SEGA 32x info needed

Sep 14, 2006
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Hey all, i'm currently contemplating buying a SEGA 32x (lolz) - I remmember always wanting to play Knuckles Chaotix & Kolibri since I saw them in Gamesmaster years ago, and now I have the means to do so, however i've got a few questions;

1. Is the SEGA 32x region-free? I only ask because to play Kolibri I may have to import a US 32x as the PAL version of Kolibri seems even harder to come by than the already rare NTSC version.

2. Will it matter if i'm using a NTSC 32x with a PAL Megadrive (fitted with region-switch & 50/60hz switch)?

3. Beyond the games i've already marked down as 'to buy' (Kolibri, Knuckles Chaotix, Star Wars: Arcade) are there any other 32x exclusive games worth owning?

4. I hear the 32x version of Blackthorne has extra levels over the Megadrive/Genesis version - are there any other 32x versions of Megadrive/Genesis games worth picking up? (i.e - WWF: Wrestlemania Arcade, Mortal Kombat II, Pitfall, Afterburner etc)

Any help you guys could provide from GAF's infinite pool of wisdom would be most appreciated :D
 
Aug 6, 2006
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1. Is the SEGA 32x region-free? I only ask because to play Kolibri I may have to import a US 32x as the PAL version of Kolibri seems even harder to come by than the already rare NTSC version.
Sort of. You'll need to mod the 32X with a 50Hz switch, if you want to use it with a PAL Megadrive. This thread should help:
http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4174

32Xes should plug in to Genesises from any region, though... I think... but US/Japanese systems are 60hz and European ones 50hz.

2. Will it matter if i'm using a NTSC 32x with a PAL Megadrive (fitted with region-switch & 50/60hz switch)?
Initially, the only difference between Genesis games from different regions was cartridge shape and PAL/NTSC. However, midlife Sega added region-checking, so many later titles would only run in a certain region system.

There are three modes: PAL Megadrive, NTSC Megadrive, NTSC Genesis. Europe, Japan, and the US, that is.

Just like with the Genesis, 32X games vary. Games are either region-locked or not; region locking can lock out two regions or only one. Some games have region locking in some releases, but no lock in others -- for instance Alien Soldier for Genesis, for which the European release is PAL Megadrive locked only, while the Japanese release is not locked (but is 60hz only so it will run too fast on a PAL TV). In this regard, the 32X works exactly the same as the Genesis. Some games have locks, others don't. Some are single region, others multi-region.

Really, the best way to know which are which is emulation (legal issues aside)... Kega lets you select the region of the system, so you can see what will happen when you load a US 32X game into a European system, for instance. There are also several FAQs with lists of Genesis/Megadrive games that have region locks, but I don't know of any for the 32X...

Of course, part of this is because most games came out in both the US and Europe. There are only a very few games that only came out in one region:

There were 34 Sega 32X carts released worldwide. In addition, there were five CD32X games released, all upgraded versions of FMV Sega CD games, and all, I believe, US only. Sega-16 and Wikipedia list European releases of the five games, but I see no proof that they exist... I doubt it.

Of course, given how a simple little application can change the region of a Sega CD ISO and the Sega CD plays CD-Rs, all that would need to be done to play a US 32XCD game in an unmodded European Sega CD would be to make an iso of the cd in question, change the region of the iso, and burn it.

Complete list, with regions listed for each game:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Sega_32X_games

1 game is Japan-exclusive, 2 Europe-exclusive (including the VERY rare, PAL Megadrive only region-locked, and graphically impressive Darxide), and 11 carts and all 5 CD32X titles US exclusive.

3. Beyond the games i've already marked down as 'to buy' (Kolibri, Knuckles Chaotix, Star Wars: Arcade) are there any other 32x exclusive games worth owning?

4. I hear the 32x version of Blackthorne has extra levels over the Megadrive/Genesis version - are there any other 32x versions of Megadrive/Genesis games worth picking up? (i.e - WWF: Wrestlemania Arcade, Mortal Kombat II, Pitfall, Afterburner etc)
The complete library is so small that, if you have one, it would kind of make sense to just get most of them...

Either way, there are definitely more games worth looking in to, beyond Kolibri, Knuckles Chaotix, and Star Wars Arcade.

Darxide -- if you can find it somewhere (hah, good luck)... you have a PAL system, so it'll work. It's basically 3d Asteroids, with the best graphics of any released game on the system. Texture-mapped polygons!

Shadow Squadron -- one of the system's best games! Great 3d space combat sim. Better than Star Wars Arcade. Don't even think about playing this without a 6-button controller. Not long, but really good while it lasts...

After Burner -- great port of the original arcade game... FAR better than After Burner on Genesis or before (though the Sega CD one can compete, since that hardware also had sprite scaling).

Space Harrier -- great port of the original arcade game. Blows away every previous Space Harrier game release! After Burner and Space Harrier should be 32X must-buys.

NBA Jam T.E. -- Widely considered to be one of the best, if not the best, home version of the arcade great. Have a multitap...

Tempo -- Solid, fun side-scrolling platformer. Had a Japan-only sequel on the Saturn, but the first one had a Western release.

T-Mek -- 3d tank action game. Kind of like the original Battlezone, really. Very simple game.

Metal Head -- another tank shooter, but this one's a bit more complex. Quite nice graphics (it has texture-mapped polygons! Very rare, for this system...), for the system... it has mixed reviews, but I think it's fun. Have a 6-button controller!

Zaxxon's Motherbase 2000 -- Really more Viewpoint than Zaxxon. Often considered disappointing, but shmup fans will want to check it out anyway. The way you can take enemy ships over is interesting and different.

Blackthorne -- Indeed, maybe the best version. Different graphics from (ie better graphics than) any other version, and the same great gameplay.

Virtua Fighter -- Great port of the first Virtua Fighter game! It's a better port than the original Saturn release.

Virtua Racing Deluxe -- fantastic racing game with pretty nice graphics brought down only by the fact that it has no saving to back up your lap times... get it anyway.

Probably don't bother with: Motocross Championsip (just awful...), Cosmic Carnage (terrible fighting game), Doom (Better graphics than on SNES, but it's missing the last third of the game! You finish chapter two and... that's it. Huh? Plus, the SNES version has more levels, FAR better music, and level designs that are more accurate to the original PC maps.)
 
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subrock said:
no way, prerender total....
No, I definitely believe that it's real. The 32X wasn't overly powerful in 2d, but its 3d potential hadn't been maxed out. Darxide and Metal Head showed that textured polygons were indeed possible on the 32X...

And Zyrinx was pretty amazing. Sub Terrania was good looking, but then Red Zone pushed the Genesis pretty hard... 3d vector graphics, rotation, scaling, etc, on the stock Genesis? Impressive stuff.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_Ydz_awtPo

They went from that to that 32X demo video.

zaxxon, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oO-rQsoU1xs
apparently jeremy parish thought it was the worst game for the 32x. I might have nostalgia goggles.
It's not the best game on the 32X, but there are DEFINITELY worse. It's a decent shmup, really.
 

Micromegas

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I still have my 32X ;) I'll have to plug all that back in one of these days and take a trip down SEGA lane.
 

Monroeski

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Tempo and Space Harrier were both good games. Space Harrier, in fact, was AWESOME.
 

diddlyD

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Bootaaay said:
4. I hear the 32x version of Blackthorne has extra levels over the Megadrive/Genesis version - are there any other 32x versions of Megadrive/Genesis games worth picking up? (i.e - WWF: Wrestlemania Arcade, Mortal Kombat II, Pitfall, Afterburner etc)
blackthorne for the 32x is the premiere version of blackthorne and one of my favorite all time games. it has more color and detail than the pc/snes versions, great controls and a snappier feel than the snes version, and has a fantastic extra mountain top ice based area.

i think this was the only 32x game i actually beat. kolibri is beautiful but i could never figure it out. shadow squadron is cool too but it got impossibly hard if i remember correctly.
 

subrock

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ToastyFrog said:
No, it's the worst Zaxxon game. I wouldn't assume to speak for the entire 32X catalog. Mainly because once you hit a certain level of crappiness it becomes a matter of splitting hairs.
you: "Motherbase may well be the worst game available for 32X, not that it has a lot of competition; there wasn't much bad software for the system, because it didn't have much software, period. Nevertheless, Motherbase was unique on 32X for the way it completely violated my childhood memories. Super Tempo was never so cruel. Not even Knuckles Chaotix was, for that matter."

that being said I loved the jump-on-other-suckers-and-gank-their-skillz mechanic
 

TwIsTeD

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regardless of the fact that it was a failure i had great moments with the 32x......time to dig it up and hook it up next to my saturn and remember how great sega was back in like 1993 :D
 

ToastyFrog

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subrock said:
you: "Motherbase may well be the worst game available for 32X, not that it has a lot of competition; there wasn't much bad software for the system, because it didn't have much software, period. Nevertheless, Motherbase was unique on 32X for the way it completely violated my childhood memories. Super Tempo was never so cruel. Not even Knuckles Chaotix was, for that matter."
Man whoever wrote was some kinda retard...oh.
 
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A Black Falcon said:
Sort of. You'll need to mod the 32X with a 50Hz switch, if you want to use it with a PAL Megadrive.
Even if it's a PAL Megadrive with a region-switch & a 50/60hz switch? I can't find any specific examples of someone using a dual-modded PAL Megadrive with a NTSC 32x, but apparantly the 32x's region detection works like this;

An NTSC 32x will read the region-coding from the game and then check to make sure the hardware is of the same region - firstly it checks the video input it's recieving from the Megadrive to make sure it's 60hz, then it checks the Megadrive's internal language setting to make sure it's set to 'overseas' before finally checking the 32x's video output to make sure it's 60hz - so presumably, if I have my PAL Megadrive switched to output at 60hz, with the language settings switched to 'overseas' and a NTSC 32x plugged in out-putting at 60hz, then NTSC 32x games should/might/probably won't work :lol eh - either way, i'll pick up an NTSC 32x and then mod it if it doesn't work, the mod seems relatively simple compared to other mods i've completed/attempted;

http://www.segakore.fr/articles/switch_32x.html

A Black Falcon said:
Tempo -- Solid, fun side-scrolling platformer. Had a Japan-only sequel on the Saturn, but the first one had a Western release.
I've actually got Super Tempo on the Saturn, but never even realised it was a sequel :lol

kathode said:
I highly recommend the youtube review stylings of user "kolibri." Appropriate, right? Well he's done 400 videos and they're all terrible in their own special way.

Star Wars 32x - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0achv4RO6P8

Kolibri - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUyBDnj7baU
Holy shit :lol My ears...THEY BLEED!!

diddlyD said:
blackthorne for the 32x is the premiere version of blackthorne and one of my favorite all time games. it has more color and detail than the pc/snes versions, great controls and a snappier feel than the snes version, and has a fantastic extra mountain top ice based area.
Good to hear, i'll definetly be picking this up - I played the original Megadrive version, but I don't think I got very far as I was probably too young to appreciate it.

Thanks for the info guys :)
 

FightyF

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A Black Falcon said:
Virtua Fighter -- Great port of the first Virtua Fighter game! It's a better port than the original Saturn release.
Excellent post. I agree about VF...though it had less polys than the Saturn one, the timing was much, much better. Far more responsive on the 32X.
 
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Bootaaay said:
Even if it's a PAL Megadrive with a region-switch & a 50/60hz switch? I can't find any specific examples of someone using a dual-modded PAL Megadrive with a NTSC 32x, but apparantly the 32x's region detection works like this;

An NTSC 32x will read the region-coding from the game and then check to make sure the hardware is of the same region - firstly it checks the video input it's recieving from the Megadrive to make sure it's 60hz, then it checks the Megadrive's internal language setting to make sure it's set to 'overseas' before finally checking the 32x's video output to make sure it's 60hz - so presumably, if I have my PAL Megadrive switched to output at 60hz, with the language settings switched to 'overseas' and a NTSC 32x plugged in out-putting at 60hz, then NTSC 32x games should/might/probably won't work :lol eh - either way, i'll pick up an NTSC 32x and then mod it if it doesn't work, the mod seems relatively simple compared to other mods i've completed/attempted;

http://www.segakore.fr/articles/switch_32x.html
Oh, yes, with the Genesis in US mode and the TV signal at 60hz, you're probably right. I was saying that if you wanted to play any European (50hz) games, you'd need to mod the 32X too. And it makes sense that you do... remember, the 32X is a passthrough. Essentially, the Genesis and 32X each make their own video signal, which the 32X then combines into two layers. So in 2d 32X games, the Genesis will make one layer (foreground or background), the 32X the other. Of course, the Genesis part is restricted by the Genesis' hardware limitations, such as 64 colors max, while the 32X layer has the much higher 32X restrictions, such as 32,000 colors on screen at once. With certain setups it's possible to separate them and look at what each layer is...

Anyway, if you're only planning on playing US games and not European ones, you'll probably be okay with a modded Genesis and US 32X. And the only Europe-only games are FIFA '96 and Darxide, and though Darxide is awesome it's incredibly rare... they made very few copies. It just came out too late. :(

Oh, and yeah, that article you linked to there is the one referred to in the thread I linked, I'm sure, yeah. The way to mod a 32X for PAL/NTSC signal. But if you're only playing NTSC you probably won't need to do that.

I've actually got Super Tempo on the Saturn, but never even realised it was a sequel :lol
Hah... yeah, they're both good. :)

Good to hear, i'll definetly be picking this up - I played the original Megadrive version, but I don't think I got very far as I was probably too young to appreciate it.

Thanks for the info guys :)
Yeah, the 32X version is definitely the best version of the game. It's like NBA Jam T.E.... the game is fantastic on SNES too (and still good but just a bit less so on Genesis, due to hardware limitations), but it's even better on 32X.

FightyF said:
Excellent post. I agree about VF...though it had less polys than the Saturn one, the timing was much, much better. Far more responsive on the 32X.
Yeah. It's a very solid version of VF1... fighting game sequels do often seem to make their predecessors irrelevant, when they take the same game system and refine it, but even so, Virtua Fighter is worth playing. Graphics and gameplay are both great for the system. I like Virtua Racing a bit more, if they can be compared, but they're both great. I like fighting games a lot, but arcade racing games even more... At least Virtua Fighter 1 has shown up in other collections and stuff, though, even if initially it was best on 32X. Virtua Racing... aside from the lesser Genesis version and a botched Saturn port, has it shown up again?

The 32X had a few other fighting games -- Cosmic Carnage, Mortal Kombat 2, Primal Rage, Brutal Unleashed: Above the Claw, and two WWF games... but aside from MK2 (and that game is on a LOT of platforms, and is good on most all of them), the rest of those probably aren't worth bothering with. I'm sure there are Brutal and Primal Rage fans out there, but I'm not one of them. (As a note though, the 32X Brutal game is actually a sequel to the original Brutal (on Genesis, SNES, Sega CD, and Amiga), and was only released on 32X and PC. Other than two new characters, though, it's pretty similar (and average).

It is too bad that there weren't any other good racing games on 32X, though. The advent of 3d changed the racing game genre very, very significantly, and Virtua Racing Deluxe is really the only one that fully got that on the system. After it my second-favorite Genesis/CD/32X racing game would be Outrun 2019, which I still love... but the only other racing games on 32X were the awful Motocross Championship and the poor kart racer BC Racers. The game was also on PC, 3DO, and Sega CD; on 32 there is a two player splitscreen mode, but on Sega CD the only multiplayer mode has both players controlling one kart... one drives, the other attacks... the game isn't worth buying on any platform, though, unfortunately. And it is unfortunate, when the Sega CD and 32X both had low single digit numbers of racing games.
 

kazuo

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1) Yes
2) Dunno
3 & 4) No

There are very few Japanese (MD) games that are region-locked, and most can be bypassed with a Game Genie. The only real restriction is the size of the cart slot, since the cart housings themselves are sized differently. Again, using a Game Genie allows you to get around it.

AFAIK there were like, two 32X games released in Japan, since the addon bombed hardcore there. And there wasn't anything "exclusive" to Japan to begin with.

I think someone else answered #2 well enough.
Hope that helps
 

iidesuyo

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A Black Falcon said:
Virtua Racing... aside from the lesser Genesis version and a botched Saturn port, has it shown up again?
The Arcade port has been on the Sega Classics Collection!

There also was a 32X CD. The system was huge, needed quite some energy, but in the end was nowhere near as powerful as the Saturn. Add-On chaos in pure form.
 
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iidesuyo said:
The Arcade port has been on the Sega Classics Collection!

There also was a 32X CD. The system was huge, needed quite some energy, but in the end was nowhere near as powerful as the Saturn. Add-On chaos in pure form.
Yeah, I thought I was forgetting something. Still, 32X Virtua Racing Deluxe IS better than the Genesis or Saturn versions, which are the only other releases other than that collection.

And yeah, the worst thing about the 32XCD is that you need three giant powerbricks all plugged in at once in order to use it... :)
 

DJ_Tet

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I forgot about the 32xCD, are there worthwhile games for that extremely limited platform?
 

diddlyD

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DJ_Tet said:
I forgot about the 32xCD, are there worthwhile games for that extremely limited platform?
sadly i think the only games that actually used the 32x and segaCD in tandem were fmv games. they were all also available for just sega cd, and the only thing the 32x specific version added was higher video quality.
 
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DJ_Tet said:
I forgot about the 32xCD, are there worthwhile games for that extremely limited platform?
Here's its complete, awesome library:

Fahrenheit (Sega CD and 32XCD versions come packed together in one case)
Supreme Warrior (32XCD version)
Night Trap (32XCD version)
Corpse Killer (32XCD version)
Slam City with Scotty Pippen (32XCD version)

Of them, I have Fahrenheit and Supreme Warrior...

Yes, all five games were also released on Sega CD. They are also all live-action video FMV games. The first one actually came with both in one package; for the other four, you had to buy the 32XCD version separately. What changed? More colors on screen (Sega CD was so, so limited, it makes a real difference) and larger video size are the main ones, but some like Night Trap also improved the interface. But yeah, they are all live-action video FMV games... and as most anyone who has ever played any such game knows, that means they are mostly awful. Supreme Warrior is such a disastrous mess...
 

Alpha_eX

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I remember winning Knuckles Chaotix from Sega as a kid, I was so excited when it arrived, my parents thought I took and used their credit card to buy it, my mum even rang Sega to confirm it was a prize.

Ran upstairs to play it, fuck, no 32X.

I ended up borrowing one off my uncle, glad we didn't buy one, the game was awful. I didn't play anything else on 32X apart from an awesome Star Wars game with 2 player co-op.
 

riskVSreward

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If you like WWF Raw, the 32X version has additional content. New animations, moves and a new character
KWANG!~
 

Version 1

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ascii42 said:
As far as I know MK II didn't have anything extra, but it is a good port.
So is NBA Jam TE.
I call bullshit on that.

I was the biggest MK2 fan at the time and was so excited to get the 32x version as the Genesis version was shit. I plugged in the 32x cart and almost puked. While the sprites were pretty much identical to the arcade the sounds were ported over from the Genesis and were god awful.

I even got the Saturn version later and that one sucked too (sounds were better but the loading killed it). Thank christ for the PSN version, after 15 years I finally got my arcade-perfect console port.
 
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Version 1 said:
I call bullshit on that.

I was the biggest MK2 fan at the time and was so excited to get the 32x version as the Genesis version was shit. I plugged in the 32x cart and almost puked. While the sprites were pretty much identical to the arcade the sounds were ported over from the Genesis and were god awful.

I even got the Saturn version later and that one sucked too (sounds were better but the loading killed it). Thank christ for the PSN version, after 15 years I finally got my arcade-perfect console port.
The 32X did actually have some added sound hardware, I'm pretty sure, the problem is that very few games used it and most just used standard Genesis sound... which is why you get things like that, or how Doom 32X sounds like a bad Genesis game aurally. With more time developers would surely have figured out how to get 32X games to sound better, but with a 14 month lifespan from first release to last, they did not have that time.
 

FightyF

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A Black Falcon said:
Virtua Racing... aside from the lesser Genesis version and a botched Saturn port, has it shown up again?
As mentioned it's on the SEGA Classics collection, but to my knowledge it doesn't include the extras the 32X version had, like the different cars.

Heh, I own it, I should just check it.
 

Arpharmd B

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Version 1 said:
I call bullshit on that.

I was the biggest MK2 fan at the time and was so excited to get the 32x version as the Genesis version was shit. I plugged in the 32x cart and almost puked. While the sprites were pretty much identical to the arcade the sounds were ported over from the Genesis and were god awful.

I even got the Saturn version later and that one sucked too (sounds were better but the loading killed it). Thank christ for the PSN version, after 15 years I finally got my arcade-perfect console port.
It was the best/most complete port for a while. Much better than the Genesis or SNES version. Saturn version was good but had HORRIBLE loading problems. I don't think we got a really good port of MKII until 2004ish with Midway Collections.

My picks for 32X:

Knuckles Chaotix
Tempo
Virtua Fighter
Star Wars Arcade
MKII
NBA Jam TE
Doom
Cosmic Carnage (I LOVE this fighter, don't care if it's shit)
 

kazuo

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MKII on 32X is a joke. Seriously, it's horrible. It should have been really close to the arcade, instead we got a mildly souped-up Genny version.

ugh.

NBA Jam TE was pretty awesome, though.
 

Koshiro

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A Black Falcon said:
Fahrenheit (Sega CD and 32XCD versions come packed together in one case)
Supreme Warrior (32XCD version)
Night Trap (32XCD version)
Corpse Killer (32XCD version)
Slam City with Scotty Pippen (32XCD version)
I liked Fahrenheit on Mega CD, Tomcat Alley was the only other one I liked (the most 'game-like' of them). Still, I often wondered how much better Fahrenheit was on 32XCD, shame no-one ever did a comparison screenshot or two.
 

iidesuyo

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FightyF said:
As mentioned it's on the SEGA Classics collection, but to my knowledge it doesn't include the extras the 32X version had, like the different cars.

Heh, I own it, I should just check it.
It doesn't, it's pretty much a 1:1 Arcade port.
 
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iidesuyo said:
It doesn't, it's pretty much a 1:1 Arcade port.
Ah, so like the Genesis version then, it just has three tracks and one car? The 32X version has five tracks and three cars. How about the Saturn version?

Koshiro said:
I liked Fahrenheit on Mega CD, Tomcat Alley was the only other one I liked (the most 'game-like' of them). Still, I often wondered how much better Fahrenheit was on 32XCD, shame no-one ever did a comparison screenshot or two.
Maybe you had to be there at the time to actually like those games... I wasn't, so pretty much the only even slightly FMV-ish game I like is Rebel Assault, because that one I did have in the mid '90s. It came with our first computer with a CD drive...

Well okay, Loadstar is okay, but impossible. I've never finished the first level... it's pretty much like Sewer Shark, but I've never figured out the trick to being able to actually navigate towards my goal. :(

In addition to the two 32XCD games and the SCD version of Fahrenheit, On Sega CD I also have Midnight Raiders, Tomcat Alley, and (if you count it as one) Bram Stoker's Dracula... I'd say they are all horrible. At least Midnight Raiders has amusingly bad acting, though, even if it is impossible. :)

But Tomcat Alley... does it even have any gameplay? All you do is click the right icon on the screen at the right time. Mess up and you die and start over. I only played it for a few minutes, admittedly, but it seemed like no fun at all.

Supreme Warrior is an attempt to make a live-action video fighting game. It's first person. Button commands, when combined with dpad directions, do different moves. You can't control your movement. Instead, you have to use the right moves at the right times, while your opponent moves around and attacks you... it's actually incredibly hard, not that it's any fun.