Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection Part Three: It’s Flicky

Dynamite Headdy (1994)

From the Museum description: “Being a puppet is never easy. If you’re not tethered by a bunch of strings, some puppeteer has his hand where hands ought not to go.” O.O

Headdy has an archrival with the awesome name “Trouble Bruin”.

This platformer was developed by Treasure. It’s a colorful and quirky game with potential.

The second level is called Toys in the Hood. It seems that several of the level names are references to movies.

One of the powerups puts Headdy to sleep, a la the Sleep “ability” in some Kirby games.

This game is fun, but has a learning curve and no continues (but some lives).

Original Score: 3/5

E-SWAT (1990)

This game has a decent intro, but forces you to play as a human cop before you can get those sweet cyborg upgrades. The game has some funky music and a flashy Game Over screen, but besides that, all I can say is that E-SWAT certainly exists. Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with Masamune Shirow’s Appleseed and its numerous anime adaptations. More’s the pity.

Original Score: 0/5

Ecco the Dolphin (1993)

This game’s box art, like a surprising number of Sega games at the time, was painted by master artist Boris Vallejo.

Ecco is a trippy and beautiful game, but I just don’t “get” it. The levels are big, repetitive, and vague. The game is not very intuitive.

The game’s developer, Ed Annunziata, admitted that he made the game difficult because he was paranoid about kids beating the game over the course of a weekend rental.

Original Score: 2/5

Ecco: The Tides of Time (1994)

I have even less of an idea of what I’m supposed to be doing here than in the first game.

Original Score: 2/5

Juan Ortiz, or Somecallmejohnny’s review of the Ecco series is pretty funny. He admits how much the game freaked him out when he was a kid.

Fantasy Zone (1986)

A cute and colorful but unforgiving horizontal shooter. May be worth playing through.

Fatal Labyrinth/Labyrinth of Death (1991)

A rougelike RPG that’s kind of junky, yet has a sort of Zen pleasure that I like. The Museum description of the game is massively snarky:

In a shocking twist, this RPG features a kingdom in danger that can only be saved by a chosen warrior.

The people have chosen Trykaar, the brave swordsman to enter the probably-not-all-that-pleasant (judging from the game’s title) and reclaim the lost artifact.”

It goes on to say that only the most dedicated warriors will make it to the 30th level of the labyrinth. That may be shade, or a description of the game’s difficulty.

Sayeth an old man by the labyrinth’s entrance: “WE MUST GET THE GOBLET BACK TO PREVENT DRAGON FROM RETURNING TO POWER.”

He refuses to let you pass until you talk to him two more times. He urges you to talk to everyone in town before entering the labyrinth.

As your level increases, your title changes. You can get new armor that changes your appearance.

Perhaps FL‘s most infamous feature: the more gold you collect, the better your funeral is if you get a game over.

One of the ways you can die is by trying to pick up food when your food level is already at the maximum (ninety-nine).

It’s easy to see how this game could be snark bait. It lacks personality, you miss constantly, and the floors and the music never change (except in later floors of the dungeon).

Original Score: 2/5

Flicky (1991)

The box art is weirdly realistic for such a cartoony game. This title is kind of weird; you gather your baby chicks and lead them to each level’s exit, while avoiding enemies. The colors and sound effects are searing.

Flicky isn’t too bad, but there really isn’t much to it.

Original Score: 2/5

Gain Ground (1991)

A difficult overhead action game where you can collect up to 20 characters with various weapons. Good luck holding on to them all.

The box art is weird. It looks like two different pieces with different styles were slapped together.

One of the neat things about Gain Ground is how you can rescue new characters across the various maps, but every character you have has to be taken to the exit, or every enemy must be killed for you to go to the next stage. Characters can only take one hit, but can be rescued by another character.

I really hated this game when I first tried it, and it’s not much to look at or to hear. It’s difficult and the movement is slow, but all of the different characters and varied enemy positions are cool.

Original Score: 1/5