Raising the Bar and Downsizing

Similar to my previous blog entry I’m continuing the trend of downsizing my Retro Video Game Collection. Nothing too extensive just a few odds and ends are getting trimmed.

Just because I’ve sold the games below does not mean they’re not worth having. I actually like Water Margin but I can’t have it all so I’m being more selective with my money.

I recently sold the above three Piko Interactive games and the four Genesis games below as a lot for $160 CAD (~$120 USD). For a short time I had it in my head that I wanted to include PAL exclusive games in my Sega Genesis Collection. PAL is a common label for European Sega Mega Drive games; which was how the Genesis was branded outside of North America.

In my current retro mood I’m inclined to steer my collection towards a more focused philosophy and part of that means ditching the few PAL games that I had. I had three and they’re now gone.

My current desire to purge has also come from a shift in the retro gaming community; in the form of a sharp rise in the quality of Indie video games created for the Sega Genesis and Sega Mega Drive.

Where once it was exceptionally rare to find a new Sega Genesis game it’s now (almost) common place. And more importantly the quality and calibre of many of these games is exceptional. Both in the game itself and the physical product.

For me personally both Tanglewood and Xeno Crisis are just perfect. Beautiful games that are very fun and engaging. Rock solid software with stunning physical design, production and quality.

Of these five games Tanglewood and Xeno Crisis are my favourites.

Tanglewood is truly an epic adventure and I would not change a thing. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve completed Tanglewood and I keep coming back for more. If you’d like to know more about Tanglewood check out my spoiler free ‘Tanglewood 16-bit Perfection‘ review.

Coming in at a close second is Xeno Crisis; which is still busy beating me to a pulp! Even two player with a buddy I’m finding that we’ll do pretty well in the stages but the bosses usually cut us to shreds. This is not a criticism, it’s simply the heart of an arena style arcade game. Live or Die. And I’m sure it’s the high impact and unforgiving nature of Xeno Crisis which has made it so popular.

FX-Unit Yuki is something special. It falls down a little bit when comparing it’s more amateurish cover art to Tanglewood and Xenos Crisis. The game isn’t quite as professionally polished and on occasion will struggle to run at full speed (*I’ve read that the TG-16 version is a smoother experience). But in my eyes it gets a pass because of what it does right. It’s a really fun game. The story of FX-Unit Yuki sets the stage to pay homage to many classic retro games and it does it so well.

Tanzer (German for Dancer) has such a unique feel. At first glance it looks like a traditional platformer with the speed of Sonic the Hedgehog and the acrobatics of Strider. You’re given a very fast playable character with exceptionally tight controls that combine to deliver a fresh platforming experience. You’re going to have to learn how to control Tanzer well before you’ll get far. I do wish the games graphics were a bit better and the physical package could use a little… more. The cover art and manual look almost unfinished. I actually feel a bit petty making these comments when the game offers solid game mechanic, upgrades and branching paths. Tanzer does a lot right.

Ultracore feels complete, polished and intense! Good, right? However, I’m also finding it a bit repetitive. This is probably an issue with my own attention span and not the game. Both this physical release and the game look great. The game runs well and is generous with health. It feels very much like Mega Turrican and Gunlord. It is my least favourite of this bunch but these are all good games.

Are you buying modern retro video games? What do you need to see in these games to justify the purchase price?

I’ll leave you with my Tanglewood longplay. I’m managed to get 100% of the fireflies… no big deal.

Original article