Features Reader Roundtable

Reader Roundtable Vol. 28

Our readers are busy little bees, playing their consoles like it was 1992! This month’s roundtable has a great variety of titles, and there’s bound to be something for everyone to check out and enjoy. I know there are a few gems here I’m going back to, as it’s been too many years since I’ve fired them up!


Dick Tracy By Ken Horowitz

Way back in the day, I played Dick Tracy to death. The ending, as poor as it was, didn’t disappoint me, since by then I had long lost any expectations that I may have had about the experience. I don’t know why I played it, really, and it probably was a mixture of me wanting to like the game and the complete lack of anything else to play. Almost two decades later, nothing’ changed. Sega had some good ideas here, but the execution is about as interesting as Ben Stein on Benadryl. Slow and plodding gameplay kills any fun that can be had from the variation of stages, and the one element that could probably carry the game, the machine gunning, is as dull as everything else. I do like that I could shoot everything in the background – fire hydrants, windows, phone booths, lamp posts – but even the destruction is subdued. So much potential wasted… well, at least it’s true to the film!

NHL Hockey By Alex Burr

Well, I found this obscure title the other day and started playing it. After realizing that it’s just an international version of the original NHL Hockey, I decided to start a best of seven tournament to see what the game is like. Now, its certainly not as good as the vastly superior NHL ’95-’97 and I guess ’98 versions, but it is a fun title and worth playing when you get some free time. The game calls penalties faster than I eat pizzas (and I eat pizzas pretty fast) however and that can get irritating real fast. Though at the time, NHL Hockey/EA Hockey would have been the best game on the market. The only other one I can think of that was on there was Mario Lemieux Hockey, and that game has some irritating flaws in it that I will go into in my upcoming review of it. The teams are just the same teams as the NHL ones but with international team names and logos. There are no player names either , so that’s kind of a downer. Overall, this game (NHL or EA, same thing) is totally worth what your going to pay for it, which probably wont be more than five or ten dollars for it. It’s a pretty fun game.

Shining in the Darkness By Zebbe

This month, I have been playing Shining in the Darkness, like I did last month. Is it true that I, Zebbe, am a lazy dullard of astrological dimensions, who takes far too much time than necessary to accomplish things? Yes, but this isn’t related to this at all. The reason why it took so much time for me to play through Shining in the Darkness this time is that half-through the game, it froze and forced me to power off and try again. But, as you might remember, I had big troubles getting this game to boot. When I finally got it to work again the save file was gone. Sigh… so many hours of play lost into infinity, and there was nothing I could do other than just start over. I shouldn’t put too much effort in this whining though, because what would that bring me? Nothing, and besides, think about all those poor people in the third world. They might NEVER experience the greatness of Shining in the Darkness at all – not even half the game!

Thanks to my contact with the president of TmEE Co. (Tiido’s Micro Electronical Entertainment Company), I was able to clean the game again, with new improved methods involving an eraser. Since then, I have played through the game and drawn maps of each dungeon for all lame n00bs out there who aren’t tr00 old sk00l RPGamers like myself. You can find them here.
Yes, it is the president who helped me with that, my sincerest thanks goes to him. Before you begin complaining about its presentation and graphical quality, please mind that Shining in the Darkness isn’t a FMV game with characters that look even poorer than those third world citizens due to their lack of clothes. These maps fit with the obtuse diamond known as Shining in the Darkness. The beauty lies within and to discover it you have to do it the hard way and grind (pun intended).

Beast Wrestler By Joe Redifer

I’ve been working on many projects lately, so trying to fit in some gaming is very difficult. However, there is always time for the best Genesis game, and that is Beast Wrestler. This game lets me control my very own titanic beast and master various death blow techniques that would make a fly poop massive quantities of pure gold. Get this: I can use my prize money to beef up my beast or even enroll his ass in battle training events! I get to choose from a massive variety of bizarre and mighty Super Beasts with one or two-player earth-shaking, blockbusting action!! No expense was spared in the creation of this fantastic game. They made sure that there was nary a typo in the Tournament mode. If you want to learn English, just play this game and you’ll quickly be an expert! The control is so good that it doesn’t even matter if you hold the controller or not, you’ll get the same result each time!

Why play inferior games when there is Beast Wrestler?

M.U.S.H.A. By Edward Figueiredo

As a kid, I remember that once a cart called M.U.S.H.A. fell into my hands. You know, even as a non-aware shmup lover by then I already had a preferred variation to the genre, and it was notably the horizontal shooters. So it was no surprise that this game did not catch my attention at the time. The first stage wasn’t that appealing, things moved a little too fast for my young taste and the ship looked like a beetle.

A few days ago I finished playing a sequence of really crappy games on my Mega Drive. I needed a GOOD title for a change! If you’re familiar with Sega-16 or Mega Drive material in general, then you know how praised M.U.S.H.A. is among all MD lovers. That’s why, after coming back home a little bit tired from a trip to my hometown on Sunday, the first thing I did was hook up the game for a completely new ride.

This would the first time I’d play M.U.S.H.A.!

Expectations met? Completely. All stages are really intense and varied, the music gets a lot better way into the game, and the challenge builds up to a pricky last stage, which made me continue a few times before I could see the cool ending.

I feel a little ashamed to have let this gem pass me by during the glorious Sega/Nintendo console war days. My brother and his SNES were saved from another enormous kick in the butt! I believe I’ll be playing it a few more to improve my score before I move to Robo Aleste. After all, as I have already been drawn to this mecha-futuristic shmup oasis, why not go the whole way in the series on our beloved 16-bit wonder?

Snatcher By Nick McLean

I have only had the Sega CD for four days, which might not really seem like much, but they have been a life altering experience. Mostly because three of those days were spent playing Snatcher. When I first hooked it all up I was blown away by the console’s visuals and gameplay (audio… not really, oddly enough). I could not understand what all the fuss was about; the Sega CD is unbelievable. Not for what it could have been but for what it is. The next day I popped Snatcher in. Being a fan of Blade Runner, Terminator and Hideo Kojima naturally I have always wanted to play it but it was way out of reach until a few months ago when I bought a Genesis. The skies opened and I was blessed with one of the most wonderful gaming experiences of my life. Snatcher alone has justified the purchase of a Genesis, Sega CD, and television set and perhaps even… birth. Three days later, I emerged victorious over it and, my opinion was solid that the Sega CD is perhaps the greatest console ever made. Thank god for marketing blunders!

Warlock By Eduardo Lara

So I was out Saturday, hunting for some games, and I stepped into a store. Just some Sonic games and sport games… and then I see Warlock. It was mint condition and CIB, and I had to have it. 2$ poorer and I am out the store. Go home, plop down, stick in the cartridge, turn on my Genesis and………..WOW!

Sometimes a game can be a real shitfest. Luckily this isn’t one of those games. Now, Warlock isn’t the greatest game in the world, but it has that appeal, you know, those games that you see for 2$ CIB and you think to yourself, This games is going to suck HARDCORE, but it’s complete. I was surprised to find a pretty decent game. The controls are tight, and it has a decent storyline (if magic is entertaining for you). It can be a bit boring, but it’s a great time killer if it’s a slow day. Better games out there, but if you see it at your local store for under 5$, pick it up because it’s a decent game.

Pit-Fighter By Tom Lenting

Yes, it looks crap. Yes, the sound is horrendous. Yes, the collision detection is weak. And yes, there is annoying slow-down in the co-op mode when there’s too much on the screen. But all those faults don’t matter, because Pit-Fighter actually is a highly enjoyable button-basher. It is easy to get into and pretty much fun to play. It’s hard (if not impossible) to explain why, but I even consider Pit-Fighter one of the better button-bashing games around. Just don’t believe all those guys on the Internet who say it’s “one of the worst games ever.” I’ll agree with everyone who says Pit-Fighter has quite some shortcomings, and I’ll even go so far as admitting the game is pretty lame overall. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun. It’s probably the funniest lame game I can think of, though Altered Beast comes pretty close…

Socket By Tiido Priimägi

While doing a MD mod request, I was offered some games for the job. Of course, I had none of the listed games so I did some ROM image downloads to see what games to choose and one of these games was Socket aka Time Dominator #1. I played the game on my flash cart, and I loved every single second of it and. Now, owning the real cart makes that experience even more enjoyable. The games has pretty fast Sonic-like gameplay, beautiful graphics, very memorable background tunes, very varied stages, and quite a few gimmicks that will keep you nailed down. I couldn’t put the controller down while playing the game, its just so good.

There’s no excuse for not owning that game if you love platformers. This one is just magnificent.

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