Heavy Nova

released on Dec 12, 1991

Heavy Nova is a 1991 action game for the Sharp X68000 by Micronet. It was ported to the Sega Mega-CD as one of the system's two launch titles (the other being Wolf Team's Sol-Feace); the Mega-CD port was not released outside Japan. Micronet subsequently ported it to the Sega Mega Drive for an American release in 1992.

You play as a giant mech beating up other mechs of various sizes. A punches and B kicks. Up rockets up for as long as the button is held; you will eventually come back down.

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Recommended by Vee as part of this list.
I'm going to be the odd one out and give this a full one-star rating! This game is part platformer and part fighting game, and on both ends this game fails to give us something that feels even remotely competent.
You start with a platforming stage. You have a dinky punch and a kick with some range. The C button does nothing for now. Your walk speed is about the slowest I've seen in a game, but not to worry, you can hold up to fly around for like three seconds. While in the air, you'll realize that you aren't able to attack. Back to the level, get past a laser, kick tiny robots, fly over some obstacles on the ground, and after about 10 seconds you get to the first boss. Every boss is fought like it's a 1v1 fighting game, but all you have for offensive options is your two basic attacks. You still can't attack while flying, but you are invincible while doing it. You can also duck to stay invincible, but again you can't attack, so really what's the point? The AI sure does love to fly around and duck just to waste your time all the while the timer slowly ticks down. This is also a fighting system with no blocking. I resorted to getting really close to the boss and spamming punch until they went down.
After defeating the boss, you get sent to another platforming level. While here you'll find a level up container. These give you moves for the 1v1 parts and with this one in particular you obtain the most vital move, the double arm throw, which can be activated by pressing B and forward. I didn't mention this earlier, but in these 1v1 fights you have a stamina bar, and you need stamina to perform these moves (the throw requires five stamina). Stamina goes down as you take damage and recovers slowly over time. If your stamina bar drops to three, you can no longer attack, and if it gets below that you can't do a single thing! Thought you could fly around or duck to regain stamina? Nope, tough shit idiot. I recommend spamming the double arm throw. Eventually the opponent will get down to below three stamina, allowing you to slowly walk up to them, pick them up from the ground, and do another throw. Just get them in a loop, who gives shit! In the next platforming level, the C button finally has a function. Pressing C while holding forward allows you to dash. Finally, good mobility! I actually found this to be more of a burden than anything as I kept dashing into enemies or dashing then initiating flight, then flying right into a bomb or laser.
That's about all there is to this game. Shitty platforming with either a molasses-paced walking speed or a dash that's way too fast. Then it's one of the worst feeling fighters out there where the best option is to just spam throw. Double arm throw to be precise, because the enemy can counter your single arm throw. Lather, rinse, and repeat until you probably shut it off due to pure frustration and agony. There are technically no redeeming factors here; it plays like shit and looks like shit (music was fine) but the reason this is a whopping one-star instead of half is because I did have a few laughs. Any game that can make me laugh doesn't deserve a half-star. Those are reserved for pure, unadulterated time vampires.

The Sega Genesis is my favorite console. There was a point in time where I downloaded a full romset, filtered out games I recognized, and put a timer to try every game out for at least 20 minutes. Any highlights would go onto my flashcart after the fact.
This game filled me with hope. I really liked the intro; the character animation and design is right up my alley. I was so stoked!
I reset the emulator, went through the intro a second time, recorded it to send to my friends, and said something like "Have you ever instantly fell in love?"
Then I played the game.
I stopped the timer at four minutes.
I left with such a bitter taste in my mouth that I didn't play any Genesis games... or videogames at all, for the next three days.
I don't think I've ever been more disappointed in a videogame in my entire life. If the intro just fucking sucked out of the gate, it would've at least been funny.
This just made me sad.

Good lord such an awful game. I can't stand why I wanted to play this. Why did I play this? Actually I do know why, I played the other launch game on the Sega CD and just couldn't help but not look. I should note because I was so baffled of the gameplay I switched to Genesis to see the differences and it was basically the same with worse sound. So I finished that cause I was too lazy to switch back.
Heavy Nova is just not fun at all, I can see what they were going for with this weird action and fighting game. This just was made too early or maybe Micronet just sucks at making games, idk. First off the movement is stiff and just not fun like you either have awful control of your movement or you go at rocket speeds and have trouble stopping.
This is also part fighting game with the bosses and I don't get it at all. You have like moves you can learn and stuff and there's a stamina meter? It feels so flawed and tbh I don't even know how I won any of them. I had to spam throws so idk if that's how you people also beat the game. This is somehow less enjoyable then the first Street Fighter like how do you even manage that?
There's also only like 2 missions too I was almost worried the game would be too long but no once you do 5 levels in mission 2 it's just over and I felt relieved to know it was over.
Can someone please explain to me just how this got approved to be a launch title for the Mega CD? Like I'm not kidding when I say this, the intro is the best part of the game. I'm being serious, the japanese vocals are actually nice to listen to even if there isn't much. Why is this the best part. I feel so in disbelief this game was made. Why was this given a Genesis release in the states. There's a reason they brought over Sol-Feace for the CD as a bonus instead. It was so much better of a game.
I think what saddens me the most is I think this could be done good, it's just not executed good at all. It's a disaster of a game that does almost nothing right. With the genesis version not even having the CD intro song, it really has no redeeming qualities. I'm not kidding when I say this but this might be my least favorite game on the console, even worse then DD 1 and 2 on the console. Even Awesome Possum was better YEAH I SAID IT! Screw you Micronet, why did you gotta hurt me like this?

Jesus Humanity.
Perhaps the worst thing about this game is the bizarre Intentionally behind the design. It's not just that there's no block button and that you're invincible whenever you crouch or jump (which also has flight, but no air attacks!), it's that the AI abuses it too. Or that you become unable to attack if your "Power" level, which goes down whenever you get hit and has the time it goes up depend on your actual health, which the AI WILL use to casually infinite you if your HP gets low enough, because you can grab enemies who are proned on the ground to end it early and then just grab them to deplete their power again and infinite them if their regen is not high enough. The game has horrible turning lag, which is only worsened by needing to double tap back to turn around (this is apparently a setting in the configuration that is on by default for...for some reason). The AI is subject to this as well and so will do the same thing the player does: Use their invincible jump to cross up the opponent and try to throw out their fastest attack. This also leads to the ideal way to beat the AI being HILARIOUS! Keep jumping in place while the AI attacks and try to catch them in an attack to throw them, which they will often jump themselves but you then jump back and so you and the AI keep jumping at each other for like a minute before one messes up. Oh, also, A and B are attacks, but the C button ain't jump and is in fact near useless! Wanna know how you jump and fly around? You hold up. It's as painful as your fingers as you're imagining.
Why is the timer so weird? It's like the devs have no concept of time. It begins at like 90 seconds, yet lasts about 10 minutes real time. Just like...w h a t? The super stiff controls make the platforming parts hell, although the idea of combining a platformer and a fighter is at least interesting, especially since your health is shared between platforming stage and boss fight. To be honest in the right game this could be fun, but Heavy Nova ain't it. Did I mention you don't start with all the moves? Yeah, you have to grab "Level Up" containers around the platforming stages in order to get all of them, and while the early ones are smack dab in the middle of the stage the last one is hidden. This also means needing to fight the first boss without any but like 4 moves which is about as fun as it sounds. More hilariously, fighters with attacks missing in the story mode (because the 2nd player AI ALSO doesn't have all their moves) are still missing them in the 2-player mode, so the first boss for example only has four attacks in the vs. mode. It's downright comical. This game has some instances of borderline unavoidable damage, enemies just out of sight to blow you up immediately, some absolutely BAFFLING hitboxes that will largely whiff for no good reason (same for the AI in the boss fights and missing!), and overall is just poorly designed.
The music is decent enough but mostly uninspired, although I did like that they went ham on the final boss theme, and uh. Game's preeeeeeetty ugly man, these are NOT the best lookin' robots you could find, palette swap heavy game, some real jank. Also stages don't have defined edges, so they go infinitely left/right, which led to the funniest part of the entire playthrough as I used the dash attack to escape the AI, the AI used the dash attack to follow and since they can be held infinitely we just zoomed across the entire screen like Sonic Adventure 2 for like a minute. I will also confess I didn't beat this game without a Game Genie code to have infinite Power because the AI can infinite you with two attacks if you don't have it and it just was TOO obnoxious to handle.
It's a failure on every level, but at least streaming it out to friends was a fun time. Thanks to Vee's review of the sequel for bringing this game's existence to my mind and making my friend go "it'd be Funni if you played it this sounds so BAD I'm curious".

I’m not a religious person, I do not believe in god, but I hope it is all real so the people who made this suffer in hell for all eternity

I'm not sure how they did it, but the boys at Micronet managed to make a game that's less entertaining than being bathed in battery acid.
Very impressive.