After 15 episodes, we have come to the 16th and final episode of The Retrogaming Chart Show – And we’re going out with a console I rarely cover on this channel.
Yes, you heard me right, this is the final Retrogaming Chart Show of the foreseeable future. So how we put this feature to bed? Well, I thought I’d finally get around to covering a console that you rarely see here at Pug Hoof Gaming – SEGA’s Game Gear handheld. Full disclosure, I’ve never owned one, but I did spend many moments playing friend’s Game Gears – And considering how many Game Gear games were almost identical ports of Master System games, I’m more familiar with the system’s library than I realise.
So, looking at the December 1994 issue of Computer & Video Games, incredibly late in the system’s life, here at the Top 5 UK Game Gear charts.
5 – Star Wars
In at number 5 is the Game Gear port of the NES’s surprisingly decent rendition of Star Wars. This is a tough game, but I always had a soft spot for this one, growing up in that period in-between Return of The Jedi and the Special Edition re-releases of the original trilogy. You can play as multiple characters, even Princess Leia, visit pretty much visit all of the locales in the movie – Including the Mos Eisley Cantina and the Trash Compactor. For an 8-bit movie license, it’s a surprisingly authentic experience.
4 – Aladdin
The Mega Drive version of Disney’s Aladdin is considered one of the classic platformers of the 16-bit generation, namely due to its incredibly animated visuals that were created in tandem with Disney themselves. This Game Gear port is at number 4, looks pretty good, and isn’t a total port of the Mega Drive version, either. It might not play as well as it’s 16-bit brother, but it’s a decent platformer for the system.
3 – NBA Jam
There were so many ports of the arcade’s NBA Jam and it’s sequel – I recently did a video on some of the secret characters and fatalities hidden in NBA Jam T.E., but I never knew there was a Game Gear version. And you know what, it’s actually pretty impressive to see it running. It looks incredible for the hardware, and although there was no chance that SEGA’s humble handheld could convey the fluidity of Jam’s gameplay, it manages to be a fun basketball game.
2 – Sonic Spinball
It’s beginning to dawn on me that this chart has not featured a single unique Game Gear game – It’s all been ports of games from other systems and I can assure you that this trend isn’t going away as we move onto the number 2 game, Sonic Spinball. It’s a considerably easier version of the game that it was on the Mega Drive, but I’m not entirely convinced that Sonic Spinball holds up is any of it’s forms. But hey, pinball games are always good for a quick blast of fun, especially on a handheld.
1 – Mortal Kombat II
Another port comes in at number 1 with a vastly cut down version of the infamous Mortal Kombat II. Arguably a better port than the Game Boy version, it’s just about playable if a little jerky – But at a time when Mortal Kombat II was THE game to play, it was pretty cool to have a half-decent handheld version that even included the essential blood without a cheat code.