Retro Gaming Club SEGA Genesis Edition: Gunstar Heroes, Ecco The Dolphin, & Alisia Dragoon

It sure has been a while since I posted anything for this column, but I’m back with more retro goodness! I haven’t dived into any emulator or ROMs yet, as I have quite a backlog of old games that I can access via Nintendo Switch Online, Steam, Amazon gaming and PS Plus. In that way, I hope you are able to play the games that interest you and you don’t have to go through the trouble of downloading software and figuring it out.

This month is a SEGA Genesis edition, since I upgraded my Nintendo Switch Online service to play these games and others. I’m a fan of the Genesis as I had one when I was a kid and have fond memories of the black sheep in the console wars. Let me know which games did you enjoy of these three, and if you have any you would recommend!

Gunstar Heroes – 1993, SEGA Genesis 🎮🎮🎮🎮

I have heard of the popular Gunstar Heroes over the years, but as a kid I never owned it. Looking at the roster of games on the Switch collection for SEGA Genesis, I wanted to chose games that I had not played before for a fresh experience. Seeing this one on the list made me feel like I could finally play a classic that had eluded me.

You play as one of the Gunstar Heroes and you select the type of shot for your gun. There’s fire, electricity and two more. I chose electricity and I’m glad I did, as you can pick up an item that switches between the styles every now and then. The gameplay is fun and I can see it being unique for it’s time since it’s a side scrolling shooter but you can throw enemies, hang onto background objects and shoot or lunge forward and attack enemies. I thought it would be like Metal Slug where you just move forward and hope you don’t die without noticing, but Gunstar Heroes brought new tactics to the table and I enjoyed all of it.

The boss battles were a little silly and some were so easy I was surprised it was even a boss, until I got to the end of the second stage. I would never have cleared it if I couldn’t rewind and I had to more times than I want to admit because he had so many forms to beat I lost count. It was an interesting battle since your on a vehicle that allows you to jump from the floor to the top of the screen and fire from there, so you have to avoid attacks from different positions. I’m halfway through the game so I haven’t beat it yet, but I plan on it.

Ecco The Dolphin – 1992, SEGA Genesis 🎮🎮🎮🎮

This game I do have experience playing and I remember it well. You play as Ecco, a dolphin whose pod (family of dolphins) have been separated by some kind of vortex that happens in the beginning of the game. You traverse beautifully detailed ocean waters and later on murky and dark areas to find Ecco’s family. The music is calm and you hardly notice it, while the gameplay may be a little frustrating from how difficult it can be. Enemies are everywhere and you don’t know what is ahead of you until you explore further, so don’t zip too fast around the water even though it’s tempting to do! Ecco is not slow as real life dolphin’s are very quick, and you have the ability of sending sonar waves to communicate with other mammals or glyphs. The glyphs which are large floating crystals that guide you on what to do next.

It’s no wonder Ecco The Dolphin was a classic series back in the Genesis days and it still holds up as a fun yet challenging game. Like many games of this era, you may get lost and there isn’t much guidance as to where to go as the glyph’s sometimes are very vague. If you haven’t played this one, give it a try!

Alisia Dragoon – 1992, SEGA Genesis 🎮🎮🎮

Alisia Dragoon popped out to me since it looked like an old school fantasy game, and that’s exactly what it was. I’m still playing through it and have mixed feelings on how I would rate this one. Without the rewind feature as I’ve mentioned many times before, I would not have survived very long. The game is brutal and enemies can easily surround you while your weapon isn’t able to hit them all that quickly.

You play as a girl that is accompanied by a dragon of your choice, each with it’s own unique attack. If the dragon is defeated, you can pick another one until they are all gone. There isn’t much to the story except for a long scrolling dialogue in the beginning, which was uninteresting. Each stage is different and has a boss at the end, but these bosses vary in difficulty. Some are hard to attack because there are multiple enemies around them while another like this giant dinosaur-looking bird has an attack that was almost impossible to dodge. I didn’t like how the game threw so much at you that it was hard to stay alive, so I can’t give this one that high a rating. I think it’s fun to try out, but not a game I look forward to playing again.

Be sure to check out more retro games here.

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When not conquering digital worlds in video games, he can be found reading, watching anime, listening to music writing, and just enjoying life as a geek in the city.

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