MD Reviews

Sonic Spinball (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

Sonic Spinball (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

You spin me round, round baby right round

When Sega knew they had hit on their hands with the Sonic series they decided to take the same route Nintendo had done with Mario - basically to place their lead mascot in as many different games as possible. Mario crossed over to puzzle (Dr Mario), sports (Mario Golf) and racing (Mario Kart) games, and...

Sword of Vermilion (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

Sword of Vermilion (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

Get your revenge and defeat Tsarkon to free the world of Vermilion from evil.

Famously developed by Virtua Fighter creator Yu Suzuki, this was one of the first RPGs for Sega's 16-bit system and to be brutally honest, it shows. The graphics are basic and the sound is average so be prepared for a technically underwhelming experience. Thankfully the actual game is very enjoyable, if a little on the..

Bio-Hazard Battle (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

Bio-Hazard Battle (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

An army of biogenetic mutants has gone haywire, terrorizing the world and putting the future of the planet in jeopardy.

Released as Crying in Japan, this horizontally scrolling shooter was largely ignored by western Megadrive owners due to the sheer volume of shoot-em-ups available on the console at the time. The unusual organic graphics probably didn't help either, but if you give it the time of..

Streets of Rage (Wii Virtual Console / Mega Drive)

Streets of Rage (Wii Virtual Console / Mega Drive)

Sega's answer to Final Fight

It's tricky to review Streets of Rage and be fair to it in light of the high quality of its sequel. Nevertheless it laid the foundations for even more future greatness, so it is only fair to give the original game the respect it deserves. Basically, Streets of Rage is Sega's answer to Final Fight; the Axel character is a...

Gain Ground (MD)

Gain Ground (MD)

It's the 31st Century, and science and technology have progressed to the point that the human race is approaching perfection.

Gain Ground started life as a largely unpopular 3 player arcade game. Surprisingly when taking into account the relative lack of commercial success it was ported to the Sega Megadrive/Genesis and Master System pretty swiftly...

Bonanza Bros (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

Bonanza Bros (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

Grab the target items and head for the exit!

Bonanza Bros. harkens back to the early 80's arcade titles with their simple, yet addictive play control ideas. While there are obvious Keystone Kapers and Elevator Action influences throughout the game, the overall gameplay design is at least original enough to stand on its own two feet. The only problem is that the premise is so simple in design and..

Comix Zone (MD)

Comix Zone (MD)

Sketch Turner is an artist in New York City. One day while Sketch is drawing, there is a huge thunderstorm and a bolt of lightning hits Sketch's image, bringing it to life.

Released fairly late in the life of the Megadrive/Genesis, Comix Zone didn't exactly set the world alight in terms of sales but is now rightly regarded as one of the better games...

ToeJam & Earl (MD)

ToeJam & Earl (MD)

Toe Jam and Earl are two fun-loving aliens who accidentally crash on Earth.

This is a very strange game. It was hugely popular at the time and most Megadrive / Genesis gamers at the time will probably remember the wacky lead characters, but how does it fare today? The action is played from a top-down view. As either Tom Jam or Earl you must search...

Space Harrier II (MD)

Space Harrier II (MD)

Fantasyland has been taken over by destructive forces, and a call for help comes from deep in the universe.

I'm sure most 80's gamers can recall their first brush with the arcade Space Harrier - it was like looking into the future. The silky-smooth sprite scaling coupled with the excellent sound and futuristic feel made this an instant coin-op classic. The game was ported to the 8-bit Master System..

Dr Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine (MD)

Dr Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine (MD)

Dr. Robotnik has hatched a plan to ensure that no music or fun remains on Mobius.

This is basically Puyo Puyo given a lick of paint, but that's no bad thing as Puyo Puyo is an excellent Tetris-style game which is amazingly addictive in two-player mode. A series of beans of the mean variety fall into a pit. Your job is to rotate and arrange the falling beans. If you get four of the same coloured..

Gunstar Heroes (MD)

Gunstar Heroes (MD)

The Gunstar family has been the protector of the planet Gunstar 9 (G-9) for generations.

This ranks as one of the finest Megadrive/Genesis titles ever, so it's no surprise that people are getting excited about the Virtual Console release! If you've ever played Contra or Metal Slug you will have a good idea of what to expect here. One or two players battle it out against a seemingly endless array of..

Columns (MD)

Columns (MD)

Columns is loosely derived from Tetris, as it involves arranging falling blocks in such a way as to clear them.

Much fuss was made over Columns back when it was first released. Nintendo had just launched its version of Tetris alongside the portable Game Boy, and puzzle games had therefore become a vital element in a console creator's arsenal. Sega quickly pushed Columns onto the marketplace in the..

Ristar (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

Ristar (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

Ristar proves that being unique and different can sometimes be a good thing.

Sonic the Hedgehog and Ristar actually began life as basically the same game. When Sonic Team began developing the game that would become Sonic the Hedgehog, they initially envisioned the character having the ability to reach out and grab things as part of the game's core...

Ecco The Dolphin (MD)

Ecco The Dolphin (MD)

Travel through the time along with Ecco the dolphin, in the only game that could call itself a 'dolphin simulator'.

When Ecco was first released, there really wasn't anything like it. A game that featured a peace-loving dolphin as the lead character might sound like the most ill-advised release of all time, but Ecco had an undeniable beauty to it...

Golden Axe (MD)

Golden Axe (MD)

Golden Axe puts in the shoes of one of three heroes, each with his own reason for trying to overthrow the evil rule of Death-Adder.

Double Dragon meets Conan is the best way to sum up Golden Axe. Easily one of the better side-scrolling fighers to be found on the Megadrive (regardless of the basic nature of the fighting system compared to the likes of Streets of Rage), Golden Axe is still a gorgeous..

Altered Beast (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

Altered Beast (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

In this coin-op conversion, you are a hero raised from the dead by the god Zeus to rescue his daughter Athena.

Considering it's one of the older games for Sega's Megadrive, it would be foolish to expect this to be a 'must have' title on the Virtual Console. However Altered Beast has a charm that few other games have. The speech is priceless, who...

Sonic the Hedgehog (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

Sonic the Hedgehog (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

The game that introduced the world to Sega's speedy hedgehog.

The original Sonic the Hedgehog was quite a groundbreaking title for Sega and their 16-bit Mega Drive console. Not only did it give Sega a true mascot to wrap their video game business around, but it also gave them a platformer that could actually compete with Nintendo's Super Mario...