• Tag Archives Sega
  • VR Golf ’97 (PlayStation, Saturn)


    Source: GamePro – November 1996

    Yet another golf game. That’s how I think of VR Golf ’97 (known as Actua Golf in parts of the world other than North America). As you could probably guess, I’m not the biggest fan of golf games. I don’t play golf in real life either though I don’t mind the occasional round of miniature golf. To be fair, I’m not a big fan of sports games in general and for a golf game, this isn’t bad.

    VR Golf ’97 was released in late 1996 for both the PlayStation and Sega Saturn. It competed with PGA Tour 97 which was really the benchmark for golf games at the time. On the PlayStation, you were better off with PGA Tour 97 as it had more features and advantages in licensing. However, on the Saturn, the PGA Tour 97 port was not as good as it could have been and was very slow. VR Golf ’97 was also choppier on the Saturn but still a much better experience. Mediocre ports like these no doubt helped kill the Saturn…

    There was a sequel to VR Golf ’97 but it was titled Fox Sports Golf ’99 and released for the PlayStation and Windows. Ratings for it were not so great though and this would be the last game in the series. Far better golf games have come along since but if you want to give this one a try, you’ll have to track down an original. The PlayStation version is a little better in that the graphics are a bit smoother and is also probably cheaper and easier to find.

  • Operation Europe (Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo)

    USA 1994


    Turn-based strategy games are not particularly common on consoles (or really at all anymore). Even in the 16-bit era they were few and far between. KOEI was one company that developed these sorts of games for Nintendo and Sega systems. Operation Europe: Path to Victory 1939-1945, released in 1994, is one such game.

    Operation Europe consists of a variety of historical World War II scenarios in Europe and North Africa. As the player, you take the role of one of a variety of historical and fictitious generals. The game can be played with one player or two. There was also a campaign mode but oddly that mode was only made available in the Japanese version and you could only play as the Germans.

    Those familiar with other KOEI games, in particular Nobunaga’s Ambition, will have a pretty good idea what this game was like. In fact, Operation Europe used the same game engine as Nobunaga’s Ambition. The game received generally favorable reviews but it really comes down to whether or not you like turn-based strategy games or not. It happens to be one of my favorite genres.

    In addition to the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis versions, Operation Europe was also released for DOS based computers. Unfortunately, I’m not aware of any re-releases so you will have to track down an original or resort to emulation to give this one a try. The console versions will be easier to deal with in either case.

    Screenshots above are from the Super Nintendo version of the game.

  • Aladdin (Sega Genesis)

    Spitting camels, from ‘Aladdin’ on the Sega Genesis


    Games based on licensed tv or movie properties are often terrible. Disney games are usually an exception to that rule and Aladdin is a great example. While Aladdin was released for both the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, they were different games developed by different companies. The Sega Genesis version was developed by Virgin in collaboration with Disney animators. The SNES version was developed by Capcom. Both were excellent games.

    Aladdin became one of the best selling games on the Sega Genesis coming in at number three overall. It is a side-scrolling platform game and the levels generally follow the plot of the movie and culminates in a confrontation with Jafar in his palace. The game was released in late 1993 and featured some of the best graphics and animation on a 16-bit system at that time.

    The Sega Genesis version of the game was the source for the Amiga and DOS ports. There were at least some early stages of planning for a sequel that would have featured pre-rendered 3D sprites like Donkey Kong Country which would come later, however Disney decided against it. One of the downfalls of licensed games like this is that re-releases are rare due to licensing issues. If you want to play the Sega Genesis version of Aladdin or any other, then you will have to track down an original copy or risk the wrath of the Disney police and use emulation.