gamezone review
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Review from www.gamezone.com
Review written by Rob Watkins
Reproduced on www.clarkweb.co.uk with kind permission of the copyright owners.
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SOUND: 7.5

I love old arcade games. It makes me think back to when I was a young chap, and how my dad would take me down to the arcade. Thanks to THQ, Sega, and my Game Boy Advance I can now relive those memories anywhere I go. Included in the Sega Arcade Gallery are some of the finest moments in arcade history: After Burner, Space Harrier, Out Run, and Super Hang On.

For those of you not familiar with After Burner, itís basically the earliest form of Ace Combat. You pilot a jet and destroy continuous onslaughts of bogeys. The camera is positioned behind the plane at all times and you use the direction buttons to move it around the screen. Enemies will come from behind or in front and try to shoot you down with their missiles. You must shoot them down either using your missiles or machine guns while dodging their attacks. As far as I could tell, there has been no improvement in the graphics since the old arcade version.

After Burner is hard. It can be tough to tell when and where missiles are coming at you due to the small screen and dated graphics. After Burner is definitely the least fun of the bunch.

Next on the list is Space Harrier, another shooter and one of my personal favorites. Space Harrier is a lot like After Burner, but much more fantasy and sci-fi oriented. You control a guy with a big gun that can run/fly very fast. The controls and style are almost identical to After Burner, except you can actually see the enemiesí shots and successfully dodge them.

Personally I see Space Harrier as a better version of After Burner, yet both games are good. Just like the other games featured in Sega Arcade Gallery, the graphics are definitely old school. If youíre a fan of shooters in any form, this is a great game to either relive the old days, or to experience the genreís roots.

The first of the racing games is Out Run, one of the most memorable racers for me. In Out Run you control a red Ferrari with the top down and a beautiful blonde in the passenger seat. Itís a race against the clock as you fly through cities, deserts, and forests while dodging all the slow traffic. Along the way, the road will split multiple times, allowing you to take different routes each time you play. At the end of the game it will show you which path you took, and which paths you left unexplored.

I loved this game because it was just about cruising. Of course thereís a time limit, but you arenít racing anybody Ė youíre just showing off to your blonde girlfriend sitting next to you (in the game, of course). You donít get to play with the steering wheel and pedals like on the arcade machine, but you donít really need them.

Super Hang On is the other racing game. If you donít remember, or have never heard of it, Super Hang On is a motorcycle racing game. Itís fairly similar to Out Run; you must reach the checkpoint before time runs out. After each checkpoint, you advance a stage. Super Hang On doesnít have as much freedom as Out Run since youíre racing other motorcycles on a closed track.

Super Hang On is a little less exciting than Out Run since you donít have multiple paths or bystander traffic; itís a racing game. Even though there are other racers on the track, youíre really racing against the clock. Super Hang On also has the best music.

This is a very well put together pack. Two of the best shooters and two of the best racers in one place make for some serious retro entertainment. The graphics look almost identical to the old arcades and the music is good. The gameplay is left intact, which is by far the most important thing. Sega Arcade Gallery is a great way to relive the days you spent quarter after quarter in the arcades.

Reviewer's Scoring Details

Gameplay: 8
Like Iíve said before, these are some of the most entertaining games arcades had to offer. They surely arenít the most realistic, beautiful games out there, but theyíre so much fun. Itís all about the gameplay with these games.

Graphics: 6
The graphics havenít been updated at all. They even seem a bit worse because of the small screen on the Gameboy Advance. The nice thing, though, is that it wasnít about graphics back then. These are truly fun games that have infinite playability.

Sound: 7.5
The soundtrack to all these classics is full of catchy midi rhythms. Theyíre actually good songs! Both racing games, Out Run and Super Hang On, are my favorites as far as music goes.

Difficulty: Medium
None of these games are truly hard. With practice, all of these games can easily be mastered. After Burner is probably the only game that most people will find hard.

Concept: 7
While bringing back old classics isnít exactly original, itís a great idea. I love being able to play my old favorites whenever I want. After playing Space Harrier again, I kind of wish someone would do a remake.

Overall: 7.5
I think Sega Arcade Gallery was meant for nostalgic purposes only. Unfortunately gamers that have grown up on Tomb Raider and Metal Gear Solid arenít going to appreciate the simple, addictive gameplay that video games used to offer. This cartridge offers some of the best games from my childhood, and Iím very happy that now I can enjoy them whenever I want. Fans of racers and shooters should keep in touch with their roots and check this game out.

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