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Video: We've Compared All Three Versions Of Steel Empire So You Don't Have To

Posted by Damien McFerran

Mega Drive, Game Boy Advance or 3DS - which is best?

In case you hadn't noticed from the amount of coverage we've been giving it, steampunk shooter Steel Empire recently launched on the 3DS eShop in Japan. A port of a 1992 Sega Mega Drive / Genesis blaster, the game is possibly best known for its eye-catching visuals, with massive steam-powered airships hurtling across landscapes straight out of a Hayao Miyazaki movie.

The 3DS port isn't the first time the game has hit Nintendo hardware, though — Japanese and European Game Boy Advance owners were treated to a conversion a few years back.

So which version looks the best? That's what the video below is intended to illustrate; while you might assume that the Sega version comes off worse, the more-recent Game Boy Advance offering suffers from lower resolution visuals and a slightly cramped screen — but has generally brighter graphics, no doubt an attempt to compensate for those players who owned the original, non-backlit GBA console. The 3DS edition has more bells and whistles — as well as a gorgeous 3D effect (which we obviously can't convey here) — but there have been some stylistic changes made which might not sit well with hardcore fans of the original.

Have a look for yourself and let us know which edition you prefer. Steel Empire is confirmed for release in North America this summer, and we'll be running a preview tomorrow.

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User Comments (27)

WiiULoveSquid

#2

WiiULoveSquid said:

Well after that I'd say the 3DS version looks like the smoother ride for sure. But you can't deny the pixel assets of the GBA version.

Meaty-cheeky

#5

Meaty-cheeky said:

is this game coming to the United States?
Obviously 3DS version looks the best, next SEGA Genesis, and last GBA version suffers from low resolution.

antipop621

#7

antipop621 said:

I'm not really a big shooter fan, but the steam-punkyness of this game is really intriguing! The world can always use more steampunk.

sdelfin

#8

sdelfin said:

The GBA wasn't ideal for shooters with that small screen and low resolution. The sound in the GBA version isn't very appealing to my ears. The music sounds like it's from the Master System. The GBA is capable of better. The Genesis/Mega Drive music is pretty good there. Its FM chip is often unfairly panned by some, but it could create great sound when used right. The 3DS version looks good. The graphics are enhanced without overdoing it. It still has the same vibe as the original from looking at the video.

XFsWorld

#10

XFsWorld said:

Nice, that's like comparing current gen. WiiU is Mega Drive, XB One is GameBoy Advance, and PS4 is 3DS. Haha.
Anyways this game looks fun, haven't played a shoot-em up in a while.

Edit:Well I did download MiiForce.

FX102A

#12

FX102A said:

@nungi I was excited for this game already (hopefully an EU release follows).

But your sentence just increased it. Any comparison to one of the greatest shooters of all time is a seal of approval in my books.

Mommar

#13

Mommar said:

That 3DS version is so smooth looking compared to the other two. I can't wait to play it.

Prof_Elvin_Gadd

#14

Prof_Elvin_Gadd said:

I've never played it, but the 3DS version is by far the best looking! I'll pick it up when it releases this summer.

arkady77

#15

arkady77 said:

this looks awesome. music is awful though, i can see matt berry playing it
how consistently brilliant are the graphics?

Frapp

#16

Frapp said:

I've got the Japanese GBA version, it's a very commendable port. I do like what they've done with this 3DS version, particularly with regards to the backgrounds. Looking forward to trying it out and seeing the gameplay balances they've supposedly implemented.

Action51

#20

Action51 said:

3DS version...I loved the GBA version but felt it didn't give you enough room to move around with the limited resolution and now 3DS can go back to the sort of scaling from the Megadrive version, but it can even remove the clutter of GUI by placing it on the second screen which is what I assume is done here.

OGGamer

#24

OGGamer said:

Why didn't you show the super screen clearing bomb on the 3ds version ?! The gba definitely had the better bomb but the 3ds much smoother for sure . It reminds me of those rebirth games on the wii , contra and gradius .

Genesaur

#25

Genesaur said:

Well, duh, the 3DS version is superior, especially if the Genesis version wasn't your first encounter with the title.

defrb

#26

defrb said:

megadrive off course, roots!

intresting game btw, i love shmups ♥

Daemonite

#27

Daemonite said:

'We've Compared All Three Versions Of Steel Empire So You Don't Have To'

Nice, will you play them for me, so i don't have to?

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