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Mega Games 2

Genre: Compilation Developer: Sega Enterprises Publisher: Sega Europe Players: 1-2 Released: 1993

Mega Games 2 is one of those European exclusive compilations and is a somewhat rare beast these days, something you don’t see much with consoles anymore: a pack-in exclusive. Bundled with the European Mega Drive II, it was also the only way to get your hands on a copy. It’s also part of the Mega Games series, which include the original (ColumnsSuper Hang On, and finally and most perplexing World Cup Italia ’90), which saw release in North America as the Triple Score combo cartridge; Mega Games three (Alien Storm, Super Monaco GP, and Super Thunder Blade), Mega Games 6 (a combination of Mega Games 1 and 2 a single cart and with a new menu screen), Mega Games 6 Vol. 2 (Alien Storm, Columns, Super Monaco GP, Super Thunder Blade, and World Cup Italia ’90), and finally Mega Games 10, a Tec Toy Brazilian exclusive. It’s also a far better compilation then Mega Games 1, featuring a trio of absolutely corking titles that any Sega gamer in the early to mid-’90s would be glad to see accompanied with their Mega Drive .

Mega Games 1 features a rather perplexing set of games and was a very uneven compilation. Why Super Hang-On? Why World Cup ’90 instead of, well anything else? The only one I could tolerate on it was Columns. Needless to say, I traded it for Alien Storm very quickly. I’m still not sure if I made the right choice there or not (I still get stuck in Alien Storm in exactly the same damn spot, after all these years),  but this is about Mega Games 2, and everything Mega Games 1 does wrong, volume two does right. Mega Games 2 instead goes for all action. It gives you Streets of Rage. The Revenge of Shinobi, and Golden Axe – three fairly old titles from 1989 and 1991, respectively, but still enticing enough for anybody wanting some Mega Drive action in 1993.

The advantages of Mega Games 2, ( and the first one, to a degree ) were twofold. The kids who wanted a Mega Drive II they could justify the expense by telling their parents “there are three games included, so you don’t have to buy me any games.” For the parents, it would mean less of a financial blood letting, getting these three games for “free.” One could argue about why Golden Axe was included instead of Sonic The Hedgehog, or why Sega chose the first Streets Of Rage instead of the superior sequel. Streets of rage 2 was still a fairly new game at the time. So perhaps Sega didn’t want to cut into its sales? Sonic was hitting its stride and would have sold regardless. Mega Games 2, 3, 6, and 6 V2 were just smart business from Sega and extra incentive to buy a Mega Drive II, as well as a way to instantly have a minor game collection that included some of Sega’s earliest successes. With maybe the exception of Mega Games 6, Mega Games 2 is the best of them all.

But what about the games ? Well, they are exactly the same as the stand alone cartridges. What else do you need me to tell you about them ? You know them by heart, but if you insist… The Revenge Of Shinobi version is by this time 1.03, so that means a licensed Spider-Man and no Batman. Europe only ever got versions 1.02 and 1.03 anyway, so it’s not a big deal. Streets of Rage is still Streets of Rage, with nary a pixel out of place. And even the weakest title of the bunch, Golden Axe, is still a good play once in a while. Evens so, the game that will most likely get the lion’s share of playtime is Streets Of Rage, followed by The Revenge Of Shinobi. Other than that, they are exactly the same as their stand-alone versions, with the same glitches and errors and foibles. In fact, this is the only part where Mega Games 2 falters ever so slightly. It would have been an improvement to give these three games a means to save in between levels, so you could pick it up again and finish it in sittings and not when school, homework and dinner came in between. The Revenge of Shinobi and Streets Of Rage could have especially improved with a way to save your progress because both are some what lengthy games.

Aside from this really minor quibble, there is no reason not to own this if you can get it. This is still one of the best Mega Drive compilations out there. Only Mega games 6, the U.S.-only Sega 6 Pak, and the Brazilian only Mega Games 10 are better, for the sheer amount of games they include.

SCORE: 8 out of 10

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