Sega Arcade Classics

a game by Sega

Platforms: Sega GenesisGenesisGameGear

Genre: Platformer

See also: Sega's Games

What was novel back in the 1970s is mundane in 1996. This collection of ancient video games has nostalgia value, but you probably won't be playing these any more often than you'd listen to an old Partridge Family album.

ProTip: In Super Pong, hit the puck from your outside paddle to your inside paddle to make it build up speed as it approaches your opponent.

The Good Ol'Days?

Arcade Classics unites three historic games: Pong, Centipede, and Missile Command. Each is presented both in its original form and in a new Sega version. But the upgrades aren't much: just some added sound effects or backgrounds. You can make Pong sound like tennis. Big whoop.

You'll be struck by how little there is to do. Each game is a one-button affair, except Pong, which uses no buttons (just Up and Down on the directional pad). The gameplay is mildly fun, especially for two players, but these games won't raise your pulse. You can, however, adjust the challenge to make the games insanely impossible (good luck scoring anything in Ultra Pong).

Games of Yesteryear

The graphics and sounds are true to the originals, which means they're primitive. The Sega versions actually detract from the gameplay in some instances: The distracting backgrounds of Centipede make it harder to see where you're shooting.

These days, any new 16-bit game is welcome. But though it's a humorous reminder of the industry's origins, Arcade Classics is no more than a 4-meg curiosity in high-revving 1996.

For real fun with historic games, pick up a 6-Pak -- Sega's new six-in-one Genesis game, that is. You get six complete games from the early 1990s: Sonic the Hedgehog, Revenge of Shinobi, Super Hang-On, Streets of Rage, Golden Axe, and Columns. While the sounds and graphics are primitive compared with the effects in Vectorman, these games are still fun. There's life in the old Genesis yet!

In Pong, keep your paddle still while the puck is behind your goal, or you might accidentally knock the puck in.

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