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 “B”.
A fighting game notable for two reasons: it’s innovative attempt at quasi-3D graphics and the fact that all the fighters are made out of balls, providing ample opportunity for not-at-all childish jokes. While the fighting mechanics aren’t actually all that great, the game certainly has a unique look and a good sense of humour.
Barkley Shut Up and Jam
A basketball game with a significant amount of attitude, headlined by the former MVP of the NBA, ‘Sir’ Charles Barkley. While not in the same league as other hoops games that featured on this system, Barkley Shut Up and Jam did have a distinctive vibe going for it. Rather than playing in NBA arenas the player can instead take to the courts with Sir Charles across a variety urban locations.
Three toads do battle with arch enemy the Dark Queen, in order to rescue a princess and another toad. While the premise might sound a little unoriginal, it was initially conceived as a franchise to rival Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. As a game, Battletoads was a very awesome mashup of platforming and beat ’em up action. Awesome but brutally, brutally difficult.
Two brothers, both thieves, must traverse a number of houses and steal all the valuables inside. They must do so without being caught by any of the security guards on patrol. Method of escape: a blimp on the roof which must be reached to exit each level. I’d sum up this game by describing it as simple, addictive, and having great character. Its comedic aspects always put a smile on my face, especially when playing with a friend.
Tune in next week for the next collection of titles.