Features Reader Roundtable

Reader Roundtable Vol. 32

Summer’s winding down, and soon thoughts turn back to the grind of school/work. We here at Sega-16 don’t intend to go gentle into that good night, and our consoles are fired up! This month’s selection of games features a few shooters and the incredibly awesome Pit-Fighter! Ok, I was barely able to make it through that last part with a straight face. Let’s move on to what our readers have been playing before I crack up completely.


Phelios By Ken Horowitz

Namco’s Phelios was one of the first third party Genesis games I remember playing. After so much Sega goodness, it was great to see that other companies had the touch as well. If you can get past the gravelly voices and don’t mind a bit of censorship (digital boobies = no!), then this version is pretty accurate compared to its arcade sibling. The visuals are clean and detailed, and a pumping soundtrack is right in sync with some solid gameplay. If you’re a fan of Greek mythology or shooters, then you might want to check this one out. It can be a bit easy at times, but that’s not really a problem. Phelios hasn’t really made the rounds in the compilation scene, so scoring one of the inexpensive American Genesis copies is further warranted by its lack of availability elsewhere. Find it and have some fun!

Pit-Fighter By Vince Thornburg

Why am I playing Pit-Fighter at three a.m. after coming home from The Dark Knight? I can’t say because I really don’t know. I can’t fit my Game Genie in since my set up currently doesn’t allow both a 32X and Game Genie, so I decide to try to beat the game again with out the AVZA-2A2R code that is a sure fire win.

Ty. Buzz. Kato – Your three heroes on this endeavor in the world of underground fighting. When I first bought the game five years ago I figured that Buzz would be too slow to be useful, so I went right for the speedy martial artist Kato. Kato has this awesome backhand move that he sometimes pulls out and this punching combo that ends with a Ryu style fireball motion.

Kato died in the second fight. I selected Buzz by mistake and actually did pretty good with the Not-British Bulldog for a good while. After pile driving Heavy Metal onto a crate, I thought I was good to go. Buzz then started punching air while being beaten to death by Mad Miles.

I then selected Ty. I regretted not picking the man earlier. In the end, within an inch of my life, Ty was able to defeat the Masked Warrior, and I was spent.

Oh yeah, that was five years ago, this is about last night. I’m a rambler.

Anyway, I selected Ty the first second I could. The Executioner was done in less than a minute and never scratched me! Some guy tried to knife me during my scuffle with Southside Jim, but I gave him a jump-kick to the hand and he blinked away, much like Jim seconds later. CC Rider, Angel, Heavy Metal (aka the mom on The Suite Life Of Zach and Cody, seriously) all quickly fall before the hands of the American kick boxer. Mad Miles was a bitch, but he soon succumbed. I jump kicked a motorcycle in half. Southside Jim cried and stood down.

The two Chainman Eddies kicked my ass royally, but then they punched each other to death because they are borderline retarded. All that was left was The Masked Warrior. I had two lives left, and no continues. And you know what happened? I lost. Horribly. I laughed and went to bed. Feeling humbled.

Columns By Trey Mannan

It’s been a while since I last fired up my Genesis, but when I finally did, Columns was the game I decided to play. It may be true that this is one game many Sega fans receive with mixed reactions, but there are some gamers out there that still love to play this truly wonderful classic Sega title. I might also say that maybe it’s worth mentioning that Sega chose to put Columns on its 1995 release of the Sega 6 Pak. That’s just one of the many times Sega has included its classic puzzler on a compilation, (it’s appeared everywhere from the Sega CD to the PC) and given the popularity of the series, I sincerely doubt that it will be the last. I know I still love to play my copy!

Xenon 2 Mega Blast By Edward Figueiredo

These last weeks I decided to tackle some European games that don’t run on my Sega Genesis, only on the Japanese Mega Drive (with an adapter), and Xenon 2 was one of them. Before I did it, I was sort of full of all the praise this title has among game fans worldwide, especially those who have Amiga hardware. As for me, I’ve never come even close to an Amiga computer, so I had absolutely no bias when playing Xenon 2.

All I can say about this game is that it’s maybe the worst shmup I have ever played on our beloved Sega 16-bit machine. It even surpasses Master of Weapon and Heavy Unit in mediocrity. Actually, if the game moved a little faster the graphics wouldn’t be a problem. Another extremely annoying thing is that you are stuck with the same music over and over (fortunately you can turn it off and play the game to whatever tune you want).

I’m all for completion, so I went ahead and beat it in normal mode. I only played four stages and saw the (ridiculous) ending, but I know the original game has five stages. Should I try it in hard mode just to see if there’s more to this steaming turd? My answer is no. If someone ever has/had to endure this excruciating task, please let me know and maybe – just maybe – I’ll reserve this indescribable punishment for when I lose a bet.

Hellfire By Mark Seesing

Just like most Compile shmups, Toaplan shmups are almost instantly recognizable by how close most of them stick to a certain format. I could give a boring summary of similarities, but it all generally boils down to this: die once and you’re basically done for. While struggling to power-up your ship again, the enemies that were easy prey previously are now kicking your fuselage. Thusly, the most skilled players seemed to have taken to the alternative of not even dying once (and turned it into an art form of sorts).

Oh, what about Hellfire, you say? Well, they went horizontal for once – outside of Zero Wing (did I miss any other Toaplan horizontal shmups?) – and you can cycle through directions in which to shoot. Regardless, it obediently follows tried and true Toaplan conventions. While in slightly different “clothing,” Hellfire is still the same ruthless and masochistic Toaplan shmup. One little bullet, enemy or obstacle can kill your entire “victory rush.” I love it, others might not. I’m stuck on level three (first loop, for shame), but I’ll get past it at some stage in my life.

Disney’s The Lion King By Daniel Smith

It was a cold November afternoon in 1997 when I received a phone call asking, “How do you complete the ‘Just Can’t Wait to be King’ level in the Lion King?”. Somehow I managed to walkthrough the poor degenerates, still struggling with level two of the Lion King, over the phone and went to bed with a bit better karma for my troubles. While there are probably those out there who believe Disney games are the realm of women and/or children. These people would be wrong. In my opinion the Lion King can be virtually divided into two games and the transformation from young Simba to adult Simba is akin to Dr. Jekyll transforming into Mr. Hyde. This could well be the game developers being profound, reflecting that childhood is colourful, exciting, joyful, carefree and happy while adulthood is a dark and long endurance test of toil of suffering.

While the bouncy first six-levels are a feast to the eye and the ears the next four do nothing but annoy me. Adult Simba does have the option of maul, however, the touch detection isn’t overly wonderful. The awesome Disney music has been replaced with more intense beats and the pallet has been altered to comprise mainly of grey. The final level itself is the worst and cheaper than a discounted, ugly, fifty-year-old, STD infected prostitute and because of this I have yet to complete this game. The ending for level seven (Simba’s Destiny) still makes me laugh because of its lameness and I’m confident my younger brother would do his impression of the hyenas at the end of Simba’s Exile if I requested.

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