Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection Part Two

Beyond Oasis/The Story of Thor (1994)

The latter is a cooler title for this action-RPG with music by Yuzo Koshiro.

The box art is so completely non-indicative of the game. Even a group shot of the characters would have been better. What is this game supposed to be from the box?

The graphics are nice with a well-done intro that sets up the story.

The game uses a lot of sound effects from the Streets of Rage series.

This game seems to have potential, but I guess it didn’t impress me much back then because I only gave it a 2/5.

The game received a prequel on the Saturn called The Legend of Oasis. It was released in Europe and Japan. Maybe it did not receive a North American release due to the weirdness of Sega’s American branch and its terrible boss, Bernie Stolar. They did not want to release certain 2D games so that they could show off the system’s 3D capabilities.

Bonanza Bros. (1990)

This game has a gussied-up backstory for the North American release: the titular brothers are thieves who are helping the police clean up Badville, but in the original Japanese version, they’re just out for themselves…

The music is kinda funky in a Japanese way.

I don’t “get” this game. It’s like a really primitive stealth title. You have to steal random junk from buildings and mansions while avoiding or knocking out police and security guards. If I squint, I can see some potential, but the game doesn’t draw me in.

Original Score: 1/5

Columns (1990)

A match-three puzzle game… with bling. Pretty graphics and some nice sound, but more backgrounds and modes would have sweetened the deal.

Columns was originally created by Jay Geertsen in 1989. He sold Sega the rights to the game in 1990.

Original Score: 3/5

Comix Zone (1995)

This comics-influenced brawler wears its influences on its sleeve; it presents itself like a comic book.

The plot: Indie artist Sketch Turner is working on his comic book titled Comix Zone when a freaking lightning bolt strikes one of the panels, bringing the villain Mortus to life. Mortus traps Sketch in his own comic book, so he must fight his way out of his own story!

The presentation is fantastic. Word balloons pop up from various characters; enemies burst through panel borders; and when you reach the end of a page, it flips. It’s a lot of fun to watch… but to play? I’d say yes, albeit somewhat repetitive. But that’s not the worst problem. No, the worst problem is how difficult the game is. Ray Hardgrit of Super Adventures in Gaming said that CZ doesn’t want to be played.

It seemed that the developers of several Sega games from the time did not want their titles to be beaten on one rental, so they… overcorrected.

The game is unique with inspired presentation. There are hundreds of comic book-inspired games, but CZ still stands out for looking so much like a comic book. Maybe look up a longplay of the game if you’re interested.

Sega of Japan hated this game. Someone called it “everything wrong with America”.

The title may be a reference to underground “comix”, or an attempt to be extreme. Possibly both.

Original Score: 2/5

Congo Bongo (1983)

You know, Congo Bongo, that classic isometric game where a safari hunter has to get revenge on a gorilla for burning his tent while he was sleeping in it?

The hunter has to avoid fruit thrown at him by the gorilla. I couldn’t get past the first screen. What is this game?! All you can do is jump. Why is this game even in this collection?

The Commodore 64 and VIC-20 ports of this game were panned.

Decap Attack (1991)

This is the English version of a Japanese game called Magical Hat no Buttobi Tabo! Daibouken, which was a re-release of a Sega Master System game called Psycho Fox. Phew.

Why is this game called Decap Attack? Because the protagonist, a mummy called Chuck D. Head, attacks with the head in his torso. He can also get a powerup that gives him a proper head on his shoulders that he will attack with instead. The torso head is kinda creepy, like a chestburster, because it stretches out of his body.

The logo is surprisingly bloody.

This is a fun, goofy, and fast-paced platformer with large levels. There are lots of monsters, but they are presented in humorous ways. With very little tweaking, this could have been a Castlevania spinoff. I already like the music as well. 😉

Unfortunately, if you pick up a powerup in a level and then die, it does not respawn when you restart the level.

Original Score: 3/5

Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine (1993)

This puzzler is a remake of Puyo Puyo with characters from the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon.

This game has a lot of personality and lets you beat up Robotnik’s smug robots. It’s very competitive. If a match drags on for too long, the game speeds up.

Even if you get buried in beans, one combo could spark a great comeback.

It’s so cute how the beans look at each other when they’re fused.

This is the first Sonic spinoff that does not feature the Blue Blur as a character.

Original Score: 5/5