It’s probably fair to say that the Game Gear isn’t the first platform most people would think of when it comes to lengthy games. Not only does Sega’s handheld share much of its library with the largely action-oriented Master System, but playing it for any major length of time requires you to either sacrifice portability to a mains adaptor or pony up the cash for frequent battery replacements. However, whenever I think of the system I often end up singing the praises of Defenders Of Oasis.
The game ranks as one of my favourite games on the system for a variety of reasons, not least its setting. I’m always a fan of games which take the road less travelled, and Defenders Of Oasis does so by eschewing the common European fantasy setting in favour of a Middle Eastern influence, drawing from the likes of One Thousand And One Nights. The story is well paced for the handheld format and it’s far less frustrating than many 8-bit Japanese RPGs, as the game doesn’t require a great deal of repetitive battling in order to level up. What’s more, it’s an exclusive title, which makes it stand out even more to a big Master System fan like me.
Defenders Of Oasis is something of a forgotten gem – not only is it a great Game Gear game, but one in an unusual genre for the system. If you’re looking for a game that’ll make all those batteries seem worth the money, you could do a lot worse.