Woody Pop

After all is said and done, my biggest problem with Woody Pop is how very unlike Sega it feels. Sega games have immediate energy and evoke excitement in ways that makes their games unique to this day, whether that's through high octane gameplay or even just an announcer that's really happy to be there. Woody Pop is just tepid though, even for its time, with action that remains the same the whole way through, an almost complete absence of music in a game that could have really used it, and visuals that lack any lasting charm and fail to make the game's setting feel alive.


Challenger is yet another game to add to the pile of "misunderstood NES games that are actually good but people think are bad because they played them years past their ideal historical contexts" alongside games like Hydlide, Deadly Towers, The Legend of Kage, and Xevious. People playing it for the first time nowadays could easily walk away unimpressed thinking it's just a worse Zelda with some other stuff, but when looked at in the context of 1985, it comes off as something really ahead of the curve. With multiple genres of play, a large world that takes exploration and practice to master, and a flexible difficulty curve for all kinds of players, it's a game that impressed me in short order.

Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny

Disgaea 6 is a game stuck at a crossroads, conflicted between two different experiences it wants to convey. Its story is one of the strongest in the franchise, offering entertaining characters with a heartfelt message about overcoming hardship that resonates strongly and is concisely told. On the other hand, it also wants to be as approachable as possible, providing a method to allow anyone to breeze through the game and witness the story even if it means betraying the themes of said story and offering shallower gameplay to the dedicated fans who have been there since the beginning...

Twinkle Tale

In Twinkle Tale, the run and gun action is exciting and impeccable, the visuals are best in class, and the soundtrack is right up my alley. Usually, the rarest and most expensive games for a system tend to be overrated or just plain bad, but this one almost (almost!) feels like it's worth the hefty price of admission. I'm honestly having a hard time thinking of any significant flaws! If you want something that contains all of the Mega Drive's best qualities in one lovely package, this is the game for you.


Exploring the library of a forgotten platform is always a fascinating, educational experience, but it's even better when the games hold up and Alpiner absolutely holds up. If you've ever enjoyed 80s arcade games and consoles like the Atari 2600 and the Colecovision, you'll most likely get a kick out of this game. There's not much to it, but what's there is well crafted and not something you really ever see nowadays - Crazy Climber isn't exactly an active franchise, that's for sure!