Once again welcome to Head to Head. In this issue we will be looking at a three-way shootout between the Super Nintendo, Genesis, and Turbo CD versions of Ys III. To start off, I would like to remind you that Head to Head is not here to choose which machine is the best, but only which version of a specific game is the best.
Ys III places you, Adol, against the evil Demanicus. This brings us to the first comparison--story. Here, the TG-16 is clearly victorious. The CD gives us full voice as well as detailed animations. The SNES and Genesis lag far behind. Throughout the game the TG-16 has more involvement. A good story does not a good game make, however.
Gameplay is perhaps the most important aspect of gaming for many, and especially in action games such as Ys III. Once again the TG-16's CD version walks away with the upper hand. Both the Genesis and SNES tend to be sluggish in character response. This plays an important role while trying to defeat a fast paced enemy. It can be extremly frustrating to have your character not respond, and therefore die. Also, in the Genesis version the extreme height that Adol can leap is a bit unrealistic, and tends to be annoying.
Coming up next is sound. This is not even a comparison. With live actor's voices, and CD music, the Turbo walks away with it. Between the other two versions I lean towards the Genesis, for its clearer instrumentals. The Turbo sure seems to be walking away victorious in this contest.
Becoming more and more important in the 16-bit realm is graphics. Here I must say the Turbo does not prevail. Although still frames and intermissions are well done, the game play graphics are choppy. Multi-speed scrolling is very rough, and detracts from the game alot. Both the SNES and Genesis, however, are very smooth and display excellent parallax scrolling. The SNES does take the upper hand to the Genesis, however. With crisper, easier to see characters it takes the lead in this contest.
The next comparison is longevity. All of the games are nearly equal here, and no one deserves to be victorious.
That covers most comparisons, and it is pretty clear that the Turbo CD comes out on top. However, it is also true that the CD games cost more, as well as the machine to play them on. But thankfully, with ever dropping prices, affordable CD gaming is well underway. Choosing a runner-up was very difficult. The SNES and the Genesis verions each had their highs and their lows, and after weighing the results I found the SNES to be on top--but not by much. The largest influence on the decision was the clarity of graphics. I found it hard to play the Genesis for long periods of time without my eyes becoming very sore. SO... what about next time? Tune in and see. Until then... remember, whoever wins the most battles will eventually win the war.