Friday, 27 January 2012

Sega Game Pack 4 in 1 (Game Gear)

It might seem strange to review a compilation, but this isn't a compilation of previously released games, the games on here were made specifically for a compilation. Not this compilation, though. Three of the games were originally part of two Japan-only releases called Kuni-chan no Game Tengoku Volume 1 & 2. The other game, Penalty Shootout was made especially for this cartridge, which appears to have been released only in Europe, mainly as a pack-in with the console, but apparently there's also a very rare boxed release of it too.
You might say that a console pack-in might not be obscure enough to fit this blog's remit, but it's not like you see people posting about this game everywhere, is it? It seems to have been mostly forgotten, which is good enough for me.
So, on to the games!
First up is Flash Columns, which, as you might guess from the title, is a cut-down version of columns, featuring only the "Flash mode" from the full version. If you don't know, flash mode gives you a stage partially filled with jewels, some of which are flashing. Get rid of the flashing jewels and go on to the next stage. There are a couple of differences between this version and the version you might be used to, though. Firstly, although the jewels still fall in vertical columns of three, to make them disappear, they have to be arranged so that at least four of the same colour are touching, non diagonally, as opposed to the normal columns rule of putting three in a row, in any direction. The other difference is the scoring system, or rather, the lack of one. In this game, you get one point for every jewel you make vanish. No extra points for chains or disappearing large amounts at once, and also no time limit to get the falshing jewels in. This is the flaw that ruins the game, with no rewards for speed or skill, it feels like a tedious trudge.
The second game is the one made especially for europe, Penalty Shootout! Essentially, it's a guessing game. You choose which direction to make the guy kick the ball, and how high. Then you hope the goalie doesn't jump in the same direction. After five shots, you switch places. There's no way of knowing what the computer player is going to do, making the whole thing a pointless waste of time. Don't bother with it.
The third game, which is referred to by most of the internet as just "Rally", though I'm sure I remember it being called something like "Pan-American Grand Prix" in the manual, though I no longer have the manual, and of course there are no scans of it online (as far as I can tell), so wo knows? Anyway, this is definitely the best game of the four. It's an Outrun-clone, but with no branching paths. So I guess you could also call it a Hang-On clone, but in a car, if you wanted to. Whatever you want to call it, it's fast and fun and has nice graphics. The only downside is that it's really really short and easy. But that's not a massive downside, is it?
The last game, which is also the second best game on the cart is Tennis. It plays exactly like Nintendo's Tennis game on the Game Boy. Obviously this version is infinitely better though, for three reasons: it's made by SEGA, it's in glorious colour, and instead of Mario being the referee, Sonic is the referee. Other than those differences, I assume it's only the game's relative obscurity that stopped there being any kind of lawsuit, as it really does play exactly like Nintendo's game.

1 comment:

  1. Those are actually reasons why the NES version is better, homes.