The From A to Z series lets our editors go back and take a look at games from past generations that are classics, overlooked gems, or just titles they remember fondly. The idea behind this is to pick five games from each letter of the alphabet, once a week to showcase. This delivers 26 weeks and 130 games to talk about. Hopefully it sparks some conversation, and of course plenty of memories.
The third in our series focuses on Sega’s Mega Drive (Genesis in the US).
Let’s start with the letter “A”.
After Burner II
While the console version obviously didn’t offer quite the same experience as the arcade sit-down-cockpit cabinet version, After Burner’s gameplay was always pretty intense and enjoyable. This version had a decent amount of stages, action, and replayability and as a result, it was a cartridge that definitely spent a lot of time in my Mega Drive console.
This run-and-gun game always felt like it was trying to replicate the success of Gunstar Heroes. While it doesn’t hold the special place in my heart that Gunstar does, it was still a pretty crazy experience gameplay wise. The player controls a character with a pretty cool name – Epsilon-Eagle – through a lot of explosive action and a lot of boss fights.
This game was always a favourite of mine and, thanks to the involvement of Disney animators during development, it looked fantastic. I’d return to it frequently to replay some of the more enjoyable levels, particularly The Escape (in which Aladdin must flee the Cave of Wonders) and Inside the Lamp (where Aladdin explores the surreal world of the Genie’s lamp).
A side-scrolling platform game set in ancient Greece. This title remains pretty iconic, despite always seeming to divide opinion in terms of its quality. In the game, a player-controlled Centurion must battle through hordes of undead monsters before eventually transforming into a werewolf (after receiving enough power-ups, of course). I remember finding it pretty tough.
Another World/Out of This World
While not necessarily known as a Mega Drive classic per se, I’m still including Another World on this list because this landmark game was a pretty big deal at the time. This was largely thanks to its visual style, storytelling and emphasis on providing a cinematic experience. The game follows a scientist named Lester, who basically gets teleported to an isolated, alien planet following an experiment gone wrong (and an errant lightning strike). While I found it pretty difficult back in the day, I’ll never forget how striking this game was.
Tune in next week for the next collection of titles.