Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection Part Five: Ire Emblem

Ristar (1995)

A colorful platformer from Sonic Team. You can definitely tell from the presentation. Ristar uses his extra-long arms to grab onto platforms, enemies, and health-ups. The game also shows you all of the planets you’ll go to between rounds.

Ristar is charming and cute. IDK if it was what Sonic Team was going for, but the game gives me Kirby vibes.

How did I guess that the lava world was going to be called Scorch? It’s a tough level.

I like this game a lot. It’s fun to watch enemies ricochet around the edges of the screen. A speedrun of this game would be great to watch.

Original Score: 3/5

Revised Score: 4/5

Ristar figurines can be randomly found from “gachapon” machines in Shenmue I and II. Will the starboy reappear in Shenmue III? Time will tell.

Shining Force (1992)

I have started a playthrough of this strategy RPG, but it’s on hiatus. I like this game a lot, even though lead developer Hiroyuki Takahashi insulted Fire Emblem when rebuking that game as a potential influence on his title, saying that the tempo of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light was so bad that not even he wanted to play it. Well! I thought that was rude even before I got into the FE series with Awakening. The Sega versus Nintendo salt ran deep and hard. Maybe Takahashi-san was the Tomonobu Itagaki of Sega. 😛

I try to use every unit in this game, but guess who I have the most difficulty earning levels with. A mage? A cleric, perhaps? Nope, it’s the archer. He’s so weak~

I like SF because it’s accessible, but different, and I like the art style.

Original Score: 4/5

Shining Force II (1993)

I will hold off on this one until I beat SF.

Original Score: 2/5

Shining in the Darkness (1991)

This first-person dungeon crawler is the first game in the Shining series. SF is a prequel to SitD.

SitD traumatized me as a child. I got sad – full-blown tears – when the hero died in battle. I’m not proud of it, but it’s true. It doesn’t help when the game actually says your hero is dead with sad music. A valkyrie resurrects him at the shrine, but…

My understanding of the difference between death in reality and death in fiction was clearly tenuous. ;-;

The box art is surprisingly faithful to the game’s art style, and what an art style it is. The presentation is fantastic.

The way that enemies suddenly appeared with dire battle music creeped me out.

I think that SitD could be worth playing through, even though it has aged. The random encounter rate can be absurd.

Original Score: 3/5

Whatever Happened to the Shining Series?

The team behind Shining Force III and its three scenarios got screwed over by Sega, so they split from the publisher, dubbed themselves Camelot, and got a deal with Nintendo to produce the Golden Sun games. The GS series seems to be some of the more contentious JRPGs around, though they don’t get as much (mostly undeserved, IMO) ire as the notorious Legend of Dragoon. I enjoyed the first GS; I have yet to officially start the second game.

Shinobi (Arcade, 1987)

A fast-paced game, but Joe is a one hit point wonder. The continue screen music is kinda cool.

Shinobi III (1993)

I have fond memories of this game – rad music and awesome early levels – but the unforgiving platforming in the later levels annoys me. The game is still worth a look.

Sega worked on the game an extra year to deliver a product that they were satisfied with.

Original Score: 5/5

Whatever Happened to Revenge of Shinobi?

Sega put some very questionable boss characters into RoS; copies or knockoffs of the Terminator, Spider-Man, and Batman. Though Sega has altered these characters so that RoS could be re-released elsewhere, they did not do such for SUGC. Kind of a shame; I’ve never gotten to play RoS.

Sonic & Knuckles (1994)

This seems to be a fine Sonic game, so IDK why I gave it a 1/5 originally. I really suck at the game, though.

Sonic 3D Blast (1996)

The Museum description wonders why Dr. Robotnik can’t build robots without shoving bunnies into them. 😀

Because he’s evil! Mwahaha… ha.

Do you remember that “SEGA” yell from the old Sega ads? This game actually starts with it, which scared me. O.o

This isometric platformer’s graphics have aged surprisingly well, but the game feels too fast for the camera. You don’t want to go careening into something offscreen, so you have to correct yourself. Oh, and the whole game is a bit of an escort mission. You have to rescue five Flicky birds and return them to rings in every stage, except for the boss stages.

The game was developed by Traveler’s Tales, the company that makes LEGO games now.

The music is decent. It seems to be agreed upon that the soundtrack is one of, if not the best, thing about S3DB.

Original Score: 2/5