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Written by  :  Titan10 (763)
Written on  :  Nov 20, 2010
Rating  :  4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars

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One of the best compilation values on the Genesis

The Good

You may not realize it, but there are many compilations of Genesis games available on the system itself. The European-only Mega Games series make up most of these however, and if you live elsewhere there's a lot less to choose from. However, the 6-PAK is an option, and it provides a great value for the Genesis/Mega Drive.

There are six games included: the original Sonic the Hedgehog, early Genesis titles Revenge of Shinobi and Super Hang-On, beat-'em-ups Golden Axe and Streets of Rage, and Tetris clone Columns. I will start by going over each game:

  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • : I won't need to say much about this one - the first game in Sega's flagship series, Sonic the Hedgehog offers solid platforming gameplay. With fast-paced gameplay and great audio and visuals, this is one of the system's must haves, and as one of Sega's most popular Genesis titles, this was worth including.

  • Revenge of Shinobi: An early title for the system, Revenge of Shinobi features great graphics, sound, and gameplay for its time. It enhances the basic action platforming gameplay of its two arcade inspirations, Shinobi and Shadow Dancer - there is now a limit on shurikens and you can choose what ninjitsu magic to use (each ninjitsu spell also has a different effect rather than just damaging surrounding enemies). You also must collect items such as extra shurikens, lives, and ninjitsu. The graphics are stellar for the time and the soundtrack, by the famous Yuzo Koshiro, is excellent and fits the game perfectly. Without a doubt, this was also worth its inclusion.

  • Super Hang-On: This port of the arcade game seems like it could be a good motorcycle racing title, but falls short. The graphics and sound game is a bit choppy, but not to the point of completely breaking the game ala Super Thunder Blade. The gameplay is a problem, however: you have to beat your best time when racing, and if you get a lower time, it's game over, which can be frustrating and turns me away from the game. Despite this, Super Hang-On could still be enjoyable to hardcore racing game fans, but a better game could easily have been chosen.

  • Golden Axe: This port of the popular arcade title is another one of Sega's most popular games. It offers standard beat-'em-up gameplay in the vein of Double Dragon with a medieval theme and three selectable characters. Instead of a special move, there is magic, which does sufficient damage to surrounding enemies. This is a solid port of the original with audio and visuals that stay true and the same gameplay. Two added bonuses are a practice mode where you go through early levels at very easy difficulty and "The Duel" mode, where you face enemies in a small playing field for as long as you can. You may also face a friend in the two-player mode. Two player is also left intact in the main mode of gameplay, and is as good as ever. This is a good inclusion as well.

  • Streets of Rage: Sega's other beat-'em-up game is even better than Golden Axe, and was an original title rather than an arcade port. Famous for Yuzo Koshiro's amazing soundtrack, this game could be good for its sound alone. The gameplay is traditional beat-'em-up gameplay (this time with an urban theme), only there are once again three characters to choose from and, like the magic in Golden Axe, you can summon a police car to attack enemies. Like Golden Axe, this works well and will entertain you for a while, and you thankfully get the standard two player mode as well. Streets of Rage was definitely worth including.

  • Columns: If you can get past the obvious inspiration from Tetris, Columns is a solid puzzle game. Its glaring difference from Tetris is that you must match up the colors of the blocks (now jewels) rather than making a horizontal row of them. This provides a challenging and somewhat addictive puzzle game although not measuring up to its classic inspiration. Graphics and sound are good, but when did graphics matter in a puzzle game? Sega could have picked better from any genre, but as far as puzzle games go, Columns was probably the best choice.

The Bad

Seems like a great lineup of games, does it? It is, and there aren't very many flaws. As I stated earlier, there could be a much better game than Super Hang-On. There probably wasn't much cartridge space left for many other games, but you could still probably do better. Also, there isn't a way to go back to the menu screen other than resetting the console, but I'm not sure if that's even possible on a 16-bit system.

The Bottom Line

6-PAK is definitely a great compilation of classic Sega Genesis games, and quite possibly the best on the system itself. If you're aching to play a new Genesis game and don' t own one or more of the titles included here, this is an excellent value that will provide you with solid entertainment.