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The Only Savior of Ash Ketchum!
And he's making him look good!

(9/25/02 11:00 pm)
New Post Sega Smash Pack GBA Impressions!
Well, the wait is over, the 3 game compliation of Sega titles is here.

The game was coded by Codefire, Published by THQ and Sega, featuring 3 classics Ecco the Dolphin, Golden Axe, and Sonic Spinball.

Just to get a few things done:

Graphics: Everything is pixel perfect. There are a few glitches in some of the games. (Ecco runs off screen when going too fast, no backgrounds in Golden Axe, Sonic goes behind sewer covers and can run off screen and not be harmed. but it's still visually acceptable. There's no resizes or bastardizations done, and the HUD layouts converted safely. If you think the status bar at the top of the screen will get in your way, fear not, it is actually translucent so you can see through it. Still dont like it? Take it off screen by pressing select.

Sounds: At least it doesnt sound horrible like in the Dreamcast Smash Pack, all the songs from the originals are all here. However some songs are a bit compressed sounding, and well...sound tinny, but they sound close enough to the Genesis original.

Gameplay: The games are very well converted. The screen is not hindered in any way, and there is nothing bad to get in your way. However, all the glitches from the regular versions are present here (like Sonic can go through the covers in the first level sometimes) but it's nothing major. You can customize the controls to your liking if you wish, which is good in case you dont want to use the defaults. Golden Axe (From what I could see so far) only has a 2 player mode Head 2 Head. I'm not sure if you can play Cooperative with someone. bad...very bad...but Sonic Spinball still has the 2-4 player 'hot-seat' multiplayer. How about that? Huh? Huh?

Lastability: If you havent beaten these games, nows your chance to pick it up. However, veterans to these games will find nothing new, and it's still probably a better choice to just stick with emulation for these games, but if you want to go around and show off how good you are to your friends, this is the game to get. just cant resist the nostalgia.

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- Bartman

As Anti-PS2 as they come
(9/26/02 12:03 am)
New Post Re: Sega Smash Pack GBA Impressions!
Mine --

After enduring ports like EarthWorm Jim, Comix Zone, Mortal Kombat Advance and Rayman Advance, I had a reason to be indifferent when approaching Smash Pack. However, things didn't quite turn out as I expected.

The ports themselves are decent. I didn't see any "Missing backgrounds" Bartman talked about in Golden Axe, and the palletes in the games seem to be light-blasted even worse than Super Mario Advance 2's.

Outside of that, Codefire did a pretty good job porting stuff. Physics seem to be spot-on in games like Spinball, although it still just feels.. "Cheapened" to me. I don't know why, it just does. Little things like certain sprites being on the wrong layer, for instance, or small visual effects missing (like in Ecco)

Sound is another story. I've never played Smash Pack on the Dreamcast, but if you ask me, most of the sound in this is kind of crap -- and perhaps that's where the "cheapened" feeling comes from. It's actually a mixed bag, some things sound really good, others sound really terrible, and some stuff is just plain out-of-place.

Music on one side usually sounds Genesis-y with pings and pangs all over the Golden Axe soundtrack, and the funky Toxic Caves tune sounding pretty close to the Genesis versions. Some music IS fuzzy, though, and it makes me wonder wether Codefire opted to use WAV music or try to render it through the GBA MIDI/Music hardware instead, and in some spots music loops wrong (Sonic Spinball comes to mind)

Sound is another story. Some sounds don't half bad, but others -- like in Sonic Spinball, sound terrible. Strangely, the Sega CD boot screen sound (the one with Sonic next to the Sega Logo) plays when booting up Ecco, which confuses me. The "Splash" sound plays whenever the Toxic Caves song loops back to the start -- wether you restarted the level or not. There are also quite alot of sounds missing in Spinball completely; or were actually changed around.

Also -- it's obvious the emulation isn't perfect. As Bartman mentioned, Sonic sometimes passes behind objects he wasn't supposed to -- and in Spinball's into they forgot to mirror Sonic's animation when he leaps down into the water so he completes a full circle when spinning. If you let Spinball go in the titlescreen abit so the demo mode comes up, Sonic leaps out of the water like he's supposed to -- and stands there. Wait a sec! He jumps TWICE, walks off to the left (off screen) and stops again. Obviously there were a few things they overlooked while porting these.

None the less, Smash Pack's gameplay still retains and the games are still classics -- and at 3 for the price of one, who could go wrong? Who needs an overexpensive battery sucking Sega Nomad when your Sega Classics are right here on the GBA? Sure, they're not perfect, but what port really is these days? =/ In the land of GBA ports, Smash Pack is one of the best set of ports you'll find, this side of Nintendo's Super Mario Advance series.

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Farewell, ezBoard.
(9/26/02 9:25 am)
New Post Re:
Sound is another story. Some sounds don't half bad, but others -- like in Sonic Spinball, sound terrible.

And when did Spinball's sound not sound terrible?

"Dwip dwip dwip baweu!" -Spinball sound effect for the Spin Dash

...So... much writing...
(9/26/02 10:24 am)
New Post Re: Bad SFX.

Wait, sorry, that was Archie.

As Anti-PS2 as they come
(9/27/02 6:51 am)
New Post Re: Bad SFX.
Andy, what I mean is...

Imagine Spinball's sound effects. Now make them crackly, and even lower quality than before. For some of them -- add in a healthy amount of static.

That's what I mean by "bad". :P

Click Here to Visit my Side 7 Art Archive
Sonic Xtreme Information Database

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