Sega Genesis Appreciation

A few days ago, August 14th to be exact, Sega Genesis turned 30 in North America! While many have acclaimed, “30’s the new 20” we thought it would be a great time to appreciate the classic retro system Sega Genesis and discuss some of our favorite games.

Previously, we covered the N64 Classic and Playstation Classic. Though we didn’t dedicate an article to it, there is a Sega Genesis Mini on the way next month! You can use that link to look at the game list. 

For this article, we want to talk about the Two Average Gamers’ favorites from their childhoods. This isn’t going to be a TAG Mount Rushmore post; these are simply our favorites that we’ve played.

Flash’s Favorites
ToeJam & Earl

For the loyal reads of, this should be the least surprising thing you read all day. My love for these funky aliens is not secret. I extensively covered their Kickstarter reboot – ToeJam & Earl Back in the Groove.

I’m not going to waste your time with a ton of details. The short story is two aliens crash land on Earth and must search several levels to rebuild their spaceship. Along the way, they use power-ups, found in presents, to deal with exaggerated enemies called Earthlings. Funky beats and humor accompany you throughout the journey.

toejam and earl

Streets of Rage

I just wrote out that title and hesitated to add a “2” or “3”. This might be one of the few video game series where I can’t decide between the first 3 games which I like the most. Each was great in their own way, but something about the original game has my heart.

I must be a sucker for good soundtracks. Streets of Rage is probably in my top 10 of all time. But the real gem is the gameplay. Streets of Rage, at a time when side-scrolling beat-em-ups were running rampant, is my all-time favorite. 

Sonic 2

I couldn’t mention my top 4 without mentioning Sonic 2. Being a younger sibling I grew up as the embodiment of Miles “Tails” Prower. I got to frantically try to keep up with my older brother zooming through stages as Sonic. 

However, being the invincible force I was, my time to shine came when we reached the boss. I would dive at the boss with no regard as Sonic watched from safety. 

Playing the game as Sonic was an entirely different experience and also great. The levels were well designed for the fast paced play with alternate pathings and hidden sections to be found. 

My favorite part of the game was the back-to-back bosses of Mecha Sonic and Dr. Robotnik in his giant robot suit, the Egg Robot. It was one of the first games I beat as a child and, at the time, the experience was nothing short of epic!

Bill Walsh Football

I had a lot of ideas on how to fill this final slot. Any iteration of the Sega Genesis Madden Football or NBA Live would have worked. Speaking of basketball, NBA Jam also could have fit. Extreme sport games like Road Rash and Skitch’n were also played a ton in my house. 

Instead, I’m going with Bill Walsh Football. Though it was created by the same developer as Madden, it had a unique play and feel. 

Running different colleges’ unique offensive sets and having the option to run…the option was incredible for the time period. It’s a gem like this game that makes me want college sports to return to the video game scene.

bill walsh college football

Yoshyaes’ Favorites
General Chaos

I don’t think many people have actually heard about this one but it’s a hidden gem. You lead a battalion of army guys onto the battlefield in a 4v4 fight to the death. There are separate classes with their own unique abilities and some hilarious animations.

A hand to hand combat feature allows you to drop your weapons and duke it out with punches and kicks. The maps are simple but have terrain effects which affect your movement. You can pick up items along the way as blow up, burn and shoot your way through the opposing forces.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie

Sooo my intro into SEGA was at my cousin’s house. He didn’t have many games, but he did have Power Rangers!

It’s like the poor man’s TMNT game. Side-scrolling mayhem against purple slim monsters at it’s finest. I was a big fan of the Power Rangers series back in the early 90s so this one immediately caught my attention.

It didn’t try to do anything fancy but the game had a solid moveset, floating coins and oncoming traffic. The icing on the cake was definitely the mega boss battles where you took control of flying robots!

John Madden Football

Even though Madden hasn’t innovated much in the last decade, they dominated the simulated football scene back in the day. The original version on SEGA had a surprising number of features for a 16-bit release:

  • Team scouting report
  • Downfield wide receiver view
  • Legit playbook

I’ve had some epic gridiron battles in this one and have been a strong Madden supporter ever since.

Phantasy Star IV

This game is almost like if Chrono Trigger and any 90s Final Fantasy game had a baby. Your customized party will fight your way through enemies that look eerily close to a Playstation controller.

Fun fact from Wikipedia:

The instruction manual for the American version states that there are 15 possible combination attacks. However, only 14 were ever discovered. Occasionally, the “secret technique” Feeve, a useless technique accessible through hacking, is mistaken for the “lost 15th combo.

I really enjoyed the Technique system coupled with a simplistic take on preventing total annihilation of the solar system. 

Did we miss your favorite Sega Genesis game? Are you considering picking up the Sega Genesis Mini? Are you one of the lucky few who still have a working original Sega Genesis? Leave a message below and let us know your thoughts!

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