Alphabest: Mega Drive – U

Alphabest: Mega Drive – U

Can you remember a single Mega Drive game beginning with the letter U? Of course you can’t. Probably. There certainly aren’t very many, so let’s make it quick, right? S and T nearly killed me.


I will start with Unnecessary Roughness ’95, which yes, is actually a real game. Rather, it would be a real game but American Football isn’t really a real game, so it isn’t. Also: American Football means it goes in the bin. Bye!

Joining it in Sportsbin, is Ultimate Soccer. Without wishing to repeat myself for the nth time, football is fully at the meh end of the excitementometer for me and it’s rare such a game gets more than a passing play. That said, when I first saw Ultimate Soccer on Gamesmaster, two things interested me – the unusual camera angle, and the fact that with the aid of two multitaps a staggering eight players could take part at once. Then I played it and it was crap the end.

Like all Ultraman games, Ultraman for the Mega Drive is awful. This version is a one-on-one fighting game with the worst baddies ever in it. Only Rise of the Robots can possibly defeat it for Most Crap Fighting Game.

Universal Soldier is notable because I copied the passwords out of an issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly and sent them into Megatech as my own, which they then published. I’m a thief and a fraud, but neither are sins as bad as the game itself.

Ultimate Qix is a fancy version of Qix, which is always fun but hardly top tier gaming excellence. There’s nothing wrong with it, and the Mega Drive version is especially nice, but best game beginning with U? No – that accolade goes to one of these:

Urban StrikeUrban Strike doesn’t star the guy from the new Star Trek films, but it is the third game in the series that started with Desert Strike and then Jungle Strike. As you may have guessed, the main locales here are, er, urban areas. Unlike previous games in the series you can get out your chopper[ref]That is, alight from your helicopter, you naughty boy.[/ref] and run around buildings. It isn’t as good as the earlier games in the series though, which is a shame.

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 is, honestly, a better game than Street Fighter II. On the Mega Drive, at least. There are so many characters, and somehow the fighting, like a good dog food, feels meatier and more satisfying. Super Street Fighter II may have accidentally invented combos, but UMK3 fully realised them and is more technical and cerebral as a result. And being able to gut your opponent like a fish? An excellent bonus.

And the Alphabest?

There’s no real competition here – it has to be Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. The original Mortal Kombat was really pretty crap, but with MKII and then MK3 things really improved, with Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 being the pinnacle of the series. Even now, when we’re some 10 or 12 iterations into the series and digitised sprites have given way to fully flexible 3D models, it remains the best.

Urban Strike isn’t a bad second place, but it’s a disappointment after Desert and Jungle.

Next time, the letter they like to call V.


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