If you’ve managed to get your hands on the Super NES Classic Edition (and it sounds like a lot more people have compared to last year’s NES debacle), you’ve probably been enjoying some great old classic 16-bit games with a few useful new bells and whistles. One of those new features is the ability to rewind the game. It has been a popular feature in the unofficial emulation scene for a while but has largely been left out of official emulated re-releases until now. Save states are a handy way to get through some tough games, but it’s annoying having to constantly save and load. A rewind feature simply takes you back a set amount of time to quickly undo mistakes.
Apparently, SEGA liked the look of that feature and has now incorporated it into the SEGA Forever release of Golden Axe (Free). I’d expect we’ll be seeing it as a regular feature in SEGA Forever releases from here on out, and it’s likely only a matter of time before the earlier releases have it updated in. The way it works is simple. A button that looks like a clock sits at the upper-left corner of the screen. Hitting it asks you if you want to rewind the game by 15 seconds. If you say yes, you’ll be taken back in time to hopefully set right what once went wrong. You’ll notice the clock button counting off a timer after you use it. As it turns out, the rewind feature has a cool-down, presumably to prevent players from utterly abusing it. Or maybe to avoid the technical nightmare of someone trying to rewind an entire playthrough of Phantasy Star 2 fifteen seconds at a time. Your pick.
Golden Axe is actually a pretty good title to test the feature on. It’s a tough game, one where a single bad move can cost the player dearly. In general, I think this kind of feature can make some very difficult old games more accessible, and it makes for a smart addition to the SEGA Forever series. I’ve been giving SEGA as hard a time as anyone over the state these games launched in, but seeing features like this get added makes me feel like they’re busting their butts trying to make things right and then some. Now, if we could just get some more games from systems other than the Genesis? Pretty please?