As you all know, the mystery of the final two games in the SEGA 3D Archives 3 FINAL STAGE collection has been a long one. First Turbo OutRun and ThunderForce III were announced, and then a little bit of speculation went around trying to figure out what the last two bonus games would be added to this packaging of SEGA 3D Classics titles. Some said Alien Storm, Golden Axe, Bonanza Bros., and even Monster World IV could possibly be candidates. Well, thanks to some Famitsu scans, and some info sent to me by good ol’ outrun_86 once again, we have confirmation that the last two titles to be added are the top down shooter Alien Syndrome, and the puzzle classic Columns.
Originally released to the arcades in 1987, Alien Syndrome was basically SEGA’s take on the top down shooter format, with a little bit of Alien and Contra thrown in. The point of the game was to rescue crew members out of an alien infested ship before a time bomb blows up, destroying it entirely. The co-op was great, and so was the gameplay itself. From what we’re seeing in the Famitsu scans, it looks to be an arcade perfect port. Wonder how the 3D’s going to look with this one. Also announced was the 1990 puzzle game Columns. Similar to Tetris, Columns was a basic puzzle game, but with a twist. Instead of just stacking random blocks, you would stack multi-colored gems. Stacking them in a way where three of them lined up together (either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally) would result in clearing those gems and making room for more. Columns was a perfect example of easy to play, hard to master gameplay, as well as being very addictive. Honestly, these two games are pretty good decisions to add to the collection, alongside the titles that everyone knows. They just show a little more history of SEGA’s arcade titles, and it is appreciated.
I was also informed that a special time attack mode would be added to Turbo OutRun. Like certain racers in the 3D classics series, this mode will let you pick any stage in the game, and practice getting better times on each. I don’t think much else is being added to Turbo OR, minus the possibility of the 60 FPS mode that was included with the original 3D OutRun. As of now, I haven’t really heard or seen much about other extras added to the new games either. There may be a possibility of just straight ports with 3D, kind of like how 3D Archives 2 was. Currently 3D Archives 3 FINAL STAGE has a December release date, with no word on a Western release. Knowing the history of delayed 3D Classics games, this may be one to wait out on, or just import.