The best Sega has to offer on the iPhone

Aug 18, 2010
Games

Not to make any of you Genesis (or Dreamcast) fans feel old, but it’s been nearly 10 years since Sega was in the business of selling console systems. But the company has remained a force in the business as a software developer, making games for the Nintendo’s and Microsoft’s of the world instead of offering […]

Not to make any of you Genesis (or Dreamcast) fans feel old, but it’s been nearly 10 years since Sega was in the business of selling console systems. But the company has remained a force in the business as a software developer, making games for the Nintendo’s and Microsoft’s of the world instead of offering an alternative to them. And Sega’s made a name for itself on the iPhone as well, as evident by the following games. From nostalgic hits to the post-Genesis beauties, the company has become a force in the app store, and here are some its best games.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 1

For a game that has that many firsts attached to it, Sonic 4 sure feels like it belongs right along with any other game from this classic series.

That’s because despite the occasional new feature, all the important elements of a Sonic game are included. The gameplay is still frenetic, there are three acts in each zone, and your main moves remain the spin dash attack and the homing attack.

Those who played the app versions of Sonic 1 or Sonic 2 will notice a number of improvements. No longer tied to true-to-the-original graphics, this version of the series looks much better. While the full screen modes in the first two games left plenty to be desired, Sonic 4 is made to fit an iPhone’s screen, and offers more-detailed and smoother graphics.

Super Monkey Ball 1 and 2

While Sonic was the game that helped make Sega relevant, Super Monkey Ball is the one that is perfect for the iPhone. The device’s accelerometer is perfect for guiding clear balls with monkeys around challenging courses in search of bananas, and while reviews were mixed for the series’ first game, the controls were greatly improved for the second. Super Monkey Ball 2 also saw the addition of mini-games, including Monkey Bowling, Monkey Golf and Monkey Target, as well as a multiplayer mode that works with a Wi-Fi connection. The first game has been reduced to $2.99, while the second costs $5.99. iPad users will also be pleased to know there’s an exclusive iPad version of the game called Super Monkey Ball 2: Sakura Edition.

Shining Force

There might have been more popular Sega games, but none have received as much positive feedback as Shining Force ($2.99). This turn-based RPG is noteworthy for its battle system, which requires you to strategically move around areas and position your team in order to defeat enemies. Without getting too deep into that element of the game, it’s a much lengthier and, in many ways, more-challenging system than Final Fantasy. The graphics are pretty archaic, and the storyline is your standard stuff for an RPG, but neither detracts from the app. There is a good deal of content, as well, with nearly 30 characters to choose from in assembling your squad and more than 40 monsters to battle. Whether or not you remember the original, the iPhone game has something to offer any fan of the RPG genre.

Ecco the Dolphin

Yet another Genesis hit that has come to the iPhone, Ecco the Dolphin ($0.99) has an undeniable nostalgic charm about it. Unlike the Sonic ports, the game includes all three action buttons – as well as a virtual d-pad – on screen. Ecco’s graphics were quite impressive when it was first released, and even now I would say they’re good enough for a mobile game. But they’re not great and neither is the sound, so while gamers who played the original might be happy with the presentation, the newer generation probably will not. More importantly, the controls are difficult to become familiar with, and more than a few have complained about the d-pad not being large enough. This is an exact port of the original (25 levels are included), and while that’s cool in a way, there are some issues here. I don’t think fans of the Genesis game will be bothered by them, though, and there’s certainly a market for this classic.

Football Manager Handheld 2010

There are plenty of soccer gaming options on the iPhone, but few that focus on the team management side of the game. Football Manager Handheld 2010 ($9.99) is such a game, and while it’s a stripped-down version of the PC title, the most entertaining elements of it are included. FM Handheld allows you to take charge of 11 countries and 34 league squads, and includes more than 20,000 players for those of you who can’t wait to dive into the transfer market. Things like junior teams and animated gameplay (players are simply represented as dots in this version) are cut out, though you’re still given plenty of tactical and training options. The price is a little steep, so unless you’re a diehard fan of the PC game, I would recommend giving the lite version a test run first; still, unless you’re confused about what the game is and are hoping for yet another FIFA ripoff, you’ll probably become immediately addicted to this one.

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