Somewhat Random – Sega Genesis DOESN’T Suck
One afternoon not too long ago, I was having a conversation about video games with two of my friends; let’s call them Friend A and Friend B. We mostly talked about awesome Super Nintendo RPGs, but the topic somehow switched to the Sega Genesis. Friend A and I both grew up with a SNES and Sega Genesis, so we quickly started talking about awesome Genesis games. Friend B was quick to point out that “Sega Genesis Sucks.” Of course, Friend B didn’t have a Sega Genesis growing up and couldn’t name a single game besides Sonic the Hedgehog, and that game sucked too.
Immediately, Friend A and I looked at each other and laughed, because we knew better. Friend B then challenged us to name five games that prove it doesn’t suck. It didn’t really matter what we named though, because it wasn’t like we could change Friend B’s mind.
I will admit up front, the title is very bait-like, but what I really wanted to do was bring the conversation to the web and really drive my point home. I’m going to list five games that prove the Sega Genesis doesn’t suck, plus ask you to list five of your favourite games in the comments below. It’s also nice to get away from Nintendo content for a moment.
Game 1) Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Friend B says, “The Sonic series is overrated.”
Why it Doesn’t Suck: This was an easy choice for me because Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is my all-time favourite Sonic game. Nostalgia aside, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 features outstanding level design, case in point, Casino Night Zone. This is one of the most creative levels ever crafted because it brilliantly plays upon Sonic’s ability to roll into a ball. Sonic can be flung around like a pinball, and even engage in a game of chance with the many slot machines littered about.
Game 2) World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck
Friend B says, “Well, Magical Quest is better.”
Why it Doesn’t Suck: I’m not going to debate whether this title is better than The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse or not, but I will prove that this is a game worthy to be in any Sega Genesis collection. Much like Sonic the Hedgehog 2, World of Illusion features amazing level design. Not going to go too far with this point, but there is one level that lets you ride on a champagne cork in space, yeah, it’s awesome. World of Illusion’s big draw is its replay value and teamwork.
You can play as either Mickey or Donald, with each character experiencing different levels. However, you can also play co-operatively with another gamer. Doing so allows Mickey and Donald to use a variety of teamwork moves, one of which allows you to pull the other character up a cliff with a rope. Co-op play also lets you play new levels that can’t be experienced during a single player game.
Game 3) Streets of Rage
Friend B says, “Nothing beats Final Fight.”
In all seriousness, Streets of Rage is one of the best beat ‘em up games ever. It features three awesome characters each with different stats and while the level design is mediocre at best, Streets of Rage throws plenty of challenging foes at you, especially its bosses. Aside from it’s fantastic gameplay, another plus is that Streets of Rage features some of the best theme songs composed for the Genesis hardware.
Game 4) Gunstar Heroes
Friend B says, “OK, that game is pretty good.”
Friend B liked it because you have a Vitality meter, meaning no one-hit deaths like in Contra. I liked it because of its high-octane, balls to the wall, non-stop action. The perfect example to sum up this game’s tense action can be found in the mine level.
You ride in a mine cart throughout the entire level with the ability to switch gravity at will. There is also a long boss battle that will test your endurance. Luckily, you can mix and match different power-ups to create the perfect gun for the job.
Game 5) Kid Chameleon
Friend B says, “You mean the stupid game that Friend A really likes?”
Why it Doesn’t Suck: Kid Chameleon is a unique game because you can transform into different characters by finding and obtaining masks. Each character has a different set of abilities which ups the variety and makes the game a lot of fun to play. And after watching Friend A play the game, I realized that there was plenty to see and do.
Kid Chameleon has a lot of replay value. There are multiple paths to the final level that feature levels not accessible by regular means. To access new paths you must find hidden warps, some of which require a certain character to uncover.
Those were my five choices, and I believe that they are all strong games to prove that the Genesis doesn’t suck. Though, to be honest, I only scratched the surface. I never even mentioned games like Ristar, Golden Axe, or Wonder Boy in Monster World.
Want to help me prove that the Genesis is a worthy console? List your 5 favourite Sega Genesis games in the comments below.