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 letters “P and Q”.
Gameplay wise, Paperboy 2 is pretty much identical to its predecessor. The player controls an obnoxious Paperboy on a BMX bike, who must deliver papers to houses in the neighbourhood whilst avoiding various hazards along the way. In my opinion it was never a game that looked particularly spectacular but the gameplay was good fun and pretty addictive.
An isometric table-top strategy game, Populous was ported to the Mega Drive after originally being released on the Amiga. Designed by Peter Molyneux, Populous is arguably the medium’s first ‘God’ game and considered to be somewhat of a pioneering game in the RTS genre. The player’s ability to manipulate the land of each level was a central component of the core gameplay mechanics. Utilising this power, the player had to guide their followers into defeating those of the enemy, accomplished by resource gathering, city building and the like.
This game was known as Contra in the USA but Probotector to me and my friends in the UK. I remember it being really tough but incredibly satisfying. It was one of the more memorable co-operative gaming experiences of my childhood and it had a truly unique aesthetic.
A bright, colourful and super-fast pinball game that featured four well varied tables, each of which had a particular theme. There’s the Halloween table, the Wild West table, the underwater table and the fun fair table. This last table, appropriately named ‘Psycho,’ was the most innovative of the bunch, as it allowed the player to jump across to the other three tables.
I have played this game through to the end multiple times in my life, and every time I go back it’s always an enjoyable experience. The platforming action is just spot on, and the corresponding story adds some nice variety to all of the levels in the game. It looks excellent and has great character. I would sit down and play this game any time.
Tune in next week for the next collection of titles.