Sega Ages for Nintendo Switch: The Rundown

A comprehensive look at the SEGA AGES series for Nintendo Switch: the games, the features, the pointless minutiae.

How many SEGA AGES releases do you own, dear reader? My immediate presumption would be that anyone reading a site such as this one would have happened upon at least one of them, due at least in part to the label's decades-strong output of classic SEGA reissues and, for the last decade or so in particular, its hand-in-hand association with M2, a company of Japanese enthusiasts that cares way too much (in other words, the appropriate amount) about properly preserving, replicating and renovating the classic, cult and potentially-cult games in the vaults of Japan's most storied game publishers. 

Perhaps I'm wrong, though. Maybe you've paid no attention and lost track of what makes Sega Re-Release #456 different to Sega Re-Release #457, or you're not so familiar with the Sega oeuvre that you can tell which reissues are exciting or which aren't, or you're simply so out of the loop that every game of a certain vintage looks completely interchangeable. Maybe you're just young, but I have my doubts.

Whatever the case, I've recently been fielding far more questions about the SEGA AGES Switch line than I thought I'd have to at this point: most of them have been out for quite a while and I thought everybody had received the rundown long ago, but there are clearly a lot of people out there who have yet to catch up on this series, and now that they're being discounted again on the eShop, I figure I should offer people a comprehensive, once-and-for-all breakdown of the entire series, from the commonly-asked questions to the broader feature sets and the individual games themselves.

If there's anything you think I missed, or any questions you might have, leave them in the comments below... unless your question is "where's Zunzunkyou no Yabou" because believe me, I've asked and they ain't talkin'.


What features do these games have?

Standard features include button configs, sound tests, a handful of selectable wallpapers, save states, at least one form of online leaderboard and an in-app game manual, as well as a choice of various region-specific ROM variants where applicable. There are also several display options that, at a minimum, include a scanline and/or CRT filter setting and screen sizes including the typical dot-by-dot, full-screen and "normal" options, as well as the stretch-to-fill widescreen option that nobody in their right mind should ever use; later games may or may not include "virtual cabinet" settings that attempt to recreate the atmosphere of an arcade, complete with ambient noise.

Are there any games in this series that aren't rehashed Genesis games?

Most of them, actually: there are only four Genesis games in this lineup, and two of them had never been reissued before this series.

Why should I pay $[x] a pop for these games when the Genesis Classics collection only costs $[number that implies greater value] for 50+ games?

Again, they're overwhelmingly not the same games, but beyond that, there's also a huge gulf in emulation quality between the two products — one needn't be a fastidious grump like me to immediately notice the obvious latency and sound issues with Genesis Classics' versions of games like Sonic and Gunstar Heroes, for example. Ya get what ya pay for.

Why didn't they use the superior Christian Whitehead remasters of Sonic 1 & 2?

Put simply, SEGA AGES is an initiative produced by Sega of Japan in collaboration with Japanese developers, with a conscious focus on emulation as opposed to porting or recreating games via other methods, so either commissioning or directly porting those versions themselves was beyond their purview — if those versions were to ever re-emerge, it'd be up to Sega's international branches to make them happen, and the fact that they haven't yet done so implies that it may not be as simple a proposition as one might presume it to be.

What happened to those Dreamcast games they promised?

That didn't actually happen, sorry.

What is coming next, then?

Nothing, at least not on Switch. The series is officially done, but that doesn't mean no more M2-developed Sega reissues under a different moniker, for Switch or elsewhere.

When will these SEGA AGES reissues come to PlayStation/Xbox/PC/Nuon?

Beats me. Never, possibly.


Sonic the Hedgehog

  • Original release: 1991, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
  • Also available on everything, everywhere, anytime, including a Sega 3D Classics version on 3DS and an enhanced remaster for iOS

What's this? Y'all know what it be.

SEGA AGES features: Primarily, the inclusion of the rare Mega Play arcade conversion, which features a truncated stage selection, stricter act-specific time limits and a hard three-life limit, as well as online leaderboards via the Challenge Mode. Additionally, this version inherits the "Ring Keeper" assist mode from the Sega 3D Classics version of Sonic 2, and on top of the now-ubiquitous Spin Dash, players can now optionally use the Drop Dash move that was introduced by Sonic Mania.

Useless fact: M2's home-spun implementation of the Spin Dash has some minor quirks, like being able to take damage from contact with enemies while revving the dash.

Thunder Force IV / "Lightening Force: Quest for the Darkstar"

  • Original release: 1992, Mega Drive/Genesis
  • Currently exclusive to SEGA AGES for Nintendo Switch

What's this? Technosoft's Mega Drive/Genesis apotheosis: a tough, lengthy and flashy horizontally-scrolling shooter packed with gorgeous stages and huge bosses, a little cinematic flair and a ton of aggressive metal-style FM music. Those who appreciate the relatively relaxed difficulty of Thunder Force III and V might find IV a little tough to swallow, but those who want and expect more of a challenge will be amply satisfied. (No, I don't know why the US version was called "Lightening Force", or why they spelled it "Lightening".)

SEGA AGES features: In addition to features adapted from the Japan-only Sega Saturn conversion — namely, the addition of a slightly-tweaked version of the Thunder Force III ship and an easier "Kids Mode" — this version features an option to reduce some of the hardware-enforced slowdown and an option to allow voice samples to sound without interrupting the BGM, as well as some slight score-related tweaks and the removal of the 99-lives cheat.

Helpful tip: The international ROM version does feature some slight modifications that make the game easier, mostly pertaining to enemy durability and certain boss patterns, so if you're having trouble, stacking Kids Mode on top of the international ROM should give you a fighting chance.

Phantasy Star

  • Original release: 1987, Master System
  • Currently exclusive to SEGA AGES for Nintendo Switch

What's this? The first entry in Sega's beloved four-and-change series of sci-fi-infused RPGs, which drew wide acclaim for its detailed graphics, impressive first-person scrolling dungeons and a unique sci-fi-straddles-fantasy setting that subsequent games would abandon in favor of a more generalized, anime-influenced aesthetic; this particular reissue addresses many of the game's more unfriendly elements, some of which are endemic to RPGs of this era and some of which were peculiar to this game, and can stand tall as the definitive version of a Master System classic.

SEGA AGES features: Newly-added features include an auto-map for the game's many labyrinthine dungeons, displayed on the screen border alongside other useful info like party HP/MP, as well as compendiums of the game's items, gear, spells and monsters that outline useful info that isn't shared in-game. Adapted from other reissues is the "AGES Mode", which increases experience/money gain while decreasing random encounters, as well as an optional walk speed toggle and the ability to mix-and-match the Japanese version's optional FM music with the English ROM. (There's also an option to display hiragana text in the Japanese version, should that interest you.)

Useless fact: The enemy graphics data for the monster guide was sourced directly from the ROM but, due to the fact that programmer Yuji Naka adopted individual compression routines for every one of the game's graphics, M2 wasn't able to locate the original data for a single enemy, the Mad Doctor, and thus had to resort to recreating the sprite for the gallery by hand.

Out Run

  • Original release: 1986, arcades
  • Also available via Sega 3D Classics (3DS eShop), Game Gear Micro (Game Gear version), various Yakuza games

What's this? Yu Suzuki's ultra-cool arcade driving game: timeless yet incredibly of-its-time, Out Run is a staple of Sega's legacy and a welcome reissue in whichever form it might take, Ferrari license be damned.

SEGA AGES features: In addition to several of the features added for the Sega 3D Classics version — most notably, a 60FPS + widescreen mode, a small suite of car modifier upgrades and two brand-new FM tunes written to original arcade spec — this version also includes optional gyro steering controls and yet more music, include arcade-spec renditions of the Mega Drive-original tune "Step On Beat" and the Out Run 2-original tune "Radiation", a remix of Out Run 3-D's "Midnight Highway" and a medley suitably titled "Drivers' Megamix Vol.1". (This version defaults to the 60FPS+widescreen mode but an original arcade mode can be unlocked by clearing any route; due to the way the original game calculates time, there's a slight inconsistency with the in-game timer between versions, so if you want to practice for or compare scores with the authentic arcade version, you'll want to play the 30FPS mode.)

Useless fact: Some of the new tunes for this game are depicted as coming from a cassette rather than a radio — this isn't just a random visual flourish bur an indicator for which of the tunes are being played back via streamed audio, as opposed to emulated FM sound. 

Gain Ground

  • Original release: 1988, arcade
  • Also available on Astro City Mini

What's this? A unique vertically-oriented tactical action game that combines run-and-gun action with a wide variety of recruitable player-characters and a dash of Gauntlet-esque stage design; while the home conversion for Mega Drive was modestly successful and has been widely proliferated in recent years, the authentic arcade version, developed for high-resolution System 24 hardware, had never been reissued until this port, and was chosen due to high demand from Japanese fans.

SEGA AGES features: This reissue comes equipped with a five-second rewind function,a "Full Member" mode that gives you access to the entire roster from the beginning and an option to disable a famous bug that forces the player to sacrifice most of their characters in order to progress past a certain stage — as it happens, this bug meshes thematically with the game's plot, so many players have accepted it as canon, hence why the bug remains enabled by default — as well as Flip Grip-friendly vertical display options for the Switch's handheld mode. (The extremely rare international ROM included in this package, which exclusively features a three-player co-op option, is not compatible with some of the extra features — simply breaking the copy protection in order to include that version required them to work right until deadline, apparently.)

Useless fact: Gain Ground's stage music alternates between stereo and mono output, allegedly for no other reason than one of the composers programmed his music in stereo and the other didn't.

Alex Kidd in Miracle World

  • Original release: 1986, Master System
  • Also available on the Xbox family via X360 backwards compatibility (Sega Vintage Collection)

What's this? Sega's would-be competitor to Super Mario Bros. and long-time Master System pack-in, beloved wherever the Master System reigned and mostly forgotten where it didn't; later games deviated wildly in approach and/or quality but Alex's original outing contains enough ambition and charm to make it worth revisiting, once in a long while. (It's also being remade by an indie team out of Spain, in case you weren't aware.)

SEGA AGES features: The new AGES Mode add several extras including new pixel-art images between stages, a five-second rewind function, a non-punitive continue function and music newly adapted for the Japanese FM Adapter; additionally, this version includes two of the single-stage time-attack challenge modes from the Sega Vintage Collection: Alex Kidd & Co. PS3/X360 release.

Helpful tip: Should you require some help defeating the game's infamous rock-paper-scissors boss battles, the icons shown on the default wallpaper spell out the methods for defeating the janken bosses.

Puyo Puyo

  • Original release: arcades, 1992
  • Also available on Mega Drive/Genesis Mini (both Puyo Puyo and Mean Bean Machine), 3DS Virtual Console (Mean Bean Machine for Game Gear), a million other places (Mean Bean Machine for Genesis)

What's this? The first arcade version of Compile's massively influential competitive falling-block puzzle game, which most international players would most recognize via one of its many home reskins, Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine and Kirby's Avalanche among them. This particular version of Puyo Puyo has been mechanically superseded by its sequel but there's no defeating nostalgia, even if it's nostalgia for a game that's not exactly the one you remember.

SEGA AGES features: Alongside online multiplayer, the SEGA AGES version implements a few mechanical additions from later ports and sequels, including two-button rotation and quick turn. Additionally, it also includes a localized English ROM that sports a lot of unique and odd character alterations; this ROM was widely thought to be a bootleg until this reissue, and the origins of this version are still shrouded in mystery, even within SEGA.

Useless fact: A recent discovery from an old Compile newsletter suggests that the English arcade localization of Puyo Puyo was made by or for the Spanish market, which jives with Arle's name change to "Silvana".

Virtua Racing

  • Original release: 1992, arcades
  • Currently exclusive to SEGA AGES for Nintendo Switch

What's this? Sega's groundbreaking polygonal F1 racing game, which received several admirable and not-so-admirable home conversions in its day but was never quite done justice; this new, ground-up conversion is SEGA AGES Switch's sole polygonal game, and rather than offer the original experience with optional enhancements, it instead offers the most modern and technically-optimized version possible, without altering or sacrificing the original aesthetic, content or play feel.

SEGA AGES features: This version of Virtua Racing displays at 1080p in 16:9 widescreen with massively-improved draw distance and a 60FPS framerate bump, with online multiplayer for two players and local split-screen multiplayer for up to eight players, including a variety of screen configurations optimized for certain player counts and handheld/tabletop modes. Additionally, this version allows you to play in either the standard 5-lap or 20-lap endurance modes, adds an alternate handling mode for those accustomed to modern racing games and a replay feature with a player-directed camera (complete with a rendition of the Sega 32X port's original replay music, and an appearance by the arcade version's virtual commentator Virt McPolygon.)

Helpful tip: One of the few criticisms of this conversion was the screen brightness causing inaccurate colors when compared to the arcade version, but Sega remedied this issue with a recent patch — you can now manually adjust the gamma using the ZL and ZR buttons during the opening demonstration.

Wonder Boy in Monster Land

  • Original release: 1987, arcades
  • Also available on the Astro City Mini, and the Xbox family via X360 backwards compatibility (Sega Vintage Collection)

What's this? The second Wonder Boy game and the first in the action-RPG Monster World sub-series, primarily known overseas by the conversions released for Sega Master System and various European microcomputers; this game was one of the first to add RPG and adventure trappings to the side-view, stage-based arcade action format and arguably remains one of the most successful, and while it's definitely a more ruthless game than the console-exclusive sequels most will be familiar with, it offers a unique and challenging experience for which there is no substitute.

SEGA AGES features: New to this version is a "money-hungry mode" which disables a commonly-known bug that allows players to utterly break the game's economy; the trick in question is such a communal part of the Monster Land experience that it has been preserved and highlighted in subsequent reissues and never removed until now. (You can play the game with the bug intact, of course, and you can even map the required back-and-forth stick input to a button for super-simple exploitation.)  Additionally, this version includes all three of the challenge modes from the Sega Vintage Collection release — a Sphinx battle challenge, a time attack for the final dungeon and a one-hit mode with infinite fireballs — with their own leaderboards, as well as an official English-localized ROM that was so obscure as to be considered unreleased.

Useless fact: M2 added another, super-inside hidden feature via update: if you hold B while booting the money-hungry mode, it'll pitch the music down a few semitones as a nod to the tunes from the PC Engine reskin, Bikkuriman World.

Space Harrier

  • Original release: 1985, arcades
  • Also available viaAstro City Mini, Sega 3D Classics (3DS), TurboGrafx/PC Engine Mini (PCE port), Shenmue I&II, various Yakuza games

What's this? Sega's eternal pseudo-3D, anything-goes shooting game and reissue staple, back once more on Switch. Get ready!

SEGA AGES features: Alongside the widescreen compatibility and formerly port-exclusive boss Haya-oh, first introduced in the 3D Classics remaster, this version also includes a new, beginner-friendly "Komainu Barrier Attack" mode that lets the player crash into things and adds some peculiar interstitial story text, as well as HD rumble, autofire and bounding box settings and an optional control scheme that lets you move by tilting a vertical Joycon as if it were an arcade joystick, should you so desire.

Helpful tip: One of the silent advantage of the HD rumble feature is that it allows you to physically feel the Harrier's bounding box, which doesn't necessarily start and stop where you think it might in widescreen.

Puzzle & Action: Ichidant-R

  • Original release: 1994, arcades
  • Currently exclusive to SEGA AGES for Nintendo Switch

What's this? The second in a short-lived series of rapid-fire minigame collections that had virtually zero presence outside of Japan; these games might seem a little staid compared to obvious descendants like Nintendo's WarioWare, but remain entertaining when played with those who haven't been irrevocably wired for something more rapid-pace or cerebral. (You may have a passing familiarity with the series via the previous game, Tant-R, which made an appearance on the Japanese Mega Drive Mini.)

SEGA AGES features: In addition to the Japanese and rare English-voiced arcade ROMs, which feature both online and offline multiplayer for two players, this release also includes the Japanese Mega Drive conversion which supports four players in local multiplayer and sports some additional modes including an RPG-esque boardgame mode (all of which remains entirely untranslated, mind). Additionally, this version also includes a helper mode that grants the player additional lives and lowered score quotas, as well as a convenient screen blocker for anyone who tries to cheat certain games by pausing.

Useless fact: "Ichidant-R" is a Japanese pun that plays off the title of the first game, Tant-R — essentially, the titles escalated from "a bunch o' stuff" to "a whole bunch more stuff".

Columns II: A Voyage Through Time

  • Original release: 1990, arcades
  • Also available on: Astro City Mini

What's this? The little-played, brutally tough sequel to Sega's popular, mega-casual falling-block puzzle game; based around the "Flash Columns" mode from the Mega Drive port of the original game, Columns II's merciless difficulty has seen this once-shunned game gain something of a resurgence in certain Japanese arcades as fanatical players fruitlessly attempt the nigh-impossible feat of clearing the game on one coin, and most of the effort expended on this port was in the service of sculpting it into something mere mortals could hope to enjoy.

SEGA AGES features: In addition to online multiplayer, this version offers up a new "Infinite Columns" mode that brings the game somewhat closer to the traditional Columns rule set, as well as a wealth of modifiers for the standard mode that include improved input response, a toggle for the reviled skull items, the ability to change and standardize the jewel design and a full stage select (including a stage not accessible via regular gameplay). This version also includes a "Jewel Case" gallery that unlocks profiles on the obscure characters from the SEGA AGES Switch intro movie as they clear stages, and for those who still can't gel with the sequel, they threw in a version of good ol' OG Columns for good measure.

Helpful tip: The "face-to-face" mode seen in the above screenshot was designed for table arcade cabinets and was a natural fit for the Switch's tabletop mode, but you can of course play the game with a standard display with both playfields oriented in the same direction.


  • Original release: 1986, arcades
  • Also available on: Astro City Mini, Xbox family via X360 backwards compatibility (Sega Vintage Collection)

What's this? The first in Sega's long-running series of inauthentic Hollywood ninja action games, which found particular success outside of Japan; the later home entries leaned in a more stylish, combat-oriented direction with console-appropriate difficulty, but the original arcade game is an unabashedly strict (and unabashedly dorky) game that bears more than a slight structural resemblance to Namco's Rolling Thunder.

SEGA AGES features: In addition to stage-select and rewind features, this version features an AGES Mode that permanently powers up the player-character and allows them to take two hits before dying; also included are control options for auto-fire and the ability to map the melee attack to a separate button, as well as more specific tweaks like a fix for an overflow bug on the shuriken counter, an on-screen indicator for the no-shuriken bonus and the ability to use continues on the final stage.

Useless fact: The Marilyn Monroe posters that originally adorned the game's second act have understandably been removed for subsequent reissues; they're typically replaced with a plain blank wall, but for this version, they've been replaced with posters of your pal and mine, the Altered Beast.

Fantasy Zone

  • Original release: 1986, arcades
  • Also available on: Astro City Mini, Sega 3D Classics Collection (3DS; arcade & Master System versions), TurboGrafx/PC Engine Mini (PCE & "nearArcade" versions), various Yakuza games

What's this? Sega's most beloved contribution to the 2D shooting genre, celebrated for its pastel pop visuals, free-scrolling gameplay and novel shop-based upgrade system and known for its many contemporary conversions that spanned Sega and non-Sega hardware alike; SEGA AGES devs M2 have a particular fondness for this game, and this version's massive suite of additional features represents the culmination of over a decade of regular improvements and refinements.

SEGA AGES features: This version of Fantasy Zone consolidates many of the features introduced on PlayStation 2 and 3DS versions — most notably, a remixed mode starring Fantasy Zone player-character Opa-Opa's brother Upa-Upa, a time attack mode with granular speedrun-esque timestamps, the optional inclusion of secret bosses based on the original bosses from the Master System conversion and a "coin stock" that unlocks extra options based on the players' lifetime coin accumulation — and adds several useful info displays to the outer screen border, including a radar and base markers, in addition to HD rumble, online leaderboards for the various modes and replay sharing. (Many of these new features have been rebalanced from the 3DS version, generally to make them more forgiving.)

Helpful tip: Pressing L+R+plus or minus while in time attack will allow you to perform a quick reset.

Puyo Puyo Tsu

  • Original release: 1994, Japanese arcades
  • Also available on: Astro City Mini, Sega 3D Classics Collection (3DS), Nintendo Switch Online (Super Famicom version), Game Gear Micro (Game Gear port, Japan), Mega Drive Mini (Mega Drive port, Japanese version only)

What's this? Puyo Puyo's leaner and more tactical arcade sequel, which cemented the series as a competitive mainstay and established the rule set that all subsequent games are expected and obliged to maintain. Recent games like Puyo Puyo Tetris and Puyo Puyo Champions use this game as their mechanical foundation, but there's no obsolescing a classic. (Unlike the original Puyo Puyo, this version and its many ports were almost entirely exclusive to Japan, with the only noteworthy exception being the Neo Geo Pocket Color port released in 1999 under the name Puyo Pop.)

SEGA AGES features: Alongside the much-demanded online multiplayer feature, this version also includes a mode that allows you to face the entire cast of opponents and a suite of visual accessibility options meant to assist those suffering from various kinds of color-blindness, as well as a step-based rewind feature that lets you undo up to 60 puyo placements. The game itself remains in Japanese, but they've also included a separate character gallery with translated profiles for all the characters, and the how-to-play/tutorial demos are also separately translated.

Useless fact: The parade of characters displayed in the SEGA AGES staff roll was drawn and animated from scratch for this port by a former Compile artist.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

  • Original release: Sonic 2sday, Mega Drive/Genesis
  • Also available on everything, everywhere, anytime, including a Sega 3D Classics version on 3DS and an enhanced remaster for iOS

What's this? Y'all know what this be, too.

SEGA AGES features: This reissue includes Sonic 2 & Knuckles, the Knuckles-centric and ever-so-slightly-different version of Sonic 2 that could originally be played by connecting the Sonic 2 cartridge to the Sonic & Knuckles lock-on port — this mightn't seem like a huge deal, but of all the re-releases of Sonic 2 that exist, seldom few have included this feature. Additionally, this version allows Sonic to use the Drop Dash from Sonic Mania, maintains the "Ring Keeper" and "Super Sonic (or Knuckles" helper modes from the 3D Classics versions and adds some extra challenge features, including a 100-ring Emerald Hill Act 1 time attack for Sonic & Knuckles with online leaderboards, and a "Ring Chain" mode that, true to its name, tracks your longest unbroken chain of collected rings. (It also supports HD rumble, minor as it may be.)

Useless fact: There exists a Mega Play arcade conversion of Sonic 2, but the changes are so slight that the developers didn't think it worth including — it simply removes additional 1UPs and special stages, basically.

G-LOC Air Battle

  • Original release: 1990, arcades
  • Currently exclusive to SEGA AGES for Nintendo Switch

What's this? A cockpit-perspective aerial dogfighting game built on the powerful 2D "Y Board" that powered the likes of Galaxy Force and Power Drift; this game received several conversions of dubious quality across many contemporaneous home platforms, as well as semi-sequels in Strike Fighter and G-LOC R360 for the rotating R360 experience cabinet, but this reissue is the first authentic, arcade-accurate version of the original game.

SEGA AGES features: In addition to the rather exacting original mode, this version also includes an "AGES Mode" with a more forgiving lock-on system and substantially more enemies to blast, bringing it closer in line with an After Burner-style experience; the port also adds the option of looping BGM rather than the odd fadeouts that happen at the beginning of a stage, as well as some more accommodating control options, HD rumble, multiple leaderboards and a virtual moving cabinet display that tilts the display in tandem with the player's movement in order to simulate the feel of a genuine tilting cabinet.

Useless fact: "GLOC" is an abbreviation of "g-force-induced loss of consciousness", by the by.

Thunder Force AC

  • Original release: 1990, arcades
  • Also available on: Astro City Mini

What's this? An arcade conversion of Technosoft's popular Mega Drive/Genesis shooting game Thunder Force III, released internationally but scarcely seen outside of Japan; this remix replaces a few of the stages and tunes, standardizes the stage order and revises the difficulty ever-so-slightly upward, with some dynamic difficulty adjustment added for good measure. (The SNES game Thunder Spirits is a further remix based on Thunder Force AC, but do not let its awfulness taint your impression of the source material.)

SEGA AGES features: Just as Thunder Force IV included the Thunder Force III ship, SEGA AGES Thunder Force AC includes not only the standard and Thunder Sword variants of the Thunder Force IV ship but also the variant of the Thunder Force III ship seen in SEGA AGES Thunder Force IV. Additionally, this version also features stereo playback for (most of) the BGM, an autofire option, HD rumble and the inclusion of the "Kids Mode" from the Saturn port (which, again, can be stacked with the international ROM for an extra-relaxed experience), as well as a standard and custom "freestyle" online leaderboard. 

Helpful tip: The Thunder Force III variant ship will flare its exhaust whenever you switch weapons — that exhaust flare can be used to damage enemies and will grant a large score modifier for anything you destroy, adding a whole new layer for score attackers.

Herzog Zwei

  • Original release: 1989, Mega Drive/Genesis
  • Currently exclusive to SEGA AGES for Nintendo Switch

What's this? Technosoft's seminal mecha-themed real-time strategy game, a game cited by many as the direct ancestor of the likes of Dune II and Warcraft and one that bears many undeniable similarities to the MOBAs of today; it's also a game than many people respected from afar without ever truly coming to grips with how it worked, so not only is this release fulfilling the decades-old requests of a zillion Mega Drive fanatics but it's also equipped with a multitude of functions to help people grasp the game in the here and now.

SEGA AGES features: Alongside online multiplayer, this reissue includes a brand-new "Herzog Academy" mode that teaches player the ropes via a custom tutorial hosted by a spunky female drill sergeant, a bevy of additional and arguably crucial game info displayed on the screen borders, options to reduce slowdown and decrease the game's infamously brutal CPU below the original version's lowest difficulty setting (or higher, if you really want to), password auto-saves and support for original passwords, the ability to save and view match replays

Useless fact: The Herzog Academy is not only packed with references to other Sega games but they're even region-appropriate: the Phantasy Star reference uses FM audio in the Japanese version and PSG audio in the English version, to give one example.