SEGA Genesis Mini: Play This! #02
Masterpieces from the US and Europe
The SEGA Genesis Mini is set to be released along with the Mega Drive Mini in Asia. As expected of a game console named after the Genesis—which was a major success in North America—the SEGA Genesis Mini will include a total of fourteen titles not available on the Asian version of the Mega Drive Mini. Here we take a look at seven of those titles which were created by developers in the US and Europe.
Ecco the Dolphin
Ecco the Dolphin is a quirky action-adventure game whose hero is a dolphin named Ecco. After a mysterious giant waterspout sucks up the rest of his pod, the story begins to unfold as Ecco sets out to explore the vast ocean in an attempt to rescue them. In the water, obstacles to Ecco’s progress include labyrinthian caves, ocean currents that block his path, and hostile creatures such as sharks and jellyfish.
As a dolphin, Ecco’s adorable actions include communicating with companions via sonar, speeding up to jump out of the water and high into the air, and carrying objects on the tip of his nose. This combined with the rich character design can make even just watching Ecco swim around leave the player feeling mellow. But be careful—Ecco is a mammal, which means he needs to come up for air periodically or he risks dying.
Another highlight of the game is the increasing unpredictability of the story as it unfolds. While the controls are a bit unusual and take some time to get used to, the gorgeous graphics and ambient background music make the player feel like one of the animals living in their natural habitat.
While there are as many heroes as there are games, the hero of this title is likely the most peculiar of them all. After all, he’s an earthworm—it doesn’t get any more outlandish than that! Earthworm Jim is an action game in which Jim, an earthworm, wears a robotic suit and explores seemingly borderless levels as he heads toward his goal.
Jim’s humorous and diverse set of actions is one of the highlights of the game. In addition to using his gun to do massive damage to enemies, Jim also has an assortment of other earthworm-like (?) abilities, such as swinging his head like a whip to attack or spinning it around like a propeller to hover above the ground.
Whether friend or foe, the caricature-esque, cartoon-like design of the characters and their expressive movements are just about as memorable as it gets.
The bosses that commonly appear at the ends of levels and stand in Jim’s way often incorporate gimmicks that make them difficult to defeat. There are also special levels, including a 3D level that involves a race from one star to the next, and another where Jim must fight enemies while bungee jumping. This rich variation is part of what keeps players captivated.
ToeJam & Earl
Just like all emergent culture, the world of video games has assimilated a variety of existing culture over the course of its development. ToeJam & Earl is one such example, as it readily incorporated elements of hip-hop culture to become a huge hit in English-speaking countries.
The game’s heroes are ToeJam and Earl, who come from the planet Funkotron. Following an accident while journeying through space which results in a crash-landing, their goal in the game is to locate the scattered wreckage of their spacecraft. The NPCs that appear on the map are all strange characters, with examples including hamsters in hamster balls, hula dancers, and mothers pushing shopping carts while out shopping.
ToeJam and Earl must avoid interference from these characters while searching for pieces of their spacecraft scattered across the map. Items can be obtained from wrapped presents (whose contents are dependent on luck) located on the map and the use of those items is an important element of the game.
Because the map consists of multiple layers that are randomly generated, the game retains a sense of freshness with each play. It also has a two-player mode and cooperating with a second player to beat the game is highly recommended.
In the future, humankind migrates away from the Earth temporarily, leaving behind nothing but cleaning robots in hopes that they will clean up the toxic pollution that remains. But it turns out the robots have been plotting a rebellion against the humans in anticipation of their return. As the only robot who hasn’t joined said rebellion, Vectorman sets out to fight a battle that will determine the fate of humankind and the planet.
Vectorman is a run-and-gun game which allows players to experience the unfolding of fierce battles between robots on a future planet Earth. The player controls Vectorman, who defeats enemies to complete each level by firing shots out of his hand and using a boost jump which can inflict damage. Powerups appear when enemies are defeated or TVs found in the levels are destroyed, and these powerups can be used to upgrade Vectorman’s gun or transform him into one of several forms that include a drill, an aircraft, and a fish.
The solid 3D computer graphics appearance of the title screen suggests an impressive experience, but the game goes above and beyond, delivering surprises at every turn. The detail of the robots’ parts and their smooth movements are reminiscent of early CG films and remain an impressive sight even today.
The expressive graphics take full advantage of the display capabilities of the Mega Drive and will leave your jaw hanging open in amazement. You simply have to see this one with your own eyes to believe it.
“Wild Side” is a popular new virtual reality arcade game that uses holograms. But while the children are all busy playing the game, its boss, Heady Metal, suddenly begins abducting them and then disappears. When a young boy who calls himself “Kid Chameleon” figures out what happened, he heads into the game to rescue the others.
Kid Chameleon is an action game with a hero who can change into nine different characters with unique abilities, much like a chameleon changes the color of its body at will. The hero, Kid Chameleon, can power up instantly by picking up helmets that appear out of certain blocks found within the game’s stages. These helmets give him new abilities, enabling him to scale walls, attack enemies with a samurai sword, and hurl himself into enemies and walls to destroy them.
One of the more powerful helmets even allows Kid Chameleon to ride a tank and shoot projectiles, so effective use of the helmets’ abilities depending on the situation is an important part of the gameplay strategy. Also, using diamonds collected within the stages allows Kid Chameleon to use special attacks.
A total of four stages are divided into over 100 levels. Branching paths and the use of transporters make it possible to choose different routes, which also changes what it takes to successfully complete the game. There are also certain areas that cannot be accessed without transforming, so be sure to experiment.
Eternal Champions is a one-on-one fighting game in which nine warriors from different times and locations are summoned to do battle in order to save the world.
The game features a rich cast of characters, all of whom are wildly eccentric: a female ninja who belongs to a shady secret organization, a kickboxer whose body has robotic enhancements, a bounty hunter who uses lasers as weapons, a female fighter who joined the circus, a prehistoric hunter who fights based on instinct, a warrior from Atlantis who attached a trident to his arm, an alchemist with an antiquated hood, a vampire who was once a scientist, and a gang member who fights using concealed weapons and kung fu.
Each stage has specific requirements that can be fulfilled to execute “Overkills,” which allow the player to defeat an opponent in a different manner than usual. Regardless of being finishing moves, the commands used to execute Overkills are simple, consisting only of holds and pressing multiple buttons at once. Matches can also be fought in battle rooms full of traps and the game features a tournament mode as well, making it a must-play for fighting game fans as well.
Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball
Sonic the Hedgehog is known for his “Spin Dash” ability to roll up into a ball and move at high speed, and in Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball, players can enjoy the American game of pinball using that very ability.
The game is set on an island which has been transformed into a massive fortress by the evil-genius scientist Dr. Eggman. In order to bring peace back to the island, a lone Sonic must infiltrate the Pinball Defense System and penetrate the inner depths of the fortress to collect four Chaos Emeralds.
Basic gameplay is no different than that of pinball: the player uses flippers to launch the ball, which is Sonic, and overcome a variety of obstacles. The constant changing of screens and appearance of new obstacles is what makes this digital form of pinball unique.
Another feature that sets the game apart from normal pinball is Sonic’s ability to recover even after falling between the flippers by grabbing and hanging on to something nearby. But dawdling around can result in Sonic being eaten by a giant fish, so be sure to dodge with a hasty jump.
©1994-2019 Interplay Entertainment Corp.
Earthworm Jim™ is a registered trademark of Interplay Entertainment Corp. All rights reserved.
What is the “Mega Drive Mini”, ”SEGA Genesis Mini”?
These are new game machines which re-size SEGA’s 5th console from 1988, “Mega Drive” and its USA version, “Genesis”, into a palm sized footprint. 42 titles are planned to be included in the miniature consoles, which are 15.4 cm wide, 3.9 cm tall and 11.6 cm thick.
Players can enjoy a variety of their favorite titles of the era, including action, shooting, puzzle, RPG and simulation titles which you can regard as “Mega Drive (Genesis) History”.
TITLE：SEGA Genesis Mini
RELEASE DATE：September 19, 2019
Official Web Site：http://asia.sega.com/genesismini/