A true blast from the past! one of the first technologies to hit the portable video game hand-held system!! I remember the impact when this TV tuner came out for the Game Gear, it showed that there probable possibilities for further development for this field!! Although the life-time of the 6 AA batteries was very short and Game Gear used to eat them batteries like a monster, yet it provided a local UHF/VHF TV tuner wherever you go to! Of course to maintain uninterrupted TV service, you had to go and arrange for a power supply plug to be connected at all times to keep that small screen shining!
Personally, when I heard that Golden Axe was being made to fit into my GG, I was damn happy. I played this game nonstop when the arcade came out around 1990, before the Iraqi Invasion. Many players enjoyed the well-presented sword & sorcery environment of golden Axe, aside from its skull-cracking, ass-whopping beat’em up action. The Mega Drive port was a near-faithful port of the arcade, while the GG version was something else. Golden Axe on GG came out as an RPG game just like the early Golden Axe Warrior on Sega Master System and Zelda 2 on the Nintendo NES, where you go into 2-D side scrolling action in battles and dungeons, and overhead view when traveling to towns and such. The size of the 2-D sprites is big compared to many 2-D game on GG at that time, beside the neat colorful graphics. This game has an excellent feature where the Ax Battler character develops throughout the game by learning and acquiring attack moves from a specialty store in towns while traveling in your quest. It’s sad to see that Ax Battler is the only character included from the three heroes, though the whole bunch of the bad guys is back with more made-for-dungeons enemies such as snakes, bats, etc. Game control is very easy to learn, though jump timing is sometimes tricky. The floating turtle and the eagle’s back are back and creatively embedded into the RPG story-line, which is totally cool. And to make things better, a password system is tossed in to keep players happy, since it was pretty early for the Battery back-up feature. The only bad thing about this is the uninteresting music, which could have been better and related to the main source and it would have been cool to see the other two heroes tossed in at least as NPC characters. Check the Japanese box cover and manual to see some of the most beautiful artwork ever for Golden Axe, and forget the stupid US/European cover art and the lame manual! I do apologize for attaching an image from Play-Asia but this is the only JPN cover image available on the net. I still have the original game manual in top mint condition and plan to scan a couple of pages to show you the real artwork that we have been deprived off in the Western editions of this game.
If you think this game is a port from the Mega Drive/Genesis or Master System versions, You’re wrong. This Shinobi is something else! Following the Same format as the first part on GameGear, the 2nd Shinobi game still features five ninjas, each has his own new special skill and weapon, going against mechanical or cyborg bosses, where as all original formats had only a single Shinobi ninja. As an addition to prolong the gameplay, a crystal was placed in each of the five stages. To open the last stage, you must collect all five crystals. This means you have to play each stage twice, first to acquire your fellow ninja and then again to acquire the crystal. Of course acquiring the crystals can be tough since sometimes you need to use the combined skills of the five ninjas to collect them. Just like the first part, the game play here is tilted more towards platform rather than pure action. The only complaint is the music, where it should have had more oriental themes, not industrial rock or techno music. I really liked the smoothed sprites, extra character frames and the pretty graphics. And to show that SEGA learned from TECMO and it’s achievement in Ninja Gaiden III, a password system is included. This game is must for all Shinobi fans!
Excceptions: Legend of Zelda and Trauma Center have major sratches because I bought them used. I’m sorry but I can’t be blamed for the abuse of the first hand user.
Contact me if you want any of these.