Day two of five. Yesterday we learned that I like Sonic Spinball, Alien Storm, Desert Strike, Columns and Ecco the Dolphin. That was just the start. Today’s five Mega Drive classics are even better than them lot. Sit back and take all of this in. Now it starts getting serious.
20. Art Alive!
Sega’s answer to Mario Paint was Art Alive! A fantastic art tool where your only limits were your imagination (and the Mega Drive’s controller). You could opt for a blank canvas to draw whatever you wanted, or a pre-drawn image to colour in. The options available might seem fairly limited by today’s standards, but I had a blast with Art Alive! and remember it incredibly fondly. Plus, you could drop characters from Sonic and ToeJam & Earl into any image you wanted. How cool is that?
19. Toy Story
The Mega Drive saw its fair share of quality licensed games. Toy Story was one of the best. Employing a visual style similar to that seen in Donkey Kong Country, the Toy Story game saw you take control of Woody, jumping and swinging your way through several stages based on the film’s settings. It was hard as nails back in the day, too. Ensuring I spent ages trying in vein to finish it.
18. ToeJam & Earl
And now for something completely different. ToeJam & Earl is a strange game, but a highly enjoyable one. You control one of either ToeJam or Earl in their quest to find pieces of their crashed spaceship in order to return home to planet Funkotron. Spread across several randomly generated levels (that are supposed to be Earth) you will encounter many hilarious situations, avoiding such enemies as gigantic hamster balls along the way. Singleplayer is great fun, but ToeJam & Earl is at its best in two player co-op.
17. Comix Zone
Another action platformer, yes, but one with a lot going for it. Comix Zone is possibly the nicest looking Mega Drive game at the very least. Set out in a lovely comic-book world and matching aesthetic, Comix Zone is a blast. It’s ridiculously difficult to beat, sure, but what good Mega Drive game isn’t? When you’ve stopped being blown away by the visuals you’ll be fighting monsters, freeing rats and having one hell of a good time. See Ya!
Ah, Gynoug, I still find myself humming your music, filled with all the right death screams in all the right places. I sucked at Gynoug. I only ever got to the stage after the first boss before all my lives ran out. Oh well. This side-scrolling bullet-hell shoot-’em-up is damn fine. If Gynoug was a little easier, it would probably be higher up on this list. But maybe its insane difficulty was its best feature? Gynoug, don’t you ever change.
Already feeling tense that I’ve left something out that should be in this list so far? Or are you more angry that Comix Zone should be higher up? Sound off in the comments while you wait for Day Three. 15-11. See ya!