Thursday, 19 December 2019

Mega Drive A-Z

It has gone down as Sega's most successful console, proving ultra-popular in all the major territories, and is still held in high esteem today - that's right, it's the one and only, the legendary... Mega Drive! Almost 1,000 games eventually found homes on its rippling innards and I will least try to feature all of them in these listings, although I'm bound to miss the odd one or two here and there. Next up is:

L is for...

Lakers versus Celtics and the NBA Playoffs by Electronic Arts (1990)

This was the game that revealed to most of us outside the US that the Lakers and Celtics were apparently basketball teams. There aren't a huge number of options here for a sports game but the fast-paced action is pretty enjoyable, even if you don't give two pieces of monkey crap about the sport.

Landstalker: The Treasures of King Nole by Climax Entertainment (1992)

Although very popular in its day, this isometric arcade adventure seems to have been largely forgotten today. That makes me a bit sad as it really is rather splendid. It has an involving story and varied locations to explore, and the audio/visuals are mighty fine as well. One of the best games of its type on the MD.

Langrisser by Masaya / NCS (1991)

Encountering a game that was a mix of tactical warfare and RPG elements is scary enough for my simple mind, but finding a text-heavy Japanese one? Eeek! Luckily I found it was also released in the west under the name Warsong. I still suck at it but fans of the genre(s) will likely love this involving game.

Langrisser II by Masaya / NCS (1994) - Japan Only

Unlike its prequel, Langrisser II was not released in the west, so it will be largely incomprehensible to non-Japanese-speakers. It seems to be more of the same but apparently has branching story paths so it's probably great. A fan translation is available for emulator players. The girl on the cover has a nice ass too!

Last Action Hero by Sony Imagesoft (1993) - US Only

Few film/TV tie-ins were anything more than atrocious in the 80's and 90's and this is a great example of how bad they could be. For the most part it's a scrolling fighting game, but one with annoying, ultra-repetitive game play. Mercifully, only American players were subjected to this awfulness.

Last Battle by Sega (1989)

One of the first Mega Drive games to be released, and long regarded as one of the worst too. It's a scrolling fighting game based on Fist of the North Star and sequel to Black Belt on the MS (in Japan at least), but sadly its poor reputation is pretty much deserved as it's tough, unfair, and just not fun to play. (full review here)

Lawnmower Man, The by The Sales Curve (1994)

Like many, I saw the film this tie-in is based on around the time of its release but I remember 'virtually' nothing about it (tee hee!). This game features a mix of VR-inspired into-the-screen sections and side-scrolling run 'n' gun stages and it's not too bad, all things considered. No idea if it's faithful to the film though.

Legend of Galahad, The by Traveller's Tales (1992)

This was the first game from Traveller's Tales, currently famous for the many Lego games, and is perhaps better known simply as Galahad, or Leander on the Amiga and ST. Its origins on the latter machines is obvious from its look and style too, but it's a pretty enjoyable and underappreciated platform adventure.

Legend of Wukong by Gamtec (1996)

There's an interesting story behind this one - it was originally developed and released only in Taiwan and wasn't translated and released elsewhere until 2008! It's based on Journey to the West and, as you may have guessed, takes the form of an RPG, and is worth tracking down, for novelty purposes if nothing else.

Lemmings by DMA Design / Sunsoft (1992)

It will never not seem weird to be playing this classic platform/puzzler on anything other than an Amiga, but if you don't have access to one, and if playing it with a joypad is acceptable (and it really isn't too bad), then this is still a very excellent version, though the music is far inferior. Still an all-time great.

Lemmings 2: The Tribes by DMA Design / Psygnosis (1994)

Few sequels had been more anticipated that this one but I never really 'got' it. The stages are much more open and this combined with the millions of obscure new types of lemmings makes it rather less intuitive to play. It's worth spending some time on though, and this is again a decent version.

Lethal Enforcers by Konami (1993)

This popular Konami light gun game found its way from the arcades to the MD as well as the SNES, but despite both systems having their own light guns, Konami for some reason decided to package the game with its own. Oh well, waste of plastic aside, it's a pretty decent conversion of a good game for its type.

Lethal Enforcers II: Gun Fighters by Konami (1994)

As you might've guessed from the title, Konami shifted the action from the streets of Chicago to the Wild West for this sequel - a setting which unsurprisingly suits this type of game well. Good graphics and a decent variety of weapons help make this at least as good as the original too. Saddle up, pardner (etc).

LHX Attack Chopper by Electronic Arts (1992)

I remember seeing many magazine adverts for this game in its day but I'd never played it prior to this post. As expected, it's a rather stripped-down helicopter-based flight sim which gives you plenty to do, but games like this have understandably aged badly and this one is no exception. Some nice touches though.

Liberty or Death by Koei (1994) - US Only

Can you guess from the title which country this one was exclusive to (chortle!)? Indeed, our fiercely passionate American friends apparently got to reenact their glorious country's battle for independence in this strategy game, although you can play as us pesky Brits too, if you want. Which I did, obviously...

Light Crusader by Treasure / Sega (1995)

There aren't many Treasure games I've never played but this was one, and I was surprised to find it's an arcade adventure rather than the hardcore action titles they usually bless us with. It seems to be pretty good though, especially the pleasing isometric graphics. It's not as pleasant as Land Stalker though.

Lightning Force by Technosoft (1992)

Better known, of course, as Thunder Force IV (lord only knows why those American buffoons renamed it when they had official and correctly-named TF2 & 3 releases), this horizontal-scroller is often cited as the MD's very best shooter of any kind. It's certainly a corker, and candidate for 'Best MD Graphics' too. (full review here)

Link Dragon by Jumbo Team / Softly (1993)

Another game that was released (and presumably developed) in Taiwan, but I'm not totally sure why. Why it was developed at all, I mean. This is because it is nothing more than a Snake game. Yes, like that mobile phone game. The 'snake' is actually a dragon but apart from that it's very simple and quickly gets boring.

Lion King, The by Westwood Studios (1994)

This was one of several flashy Disney platformers released near the end of the 16-bit console era which I missed. As expected, it's of a very high quality, particularly the much-lauded graphics, and it's good fun for the most part. It's quite a bit tougher than you might expect for a Disney game though.

Lobo by Ocean (Unreleased)

Due for release when the 32-bit consoles were already dominant in 1996 was this Ocean-developed game which is based on Lobo who is apparently a DC Comics character. I think it's meant to be a Mortal Kombat-style one-on-one fighting game but it isn't very enjoyable to play. Good call on not releasing it I guess!

Lord Monarch by Sega Falcom (1994) - Japan Only

This is another Japan-only strategy war game so it's likely to mystify non-speakers, as it did me, but it certainly looks a lot more appealing than most other examples of the genre thanks to its lovely isometric graphics. If you like the look of it too, seek out the Windows version which I believe is the only translated version.

Lost Vikings, The by Silicon & Synapse (1994)

This was only the second game from the company that would become Blizzard Entertainment, and it was a pretty skillish too! The player has three bumbling vikings under his/her command simultaneously, and must use their differing skills to get through each platformy stage. Excellent stage design. (full review here)

Lost World: Jurassic Park, The by Appaloosa Interactive / Sega (1997)

There have been a lot of Jurassic Park games over the years and most have been pretty average so I didn't have much hope for this one, but it's actually pretty good! It's basically an overhead run 'n' gunner but with dinosaurs and the graphics are really nice. I don't like having to kill all the dinos though. Poor trampers :(

Lotus Turbo Challenge by Gremlin Graphics (1992)

Despite its name, this is actually a conversion of the Amiga's second Lotus game, but it seems to have lost a certain something - the graphics are a bit rougher and it's not quite as enjoyable. It's still a decent enough racer but, as with Lemmings, it feels a bit weird playing it on something other than the Amiga anyway.

Lotus II: R.E.C.S. by Gremlin Graphics (1993)

And since MD Lotus is actually Amiga Lotus 2, this is unsurprisingly a conversion of Lotus 3! The audio/visuals are again a bit weaker here than the crisp loveliness of the Amiga version, but it's pretty good as MD racers go. It comes with a basic 'course creation system' too. Mighty fine.

Lufia & the Fortress of Doom by Neverland / Taito (Unreleased)

Originally released by Taito in 1993 for the SNES, this is first game in the Lufia series of RPG's, and it's mega-skillish. It's therefore an ultra-shame that this MD port was cancelled. Sadly, it doesn't seem to be nearly complete either, so you'll have to get in bed with the enemy to play it. Boo hoo!



  1. Its shocking you've never seen Lawnmower Man. You'll laugh at it's visuals now. However its one of the most original and unique films released.

    1. I have seen Lawnmower Man, as mentioned above ;) I haven't seen it since it came out though, so I imagine it would seem awful now, visually at least.