Before I get to the games, I’ll first mention the menu screen, since that springs forth – initially with a big SPRING sound which made me jump out of my seat! – and is made to look like your bedroom, with so many options that you can change the time of day it appears to be, right down to making it appears to be right now!
There are tons of settings, such as switching off border artwork so you have black bars either side, stretching a 43 game to 16:9 (NO! You will stick to 4:3!), and various techniques to make it look like an old CRT screen, whether blurring the image a little or making it curved.
Challenges include playing Green Hill Zone Act 2 in Sonic the Hedgehog in under a minute… but with the screen flipped, so even if you know it off by heart, now you won’t; completing Shadow Dancer‘s stage 1-2 with the dog in its puppy state, and concentrating in Virtua Fighter 2 to take control of Kage-Maru just before he’s almost completely out for the count, and peforming an epic comeback to win the fight! Damn, that’s impossible!
Online multiplayer is also available for games with 2 or more players, but while it says buttons are redefinable, it’s usually just from two sets of options, rather than 100% redefinable.
Selecting a game will show the cartridges physically being put in to a Megadrive – which is a nice touch, and when it comes to the number available, 53 games is a rather odd number, literally. I’ve also seen speculation that Sega might add more to these, given that there’s space on the ‘shelves’ in the game’s menu.
An interesting touch is that you can even rewind/fast-forward a game (with L2 and R2) if you screw it up, but the former feels like cheating, and the latter is just odd. I wish these buttons could be disabled so I don’t accidentally press them as I don’t want to use them, and it ruins a gameplay video, making it look like a glitch, as I did that during Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle.
As I post this, the game is just under £25, so that’s less than 50p a game. You really can’t complain about that whatsoever.
The complete list of titles are as follows and so far, I’ve played a handful. My thoughts on each are included below, and the more I play, the more I’ll update this, with additional gaming footage to come, in the playlist below. When I reviewed SEGA Megadrive Classics, I went through them in order, but here, I’m cherry-picking as I go:
- 1. Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle: I never played this back in the day, but it looked like a cool Super Mario clone. It is good fun, but in my brief attempt at it, I did rather have enough of the rock/paper/scissors game. Maybe there’s more variety later on?
- 2. Alien Soldier
- 3. Alien Storm
- 4. Altered Beast
- 5. Beyond Oasis
- 6. Bio-Hazard Battle
- 7. Bonanza Bros.
- 8. Columns
- 9. Columns III: Revenge of Columns
- 10. Comix Zone
- 11. Crack Down
- 12. Decap Attack
- 13. Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
- 14. Dynamite Headdy
- 15. ESWAT: City Under Siege
- 16. Fatal Labyrinth
- 17. Flicky
- 18. Gain Ground
- 19. Galaxy Force II
- 20. Golden Axe
- 21. Golden Axe II
- 22. Golden Axe III
- 23. Gunstar Heroes
- 24. Kid Chameleon
- 25. Landstalker
- 26. Light Crusader
- 27. Phantasy Star II
- 28. Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom
- 29. Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium
- 30. Ristar
- 31. Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi: This is an incredible platformer but also incredibly difficult. The controls aren’t quite as great as they could be, since I didn’t want to keep using the ‘smart bo -mb’ but I couldn’t reprogram that button to be miles away so I was stuck with that. Given that this is my first time playing this game – and the footage you see is the best of my attempts – damn, it’s difficult!
- 32. Shining Force
- 33. Shining Force II
- 34. Shining in the Darkness
- 35. Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
- 36. Sonic the Hedgehog: The Megadrive Mega Classic! If you’ve never played it, you really should. Check out the video below, which shows the Challenge mode in this game.
- 37. Sonic the Hedgehog 2
- 38. Sonic 3D Blast: My first experience of Sonic in isometric 3D and I still prefer the regular version after playing this. It just felt way too fiddly.
- 39. Sonic Spinball
- 40. Space Harrier II: This and its prequel are incredible fast and furious arcade titles (particularly the hydraulic version which throws you about), and this one is a a pretty faithful recreation of how it’s meant to look, given the 16-bit limitations.
- 41. Streets of Rage
- 42. Streets of Rage 2
- 43. Streets of Rage 3
- 44. Super Thunder Blade
- 45. Sword of Vermilion
- 46. The Revenge of Shinobi
- 47. ToeJam and Earl: I’ve not played this one before and I had absolutely no idea what was going on. I’m walking around a map in space, picking up presents, avoiding aliens who sometimes sound like a phone ringing. There’s cat zorbing and a woman hula dancing, and joining in with her meant I earned an achievement… Just like a night out in Manchester!
- 48. ToeJam and Earl in Panic on Funkotron
- 49. Vectorman: A crazy-difficult platformer (unless I’m just rubbish!) which has an environmental message, but I just want to get from A to B kicking butt, even though I find it difficult to do so.
- 50. Vectorman 2: The 1996 sequel: No cool – but overlong – intro screen, so it’s pretty much straight into the action. Alas, I suck at this too! But it’s good fun.
- 51. Virtua Fighter 2
- 52. Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair
- 53. Wonder Boy in Monster World
Check out more videogame footage on the DVDfeverGames Youtube Channel!
- Publisher: Sega
- Developer: Sega
- Players: single player, multiplayer
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.