It’s fair to say that the Mega-CD earned some of the poor reputation it suffered from – in particular, the image that too many of its games were just upgraded Mega Drive games. Many publishers were content to just trot the same games out again – but thankfully, Virgin came up trumps with this excellent reworking of The Terminator.
The basic premise is the same as the Mega Drive game – you’re Kyle Reese and you’ve got to rescue Sarah Connor from being killed by the titular time-travelling killing machine, mostly by blowing up Terminators with your gun and grenades. However, the Mega-CD version is an all-new production with brand new levels, better visuals and rather more meat to it than the criminally short cartridge game. The run-and-gun action is excellent, with some neat level design and loads of enemies to blow up. The enemies deserve a special mention, actually – you’ll get standard Arnie-alikes, skeletal Terminators, Hunter-Killers and even some crazy spider-bots, all of which soak up a good deal of punishment before going down. There’s also an excellent CD soundtrack by Tommy Tallarico which fits the action well and highlights the Mega-CD’s capabilities.
All in all, The Terminator is one of the most surprisingly good games for the Mega-CD. It’s the kind of game which is easily passed by as you’d assume that it’s the same as the Mega Drive game, but it’s unique and it’s damned good. Make sure you add this to your collection if you like platform shooters!