To be this good on PS2 takes AGES Vol. 2
Finally dropping another volume of this SEGA goodness on PS2. To be fair I’ve had several more games for a while to do another, life just finds a way to get in the way – or work does at least. I got another game in last week (Sega Ages 2500 Series Vol. 11: Hokuto no Ken) so it shouldn’t be too much of a wait until the next volume. Until then here’s a few more
Sega Ages 2500 Series Vol. 8 – Virtua Racing -FlatOut-
Lets start with a proper arcade classic that also saw numerous releases afterwards to SEGA systems, the Mega Drive release was surprisingly playable for it’s day but also expensive due to the extra processor. Flatout is probably an apt description for this port to the PS2, as the graphics are smoother without losing any of the edge. The most noticeable improvement is in draw distance, what used to only seem to be a few meters ahead now stretches further – though things still noticeably draw in but that’s part of the charm.
Outside of the graphics there’s also some additional content, stuff you won’t really find in any of the previous ports surprisingly. 3 new tracks and 4 new vehicles, which blend well with what was originally there, flesh out the game a little more and also work as a bonus for fans of the release. It’s a shame that now costs a pretty penny, prices have jumped again from when I got it last year. Prices now sit around £50-£120 online to import, but you can still snag the odd one under which is the best option as current pricing is a bit much even for Virtua Racing fans.
Sega Ages 2500 Series Vol. 4 – Space Harrier
To be honest I’ve never really been much of a fan of Space Harrier, to be fair it’s more the viewpoint for these games in general, but I still grabbed this one as I’ll need it to finish the collection at least. For this PS2 remake the game keeps the gameplay intact, you’ll be forever pushing forward blasting enemies, only now the entire show is rendered in 3D. To be fair it does look decent and moves at a zippy pace, but a little of the spectacle is lost in the transition as the 2D version seems more bombastic.
There hasn’t been much added to this, if anything, as it plays out pretty much the same. There’s been some tweaks to the levels, and there’s a Panzer Dragoon style lock-on added to your arsenal, but if you’ve played Space Harrier previously then you’ve pretty much played this one. This release in the SEGA Ages series ain’t so bad to acquire. You may pay a bit much if there’s someone local that has a copy to sell, but importing can be as cheap as £20, with prices usually around £40. Not too bad even as a collection filler.
Sega Ages 2500 Series Vol. 15 – Decathlete Collection
As a nipper we used to play a lot of International Track & Field on the PS1, tapping away at the buttons till your hand cramped up to do a 100m dash the fastest was something of a right of passage back then. That’s why this game, the latest I’ve managed to import in the series, is one that has had me interested for a while. Collection is the key word here and it offers us a triple header of sporting goodness. Decathlete & Winter Heat are brought in from the SEGA Saturn, with Virtua Athlete 2K bringing the track & field goodness from the Dreamcast. All 3 games sport improved graphics, though the Dreamcast release hold up the best in the collection as you’d expect.
Classic athletics games like this are still a treat to play, especially when put against the recent Tokyo Olympics game my nephew picked up on PS4. Sure the graphics were better, but it didn’t feel as compelling to play as the intense button mashing and on the fly tactical play was absent. Luckily I sourced one locally for £25 instead this time, prices can vary from 20-£60 when importing. Worth it for me to get some old School athletic action without having to go all the way back to Track & Field.
Keep an eye out next week for either A New Reality Vol. 5 or More than just Wii Sports Vol. 2
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