your unit attacking the enemy. The outcome can be different everytime because the enemy randomly blocks and counterattacks but you can also miss your attack.
Each character has their storyline and class. You have knights in the form of centaurs, magicians, and strange creatures made out of stone. Just to give you an idea. The class decides wich weapons and items they can carry. During battle you can earn experience points (XP) and level up your characters. Once your unit reach level 20 that character has the ability to advance to more powerful class through promotion. There are also secret promotions by using special items.
So why is this game so great you might ask? First of all the game is really a long and a true adventure. I think that the strength of the game is the attention to detail. Every character has a story and a personality based on that story. The dialogs are really entertaining and there is a lot of humor. The graphics are really good for its time, but the audio is what makes the game a masterpiece for me.
The songs during battle and the soundeffects are really good. You feel like a true warrior. The story is sometimes a bit complex but that has its charme. It is so detailed. They thought of everything. I played the game from beginning to the end for several times now and I still haven’t discovered all the secrets yet. So the replay value is really high.
This game was a best seller in Japan. Years later its still a very popular title on emulators and has been re-released on Wii’s virutal console and on the Sega Megadrive Ultimate Collection on XBox 360 and Playstion 3. (Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection in the US)
IGN called it one of the top 100 video games of all time. So if you are looking for a game with a great storyline and you like retro graphics this is the game to get. Its quite expensive if you want to buy the original for the Megadrive but you won’t regret it. It is one of the jewels in my collection 🙂
During the early 90’s, Sega was in heavy competion with Nintendo. It was Sega Megadrive/ Genesis versus the Super Nintendo Entertainment system also known as SNES. Sega was the first company who came with a 16 bit game console in 1989. Nintendo launched its SNES in 1990 in Japan a year later. The “bit wars” were started. Consumers became more interested in graphics then in gameplay. Game companies wanted to show thier technical specifications on their consoles. For instance, the Sega Megadrive has 16-bit all written over it. Back in the day I was really wondering what happend to Atari. After the failure of the 5200 and the 7800, Atari launched their handheld the lynx. But I wanted to see a next generation home console from Atari.
And then it hit the stores: The Atari Jaguar! The Atari Jaguar was the first 64 bit home console. On the system is the text: 64-bit Interactive Multimedia system. Even on the cartridges it said: Interactive multimedia cartridge. I didn’t had a clue what that meant, but the only thing I thought about were the bits. I had a Megadrive back in the day and I thought: this console has 64 bit so those graphics must be really awesome! So in 1993 when the Jaguar launched I was one of the lucky people that could afford a Jaguar. As you can imagine I wasn’t blown away by the graphics. This was really not 64 bit. It was slightly better then 16 bit. The Jaguar has two 32 bit processors someway added up to 64 bit. This was for developpers really hard to program for. So most of the third party games didn’t use the full capabilities of the system. The majority of the titles were conversions of PC games like: Doom, Wolfenstein etc. These games were good but not new to the consumers.
So what else went wrong you might ask. Atari marketed their console really wrong. Atari refused to give the press free demonstration models. Atari thought that the press had to buy their own consoles to review it. And that is one of the most hostile marketing campaigns ever!! What were they thinking! Atari’s marketing campaign said: Do the math! so a lot of people wanted to try and review the system and wanted to see its capabilities.
The Jaguar was ahead of its time but couldn’t compete with Nintendo and Sega. In 1993 Sega launched the Sega Mega CD/ Sega CD. And Atari launched an add-on aswell: The Atari Jaguar CD. Unfortunately I don’t own the Atari Jaguar CD because its really rare and expensive. The rumor is that they hardly ever work and the games aren’t much better.
And now my opinion. Do I like the system? Yes I do, It has nostalgic value to me because I still own the system. As a collector its a system you should have. These are the games I like the most:
-Alien v.s. Predator
The Jaguar was the last system Atari ever launched. I still can’t understand how a great game company like Atari got blown of the console market. In this review I didn’t gave you the full specs or how the system works but just my honest opinion and a bit of history on the Jaguar. The Jaguar was the last nail in the coffin of Atari. Two years after this disaster the company was sold several times and is now owned by Hasbro Interactive who had renamed themselves “Atari Games”. So the name will live on! the name of the company who really misjudged that bits are not everything 😉
Years ago when I was a young teenager, there was a big battle going on between two companies.
It was Sega versus Nintendo or you can say Sonic versus Mario. The fast blue hedgehog versus the Italian plumber. Back in the day I was a huge Sega fan boy. I played on consoles of Nintendo as well but the consoles of Sega looked really bad ass. It was the endless battle of the Sega Megadrive or Genesis in the US, versus the Super Nintendo Entertainment system (SNES). If there was a family that existed out of consoles, the Megadrive was the bad ass kid because of its looks, black dark and tough image. But also because of the commercials on the tv during the 90’s. For example Sega had a slogan and I quote: “Beat us if you can”. They were so confident about their product that they even wanted to compete with Nintendo. And they did really well. Back in the day you had 2 choices: you buy a Super Nintendo or a Sega Megadrive.
On the end of the life span of the Megadrive Sega made some huge mistakes. The First mistake was the Sega Mega CD, the Sega Mega CD or Sega CD in the US was a CD based add on for the Megadrive. Don’t get me wrong I love this console as well and yes, I do have it. But the technology wasn’t there yet. It was one of the first consoles with full motion video and It could play CD +G graphic cd’s but it was really slow and lots of games looked more like experiments for full motion video on a console. For consumers it was also confusing because they had to buy the Megadrive first before they could play on the Mega CD. And this add on was really expensive. Sega sold 6 million Mega cd’s world wide and that’s not bad but if you know that the Megadrive only sold almost 40 million units they didn’t really succeeded. Gamers wanted the next big thing but not on add on for a console that was already there for years.
In the meantime Nintendo did what was right, wait. They were waiting for the right time. Sega desperately wanted to compete with the PC engine als known as the Turbo grafx 16 because they had a CD based add on as well and launched in Japan. Nintendo investigated if they needed a CD add on for the Super Nintendo but they decided not to go on with it. The funny thing is, is that Nintendo hired Sony and Philips to work on a CD based add on. When this was cancelled Sony worked further on this project and the Playstation was born. Phillips did the same and developed the Philips CDI but that’s a different story. Sega made the biggest mistake by releasing another add on for the Mega Drive: the Sega 32X. It was a cartridge based add on. The new successor to the Mega Drive was already coming, known as the Sega Saturn and they launched the 32X in Europe and the US while the Saturn was launched in Japan. Talk about bad marketing. The library of the Sega 32X is only around 40 games before it bit the dust. So the next generation console was the Sega Saturn, a 32 bit CD based system. The Saturn was intended to produce 32 bit graphics with 3D effects. Meanwhile Nintendo was working on a new console project Ultra 64 what became the Nintendo 64. In my opinion Nintendo had only one failure and that was the Virtual Boy but more about that later. Nintendo was smart, they waited for the right time to launch their newest console. But a new kid was on the block; Sony with his Playstation. When Sega took notice of the specifications of the first Playstation they got really scared, it was more powerfull then the Saturn. This was before the Saturn was launched. So Sega added some more power to the Saturn to compete with the Playstation. But the problem was that it was really hard to develop for the Saturn because of this added technical stuff. The Sega Saturn died really fast, it went good in Japan but in Europe and the US it bit the dust very quickly.
I was in shock. Was this the same company that ones said: “Beat us if you can!”. Sega lost big time. Sega even admitted that the Sega Saturn was a console that never had to be launched. Nintendo launched the Nintendo 64 successfully and all over sudden it was Nintendo versus Sony and Sega was out.
On the end of the 90’s Sega launched their last console: The Dreamcast. And in my opinion they did almost everything right. The Dreamcast was a CD based console with 128 bit of power to compete with the Playstation 2. It was way ahead of his time and it was one of the first consoles with a true online capability. I was overwhelmed, the Dreamcast was what Sega intended with the Saturn and Mega CD and 32X combined together. They had great games from the start and the system had a really successful launch worldwide. Eventually it bit the dust because of the Playstation 2. One of the main reasons was that Sony had a built in DVD player in the Playstation 2. And that was one of the only things Sega did wrong with the dreamcast. The Playstation 2 was at the time the cheapest DVD player in Japan. And all the Japanese people experienced the new media DVD on a DVD player that was also a console. So Sega lost Japan and they lost the US shortly after that. Unfortunately the Dreamcast was discontinued in 2001 and once again I was in shock, this system was so great but it didn’t last.
And now it is the year 2012 and the youth nowadays knows Sega only as a software company. There are some rumors that Sega is developing the Dreamcast 2, but is the world ready for a new competitor on the console market? Can Sega win the trust again of the gaming community? If there are plans for a Dreamcast 2 I will buy it just for old time sake. but will it be successful? I doubt it. All the die hard Sega fans beg for a new Sega system (including me) to relive the glory days of Sega during the early 90’s but I think that this dream stays a memory. On Youtube you see all the rumors around Sega, fake Dreamcast 2 videos etc, but I’m really skeptical about this. Does Sega has the funding? Do people still trust the brand? And if we take a look at the market nowadays, the mobile platforms are really a big threat to the console market, so the competition is really severe. Every time I hear a rumor about Sega, I’m really excited, the only question that runs through my mind is: “Are they coming back?” The only thing I can do is hope that they do, and otherwise I will close my eyes and go back to the glory days were Sega was in my child opinion: Unbeatable! 😉