Giant robots and gaming seem to go together quite well. While a bigger thing in anime, giant robots hold their own in gaming. From anime to board games to video games, giant robots kick butt and fans can’t get enough of them. Whether it be Robotech, Voltron, Transformers or the subject of this article- Battletech- fans love giant robots. Is it the fact that these are giant machines? Is it the fascination with the devastation that is caused when they are used with ill intent? Whatever it is, fans can’t get enough. The challenge of bringing Battletech to the Sega Genesis is that this is a board game and the Genesis title is an action game. For one, most of the stats are gone and others are hidden away from the gamer- which works great.
Viewed from an isometric overhead point of view, Battletech is all about action and planning. If you go in blasting the guns you will lose quite quickly. Taking your time and planning out your steps will help you survive longer but is not near as fun as just blasting things. Keep in mind you are thrashing the game world in a giant robot that is armed to the teeth.
The biggest problem with Battletech is that your mech sprite is so big it is cumbersome to traverse the level effectively. You will constantly be checking the in game map which takes you out of the action quite a bit. If you have a second player available you can play a unique two player game. In two player mode one person controls the legs and moves the mech around the map while the second player controls the top half and handles shooting the enemy. Rather interesting take on two player mode when other games would opt for a split screen.
Battletech was ported to the Super Nintendo and named Battletech 3050, keeping the viewpoint and the challenge level quite high. Another giant robot game that might be of interest to fans of Battletech is Antraxx, covered here on Retro Gaming Magazine.
There has not been a virtual re-release of Battletech that I am aware of so you are left with grabbing a copy off of Ebay.