Tuesday, December 12, 2006

GBA Sega Smash Pack Review

It regularly upsets me when I stop to think about Sega's failure to dominate the console world. After the success of the Megadrive/Genesis, Sega's luck seemed to go from bad to worse. The Mega CD, though an important stepping stone into gaming on discs rather than cartridges never really caught on. The Sega Saturn (my favourite console ever), was less geared to 3D graphics than it's main rival the PSX. It also failed to engage third party software as it's Sony nemesis.

The lovely Game Gear despite it's seven year lifespan, and impressive title catalogue, lost out to the smaller, though less graphically impressive, Gameboy. And as for the Dreamcast...(choke!)
I just can't bring myself to talk about it... (Sniff!) Sorry!! (Father Krishna crumbles into a small foetal ball and rocks himself, then returns to his computer...)

However, one thing Sega are absolutely great at is completely, shamelessly, and with wanton abandon, whoring it's back catalogue to other console developers...

And thank goodness for that! Hooray! One such pimped out title is the wonderful Sega Smash Pack for GBA. This wonderful title is rarely to be found in the UK, so when I got my copy for a fiver (£5) the other day in Gamestation, I was as happy as a pig in shit.

Essentially this is a three in one package, allowing GBA owners to re-live the glory days of the Megadrive on their tiny, handheld portable consoles! So what three titles do we have here?

No.)1 "Golden Axe". Now I played this a lot in my Megadrive days. A side scrolling beat'em up quest set in a mythical land. You can play as any number of cliche`d 'fantasy' characters... Conan style behemoth, Xena style amazon or err... 'Gnome's Lair' style Gnome! (LOL!)

A side scrolling 2D odyssey, your character would make his way through the 'land of the turtle'
battling Giants, skeletons, hostile buxom women and a variety of other mythic creatures.
Every time a level was beaten, you got the opportunity to kick a little sack carrying, elf up the arse, and he would drop a potion every time you got him! Not that easy as he was a quick and evasive little bugger...
These potions would act as multiple enemy slaying power-ups that could wipe out all your foes in one thunderous burst. Occasionally, enemies would turn up on fire-breathing dragons, that would roast your ass. but that was OK... 'cos you could knock them off, and then ride that dragon, and turn his fire breathing hostility on your nemesis!!

All in all very good fun. I hadn't played this game for like, ten years... then within the space of three months I had two Smash Packs... one for the DC and one for the GBA... and both had Golden Axe!
It's like buses... You wait ages for one and then two turn up at once...
Holy shite! Did I just use that tired old comparison... I bet for you can't wait to here my observational stand up comedy routine... Jayzus!!

No.2) "Ecco the Dolphin" A highly original title when it was released, Ecco was the story of a young dolphin, separated from his 'pod' by a global catastrophy. Rather than playing as a cutesy cartoon like version of an animal, such as Sonic, Crash Bandicoot or Kao The Kangaroo, Ecco was a genuine representation of our favourite aquatic, intelligent mammal (Whales just don't cut it....)

The gameplay was excellent, Ecco was able to swim languidly, jet forward, or leap out of the water to breathe in a much needed lung full of oxygen.

When trapped in one of the games many underwater caverns, the sense of running out of air could cause the gamer to genuinely panic!
One could communicate with other oceanic residents by blasting out a wave of sonar.... and this would cause the respondents to offer you written messages providing clues to further you on your odyssey...

Like most of the titles I've bought , played and enjoyed I never completed it... I just might give it a go on my GBA though. I'll let you know if I do...

No.3) "Sonic Spinball" If I'm honest (and I rarely am,) I can't tell you much about this one, 'cos I haven't played it too much... basically it combines two great features... Sonic and pinball!!

You really can't go too far wrong with that combination...

Traditionally, Sonic has been slated in it's many franchise excursions... the original amphetamine induced blue rodent odyssey, was so loved by gamers, that any other incarnation has been disrespected and unappreciated by it's target audience.

I might get back to you on this one, but suffice to say as a total package the 'Smash Pack' is a winner every time...
By the way, if you haven't already get yer ass over to Gnome's Lair and The Dreamcast Junkyard... You know it makes sense...

Goodnight dear children, wherever you are...

Related posts: Ridge Racer DS review, SEGA Game Gear, DS does NES & SNES

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  1. Guess I'll just buy this one Father Krishna. Brilliant write-up!

  2. Cheers mate! And I posted two links too! Wonders will never cease... First my own pictures, then a link! What next!!!??

  3. The World Cup and a champioship with Man City perhaps?

  4. Worthy post FC!!! (applause!), your also extremely lucky to have two buses on your route..... oh what i wouldn't give to have two buses.......

  5. It's a large vehicle that transports many people from one place to the other, accompnied by the smell of piss and vomit, with a fight breaking out on the top deck... Or at least it is in Manchester...)

  6. Ah. I see. The top-deck got me perplexed. Don't have such tall vehicles here y'know...