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Sega CD (episode)

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The Nerd introduces the video by pointing out the biggest selling-point of the system, its Full-Motion Video (FMV) capabilities, which allowed it to display video in games, with some of the games even being built entirely around the videos. However, the Nerd points out that said videos look awful by modern-day standards, due to their small size, low resolution and color depth, and stuttery frame-rate.

The Nerd also makes criticisms of the system's unappealing design (or at least the design of his version, which is the Model 2 incarnation), the need for a separate AC adapter to power the system, and the extremely long load times required for games (though he notes that this was more of a general problem for early optical media-based systems, and later admitted that in retrospect the Sega Saturn was actually worse in this regard).

In conclusion, the Nerd says that while the Sega CD did have some decent games, it was ultimately brought down by Sega's misguided decision to push the FMV games over the enhanced Genesis-type games, and the technology of the early 90s simply not being enough to make good use of CD storage.

Games Reviewed

Ground Zero Texas

As the first of many FMV games he reviews in this episode, the Nerd points out straight away that there's very little actual gameplay, as most of the game is made up of poor-quality video segments interspersed with "shooting gallery" segments. The Nerd is also bemused by the game's storyline, which involves aliens plotting to invade Earth by disguising themselves as cowboys and taking over a Rodeo.

Slam City with Scottie Pippen

The Nerd is left completely unable to fathom the gameplay in this FMV basketball game, and is further confused by the impenetrable slang used by Scottie and the other players in the cutscenes.

Double Switch

Again, the Nerd can't work out exactly how to play the game, and is further confused by the bizarre and seemingly unrelated cutscenes that playing the game entails switching between.

Night Trap

Despite this being arguably the most infamous game on the system, the Nerd finds it to be relatively unremarkable next to the other FMV games, though does get some amusement by deliberately messing up and allowing the partygoers to be captured, with him finding the resulting cutscenes entertainingly over-the-top.

Corpse Killer

This game escapes the full wrath of the Nerd, as his copy turns out to be faulty and repeatedly crashes after the opening cutscene. The CD 32X version of the game would subsequently be featured on James & Mike Mondays.

Time Gal

Yet another FMV title, with Dragon's Lair-inspired gameplay that requires the player to press the indicated direction the D-pad to proceed. The Nerd finds this one of the better FMV games on the system, as it's less obtuse than the earlier ones and the animation holds up much better than the live-action footage used in most of the other games, but still considers the gameplay repetitive and the title character to be annoying.

Lethal Enforcers

The first non-FMV game he looks at, which is a translation of the arcade game. While the Nerd says that it's not an especially poor conversion, he criticises the repetitive backgrounds and notes that this should have been much less of an issue on a CD-based game.

The Adventures of Willy Beamish

While this is an adventure game, a genre that the Nerd is not particularly fond of, he points out that even he can see this type of game is a poor fit for the Sega CD, and better-suited to the PC. He's also shocked that the title character has a pet frog named "Horny."

Road Avenger

While the overall gameplay is similar to Time Gal, the Nerd finds this game to be more annoying, due to the timing being far more unforgiving, and the footage being of lower quality than the previous game.

Jurassic Park

This turns out to be another adventure game, causing the Nerd to question why they didn't just create an enhanced port of either of the Genesis games. On top of that, he can't even work out how to accomplish anything in the game, a problem that he didn't have even with The Adventures of Willy Beamish.

Prize Fighter

Much like Slam City, the Nerd can't even figure out the gameplay of this FMV boxing title, noting that more often than not he gets swiftly defeated without ever landing a single punch on the computer opponent.

Sol-Feace

Though the Nerd immediately mocks the game's title and its obvious similarity to "Sol-Faeces," this actually turns out to be the first game on the system that he genuinely likes, finding it to be a fun horizontal shooter similar to R-Type and Lifeforce.

The Terminator

Another game that the Nerd actually likes, as it goes for simple platform shooter gameplay while also making good use of the Sega CD's enhanced capabilities. He does have some criticisms for the game's difficulty and being forced to shoot at an angle while on stairways, but on later revisiting the game in his first Terminator video, he still found it to be the best Terminator-related game he'd played.

Bram Stoker's Dracula

While the Nerd finds the game to be technically impressive, using FMV backgrounds with sprites, the poor controls, game-breaking bugs (including the player character occasionally falling through the scenery) and excessive difficulty ultimately ruin it for him. He also notes that the FMV sequences from the 1992 film which the game ties into are arguably the worst-looking FMVs he's seen on the system.

Wonder Dog

The Nerd at least credits this for being a typical platformer despite the rather bizarre introductory FMV scene, but finds it to be fairly generic and unmemorable.

Sonic CD

The Nerd rounds off the review by looking at this game, and despite finding the level layouts to be fast and disorienting even by Sonic the Hedgehog standards, he finds it to be both the best game on the Sega CD and arguably even the best Sonic game overall.

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