Bio Hazard Battle

Brilliant side scrolling shooter.

I realize the genre is overrepresented on MegaDrive, but suck it up, it's a great genre. Bio Hazard Battle is definitely an underrated example - terrific graphics, inspired creature designs and a punishing but not unfair difficulty level will all add up to keeping you involved and interested. The plot is something to do with a biowar, and, well, who cares. Stage one is entering the atmosphere, and from there on, you're planetside. The background designs are very impressive, detailed and interesting, but not so much that you get distracted from what's going on in front of you. As you can imagine from the title, all the bad guys (and even your choice of four ships to fight with) are all biologically inspired, with giant worms, caterpillars, spinning seeds and even things like giant stomping crabs (stage 3, you'll love it).

The powerup system is pretty sweet - you start with an option device that takes one of four forms, depending on what ship you select and what powerups you pick up - four different colour energy pods provide four different kinds of powerup - and picking up (up to three) pods of the same colour gives you greater power. The A button is automatically an autofire, but holding down B or C charges up an R-Type-esque mega shot that will destroy a lot of things, and do damage to bosses.

I know it's sounding more or less the same as every other shooter going, but if you like shooters, you're really missing out in not playing this game - trust your old pal Uncle Christopher.

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