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Sunday, May 1, 2011

My Ideal Collection - Sega CD

Before I delve into the Sega CD games I'm most looking forward to snatching up a copy of, I thought I should let you fellows know that I'm planning on separating Japanese games into their own lists.  For instance, I currently have an Ideal Collection - Super Nintendo list, which only includes NTSC-U (U.S. region) games, and I might have thrown in a PAL (Europe/Australia region) game or two.

I may make an Ideal Collection - Super Famicom list to address the Japanese (NTSC-J) Super Nintendo games I would like to collect.  This list would not include games already on the NTSC-U/PAL list but rather games that never made it overseas.  Since I live in the U.S., it's usually much easier for me to collect the English versions of games, but there are many good games which unfortunately do not make it out of Japan for one reason or another.  Again, these lists are completely subjective and by their very nature could change over time.

1. Night Trap

Due to a large number of its games implementing poor quality full motion video segments and lackluster gameplay, the Sega CD has gained notoriety as an inferior game system over the years.  Night Trap is probably the most well known FMV game on the Sega CD, often remembered as being lumped in with Mortal Kombat when the cases were being made against violence in video games.

I own Night Trap and have no problem saying it's a bad game.  The gameplay is just plain boring, clicking through cameras and trying to set off goofy traps to catch the bad guys.  Sounds like it could be interesting, especially seeing the various traps, but the gameplay gets repetitive extraordinarily quickly.  The game really isn't very violent and the gameplay isn't very engaging, but I enjoy it because I like watching cheesy low-budget horror films.  That's all Night Trap really is: a grainy low-budget horror film with cheesy acting and a pretty uninspired narrative. 

2. Corpse Killer

Corpse Killer is another FMV game like Night Trap which I own, but the gameplay element consists of light-gun stages.  They're rather slow-paced and much easier than games like House of the Dead or Lethal Enforcers, but I have fun with them and there's a couple gimmicks like needing certain ammo to kill certain enemies.

Like Night Trap, the game is basically a cheesy low-budget horror film with atrocious video quality, but I found the video segments funnier than Night Traps and the shooting segments much more fun than Night Trap's camera switching/trap triggering.

 3. Sonic CD

This was my first Sega CD purchase and I was far from disappointed.  The game's pretty affordable and is one of the best offerings on the Sega CD.  As a fan of the all the Genesis Sonic games, I was pretty psyched to get this game.  Each level features a past, present, and future version which you can explore if you desire.  You can also just go full force through the game and try to get to the finish as fast as you want in true Sonic style if that's what you prefer.  The game looks and sounds very good and features some neat pseudo-3D effects which help set it apart from the previous Sonic games in terms of the visual style.  

4. Snatcher

I don't own Snatcher as I've never seen it at a price I'm willing to pay, but it does sound like a game I would thoroughly enjoy.  Metal Gear Solid is one of my all time favorite video games, and a cyberpunk story told by Hideo Kojima and the Metal Gear team where I can occasionally use my Konami Justifier light gun sounds like a pretty good time to me.  I really want to get my hands on this one pretty badly, but I'm waiting for the right opportunity to pick up a copy at a more reasonable price than is typically asked.

5. Heart of the Alien: Out of This World Parts I and II

Another game I don't know a whole lot about but am very intrigued by, Heart of the Alien is a compilation of the Out of the World Games for PC.  From everything I've seen the games appear to be critically acclaimed platformers which were released on multiple early computer platforms.  They feature cinematic science fiction storytelling and environments, and are often regarded as cult classics within the vast library of early computer games.

6. Silpheed
I've been starting to really get into vertical and horizontal shmups or shoot-em-ups lately and the Sega CD happens to host a few of them.  Silpheed is a very early vertical shooter polygon game which hasn't aged very well graphically, but looks very fun to play.  Seeing as it can be had rather commonly for fairly cheap, it's a game I'm sure to pick up at some point.

7. Lords of Thunder

Lords of Thunder is a horizontal 2D shmup featuring a heavy metal soundtrack.  That's more than enough to convince me that I need to get this game.  I'm sure I'll spend a lot of time with this game.

8. Robo Aleste

An extremely fast-paced vertical 2D shmup, Robo Aleste can be had a lot cheaper than Lords of Thunder but sadly doesn't feature all the heavy metal.  Another shmup that I can see myself spending a lot of time playing, but isn't as high on the on my priority list as Lords of Thunder or the final shmup I'm about to mention. 

9. Keio Flying Squadron
As I've said before, I can't get enough of quirky and colorful games.  A colorful and crazy horizontal shmup where you fly around shooting down opponents with a dragon sounds quite fun but also looks somewhat laid back and rather easy.  It's considerably rare and I often see asking prices of up to 200 USD when it shows up, which is more than I'm willing to pay for it, so I'm most likely only going to pick up this game if I find it bargain hunting at flea markets or the like. 

10. Dungeon Explorer

This game is a 2D multiplayer top-down perspective action RPG often compared to Gauntlet.  I've become a huge fan of action RPGs over the years and I used to get a kick out of playing multiplayer rounds of Gauntlet Legends on N64 so I find this game rather appealing.

11. Dark Wizard

I've enjoyed turn-based RPGs since I was a teenager, so I recently picked up a copy of Dark Wizard, but haven't had a chance to really sit down and spend some significant time giving it a go.  You can play through four different character's stories, each with varying degrees of difficulty and mildly different gameplay styles depending on the character's skills and uses.  

12. Shining Force CD

Shining Force CD is a strategy RPG comparable to games like Ogre Battle or Final Fantasy Tactics.  It includes the games Shining Force Gaiden and Shining Force Gaiden II originally available on the Sega Game Gear broken into "books" one and two.  It then exclusively features books three and four, which were new to Shining Force CD.  I really like strategy games, so I this is another game I want to play quite badly.
  13. Lunar 2: Eternal Blue

I was fortunate enough to snag a complete copy of the Playstation collector's edition of this game for about thirty dollars on a whim a few years ago.  It's one of the best RPGs I've ever played for a multitude of reasons, but apparently a lot was actually changed when it was brought over to the PS1 as it was handled by a different localization company.  I've heard from several sources that the Working Designs version on the Sega CD featured the superior translation and was a great joy to play.  I'm looking forward to finding out for myself what sets Working Design's version apart. 

14. Lunar: The Silver Star

I haven't had a chance to play the first Lunar game, but my appreciation for the sequel makes playing the original at some point down the line a gaming priority.

15. Vay

Vay was also localized on Sega CD by Working Designs, and I actually own a copy of this one.  I'm currently playing through it, and I'm really enjoying the humorous translation.  As for the gameplay itself, it's not as good as the Lunar games.  It's a pretty straight-forward RPG with little exploration and somewhat erratic battle difficulty and some necessary grinding, but I can see most RPG enthusiasts really enjoying the game.  It also features random battles almost every step.  Fortunately, the battles are fairly quick and loading into and out of them takes less than a second, so the game feels very fast-paced for an RPG.
  16. Popful Mail

As an action RPG/platformer localized by the team that did the Lunar games and Vay, Popful Mail is far and away my most desired Sega CD game.  It just plain looks like a ton of fun, and to me, that's what games are all about in the end.

So, are there any games you particularly enjoy for the Sega CD?  Any ones you keep your eyes peeled for or any that you think I should have included in the list that I didn't?  Let me know!


  1. Dungeon Explorer and Lunar <3

  2. Good stuff! I had Vay & both Lunars back in middle school and played through each of them multiple times.

    Several years ago I decided to wipe the dust off the Sega CD and give 'em each one more go. I'm impressed at how much I still enjoyed them- even nearly 15 years removed from my last go round.