At long last, I’m working Sega CD games into this mix. I have at least 1/2 dozen Sega CD games in my pile that aren’t yet in the MobyGames database and a whole bunch more that are missing screenshots. I guess I have been a little hesitant to go to work on this matter since I know it can be a bit tedious to set up the Gens emulator for Sega CD emulation at first. You need to install ASPI drivers for CD reading, which I did, but still no luck. However, I went the other route which is to rip an ISO + series of MP3 files for the game to play from the HD. That worked splendidly and I can now cover my collection of Sega CD titles for this experiment.
And what a collection! Let’s kick it off with Revengers Of Vengeance. I’ll give you a few moments to re-read that title a few times. Revengers Of Vengeance. I found this in an eBay store while purchasing some other games. I had absolutely no idea what to expect as the CD-ROM surface (all I had to go on) doesn’t really give any clues. It bears an MA-13 rating from a system called V.R.C. which predates today’s omnipresent ESRB.
I think the game may bear the alternate title of Battle Fantasy; at least, that’s the title that Gens shows in the window title bar. The game is definitely fantasy in nature and kicks off with an awesome scene of griffons in the shadow of a castle:
From there, the game goes on to explain, rather generically and matter-of-factly, that the Devil King — who goes by the name of Venum — has gained the infinite power of evil. Despite that, it’s implied that you somehow have what it takes to bring this villain down. By what manner of gameplay will you achieve this feat? Well, that’s where things get tricky.
From what I can tell, this game represents a genre mashup of a 1-on-1 brawler game and a role playing game. So in addition to being the first Sega CD game in Gaming Pathology, it’s also the first RPG (or RPG-like game). Not that I have any aversion towards RPGs (although one brief evening of gameplay wouldn’t be enough time to do justice to the nominal RPG). But I suspect that the RPG genre as a whole tends to be quite popular with the type of hardcore gaming nerds that contribute heavily to MobyGames. Thus, the genre already has good coverage in the database.
But I digress. Aside from the options screen, there are 3 places to go from the main screen. The first is The Tournament. This allows you to select from among 10 unique fighters to battle it out with other characters against colorful, fantasy-themed backgrounds. It’s pretty tough, too, even on the easiest level:
Another route is the Arena Of Death which has the most curious logo of 2 Sega Genesis consoles fighting with each other. I’m still trying to figure out exactly what this mode is for. All I could do with it was create fighter characters with custom stats and the pit them against each other in an automated battle.
“The Quest To Destroy Venum” is where the RPG element comes into play. You begin in an RPG-style town:
You have a supply of gold and you can purchase dresses and perfume in shops, or coffee or cola at the village Starbucks franchise (serious about the coffee purchase, though at a nameless pub). When you leave town, you are shown this map of locations to warp to:
I head to the waterfall since that sounds like a pretty background. I get my mythological rear handed to me in the first battle. Even afterwards, I am awarded an amount of gold and experience points and sent back to the original town. Ostensibly, I need to spend some time leveling up and perhaps equipping myself before I can possibly hope to have a chance in this game. I also spy a fitness club in town.
During the Quest mode, each of the 10 characters appears to be following its own storyline with corresponding cutscenes. It occurs to me that a lot of beat-em-ups try to have storylines for each fighter, but that storyline is only fleshed out in the character’s brief ending sequence. This game has a full storyline from the get-go and tries to carry the concept even further. (Come to think of it, Criticom also had a storyline cutscene inaugurate each character’s quest, but… look, I’m sorry I even brought up that game again.) Some character backstories are more involved than others. One, though, for an absolutely enormous were-rhinoceros creature is quite simple: he simply wants someone — anyone — stronger to challenge in a fight. Maybe the infinite evil dude will fit the bill.
I have located cover art scans on other websites that evidence that this game must have been released in the U.S. Given that, it’s curious that the name entry box has a bunch of Japanese characters to choose from when writing one’s own name. I don’t know what any of them mean but I feel obligated to use a few since they’re on offer:
I see from this review at Sega-16 that a) I really suck at the fighting sequences, and b) I’m missing one genre– a vertical shooting type of game. I’ll need to devote some more time to this title some night.