GAMES OF THE MONTH | OCTOBER 2005

SONIC GEMS COLLECTION

Game Cube 2005 PAL

The latest Sonic The Hedgehog compilation title from Sega. This one finally brings the much loved Sonic CD to the audience it could never reach all those years ago as well as Sonic R and the first console port of Sonic The Fighters.

For the full feature checkout the Sonic Gems page.

Sonic Gems

DEAD OR ALIVE

Saturn JAP 1998

Contrary to popular opinion Tecmo’s Dead or Alive was first ported to Sega's 32-Bitter from the arcades and is the most impressive looking 3D fighter on the system.

The Saturn version is way ahead of the Playstation version pushing the Saturn right to it's limits in an impressive show of programming running at super smooth 60 frames using the hi-res 740x480 mode which very few games did and with no slowdown.

Beat'em up rules apply - knock out your opponent before they knock you out. Bizarrely when knocking your opponent out of the ring they will be ejected into the air upon touching the floor. Groovy!

There are 8 playable characters with a distinctive array of moves as well as 1 boss character in the game.

This version also has the much underused Breast-Bounce setting- included for the 14 year olds probably.

As with most of the late and great Saturn titles it was only ever released in Japan although the Playstation version was released in all territories.

Since then the Dead or Alive series has gone on and on...The latest version is due out on the X Box 360 sometime 2006.

Dead or Alive

BATTLE GAREGGA

Saturn JAP 1998

From [Raizing] (Souk) comes another one of those brilliant Saturn 2D shooters which never made it out of Japan. It was originally released in the arcades in 1996 and came to the Saturn in 1998.

It is a traditional war-plane 2D vertical shooter. In the hangar is 4 planes each with their own strengths and weaknesses; some are slower with more firepower and vice versa.

For an arcade shooter in the home it's Battle Garegga or nothing. A 2-Player co-op modes adds to the playability.

Graphically the game is brilliant. The game runs smoothly with virtually no slowdown to be had even when the screen is full of sprites.

This is another Saturn rarity with prices for the game easily reaching around £80 on ebay and in some second hand game shops. Lucky I bought mine when I did ^_^

A sequel Battle Bakraid was released in 1999 into the arcades only.

Battle Garegga

GIGAWING 2

Dreamcast US

Capcom delivers a much improved sequel to Gigawing.

The world is at war again and it’s upto Gigawing squadron to save humankind from itself. An ancient evil artefact with massive destructive powers threatens to wreak havoc on the world.

Gameplay remains mostly unchanged from the original. It's a simple case of your ship against the bullet-laden battlefields.

Still mega important is the use of the Reflect Force that rebounds enemies fire back onto them. This now has 2 modes; standard reflect which just reflects all fire and laser lock-on reflect creates a powerful lock-on beam.

There are now 5 playable characters to choose from each with a different ship which has different weapons and abilities. The character also has their own route and story.

Graphically the game is quite impressive. Gone are the 2D sprites for everything to be rendered in 3D. In parts the camera work will make your ship dive through objects or zoom around a fleet of enemies.

Giga Wing 2 is not a long game and the difficulty has been adjusted from the utterly ridiculous to the playable with challenge. Quite a cool feature as far as shooters go is the 4-player simultaneous mode.

Gigawing 2

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