Sega Ages on Switch Reviews thumbnail

Sega Ages on Switch Reviews

From Master System to Genesis and an arcade game, too

A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for Rapid Fire Reviews on

Since September 2018, Sega's been releasing their classic games for Switch so here are 4 Sega Ages game reviews to help you keep up.

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Sonic the Hedgehog Review Switch ★★★★☆

No Sega franchise is as iconic as Sonic the Hedgehog and this original Genesis release is a timeless classic. v1d30chumz 100-25-42-211

Sega Ages: Sonic the Hedgehog screenshot
Too much Blast Processing makes me lose all of my rings!

What can I say about Sonic the Hedgehog that hasn't been said dozens of times already? It's fast-paced classic 2D platforming at its best with memorable themed stages, awesome music, and reaction-based gameplay that'll have you hooked until you uncover every Chaos Emerald and view the good ending. So, what's special about this Sega Ages release?

For starters, it features a handy Stage Select option that allows you to replay your favourite stages at any time without having to input a code. Casual gamers also have the option to enjoy this classic within Ring Keep Mode that makes it far less punishing whenever you get hurt. For more hardcore gamers, there are 2 challenges (a Time Attack and a Score Attack challenge) that you can master in order to climb their respective leaderboards. Finally, you can alternate between the Japanese, international, and arcade Mega Play versions as well as try and get the highest Ring Chain possible which also has its own leaderboard.

On top of Sonic the Hedgehog being a fantastic classic platformer, this Sega Ages version includes many cool new modes and options that make replaying it feel fresh and exciting again.

Sega Ages: Sonic the Hedgehog gameplay video → Sonic Mega Collection Plus Review

Phantasy Star Review Switch ★★★★☆

Sega's Master System wasn't as widely popular as their 16-bit console but it still had a solid library of games. One notable title for the system is Phantasy Star which spawned many sequels over the years so let's see how the original holds up.

Sega Ages: Phantasy Star screenshot
I love shortcake more than anyone but I'm certainly not going to pay 1000 mesetas for it!

To be honest, I've never actually got into the Phantasy Star series. As a kid, I remember playing the original Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy for countless hours but I never owned a Master System until my teens. Now that I've played the original Phantasy Star, I must say that I'm impressed! The catchy music, cute retro visuals, and simplistic yet satisfying gameplay really captured my imagination and I found it hard to put down after learning how to play it. That being said, I often needed a guide in order to figure out what to do next because it's the opposite of self-explanatory. Anyway, this Sega Ages version has a cool Monster Guide to fill out as you progress, handy onscreen info like a map and party stats, an FM Sound Unit option, and an easier, more balanced, and bug-free Ages Mode.

Note: if you want to enjoy Phantasy Star's 3 sequels for Sega Genesis then be sure to check out Sega Genesis Classics as well.

As someone who loves retro RPGs yet has never played Phantasy Star before, I'm amazed at how great of a game it is. When you factor in all of the awesome additions in this Sega Ages release, it's a definite must-buy for old-school RPG fans.

Sega Ages: Phantasy Star gameplay video →

Alex Kidd in Miracle World Review Switch ★★★☆☆

Few genres are as classic as a good old 2D platformer so does this pre-Sonic Sega mascot still put up a fight?

Sega Ages: Alex Kidd in Miracle World screenshot
Why jump on a turtle when you could punch a frog?

Unlike Phantasy Star, I'm actually very familiar with Alex Kidd. This debut title in the franchise released for Master System back in 1986 and it's a pretty fun platformer. You play by running and jumping around while tapping a button to punch your enemies. Unfortunately, you can't jump on their heads like Mario can so trying to time your very short-ranged punches can be quite frustrating. On the bright side, you can swim and play rock-paper-scissors against the bosses as well as ride a motorcycle, speedboat, and a cute personal helicopter. Although these mechanics add some variety, they're usually short-lived and the overall game ends up feeling like a generic and mildly irritating platformer when compared to many of its genre contemporaries from the 8-bit era. This Sega Ages release has some cool extras such as Ages Mode which features a continue option, updated music, and a rewind feature plus a couple of Time Attack challenges.

Long-time Sega fans who have fond memories of the mid-'80s will love rediscovering Alex Kidd in Miracle World. That being said, it certainly won't convert any non-fans as it simply hasn't aged as well as many other retro 2D platformers.

Sega Ages: Alex Kidd in Miracle World gameplay video → Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX Review

Gain Ground Review Switch ★★★☆☆

Sega made more than just Master System and Genesis games back in the day and this quarter-eating arcade treasure is proof of that.

Sega Ages: Gain Ground screenshot
The stages in Gain Ground sure get intense quick!

Gamers may know Gain Ground from its console ports but this Sega Ages release contains the original arcade version. For the unfamiliar, it's an action-intense real-time strategy game where you try and either wipe out all of the enemies or carefully guide all of your characters to the stage's exit. Each character plays uniquely complete with various primary and secondary weapons and many of them won't be able to reach certain enemies so part of the challenge is learning what each character is capable of. Considering there are 20 characters and 40 stages, you're looking at a lot of practice time. Although clearing out each stage is rewarding stuff, the core gameplay remains very basic and it can be rather annoying overall as the campaign progresses with an exceptionally steep difficulty curve.

This Sega Ages version has some great bonuses like a rewind button and Full Member Mode which unlocks all 20 characters right off the bat and removes any captives to rescue. Next, you can choose a difficulty setting, play either the Japanese or international versions, adjust the time limit, and rotate the screen to tate mode. I should also mention that you can play with up to 3 simultaneous players via local multiplayer so if retro gaming with chums is your cup of tea then this might be worth getting just for that.

When it comes to retro arcade games, Gain Ground is definitely on the niche side of the equation. So, if you're looking for a unique old-school arcade experience then you may get a kick out of booting this gem up but don't expect it to blow you away.

Sega Ages: Gain Ground gameplay video →
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