Impressions about the Sega CD

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Christopher A. Wichura

Dec 2, 1992, 7:05:49 PM12/2/92
My brother got the Sega CD the first day Babbages had it, as he had been on
their waiting list for over a month. I've been playing with it a fair amount
and reading what the net has to say. For the most part, I think the machine
is actually fairly nice and that people are gloom and dooming it too early.
Games for any new platform (and I consider a CD for the Genesis a new
platform) require time for the developers to learn its tricks and quirks to
come out with some good games for it.

About the pack-ins: You can immediately throw the two music CD's (I'm
including the CD+G disk here) in the garbarge. They're pointless. However,
they added all of $3 (at most $6) to Sega's cost (meaning double that to the
user's cost), so big deal.

Sherlock Holmes is a vary nice game. Unfortunately, my brother already had
this on the TG-CD and had finished it there with the best possible scores in
all three cases. People have been argueing about the replay value of this
game. Recalling when my brother was playing it on the TG-CD, he finished the
cases pretty quickly, but to get perfect scores took him several weeks to do.
And he enjoyed trying to get them. I don't see how this is much different
than the typical attitude of buying a cart shooter/platform game and
finishing it in a couple days and then throwing it in the corner. (True,
some games have hidden powerups which can be a lot of fun to find all of
them, but you still end up with a game which is no longer a challenge to
play. I know quite a few people who try to beat games as quickly as possible
simply for bragging rights without really even trying to enjoy the game, for
that matter.)

Sol-Feace isn't a bad shooter. It isn't a really fantastic one, either. The
music is nice coming off CD. As a shooter goes, it's not terribly difficult
(until you get to the boss at the end of the Jupiter level, where it becomes
damn near impossible -- even the final boss is a wimp compared to him).

The Classic's CD I have mixed feelings about. It has some good games on it.
The problem lies in the way they butchered some of them (most noteably Golden
Axe). That and the fact any self respecting Genesis owner would have
already played the $&^%$^#* out of all four of these games in cart version.
I suppose if you think along the lines of selling the Sega CD to someone who
didn't previously have a Genesis then this disk makes a fair amount of sense.

As for the other games available, again I don't think people should knock the
first efforts too hard. And it looks like some better games are already
coming out.

Night Trap: I liked this game a lot, actually. In fact, my big gripe with
it was having to switch the ^*&%&^ disks all the time... :-) True, the game
doesn't have much replay value. But it is fun to watch the different video.
Trying to map out where all the Ogs come in took me some time. I also went
through to see all the different ways one can fail in the game (let the
various girls die, etc.) I had FUN with it, and that's what counts, right?
And if you feel otherwise, see my comment above about how most every game
becomes old hat not long after "beating" it.

Blackhole Assault: This game is "ok". Not dismal and a complete piece of
drek as some people have made it out to be on the net. It's not Street
Figher II, either, though. That's for sure. The animation and voice acting
are only "ok". I've noticed that many, many CD games (at least for the TG-CD
which is where our main library is right now since it's been out longer) have
lackluster performances. Sherlock Holmes is done very well, and Night Trap
is pretty good. Y's Books I&II and Cosmic Fantasy II for the TG-CD are also
extremely good (Exile, too, I guess, except that you can win the game in less
that three hours of sticking it in your machine for the first time). Other
than that, things are just sorta average. Beating the various computer
opponents doesn't take much more than a day, too. Where this game has had
appeal to my brother an me is in playing two player against one another. It
would be nice if you had more special moves and whatnot, but as a fighting
game goes it's not bad.

Prince of Persia: I just picked this up today and have been playing it a
bit. I had played it before briefly on an Amiga over a year ago and thought
the game was nice then and I loved Karateka (an earlier game done by the same
game designer). The animation and voice acting isn't terrific here, either,
although I'd say that's its better than Blackhole and Sol Feace. They
actually tried to animate the anime characters some, rather than panning from
one side of a super bitmap to the other like the aforementioned two games.
There is a lot of exploring to do in this game. It's definately not one
you're gonna finish in a day or two. The character's response is a little
weird to get the hang of at first, though once you do it's not to hard moving
around. (Couple tips: the B button is the same as pressing the joystick up
which makes it a lot easier to do running long jumps instead of trying to run
and then press the joystick up into a diagonal -- also, the running long jump
takes a lot of running to build up to which is why in some cases it seems
like the game has totally ignored your request to jump) Anyway, of the games
out now, this is definately one of the better ones out. (As an aside: anyone
have the both the Sega CD and TTI SCD version of this? How do they compare?)

As to the ones I haven't played:

Cobra Command -- this has gotten mixed reviews on the net. I'm gonna buy it
when I can spare the cash, though. I remember the arcade and want it... :-)

Sewer Shark -- this is probably the single most unanimously hated Sega CD
game so far, based on the net's reaction. I figure I'll pass on this one.
People have also said it plays a lot like Cobra Command, which I intend to
get so I don't figure I'll miss out on much. BTW: Babbages had this for
$59.99 like Night Trap. Does that mean it's also a 2 CD game?

Chuck Rock -- Babbages also just got this in today as well. I figure I'll
probably get it in the next day or two. Chuck Rock is a platform game that's
gotten fairly decent reviews on a wide number of platforms. I'm curious to
see what they've done to the CD version (and it costs no more than the
cartridge so it's no loss to get the CD). The Babbages guy said that the CD
one is supposed to have sharper colour in the graphics (and it did look
pretty nice compared to the cartidge box, although that could just be bad box
art on the cartridge's sake). Anyone have this yet? Anyone who also had the
cart? What exactly are the differences?

I'm looking forward to some of the games they've announced to be out soon,
too. Thinks like Batman Returns, Willy Beamish (even though I've played it
on computer -- they've supposedly added a lot of (well acted) voice tracks to
it and some new animation), Wing Commander, etc.

Anyway, I guess I've rambled a fair bit here... :-) If you're still reading
after 115 lines you must have a lot of patience... :-)

-=> CAW


Christopher A. Wichura Multitasking. Just DO it. (my amiga) ...the Amiga way... (school account)

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