So what have we here... Well, quite simply five very different action titles bundled together by France's finest bundlers of games that have got so little to do with each other they can't think of a decent, all-enveloping title for the compilation...
Jolly motorcycle racer with a nice line in gear changing and sound quality, originally published on MicroProse's short-lived MicroStyle label. Still manages to out-manoeuvre many of the two-wheeled coin-op conversions you might have been tempted by, and subsequently proves to be enormous fun - better looking than Super Hang-On, more playable than Team Suzuki, it does everything quite well without really being a major standout in any particular area.
Direct from the Ubi Soft stable, it's another plus sign for the compilation - oodles of gameplay and an interesting 3D presentation make it perhaps the best tennis game currently available.
The 'tour' takes you around the world playing top seeded tennis stars until you're good enough to make it into the elite, and most will find it challenging enough to be worth coming back to again and again.
Nicely timed for a re-release too, just when we're still glowing from an over-exposure of tennis games on the telly.
Things start to get a bit ropier around this point. This Dinamic-originated, post-apocalyptic beat-'em-up, set in and around familiar inner-city mean streets, looks good but proves rather too simple to make any real impression. There are plenty of fighting manoeuvres and all the usual devil dogs, punks and robots to see to too - one bit sees you touting giant guns in a scene very reminicent of Aliens - but really nothing out of the ordinary. Safe and entertaining enough to justify its existence in this package, but that's about as far as it goes.
Another bovver boy game but this time a more sophisticated nature. This, the last Firebird product ever released, contains a whole bunch of martial arts - kendo (the one with sticks), karate and sumo, among others - set in some kind of Far Easy Olympics stadia, and as such score points for novelty value, at least. Joystick movements take some getting used to, and while it suffers from typical beat-'em-up sameyness, a fairly agreeable (if rather limited) experience nonetheless.
Wizards and warriors get it on in underground caverns and ancient castles. There's lots to do in this sideways-scrolling arcade fantasy, and plenty to see, but all too samey for most of us.
Graphics are a little out of the ordinary, but gameplay is most definitely not - in fact, much of it seems suspiciously heavily based on US Gold's Black Tiger coin-op conversion.
A pretty decent collection, and at a nice price (just over a fiver a game), even if it lacks any real stand out products.
It's a personal thing but I find these varied, themeless compilations actually more satisfactory than straight thematic attempts - at least you're not being asked to play umpteen variations on bascailly the same gameplay all the time.