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|OT| Sega Genesis Mini |OT| SEEEEEEEEEEEGGGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Kazza

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It is easier than the arcade game. Not as many enemies on screen and also not meant to much quarters like the arcade. I like it better, actually. It’s balanced for home play.

I managed to get to around stage 7 using the "keep moving" strategy. I like the way they gradually ramp up the difficulty. The trees aren't too dangerous as they can be destroyed, but once the stone pillars come a couple of levels later you have to start being really careful. I'm actually finding the bosses much easier than the levels - at least with the bosses you normally only have a single enemy to deal with (as well as no pillars).

I'm having more fun with this one than I thought I would, so I'll give it another go tomorrow.
 
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Kazza

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Both history and gaming have been hobbies of mine from a young age, and the Megadrive Mini has given me the excuse to combine the two. I enjoy looking at old magazine reviews of old games whenever I dip in to a retro library, and I've been doing the same the past couple of days with the Mini. I find it really interesting to see what people were saying back then and how it compares to a game's reputation with modern youtubers today. Being from the UK, I'll be mostly using C&VG and Mean Machines as references. First up, Space Harrier II:



The Japanese manual is nice, colourful and worth a quick look.

This was one of those games that, when announced for the Mini, made me roll my eyes a bit. Like Altered Beast, it is one of those early Megadrive titles which always seems to earn a place on these collections in place of much better candidates. It's probably because of those low expectations that I was pleasantly surprised to find myself quite enjoying the game when I booted up my Mini for the first time. Yeah, the pseudo-scaling is choppy (don't focus on the smooth 60fps floor or the discrepancy between the framerates may make you feel a little sick), but the game still gives you a nice sense of speed. I like the colour palette, and the soundtrack is pretty good too (for the most part). The digitised voices would have been impressive back in 1988 (hell, even in 1990 for the official European release), and you can still feel the pain of the main character every time he moans "Aaaarrrgggghhh" as he collides with yet another pillar.

What did they think of it back in the day? Here's a review from issue 2 of Mean Machines (November 1990 - a full two years after the original Japanese release!):



A close up:






A pretty fair review, imo. 77% is a higher score than people nowadays might think, as the magazines back then seemed more willing to use the full 100 score spectrum. When they say the graphics are smooth, you've got to understand that they are comparing it to other home ports, not to the arcade:



Here's an excellent modern look-back on the game by Kim Justice (with the not-so-impressive Super Thunderblade thrown in for good measure):



Personally I had fun with the title and will play it now and again as a little palette cleanser between other games.
 
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Kazza

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Next up, Castle of Illusion:



In a pre-Sonic Megadrive era this was a very important game, as they didn't have any other mascot platformer to rival Mario (Alex Kidd just wasn't cutting it anymore). Although I was never a huge Mickey fan, this game blew my little mind on release. It was a real "will games ever get any better than this?" moment. Although I've heard some people complain a little about the "floaty" jumping since the release of the Mini, I think the slow jumping (when compared to Mario and Sonic anyway) fits the level design very well. The game never demands super fast movements from the player, and the leisurely pace of the matches the both music and overall mood of the game. Although the sprites look a little pixelated nowadays, the animation and backgrounds still look really nice.

C&VG were impressed back in February 1991, giving it 96% (the Master System version got a very good 93% too). The sharp-eyed among you may recognise the reviewer...




The game also got a 4 page spread in February's issue of Mean Machines, and a similarly high score:



That whopping 97% for graphics certainly matched my own opinion at the time! For more background on the development of the game (as well as World of Illusion), here's a superb Strafefox "making of" video:



I completed the game this morning. It's not a difficult game, but still provides enough of a challenge to remain enjoyable. In fact, I would say the level of difficulty was probably perfect for myself as a very young kid looking for a challenge, and also for me as a busy adult just looking for an enjoyable and non-frustrating 1 hour of gaming.
 
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RAIDEN1

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So whats the latest news in terms of clocking up the speed of the Megadrive mini, with reports that its not exactly firing on all cylinders?
 
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Oh damn, forgot about this thread xD.

Mines got in last Wednesday, but only had a chance to play it last weekend. Really digging it so far. Even got some of the nieces and nephews into it (given how old these games are, nice to see they can appreciate stuff that doesn't look like Fortnite in current year).

Tried a little of Sonic (still plays great), Road Rash 2 (pretty damn fun, might try a full playthrough of that one), SF2 (fun, but a pain in the ASS with the 3-button pads), World of Illusion (fun so far, also gonna do a full playthrough for), and Monster World (very neat, doing a full playthrough).

I dunno how the hacking scene is with this thing yet, because I'd love to add more games to it, and maybe even other emulators (people say it's pretty much like the SNES Classic spec-wise, right?). And probably pick up either a six-button pad or a universal compatible game pad down the line.

Yeah, sure, I could just emulate it all on my computer. In fact I've done that plenty in the past. But there's just a feeling of kicking back on your couch, firing up a mini and instantly getting to the action that gaming on a computer doesn't compare to. Granted, I could just set up a media PC and load it with emulators and hook it up in the living room (which might happen sometime), but I just don't have the time to do that too painstakingly (I remember it took like 2 hours to set up my Saturn emulator and get it working :p).

Plus, I wanted to support this financially so that SEGA gets there's demand for these and maybe we can hopefully see beefed up Saturn and Dreamcast minis in the near future (or at least a functional Mega CD mini). I really want these minis to add in more features, though, like online connectivity for multiplayer (peer-to-peer could work fine I think), or maybe even remixed versions of certain games there as well.
 

FreedomGate

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I want to be excited for this but Sega has pumped out so many freaking dedicated consoles in a 5 year span that it's really hard to justify. I heard theirs some emulation and FPS issues as well for some titles, which if true makes it even harder to consider.

For all I know some other Sega licensed collection with the same games will come out in 2 months with double the library. Then by January there will be a New Years dedicated console with the same games but with higher quality video options.
 

KellyM

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I want to be excited for this but Sega has pumped out so many freaking dedicated consoles in a 5 year span that it's really hard to justify. I heard theirs some emulation and FPS issues as well for some titles, which if true makes it even harder to consider.

For all I know some other Sega licensed collection with the same games will come out in 2 months with double the library. Then by January there will be a New Years dedicated console with the same games but with higher quality video options.
They are no longer working with ATgames who Sega of America worked with, This is now the only one and the emulation is by M2 who is far surperior then ATgames. You get 3rd party games on the Sega Mini too, Atgames didn't have any Capcom or Konami or EA games like this one.
 

Kazza

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Is anyone else using the CRT filter? While it's true that, as John DF Retro said, it darkerns the picture a little, it does do a pretty good job imitating those transparency effects. The lights in the bar section of level one of SoR2 gives a really ugly mesh effect when played using the clear/pixel perfect filter, but looks good using the CRT one. Things like the shield in Sonic looks a lot better too.
 

Scopa

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Is anyone else using the CRT filter? While it's true that, as John DF Retro said, it darkerns the picture a little, it does do a pretty good job imitating those transparency effects. The lights in the bar section of level one of SoR2 gives a really ugly mesh effect when played using the clear/pixel perfect filter, but looks good using the CRT one. Things like the shield in Sonic looks a lot better too.
I’ll be honest, I turned it off almost immediately. One of the worst I’ve seen. But, I only tried it with a few games. Might give it another shot.
 

Kazza

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I’ll be honest, I turned it off almost immediately. One of the worst I’ve seen. But, I only tried it with a few games. Might give it another shot.
I've been playing without the CRT filter for most games without any trouble, but for games that use any kind of transparency/mesh effect I would personally recommend turning on the CRT filter. Of the 10 or so games I've played so far, I think only Sonic 1 and 2 and SoR2 really benefit (apart from the bar scene, the fog in the alien part of the Sor2 fairground stage looks bad without the CRT filter too).
 
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Spukc

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Fuck its allready hacked.
And since i don't have like allreadty fucking 10 sega collections rebought sanic like 12 times.

I just ordered this version too like the honest muppet i am🤣

At least we can put S3&K on it
 
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EightBit Man

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Is anyone else using the CRT filter? While it's true that, as John DF Retro said, it darkerns the picture a little, it does do a pretty good job imitating those transparency effects. The lights in the bar section of level one of SoR2 gives a really ugly mesh effect when played using the clear/pixel perfect filter, but looks good using the CRT one. Things like the shield in Sonic looks a lot better too.
I haven't tried it, but from what I've seen it's waaay too blurry. I don't know what it is with certain developers implementing filters that do not represent the the way the games were played.

This is proper interlacing:

 
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Kazza

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I haven't tried it, but from what I've seen it's waaay too blurry. I don't know what it is with certain developers implementing filters that do not represent the the way the games were played.

This is proper interlacing:

I haven't used an actual CRT in a long time, so I don't have anything to compare it with. The MyLifeInGaming people said it was more like an RGB filter. It seems ok to me, but hopefully I can try some other ones once it has been hacked.
 
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TLZ

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Is anyone else using the CRT filter? While it's true that, as John DF Retro said, it darkerns the picture a little, it does do a pretty good job imitating those transparency effects. The lights in the bar section of level one of SoR2 gives a really ugly mesh effect when played using the clear/pixel perfect filter, but looks good using the CRT one. Things like the shield in Sonic looks a lot better too.
CRT filter is the only way I play :)

To compensate the darker image, I raise brightness and I'm sorted. Without CRT filter the games look too pixelated to me.
 

Kazza

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CRT filter is the only way I play :)

To compensate the darker image, I raise brightness and I'm sorted. Without CRT filter the games look too pixelated to me.
Yeah, I think that upping the brightness and using the CRT filter is generally the optimal way to play, for me anyway. Seeing all those mesh transparences in the clear filter reminds me a bit too much of those ugly meshes you'd see in some 3D Sega Saturn games.
 
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Spukc

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I haven't tried it, but from what I've seen it's waaay too blurry. I don't know what it is with certain developers implementing filters that do not represent the the way the games were played.

This is proper interlacing:

Is that proper ?
that looks like A S S

This turned up today whoooo my Megadrive mini is complete. Have a boss weekend.
DUDE IS WEARING WHITE GLOVES...
makes me want to smear my shit all over his room.
 
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Spukc

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iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

fighting game fans. the dpad is NOT shit
i pull of dragon punches 100%

amazing how a 65 euro device comes with 2 functional dpads and the nintendo switch lite comes with none
 
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Chittagong

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Played with the 3 button for a bit for the OG nostalgy but pretty quickly switched to the official Retrobit 6 button, it’s better in every way - more comfortable, longer cable, six buttons, instant menu button


 

Kazza

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I can’t recommend highly enough getting the official 6 button with home button for quick save spamming.

I would never in a million years achieved this without save states:


Congrats. Is that Sonic 2?

I just completed Sonic 1 getting all the chaos emeralds. I was planning to save spam too, as I don't think I ever managed to do it as a kid and god knows I haven't the time to keep replaying the game, getting 50 rings etc nowadays. However, by some miracle, I actually pretty much managed to get them all straight away without resorting to loading saves (there was one special stage where I restarted from the beginning once, but that's it). I'm quite shocked myself :messenger_hushed: Take that 9 year old Kazza!
 
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Kazza

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Next up, Strider. There's a big difference in the Japanese/Western box art for this one. I think the painted Japanese art beats the "random dude in tight latex" American art:




Man, this game is hard! I'm currently stuck near the beginning of the Amazon level and keep dying over and over, killed by a combination of boomerang throwing Amazons, flying robots and man-eating piranhas. I need to use a vine a flip up to a higher level, but you are under constant attack and keep falling into the water. This was one of my favourite early Megadrive games and I don't remember finding it so hard back then. It was funny listening to Matt Lucas talking to the Happy Console Gamer about the game. Matt gave the game a 4.7 and Johnny wasn't happy about it, but I must admit I found myself agreeing with Matt about the hit sometimes iffy hit detection etc:



I still have fun playing it, and the non-stop action set pieces remain impressive, even today. I love the spectacle of it all: landing on a glider, slicing up the terrified soldiers (I like how they cower when you turn to face them), running down the exploding ice slope, the dinosaurs - it was mind-blowing for a small kid at the time. The mini bosses are pretty outlandish too: the wrestler, the mechanical gorilla, the parliament/council people joining up to form a killer caterpillar.

Having such a faithful arcade port just months after the original coin up was very impressive, and CVG and Mean Machines both heaped praise on the title:




Mean Machines Sega had a neat feature where they would look back at old reviews and see how the games held up. Even a couple of years later, Strider still impressed:



I'm going to give Strider a break for a few days, but I will come back and complete it soon.
 

Kazza

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For Golden Axe, I think the Japanese box art wins again. I'm not sure why SoA even bothered changing it - it's not as if the Japanese one is particularly "Japanese" anyway:



I didn't like Golden Axe so much when I replayed it on the Xbox 360 compilation, but I'm glad to say that I enjoyed it a lot this time. I think the lack of moves and the enemies constantly hitting me with that running attack got me down last time. This time around I enjoyed manipulating the cunning enemy, evading their attempts to surround me and even positioning myself so that they accidentally fling themselves into bottomless pits. The enemy AI is both smart and dumb at the same time. Those skeletons will really fuck you up if you allow them to surround you on both sides.

I noticed my TV package had Conan The Barbarian, so I watched that to get further in the Golden Axe mood. It's a surprisingly decent movie (although it was weird watching Arnie dubbed in Chinese :messenger_tears_of_joy:)

Like Strider, this was another great port of a recent arcade game, only this time Sega went the extra mile adding an extra level, as well as a two player duel mode.

CVG:



Mean Machines:



Mean Machines still thought it was a good game 2 years later. but not quite so impressive in the wake of Streets of Rage:



Here's a modern look back from Classic Gaming Quarterly:


I completed the arcade levels and managed to get to the final-final boss, but fuck that, way too hard for me to persevere with. Two immortal skeletons plus a huge chap how hits you with magic every time you get knocked down is a bit too much. Golden Axe is still a fun game though, and I'm looking forward to playing through it again with a friend.
 
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Kazza

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While i wanted to complete all the very early Megadrive titles first, I couldn't resist playing a couple of levels of Sonic. An hour later and I was seeing the ending credits.

Regarding box art, I think it's pretty even between the western and Japanese. I'm not a huge fan of shiny American Sonic, but I do like the US background:



Edit: somehow forgot the PAL box art (perhaps the best of the lot)



Sonic is so synonymous with the Megadrive/Genesis that many people forget that it came out almost 3 years after the Japanese release of the console, and almost two after the release of the Genesis. I was an early Megadrive adopter and remembering being super hyped for the game, no doubt encouraged by magazine covers and ads such as these (for me at the time, it may really have been the best game ever):





The end product didn't disappoint, as evidenced in the reviews a couple of months later (I'm not sure I agree with Paul about Labyrinth Zone being a blast though - too much water!):

CVG



Mean Machines



Despite the great reviews (although I think sound of 83% is a little on the low side for such great tunes and sound effects), some still weren't satisfied, as Darren from Australia's letter to the Mean Yob shows (I personally agree with him on the originality part):



For a retrospective, here's a nice video explaining the game design of Sonic and how perceptions of the game has changed over time:



I hope Sega eventually releases a Sonic Jam 2, with the Christian Whitehead HD versions of each 16 bit Sonic game.
 
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EightBit Man

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I just completed Sonic 1 getting all the chaos emeralds. I was planning to save spam too, as I don't think I ever managed to do it as a kid and god knows I haven't the time to keep replaying the game, getting 50 rings etc nowadays. However, by some miracle, I actually pretty much managed to get them all straight away without resorting to loading saves (there was one special stage where I restarted from the beginning once, but that's it). I'm quite shocked myself :messenger_hushed: Take that 9 year old Kazza!
Heh, I often experience things like this with old games. Sometimes I wonder: why did I find this so difficult back in the day? It's all the experience that we carry with us. In fact I play a lot of games infinitely better than I did back then, and I expect nothing but the best from myself playing these games. Mega Man III and Starwing were probably the only games I could play back and forth without trouble back then. As you can see this goes for Nintendo games by the way, which I played regularly over the decades (on varying platforms), unlike Mega Drive games. lol

Sonic The Hedgehog is such a enjoyable game by the way. It might remain my favorite game in the entire series. It has its flaws here and there, like the sometimes annoying (surprising) enemy placement, but...
 

Dr.Morris79

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The Genesis Mini website has links to all the manuals:


While this is cool, I don't see why they couldn't just include this on the Mini itself.

Did anybody ever actually write their high scores in these scorebooks at the end of the manuals? :messenger_tears_of_joy:




Can anybody think of a better manual than the Comix Zone one, which included a small comic?

Dreamweb on the Amiga had 'Diary of a madman, which was great :)
 

Rodolink

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Me and my wife were playing all weekend having a blast with the Mega Drive, some games I never played like Eternal Champions plays sooo smoooth, graphics and animations of that one are amazing. We finished Streets of Rage II I remember playing that as a kid, still holds up very well, it was one of her favorites. Then we tried Mega Man I didnt realize it was a compilation of MM I, II & III still play awefully imo, Ive never liked the early Mega Mans controls are so clanky and enemies infuriating. Road Rash is awful and slow I think I enjoyed that one only on the arcades. Now were with Mickes in the Land of Illusion co-op, pretty fun too.
 

Chittagong

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Congrats. Is that Sonic 2?

I just completed Sonic 1 getting all the chaos emeralds. I was planning to save spam too, as I don't think I ever managed to do it as a kid and god knows I haven't the time to keep replaying the game, getting 50 rings etc nowadays. However, by some miracle, I actually pretty much managed to get them all straight away without resorting to loading saves (there was one special stage where I restarted from the beginning once, but that's it). I'm quite shocked myself :messenger_hushed: Take that 9 year old Kazza!
Yeah Sonic 2. It’s a weird one, the bulk of the game (emeralds excluded) is way easier than Sonic 1, but the difficulty really ramps up in the final level

- Hopping on the opening and closing lids, constant risk of falling to insta death
- Super Sonic makes things even worse as your jumps become floaty and you deplete all your coins
- Three consecutive boss fights
- No rings for the boss fights


would definitely have struggled without save states. I got there with 12 lives so would have been a close call, whereas Sonic 1 I completed legit on Mega SG

Phenomenal game anyway. And I can finally move onto Sonic 3 and S&K on my Mega SG now