Seething Cauldron of Pop Culture Talk

Irascible Analysis of Popular Culture

SNES vs. Genesis: Toe Jam & Earl, Heimdall, X-Men, and Pirates! Gold

Toe Jam & Earl

Developed by Johnson Voorsanger Production and published by Sega for the Genesis in 1991. This action titles follows alien friends Toe Jam and Earl as they race through space and then crash on a strange world. From there, they must locate the missing parts of their damaged craft. The gameplay takes place across a series of interconnect overworlds with lots of items littering the ground for you to use and enemies to avoid. It’s actually fairly light on action and heavy on exploration. The only item the player can actually use to attack is a tomato, which first has to be found. It’s hardly a bad game, but aside from the funky soundtrack and sense of humor, it’s just not really all that fun. I’m not sure who I’d really recommend this too, but I suppose if you just want something slowly paced and not too difficult, you could do worse than Toe Jam & Earl. A sequel, Panic on Funkotron, was actually a platformer. There’s also a second sequel that appeared on the original Xbox.

Heimdall

Developed by The Eighth Day and published by Core Designs for the Sega CD in 1992. Much like Landstalker, the action takes place in isometric location, although battles take place in semi-realtime battles, ala PC RPGs of the same time period. The extra space on the CD allows for a lot of colorful cutscenes to introduce the game. There are lots of puzzles to solve, islands to visit, and items to find. The game world is actually fairly large, so it’s a game that’s going to stick around for a while before you get to the end. One of the big issues is that the inventory is pretty small, only three characters can leave the ship and each one can only carry six items at a time. It’s an interesting game, but a bit slowly paced compared to other action-adventure titles.

X-Men

Developed by Western Technologies and published by Sega for the Genesis in 1993. You can play as one of four of the most famous X-Men as they wander through various levels, such as a jungle, while some of the other X-Men can be called in for momentary support. It’s a bit platformy, in that the levels are pretty large and sprawling and require a high degree of jumping. Overall, the game’s just not very fun. The levels are huge and repetitive and mutant powers are limited by a power bar that very slowly refills once depleted. The music is interesting, but that’s about it.

X-Men 2: Clone Wars

Developed by Headgames and published by Sega for the Genesis in 1995. Better than the first game, and with much better graphics, but ultimately retains the expansive, repetitive levels and gameplay. At least this time around, the mutant powers had no power bar limitations, that’s something at least.

Pirates! Gold

Developed and published by MicroProse for the Genesis in 1993 and is remake of the 1987 release of Sid Meier’s Pirates!. In this title, you play the captain of a ship, a pirate ship to be exact, and it’s your purpose to sail the Caribbean and fight other ships for gold. Ship-to-ship battles take place in an overhead perspective with the two ships squaring off. You’ve got to time your shots just right so that they hit the enemy ship full-on for maximum damage. Eventually the ship will surrender and then you can plunder it and keep the ship or sink it. Ship “health” is in the form of sailor on board. Sometimes the ship captain won’t surrender and so you’ll have to board the ship and take him on in single combat, as seen during the opening scene of a new game. To keep your men happy, you have to split the plunder with them from time to time. You’ll also need to keep a well-stocked supply of food, rum, and cannons. What I like about this game is it’s free-roaming nature and strategy stylings. It’s not the best game on the system, but strategy fans are sure to love it.

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April 25, 2010 - Posted by | Console Wars, Games | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I think you need to play the two player titles with someone else. That’s where the T&E games and General Chaos really shine.

    Comment by Alex | May 20, 2010 | Reply


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