Thursday Jan 27, 2011
In case you missed it, a new selection of classic Genesis titles is now available. This is the final currently planned release pack of Genesis Classic titles for the PC, and you might say that we saved the best for last. Well — I certainly might say that, considering both Shining Force I and II are in the pack, and I’m record as saying these games are among my favorite of all time.
First, the full list of what’s available with this offering. As with the previous packs, all these games fit into the snazzy “Genesis Classics” loader that runs all the games, and allows you to save each of the games at any point, as well as using the games original save features (if they had one).
Is this not an excellent list? Aside from all the praises I’m happy to heap onto the Shining Force series this collection also includes Streets of Rage 1 and 2. The first game is lots of fine fun, and by the second had evolved into probably the best beat-em-up of the 90s — with easily some of the best music of any game in the 90s. As a bonus here’s some video of series composer Yuzo Koshiro DJing in Tokyo, working some of the tracks from the game. Follow the video to YouTube to see more from this performance.
Even aside from Streets of Rage and Shining Force there’s a lot to recommend this batch of games. Possibly you are aware of the Sonic the Hedgehog series? Well guess what! We have the Sonic. On the PC! Several, in fact: Classics Collection IV features both Sonic the Hedgehog II and Sonic 3 & Knuckles, the glorious lock-on combination of Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles.
Sonic 3 and Knuckles is also probably the most difficult of the original series (especially the later half, Sonic and Knuckles) and takes all the mechanics the series was known for and refines them to their most skill-intensive. I played Sonic 2 enough that I can blow through that game pretty easily now — but lots of Sonic 3 & Knuckles remains a challenge, and grabbing all the Chaos Emeralds in either of its games is no mean feat. Of course, the ability to save your game before any special stage and play it over and over til you get it right is a nice way around that. Go ahead! I won’t tell anyone.
And: Let’s not let all these other excellent titles dwarf the release of the original ToeJam & Earl, a game that’s been a lot harder than most of these to get a hold of. There was never another game quite like it; something like a psychedelic dungeon crawler with a goofy sense of humor and one of the most awesome soundtracks in any game ever. Really, this Classic Collection as a whole is just loaded with great Genesis tunes–here’s some of ToeJam and Earl’s music:
Lest we forget — there’s some other terrific & unique games in this collection, including the isometric action-adventure Landstalker and the Shining Force “prequel”, “Shining in the Darkness” (definitely hard to find in other places).
Between the Sonic games, the Shining Force series, and ToeJam & Earl, a pretty high percentage of my teenage years is represented by this package of games. In my humble opinion, these are not to be missed!
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