What with the poor selection of games that shipped with the Playstation Mini last year, and it’s critical and commercial panning, we are more than a little worried for Sega’s Mega Drive Mini. This isn’t to say that it will be bad, just that it needs to be far better than Sony’s offering.
So, we’ve combed back through the history of the console, all the way back to 1988, to pick our six games that really should be on the upcoming blast from the past.
Streets of Rage
Kind of a personal pick, as most would likely choose the second game over the first, but if push came to shove the first title in the series is just the more tightly made experience. The first steps through the impossibly crime-ridden streets as Axel, Adam and Blaze were a special mix of cartoon violence, absurd specials, and late 80s/early 90s synths.
As we’ve said before on this very site, the charm of Streets of Rage lies in the simplicity of it. There are only three buttons, but these can be combined in a myriad of ways that keep the gameplay interesting but not overly taxing. Also, if you wanted any more reason to want to play this again – just watch those police assistance specials again on Youtube.
Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf
How many people out there had absolutely no idea what they were supposed to be doing in this isometric wartime helicopter game? We spent hours flying around the various desert-based maps, shooting enemies or being shot down by them, with little direction nor care about gaining any guidance. It was just easy to lose yourself in this game.
Really, this deserves to be on the Mini just because of the gameplay in it. The controls are actually incredibly tight, and if you aren’t a dumb kid like we were, the game is actually quite clear in what you’re supposed to do. The only down point on the game is that the visuals haven’t aged well, but we would accept the later Urban Strike if needed to overcome that.
Super Street Fighter II
I know that technically the OG game in this series is the one that is most commonly remembered and raised high on a pedestal, but if we’re talking games for the Mega Drive Mini, surely the latter game in the second generation of Street Fighter would be the far more beneficial pick for the little retro console?
It does help that this was the definitive version of the game for the console, adding four more characters from the Champion Edition, including the now iconic Cammy. Also, the gameplay, as most expect from the series was as smooth as butter. It lacks the speed of the SNES’ “Turbo” version, but it’s still a phenomenal fighting game in it’s own right.
Sonic 3 & Knuckles
This pick took a long while, as we tried to choose between the second game in the series and this, as Sonic 2 definitely would deserve a place on this list. However, we gave the spot to Sonic 3 & Knuckles because of many reasons, not limited to the fact just the fact that this game (or more specifically Sonic 3, we guess) introduced the incredible Knuckles to us.
But, to put just Sonic 3 would be a disservice to the fact that, when combined as they were always intended to be, Sonic 3 & Knuckles is a huge game with a great amount to discover and a really high level of replayability. Furthermore, this iteration of the series placed host to possibly the best iteration of the the Special Stage that we have seen in the entire franchise.
Castle of Illusion: Starring Mickey Mouse
We miss this era, the golden era of Disney games when the original and movie tie-in games from the company were all phenomenal experiences. In fact, in the shortlist for this very article, there were no less than five Disney titles that we had to pick between. However, as much as this pick was almost Quackshot, Mickey’s quest to save Minnie is simply better overall.
It lacks the more ludicrous plot of Quackshot, settling for something more akin to that of the source material, seeing Minnie Mouse abducted by Mizrabel and Mickey travelling through the themed parts of the castle to save her. Like most Disney titles of the era, this was hard as nails, so takes a lot to complete so would be a great addition to give the Mini longevity.
ToeJam & Earl
Well-timed considering the recent release of Back Into The Groove, but ToeJam & Earl is a great (if flawed) title that absolutely reeks of the 90s. With the protagonists being alien rappers, the 80s and 90s pop culture references throughout, and the wonderfully dumb dialogue all combine to create this time capsule of a game.
The gameplay, by modern standards, is a bit of a mess but the incredible soundtrack and hilarious (whether intentionally or not) plot and characters really come together to create a unique experience. Also, as an added bonus, this game has two-player split screen co-op, allowing you to grudgingly allow your sibling to play. Immensely dumb and funky fun.
What do you think? What do you want on the Sega Mega Drive Mini when it arrives in 2019? Let us know!