Megadrive / Genesis

Games on the Sega Megadrive / Genesis

VIRTUA RACING

RACING IN SHAPESLAND
Released in the Arcade in 1992, ported to Sega Genesis/megadrive in 1994.

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INTRO
Virtua Racing was actually designed to showcase a 3D graphics platform for Sega but they felt the results were so good that they turned it into actual game. This game paved the way for Daytona USA and Ridge Racer it started the 3D racing genre, there were 3D racers before but nothing quite like this.

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BACKSTORY
This is an arcade racing game so there is no backstory but if you require one then, you’re an ace driver out to win everything!

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GAMEPLAY
The game consists of 3 tracks all of varying difficulty, Big forest (easy), Bay Bridge (medium) and Acropolis (hard). There were three versions of the game in the arcades, an upright single player, a twin seater and a single seater sit down with hydraulics. All versions had a steering wheel accelerator, brake and flappy paddle levers for changing the 7 gears if you selected manual.

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Also it had a start button and four viewpoint buttons in red, blue, green and yellow which allowed you to swap between four views which was a first for this genre. The races were all closed circuits and were broken into three or so checkpoints which you had to pass with the time you had, once these checkpoints were passed the time would be added for the next checkpoint. So finish the all the laps with the time you have and try and come first.

 

IN THE REAL WORLD
Your back would be fucked in the first 100 meters thanks to the Octadecagon (18 sides) wheels. Big forest the easy track has you starting from the pit lane with the race already underway, how the fuck is that easy?!? Exposed trees, windmill and fucking cows walking up to the side of the road, nice F1 race track! Shit can those cows scoot if you aim your car at them, maybe I should race one of them around the track because their faster than my car, literally.

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CONCLUSION
I had dreams about this game once I played it for the first time in the arcades and it was the first time I ever payed a dollar for a game. I thought I could actually drive a car after playing this and wouldn’t hear anything else on the matter! When this got ported I couldn’t wait, but I was disappointed, the D-pad just didn’t cut it for a racing game yet I still played it constantly and used my imagination to fill in the graphical gaps.

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Later in life I actually bought the twin version for my home but we moved and I had to sell it because of its size and over all weight! While I had it I loved playing the GP mode (rarely used in the arcades) which ran for 20 laps. I loved watching my lap times fall then go back up when my tyres went off, then stopping in the pits to change tyres. That being said I can’t recommend this to new players, I am looking at it with rose-coloured glasses and even if you could find the arcade version you would just say Daytona was better and you would be right.

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WORTH REPLAYING?

GOOD
Good feeling of speed (except for cows)
Nice elevation on roads
GP 20 lap mode requires pitstop for tyres
Feels great in cockpit
Racing against another player always good

BAD
Polygon graphics are dated
Graphical glitches
Only 3 tracks
Daytona did everything better.

Thumbs-down-ggb

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EARTHWORM JIM

FISH FOOD HAS A GUN

First Released on the Sega Megadrive/Genesis & Super Nintendo in 1994.

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INTRO

A run and gun platformer that was designed for the Megdrive/Genesis and ported to the Snes was a huge hit in the day that many people still have fond memories of. Are they warranted or was this a missed opportunity that could have lead to a huge franchise.

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BACKSTORY

A space suit falls from the sky and Jim our angry little earthworm climbs in and BAM he can move around like a human. Thankfully a gun came with the suit so he can let out all that built up frustration; it’s hard being a worm you are constantly getting stepped on! The suit has room for his worm head to hang out the top in place of a human head. Jim is on a mission to save the princess whose name is actually ‘What’s-her-name’ from a group of baddies that want his suit for their own.

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GAMEPLAY

This game plays in the old 2D scrolling model that allows Jim to run, jump, hang, crouch and climb all around the level. Jim has what looks like a futuristic laser gun that fires like an Uzi (that looks and sounds awesome) to take out his foes, this gun has 1000 bullets to start with and more ammo can be found around the levels. He can also pull his worm body out of the suit and use it to whip to take out enemies as well. Most levels end in a boss fight with some pretty weird characters. If the controller lays idle for an extended amount of time Jim will start posing or doing things to keep himself interested such as pull out his gun spin it around and end up shooting himself in the face (he won’t incur an damage from this).

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IN REALITY

Jim is a worm, granted in a human body suit so why is he chasing after a clearly human princess, has he always had a thing for inter species strange? As you travel through the Junkyard your basic two enemies are Crows and Dogs, Crows ok fine they liking eating worms but Dogs come on! Have you ever seen a dog eat a worm, I haven’t unless it was in a piece of shit, see dogs prefer their own shit over worms! There is also a cow in the first level, why is there a cow in a fucking junkyard?!

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CONCLUSION

I so badly wanted to do this review so I could play this game again, like most people I had really fond memories of this game. But after playing this game for about five minutes around the time my ammo ran out I remembered the pain. First of all you’re in a suit that can allow you to move like a human so why the fuck do I spend the first level bouncing around awkwardly on tyres?!?! This level should be later in the game, I haven’t even had time to get the characters moves down yet.

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The backgrounds at first look cool but you find as you bounce around they hide unseen dangers such as spikes and leaps of faith which there are way to many of in the first level. Where Jim is limited by platforms Crows seem to travel around freely and even attack you from underneath  the ground you are standing on, fucking frustrating! The controls are also very restrictive by today’s standards and a prime example of this is the fact that you can’t jump and shoot at the same time.

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You start with three lives and you can find more along the way but there is no save option or password save so you are expected to grind through this quite hard game in one sitting. It was games like these that would have you leave your console on indefinitely as you went to play outside at the request of your parents. Thank god those days are over (I left home years ago!). Jim was one of the first characters that felt REAL like he was actually living in my console, all of those animation’s he did where amazing and I think that’s why I think we all love this game so much. Jim was an awesome character that just happened to be in a crappy game.

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SHOULD THIS BE REMADE

It was remade in 2010 and no it shouldn’t have been.

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