A Cornucopia of Classics
David vs Goliath! Ali vs Frazier! Sega vs Nintendo!! Once upon a time, school yard battles were fought with venomous insults being tossed around like red rubbery dodge balls. Teachers would look on in fear and confusion with their cigarettes hanging from their mouths while children babbled on about bits and Blast Processing. I’m not sure if the same can be said for today’s playgrounds, considering most kids these days have the luxury of internet access and can easily read up about a console’s specs; using those facts to prove their argument. But back in the day we could only go on what Sega or Nintendo fed us through advertising. We were spitting out words and phrases that confused even ourselves, but in the end we always knew whichever console we owned was the best. Eventually the verbal assaults would turn into threats of violence, and at that time the teachers would begrudgingly toss their cigarettes down on the four-square court that hadn’t been used since the 60’s, and come to break up the altercation.
Here we are decades later, and I’m playing some of my favorite Sega games on a Nintendo console that fits in the palm of my hand. I’m freaking playing Altered Beast on a Nintendo handheld in 3D! Sega vs Nintendo has transformed into Sega & Nintendo. It’s moments like these that I quote one of my favorite films of all time, American Movie.
“Life is kinda cool sometimes.”
Japanese developer M2 has taken the code for 9 classic Sega games and rebuilt them to take advantage of a slew of new features, one being stereoscopic 3D. In my time with SEGA 3D Classics Collection, I’ve had my 3D slider set to the max, and I believe most gamers that pick this up will feel comfortable enough to do the same. M2 has found a nice balance in determining what should be in the foreground and background, and it’s apparent that a lot of planning went into the game’s 3D functionality.
The games that are included in this compilation are as follows:
Power Drift (Arcade 1988): A racing game from the great Yu Suzuki. 12 distinct drivers compete to finish 1st in 25 wild race tracks that have a roller coaster feel to them. You will fight to the finish in your monster machine while listening to catchy tunes composed by the legendary Hiroshi Kawaguchi.
Puyo Puyo 2 (Arcade 1994): The 2nd installment in the Puyo Puyo series. Items called Puyo fall from the top of the screen in pairs and it’s up to you to arrange them in order of color. Match 3 of the same color and you will clear those Puyo and also any other matching color that they come in contact with. Compete against a cast of characters to match Puyo and avoid having your screen fill up.
Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Genesis 1991): The one, the only, the classic! Sonic the Hedgehog just as you remember it, but this time in glorious 3D!
Galaxy Force II (Arcade 1988): Take control of the TRY-Z fighter ship and blast away enemies while zipping through 6 obstacle filled planets. The TRY-Z’s power is continually counting down so it’s up to you to race through levels as fast as possible before the power runs out, causing your ship to explode!
Thunder Blade (Arcade 1987): You are the pilot of a state of the art helicopter in this third-person rail shooter. It’s up to you to utilize the helicopter’s guns and missiles to blast away the enemy and protect your home country.
Fantasy Zone II: The Tears of Opa Opa (Master System 1987/Arcade 1988): Fly around in the spaceship Opa-opa in this cute em’ up that closely resembles Defender. Freely travel left or right and unleash bullets and bombs at the enemy while dodging their fire. Both the Master System and arcade classic are included.
Altered Beast (Sega Genesis 1989): Rise from your grave in this classic beat ‘em up that was the original pack in for the Sega Genesis. Zeus has resurrected you from the dead to save his daughter Athena from the evil Neff. Collect spirit balls throughout levels to transform into powerful beasts with numerous enhanced abilities.
Maze Walker/Maze Hunter 3D (Master System 1987): Beat the hell out of monsters with a stick while trying to navigate a 3D maze! Sounds easy, but I assure you, this game packs a challenge! Maze Walker made use of the Master System’s 3D glasses but thanks to the Nintendo 3DS, you can play glasses free!
With such a robust lineup included in this compilation, I’m setting aside several hours to dig deep into these classics. Look for my review coming up toward the end of the month, and in the meantime, call your old classmates and explain to them what “Blast Processing” really means.