So Sega back in the day with their Master System, despite some good sales, couldn’t compete with the NES’s sales. But now Sega was going to go 16-bit and give us the true arcade experience. You see, Sega was well known for their revolutionary arcade classics like Hang-On, Outrun, Altered Beast and many more; so now we were going to get that arcade experience right at our home. And like every false promise in today’s gaming industry, it wasn’t, but were these games good on it’s own anyway? This two-parter review will talk about Japan’s Sega Mega Drive’s launch titles, Space Harrier II and Super Thunder Blade. Part one…as in this review, I’ll talk about Space Harrier II, developed and published by Sega and was released on October of 1988 in Japan, 1989 in the US and 1990 in Europe. In the year of 6236 (where everything will still exist), Fantasy Zone is being invaded by some enemies, you are the Space Harrier and you got to kill them all. Why not?
The gameplay is similar of that of the first game, you’re hovering around and shooting various enemies in very wacky looking levels, but it’s a much weaker version of the arcade classic. First of all is the graphics, it’s a lot muddier and not as crisp as the arcade game. The music, whilst not as good or as memorable as the original, it’s still nice to hear while playing the game. The gameplay is like the original, except for the fact that the framerate isn’t that good, it’s a slow playing game that makes the game tougher just because it’s a clunky game, though it’s not too bad. In fact, it has a lot more variety when it comes to enemies, not just dragons and robots.
Overall, whilst it’s not as fantastic as the original arcade game, it’s pretty decent for what it is, but don’t expect greatness, this is one game you must play with the Arcade Power Stick to get that authentic arcade experience. I know of people who think that the first game should have been ported instead of another version, but my opinion is that even if they did, it still wouldn’t have held a candle to the original, in fact, it still would have been similar to Space Harrier II. Think about that.
You can get it on Mega Drive/Sega Genesis, Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, Wii (Virtual Console), iOS and Microsoft Windows.
Next Time: Super Thunder Blade