Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Sega SG-1000 Round-Up #2

Summer time is unfortunately busy time for me here in RKS Land which includes working most Saturdays. Why waste time actually working at work though, when I could be playing some more SG-1000 games? To that end, inspection of another random selection of five titles yielded the following:

Pacar (1983)

It was actually Sean, custodian of the splendid Famicomblog, who made me aware of this little-known game which is to date the only SG-1000 game he owns! Owning only one game for a system isn't too bad if it's a good one though, so is this? It's certainly a simple game which is a combination of Pac-Man and Rally-X. Accordingly, it has you racing around mazes collecting dots while avoiding the evil enemy cars. The car moves a little differently to Pac-Man though - it will keep moving in the direction indicated until it hits something for one thing and it can't turn on the spot either. You can move it backwards but it moves much slower which means that stages require a decent degree of planning. The best way to describe the graphics is 'functional' and the sound is practically non-existent but, like most Pac-Man-inspired games, Pacar is quite enjoyable in short bursts and rather addictive too! ... 6/10

Choplifter (1985)

To date, I've only played this classic on my trusty Master System but unlike that, this SG version is actually a port of the original Apple II game rather than the arcade version which came later. Having never played the original game (or indeed any game on said system), I can't tell you how faithful this is (although, judging by some of the screenshots I saw, it's a close copy), but I can tell you it's just as difficult! The object in both versions is to fly a helicopter back and forth rescuing hostages while enemy tanks and jets try to stop you and it's a very tough mission anyway but this SG release suffers from some rather ropey collision-detection as well which makes it... not harder, necessarily, but much less reliant on skill as you're often unsure whether doing something will result in death or not! The music is really nice though and, like Pacar, it's reasonably enjoyable for a few minutes here and there... 5/10

Yamato (1983)

This early release, which is apparently a conversion of a rather obscure arcade game, places you in command of the Japanese WWII battleship of the same name, or rather places you in command of two of its guns. From behind this mighty weapon you're presented with a faux-3D view of lots of enemy ships, subs, and planes (American ones, presumably) of which you must take out a set number before you can progress to the next stage. You have two different types of shot with which to do this - a machine gun for the planes and torpedoes/missiles for the subs and boats. Both guns have a separate cross-hair and seemingly also come with unlimited ammo. All the while there's a steady stream of enemy projectiles headed your way which can be snuffed out with the machine gun. It's a simple game that varies little but it's decent fun and the sky changes colour to denote different times of day too. Which is nice... 7/10

Drol (1985)

Another conversion of an Apple II game, this time a rather less well-known one which features something that's always cool - a cylindrical robot! The game plays similarly to SonSon (although it actually pre-dates Capcom's game) and sees you steering the walking/hovering automaton left and right through the four-story stages to rescue little girls and cute animals from the marauding monsters that dramatically outnumber them. There's only three stages (which repeat, getting more and more difficult), but the sprites are appealing and the music is great which makes playing Drol fairly enjoyable but for one problem - the rather sluggish control of the unnamed robot. Still, if you can get used to him performing your commands somewhat unreliably, Drol is a challenging and addictive platformer... 6/10

Orguss (1984)

And to finish off this particular Round-Up... a shmup! Orguss is one of a horizontal-scrolling nature and immediately reminded me of Transbot on the MS so it's no surprise to find that it's actually considered its prequel. Both place you in control of a craft which can switch between a bulky-but-tough robot and a small-but-fast spaceship. Unlike Transbot, however (or the European version at least), Orguss is based on an anime which means it has plenty to try and pack in. Having not seen this anime, I can't tell you if it's accurate or not, but it is quite a nice-looking game with some varied backgrounds and nice colours used. It's not overly tough but there is a pretty strict time-limit which can prove a little distracting. Overall though, it's probably about as good as horizontal-scrollers get on the SG so it's well worth a try! ... 7/10

Red Parsley will be back with some more SG-1000 mini-reviews soon! :)


  1. Ah! I used to looooooove playing Drol on our Apple IIe as a tot. I remember completely sucking at it, of course, but I loved it all the same. Thanks for reminding me of it :)

    I also had a blast with Choplifter back in the day, but who didn't, right?

    Never played any of the other games mentioned here, though. May have to correct that soon :)

  2. Hi Bryan :) To be honest, I'd never heard of Drol until I loaded it for this feature! It's not bad though, I can imagine it would be a lot of fun with slightly refined controls. Choplifter is a classic for sure but I've always found it a bit too hard. Still, I spent a decent amount of time trying to play it on my MS so it must have something!

  3. Dont seem to be many "must haves" on SG1000 :/ I'll be lookin out for that "9" review........ :p

  4. Well, it wasn't exactly successful - maybe we've found a reason :P

  5. Hey thanks for the mention!!

    I concur with your assessment of Pacar, `functional` perfectly describes the graphics!

    I love the looks of those other ones, I will have to keep an eye out for them (especially Yamato looks intriguing). At the moment I am still stuck with Pacar as the only game for this system that I have. At least it is better than Baseball, which is the only game I have for my Mark III!

  6. Hi Sean, it's been a while! Hope things are a little calmer your end now :) The other games here are all worth picking up if you find them for a good price, although I suppose the chance of that is much smaller now that your favourite shop is no more :( Yamato was probably the one I spent the most time on here, it's good fun. I can see why only having a baseball game would be annoying - I know you like baseball too so it can't be a good one :P