Alphabest: Mega Drive – O

Alphabest: Mega Drive – O

The problem with games that start with the letter O, in particular games for the Mega Drive that start with the letter O, is that there really aren’t very many at all.


Let us start with Onslaught, a not very popular Mega Drive game (although I believe it sold better on the Amiga). It’s a cartoony platform hacky-slashy sort of game, and although it looks lovely it’s terribly repetitive and the animation is awful. I won’t be including this, although given the shortage of Os, there may be no choice…

The Ooze is an interesting game, and fairly unique. You control a sentient puddle of slime, getting larger when you collect more bits of ooze, and smaller when attacked. Unfortunately, being an amorphous blob means it’s pretty hard to reliably control, and the game premise itself doesn’t actually make for a fun title. It was released late in the life of the Mega Drive and was pretty much ignored.

A game called The Ottifants, based on a German cartoon or comic or something is the very definition of “generic platform game”. It feels exactly like several hundred other games, only with different (or not) sprites, and there’s literally no reason to recommend this for anything other than the bin.

Finally, a pair of games with the same parent: OutRunners, and OutRun 2019. Now, if you know me you’d know I’m a big fan of Out Run. OutRunners, however, changes the game into a two player racing title rather than a simple time checkpoint driving game. The graphics take a massive hit over the original, but worse is how the draw distance for other traffic is virtually point blank. As for OutRun 2019, which was never intended to be an Out Run game at all and it shows, meh.

Which leaves:

Out RunOut Run itself, which is a pretty good conversion of the arcade game but does suffer, like most Super Scaler arcade titles, from not having sprite scaling. That said, it has all the routes, music and fun of the coin-op, and it was a long time before a better conversion was available at home. Magical Sound Shower fo’ lyfe, yo.

Olympic GoldOlympic Gold (FX: SPORTS GAME KLAXON) is a compilation of Olympic events in the time-honoured tradition of Daley Thompson’s Decathlon. It includes a few events that often don’t make it into these sorts of games, like archery and diving, and most of the gameplay involves hammering the buttons, or skinning your knuckles if you use the Pro Technique. I borrowed it from a rental shop as a kid and surprised myself at how much I enjoyed it. So much so, that not only did I rent it again, I ended up buying it. Unfortunately, the pole vault was virtually impossible. The 1996 Atlanta sequel was pants, incidentally.

And the Alphabest?

Both Out Run and Olympic Gold are good games, but neither are outstanding in any real way apart from they’re the best the letter O has to offer. I’d be happy playing either one, but for the music and the memories, the winner has to be Out Run. I could listen to Magical Sound Shower all day. Every day.

Can you guess what’s next? Spoiler: P.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.