A rough diamond,
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This review is from: Hardcore Gaming 101 Presents: Sega Arcade Classics Vol. 1 (Color Edition) (Paperback)
First things first, once you get past the nice looking cover this is a pretty ugly book. Cheaply printed the image quality throughout is pretty low, most of screenshots are tiny and are sometimes far too dark and muddy to make out, particularly when depicting three dimensional games. The layout is also kind of messy and amateurish, it's often not clear from a glance which game is being covered on which page. But then these failings are really to be expected when dealing with books published through Amazon's "CreateSpace" company. Once you get into the substance of the book all these flaws melt away as you realise that this is actually an absolute goldmine.
An utterly exhaustive look at the games listed by people who know their subject inside and out this is easily the most well written and comprehensively researched book on the subject I've ever had my hands on. You don't just get a decent critical appraisal of each Arcade game. You get an extensive breakdown of each home console port, screenshot comparisons and extra content devoted to each sequel and spin off from a series. So the Outrun section for example doesn't just cover the one game and its various ports but also Turbo OutRun, OutRun 3D, Battle OutRun, OutRun Europa, OutRunners, OutRun 2019 and a pretty in depth look at OutRun 2 and then its various home console iterations. This book isn't messing around.
It's also bang up to date, with a look at the 3DS Shinobi title, a nod to the Altered Beast reference in Wreck-It-Ralph and even a mention of the upcoming 3DS port of Space Harrier.
The book is also relentlessly colourful. It may have been undermined by print quality but the book isn't afraid to share screenshots with you and they cover every page, you're never short of a visual reference for the games you're reading about. There are so many screens here that the whole book feels like leafing through a gaming magazine of the period. The back few pages of the book feature a round up of Sega compilations, soundtracks and even a short piece on some of the dreadful old Tiger Electronics spin off LCD games.
This is a great book and if the authors can maintain the quality I'll definitely be buying every volume in what I hope is a long running series.