Tag: Sega

Retro Thursday – Alisia Dragoon

Hey, it’s the first mini-review in a few months, I’m glad to be back and well, here goes.

Alisia Dragoon was a game that came out for the Sega Mega Drive (Genesis) back in 1992 and was made by Game Arts and was published by SEGA outside of Japan.

This isn’t a game I have any familiarity with, but it did sound interesting when it was chosen in the thread. The game is a platformer with a sort of run-and-gun element to it. You make your way through the 2D side-scrolling levels and you shoot what looks like an electric bean at everything. It auto aims at enemies with is both helpful and slightly annoying as it may hit the wrong enemy, but it wasn’t very often that happened. You can need to stop firing every so often for you electric/lighting meter to refill. The good thing is if you take your time and let it refill it can overfill by three symbols and then do a double lighting attack, which seems to be more powerful and moves across the screen damaging and killing everything in its path.

The most interesting thing though is the pets. They’re monster-like creatures and have various abilities, but you can only have one equipped at a time. There are four in total and I only briefly used them. The dragon has the ability to fire fireballs, which you can level up and it shoots more, and more powerful fireballs, then you have a little fire sprite that damages the enemies it touches and more.

The gameplay is decent enough with you going through the levels like most platformers. I thought the gameplay was alright to begin with, unfortunately with a little more time I stopped enjoying it and got bored. The game didn’t keep my interest. It may have been the fact that it just wasn’t able to add to the initial premise of the game, I also think the lack of a life system didn’t help. You do get continues, but you seemingly have to collect them, as you start the game you get one life and that, for me, is somewhat of a hindrance. I think with more time playing it wouldn’t be a problem as you collect continues and level up your beasts, but I didn’t get much joy.

I think both musically and visually the game is alright, the visuals aren’t anything stellar, but they are decent, and the music is good, especially the first level, which had a stand-out tune.

Verdict: Neutral

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Retro Monday: Kid Chameleon

Kid Chameleon was made by Sega and was released on the Mega Drive back in 1992, it’s not a game I’m really familiar with as I only played it once or twice around a cousin’s house.

Kid Chameleon is a game that firmly sits in the platforming genre, but this game has a twist, you don’t simply jump through levels, you get power-ups in the form of different helmets, those helmets change your outfit, and there are a lot of outfits and they all do different things, there’s one that is a knight like costume that lets you climb walls and gives you 5 hits before losing it, then there’s a rhino like costume that lets you smash some walls, and you even have a samurai outfit that lets you slice and dice your enemies. There’s more too, all with unique abilities which add variety to the game and allows you to tackle stages differently. Did I mention you can even get a tank??

The game has some nice visuals and some not great visuals, for example the backgrounds are a bit on the bland side, the foregrounds are ok, but the sprites are really good, and has the most detail of all. the soundtrack is enjoyable enough, there’s also variety in both. The levels seem to mix things up a fair bit, from caves to forests to beaches and so on. I will say though that the controls didn’t feel right, I did adjust to them, but they felt a little loose, also the game is difficult, I didn’t get a far as I thought and lost all my continues, I guess I should’ve handled my power-ups better, the game also seems really long for an old school platformer, I played it for – not a long 0 45 minutes and get to level 9, when I died, I checked how many levels there were and there were 11 or more levels on just stage 1 of the game, and there are 4 stages with about the same amount of levels each. Basically, it’s got quite a lot of game to it.

Overall I’d say the game is pretty decent, but a little tough, it’ll be worth playing for the unique gameplay with all the different skills you get, and it’s actually pretty fun if, a little frustrating.

Verdict: Recommended.

Retro Monday: Sonic the Hedgehog 3

The third game in the series, Sonic the Hedgehog 3 was released in 1994 for the Sega Megadrive/Genesis. Sonic 3 has been re-released and featured in Sega/Sonic compilations across most modern systems since and despite the dip in quality of 3D Sonic games in the late 2000s the 2D retro aesthetic is combing back through Sonic Project 2017 and Sonic Mania due later this year.

Visually Sonic 3 is stunning; the sprites are detailed and humorous, the background and foreground art is vibrant with a lot of variety between levels. The soundtrack is full of catchy tunes that I found myself happily whistling or humming along as I ran and jumped through levels.

Sonic 3 plays how you expect a Sonic game to be: fast, frantic and a hell of a lot of fun without the cheap and random pits of death all over the place as seen in later iterations. The game has variety beyond just going fast. The game takes its time with some more methodical platforming which makes the speedy sections feel faster. It’s a shame Sonic Team have taken to starting from scratch with each Sonic game instead of building on what came before it as they did with the first 3 Sonic Mega Drive games. For me Sonic 3 isn’t just one of the best Sonic games, it’s also one of the best games on the Mega Drive, even more so when connected to the Sonic and Knuckles cartridge in an early example of expanding gameplay beyond the physical hardware. I’m looking forward to Sonic Mania and hope it can live up to the legacy of the Sonic the Hedgehog brand’s earlier years.

Verdict: Highly Recommended.