The Sega Genesis in 1990 | Classic Gaming Quarterly
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The Sega Genesis in 1990 | Classic Gaming Quarterly

August 26, 2019

At the end of 1989, the Sega Genesis was still
a real question mark in the eyes of many gamers. The system was well-represented on store shelves
with standout titles like Thunder Force II, Ghouls N’ Ghosts, and The Revenge of Shinobi. But the TurboGrafx-16 had several hits of
its own, including The Legendary Axe, R-Type, and a CD-ROM drive. But both systems were being dwarfed by Nintendo,
whose recently-released games included Mega Man II, Tecmo Bowl, and Teenage Mutant Ninja
Turtles. The fate of the Genesis may therefore have
rested on it’s performance over the course of the following year, when Sega would continue
porting over its arcade hits, welcome multiple third-party publishers to the platform, and
ultimately quadruple the size of the system’s library. On this episode of Classic Gaming Quarterly,
we take an in-depth look at the Sega Genesis in 1990. “The 16-bit microprocessor allows for enhanced
graphics, more memory capability, stereo sound, depth perception, simulated 3D…. You now have a game that is richly enhanced,
a game that is very, very similar to that which you would find in the arcade.” In 1982, Japanese game developer “Orca”
released Looper, a maze game not unlike Lady Bug, and marine-based shooter The Bounty,
but like many small arcade developers to crop up in Japan in the early 80’s, Orca was
was bankrupt by 1984. It’s ex-employees founded a new company,
Crux, that designed Gyrodine, a helicopter-based shooter published by Taito that saw home ports
on both the MSX and Famicom. They also developed Repulse, published by
Sega, a fixed shooter that features enemy ships scaling into the play field from the
front or back. By 1985 Crux was also bankrupt, but out of
its ashes rose Toaplan. Initially developing arcade games for Taito,
Toaplan produced a number of shooters that would end up ported to the Nintendo Entertainment
System, including Tiger Heli, Twin Cobra, and Sky Shark. Once the 16-bit generation began, several
Toaplan shooters made their way to the Mega Drive and Genesis, including Hellfire, Fire
Shark, and the meme-famous Zero Wing, but the first Toaplan game released on Sega’s
16-bit platform was also one of the first games released on the Genesis in 1990. Tatsujin was published for the Japanese arcades
by Taito, and is a vertically-scrolling spaceship shooter in which you play the role of space
pilot Tom, who as the last hope of the Borgosians, takes control of the Super Fighter, in order
to turn back the invading Gidans. Tatsujin was brought to western arcades by
both Midway and ROMStar under a new name: Truxton. A Toaplan-programmed port was released on
the Genesis in January of 1990, and was the first of 8 shooters released on the platform
that year. Famous for both its difficulty and its status
as the pseudo-official game of Classic Game Room, Truxton is a fairly boilerplate vertically-scrolling
spaceship shooter. Tom’s ship can be outfitted by one of three
different weapons, chosen between by picking up the appropriate drop, which also changes
the color of the ship. The ever-present spread gun is probably the
best all-around weapon in the game, and is joined by the thunder laser, which locks onto
larger targets, and the eponymous Truxton laser which is really just a big green pulse
cannon that concentrates all its firepower straight ahead. You can also deploy destroyer bombs that both
damage everything on the screen and clear it of enemy fire. This was apparently the coolest thing about
the game back in 1990, since it was the screenshot that every gaming magazine made sure to print. Truxton was adapted for home displays by cropping
off the top of the screen and adding a status bar on the right, a common tactic when bringing
many shooters home. Unfortunately, this shrinks the vertical size
of the play field by about 25%, and since sprites were not reduced in size to compensate,
the screen can feel crowded, and lightning-fast reflexes are going to be needed if you want
to stay alive. At least they tried to kind of maintain the
aspect ratio. For the PC Engine port of Tatsujin, they just
turned it into a 4:3 game. Truxton has somehow managed to make itself
a stand-out Genesis title, without really being an outstanding game. Objectively, Truxton is extraordinarily average. Subjectively however, there’s just something
about it and it’s early Genesis vibe that makes Truxton more than the sum of its parts. Perhaps the biggest advantage that Sega had
over it’s home console rivals was a large catalog of arcade hits from which to draw. While many of these games took a necessary
hit when being ported to the Master System, the hardware of the Mega Drive and Genesis
was a much more natural fit, as the console’s design was based on their own System-16 arcade
board. One of the most popular System-16 titles was
Golden Axe, released into American arcades in the Summer of 1989. Golden Axe was the brainchild of Makoto Uchida,
whose other works at Sega include Altered Beast, Alien Storm, and the Dynamite Deka
Series, the first of which was released in North America as Die Hard Arcade. Inspired by Conan the Barbarian, Uchida wanted
to create a game that would combine the atmosphere of that movie with the gameplay of Double
Dragon. Featuring three playable characters, Ax Battler
is based on the aforementioned Conan, Gilius Thunderhead was modeled after the dwarves
of The Lord of the Rings books, and Tyris Flare was inspired by the paintings of fantasy
artist Boris Vallejo, who coincidentally provided the box art for a number of Genesis games,
including Golden Axe 2. Whichever character you choose, it’s up
to you to rescue the king and princess of Yuria from the evil Death Adder. Nope. That’s him. To further differentiate his game from genre
predecessors like Renegade and the aforementioned Double Dragon, Uchida armed his three playable
characters with weapons, and allowed them to ride captured beasts. Offensive magic is also available, with both
its type and strength unique to each character. Golden Axe was the first proper beat-em-up
released on the Genesis when it hit store shelves sometime in late January. Although the usual concessions had to be made
when bringing the game home, this iteration of Golden Axe is, overall, a very capable
home port, and was also just the second non-sports game to feature simultaneous two-player play
after 1989’s Forgotten Worlds. The
graphics are naturally less detailed, although the game still sports some impressively-large
sprites. The sound effects, while different, still
get the job done, and Tohru Nakabayashi’s soundtrack, even on the Genesis, is still
one of my all-time favorites. Lastly the controls are, dare I say, more
responsive than the arcade original. New to this home port is a final showdown
with new boss Death Bringer, and while this extra stage may have the atmosphere of afterthought,
it’s still more-than-welcome additional content. Speaking of additional content, the home version
of Golden Axe also features a one-on-one, 2-player-only fighting mode. While this may not have the depth of say Street
Fighter II, I can personally attest to the fact that it gave the game additional replay
value after my teenage friends and I had grown tired of beating the game for the hundredth
time. Which brings me to my only real criticism. Even with the added level, Golden Axe is not
a particularly long, or particularly difficult game. It only takes about 30 minutes to play through,
and while it may take you a few tries to figure out the best strategy for each boss, before
long you’ll be beating the game in your sleep. Usually, that would severely impact a game’s
replay value, but thanks to its tight gameplay and awesome atmosphere, Golden Axe remains
one of my absolute favorite games on the Sega Genesis. Kotaro Hayashida was hired at Sega in 1983,
initially to design games for their SG-1000 home console. By 1986 the Famicom was selling well in Japan,
and Hayashida and his co-workers were challenged with making a game that would sell as well
on the Sega Mark III as Super Mario Bros was for Nintendo. Out of this work came Alex Kidd in Miracle
World, which while by no means a Mario killer, is one of Sega’s more beloved 8-bit titles. The game was released on the Master System
in 1987, and would eventually come built-in to the system’s memory as a digital pack-in
game. Several Alex Kidd games were released on the
Master System, including the outstanding Alex Kidd in Shinobi World, a cartoony send-up
of Sega’s popular arcade game Shinobi. In late January of 1990, a 16-bit installment
in the Alex Kidd series made its way to the Genesis; Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle. Plot-wise a direct sequel to the original
Master System game, Enchanted Castle certainly maintains the flavor of the original Alex
Kidd. A cartoon-like presentation is paired up with
solid level design, featuring hidden areas, and awesome variety between stages. There’s really no question that Sega stuck
to the formula with this installment in the franchise, but in doing so they made a game
that feels like it belongs on the Master System rather than what was at the time next-generation
hardware. The game is certainly not bad, and probably
would have made for a weekend’s worth of fun back in 1990, but on a console being marketed
towards older gamers, Enchanted Castle somehow feels out-of-place. Unsurprisingly, Alex Kidd in the Enchanted
Castle would be the lone Genesis appearance of Sega’s adolescent simian mascot. The year after he designed the original Alex
Kidd, Kotaro Hayashida designed the anime tie-in game Zillion, with the main character’s
gun serving as a tie-in back to the Master System’s own light phaser. After Zillion, Hayashida began work directing
the first installment of what would become Sega’s marquee role-playing franchise: Phantasy
Star. Unlike most RPGs of its day, Phantasy Star
takes place in a world skewed more towards science fiction than medieval fantasy, charging
your party of four with the task of saving not just one planet, but an entire solar system,
from an iron-fisted King Lassic. Due to its 4 megabit ROM chip, at $70 Phantasy
Star was the most expensive game on the Master System, but also represented a benchmark release
for both the platform and the genre, giving any role-playing game on the NES a run for
its money, in terms of content, scope, and presentation. The game employs then genre mainstays like
random, turn-based battle encounters and dungeon crawling, but does so from a first-person
perspective. The latter being a major technological achievement
of lead programmer Yuji Naka. People often like to point out that the Master
System was technologically superior to the NES, and I can think of few better examples
than Phantasy Star, as the combination of Naka’s programming, Rieko Kodama’s artwork,
and Tokuhiko Uwabo’s soundtrack pushed the hardware to its absolute limit. Phantasy Star was released to rave reviews
in all regions, and although the lack of an installed user base in North America limited
its popularity here, in Japan stores had trouble keeping the game in stock, and in Brazil it
was one of the few Master System games to be translated into Portuguese prior to release. It was therefore all but a given that a sequel
would be developed, but it wasn’t originally intended for the Mega Drive. In the summer of 1988, after significant progress
had been made developing Phantasy Star II for the Master System, the development team
was told that the game was instead to be released on Sega’s upcoming 16-bit system. When it was released here in early March of
1990, Phantasy Star II was the biggest Genesis game yet at 6 megabits, but producer Yuji
Naka had to push to get that upgraded from 4, and even with the extra 2 megabits, there
simply wasn’t enough room on the cartridge, or enough time, for the creative team’s
vision to become a reality. The most noticeable symptoms of this being
the omission of the 3-dimensional dungeons and the missing backgrounds on the battle
screens that were a graphical highlight of the original game. Changes were also made to the game’s plot,
but it still set a new standard for storytelling in a video game. Phantasy Star II takes place in the same solar
system as the original, but 1,000 years later, has even more of a futuristic science fiction
atmosphere than its predecessor. Written and directed by Akinori Nishiyama,
perhaps a reflection of their respective consoles, Phantasy Star II’s plot was much more complex
and mature than the original, delving into such topics as man’s over-dependence on
the luxuries of modern technology, the unwillingness to question those who provide such technology,
and the concept of humans as an invasive species. Due in part to its 6 megabit ROM, Phantasy
Star II hit stores with an initial MSRP of $79.99, and was released with a pocket-sized,
100 page hint book. In Japan, this book was available as a separate
purchase, but thanks to Sega of America marketing director Al Nilsen, in order to both give
a better value to the consumer and make the game more accessible to genre neophytes, the
book was included with the game at no additional charge. Like the original Phantasy Star on the Master
System, Phantasy Star II was met with critical and consumer acclaim, and is not only one
of the best games on the Genesis, but is regularly hailed as one of the greatest games of all
time. Even with its hefty price tag, of the 46 games
released that year, Phantasy Star II might have been the biggest “must buy” game
of 1990. In the early to mid 1980’s, before the proliferation
of PC clones, western computer gaming was primarily done on the Apple II, Commodore
64, and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. In Japan however, at that time the best computer
games were found on NEC’s PC-88 line, and the MSX. In 1982, Techno Soft was founded to develop
games for the Japanese home computer, and in 1983 released Thunder Force, a free-roaming
shooter the sequel to which was a launch title for the Genesis when it was released in 1989. In 1988 Techno Soft released Herzog on both
the PC-8801 and the MSX, and the following year developed a sequel for the Mega Drive
called Herzog Zwei. The Herzog games arguably gave birth to the
real-time strategy genre, with the first game laying the groundwork for the second. Herzog Zwei was localized for and published
on the Genesis by Sega in April of 1990, and was no doubt the most unique game on the console
up to that point. Whether you play a game against the computer
or go 2-player head-to-head, after choosing a map, you and your opponent each start off
with one primary base, and compete to take over as many of the neutral remote bases as
possible, with the ultimate goal being to destroy the other player’s primary camp. To that end, you control a robot that can
shape-shift between three different forms. The attack jet can move around the map faster
and attack other airborne units, the infantry solider can attack other ground-based enemies
and uses far less energy, and the air transport can move your units around the map. What makes Herzog Zwei unique among real-time
strategy games is that, rather than playing as the hand of God, or a general pulling levers
from behind the scenes, in this game your boots are on the ground. Through your mech, you buy units, issue them
orders, and then deploy them in the field by physically carrying them there, as well
as getting into firefights yourself. The game requires you to think strategically,
but quickly, but you also need the fast reflexes normally called for by an arcade game. Anyone who’s spent time with Technosoft’s
earlier Genesis release, Thunder Force II, will instantly recognize many of Herzog Zwei’s
sound effects, and the two games share a similar atmosphere. This may have been a source of confusion back
in the day, as nothing about the game’s packaging gives much of a hint about just
what kind of game it is, and many may have expected something more in-line with Thunder
Force II. I often hear it said that Herzog Zwei received
poor reviews, when it really only got one, in which the EGM review crew mostly complained
that it was too complicated. While GamePro avoided reviewing the game altogether,
Game Players named it their June “Game of the Month”, while Video Games and Computer
Entertainment heralded Herzog Zwei as a computer-quality strategy game on a home console. After Herzog Zwei, it would be four months
before the Genesis would get another first-party release. But this gap was filled by the arrival of
the first third-party publishers on the platform, beginning with Seismic, probably best known
as the western publisher of M.U.S.H.A., who released 2 games on the Genesis in mid-April
of 1990. The first, Super Hydlide is the 16-bit follow
up to Hydlide, an action role playing game developed by T&E Soft for a variety of Japanese
home computers, that itself got an awful NES port. Super Hydlide’s audio-visuals are nothing
to write home about, but the open world design and deep gameplay have made it well-regarded
among classic RPG fans. Seismic also released Air Diver, a combat
flight simulator developed specifically for the Mega Drive and Genesis. The gameplay is fairly shallow but Air Diver
has decently-detailed graphics, and great music. A month later, the second third-party publisher
to throw their hat in the ring was Dreamworks, when they released action puzzler Shove it! The Warehouse Game in mid-May. While it may not have fit in with the motif
of the Genesis library at the time, it was and is a charming game that would have made
for a decent weekend rental if the A-list games were already taken. It would be another month and a half before
a new Genesis game hit store shelves, but this time it would be from the biggest third-party
publisher to partner with Sega. Already well-established in the field of computer
software, by the late 80’s, Electronic Arts was looking to expand into the home console
market. Founder Trip Hawkins was impressed by the
Sega Genesis, but not accustomed to the idea of paying licensing fees simply to release
software, Electronic Arts reverse-engineered the console, defeating Sega’s protection
scheme. Hawkins used this as leverage to negotiate
a very favorable business deal with Sega, in which EA would pay just $2 per unit instead
of the usual $10, but would manufacture the games themselves, resulting in cartridges
that looked markedly different than those produced by Sega. Although at the time Sega may have felt as
though they’d been steamrolled by Hawkins and EA, this arrangement undeniably contributed
more to the overall success of the console than any other third-party partnership. In early July, both Budokan: The Martial Spirit
and Populous were released on the Genesis by EA. Budokan is an interesting entry in the pre-Street
Fighter II one-on-one fighting genre that actually has you training in various techniques
before entering a martial arts tournament. Unfortunately, the game’s vision outshines
its gameplay, and what’s left is a game that might look enticing at first but is ultimately
a disappointing gameplay experience. Populous is a title best-known for launching
the “God game” genre when it was released on the Amiga in 1989 and is considered one
of the best computer games of all time. Although the Genesis is certainly not be the
ideal platform on which to play it, it did bring the game to those for whom a home computer
was simply out-of-reach. That same month also saw a second Dreamworks
release, Target Earth. A western localization of Assault Suit Leynos,
the first game in the “Assault Suit” series by NCS, Target Earth is a side-scrolling mech-based
action game whose brutal difficulty may cause some to shy away, but that provides a fulfilling
experience to those willing to tough it out. In early August, an avalanche of new first-party
Genesis games were released, with Sega once again dipping into their extensive catalog
of arcade hits. The original Monaco GP was released by Sega
all the way back in 1979. The game uses an overhead point-of-view on
a vertically-scrolling play field, and is an impressive-looking title for a late 70’s
release. The game displays player information on a
separate LED panel instead of on the CRT screen, and has the distinction of being the last
major arcade release to be based around transistor-transistor logic, or TTL, instead of a CPU. In 1983 the game was ported to Sega’s first
entry in the home console market, the SG-1000, and was an impressive home translation. For the next several years the Monaco GP series
went dark. But in 1989, a new game was released on Sega’s
X Board system, the third in their line of Super Scaler arcade hardware, whose specialty
was pseudo-3D graphics via sprite scaling. Super Monaco GP takes advantage of this hardware
by shifting from an overhead to first-person point-of-view. The game features a single track that sort
of but not really resembles the Circuit de Monaco in Monte Carlo. Once the race begins, the game sets position
limits that you have to stay in front of in order to continue. If you’re able to complete the race, you
simply race on the same track a second time, but in the wet. Super Monaco GP was subsequently ported to
just about every home gaming platform of the day, but it was Sega’s own 16-bit hardware
that got by far the best release, when the Genesis version of Super Monaco GP arrived
in-store sometime in early August. While this home version may lack the visual
pizazz of the arcade original, it’s more than made up for with the addition of content
that turns Super Monaco GP from a simple arcade title into a driving game that the home gamer
could really sink their teeth into. The original arcade mode is here, but the
game also offers a career mode called “World Championship,” that contains every real-world
track used in the 1989 Formula 1 season. You start off driving for a lower-level constructor,
but can move up to better teams by choosing and then beating rival drivers. All team names and driver names are technically
fictitious, but it’s usually not to difficult to figure out who they’re referring to. As stated, the game is expectedly inferior
to the arcade original in the audio/video department, thanks I to the lack of scaling
trackside sprites, but the backgrounds are all specific to each track, and the music
is quite catchy. The controls do take some getting used to,
as it can be difficult at first to not accidentally downshift while turning. Much like 1989’s Super Hang-On, Super Monaco
GP takes a relatively simplistic arcade game and fleshes it out, making it a far better
game for a home audience. Assuming at least a passing interest in racing
games, Super Monaco GP would have been a no-brainer purchase in August of 1990. Other first-party August releases include
Yu Suzuki’s After Burner II, a home port of the wildly-successful arcade game that
ran on the same hardware as Super Monaco GP. Once again a Super Scaler game made for a
capable home translation, but in order to accommodate the limited number of buttons
on the Genesis controller, your machine gun is constantly firing, which is kind of annoying. More importantly, unlike Super Monaco GP,
nothing was done to add any extra content to this game, making After Burner II a clear
weekend rental. Columns, a game more closely associated with
the Game Gear, actually got its start on home computer systems, having been designed by
a Hewlett-Packard employee named Jay Geertsen, before being purchased by Sega, who initially
released it on their lesser-known System C arcade board. The game was ported to the Genesis and became
Sega’s flagship entry in the tile-matching genre popularized by Tetris, becoming the
original pack-in game for the Game Gear when it was released in 1991. Columns is a solid puzzle game that itself
has been imitated many times, but is a game that, growing up, I could never see as anything
but a Tetris clone. To better take advantage of this bevy of home
arcade ports, also hitting stores in August of 1990 was the Sega Arcade Power Stick. Very much the Genesis analog to Nintendo’s
Advantage Joystick, the Power Stick features a balltop arcade-style joystick and three
large action buttons with independently-adjustable turbo function. And just as the Genesis controller is itself
more ergonomic than the competition, so too is the Power Stick. As is the case with Nintendo’s offering,
Sega’s stick uses rubber domes instead of proper microswitches and therefore lacks the
feeling of the genuine article, but it was yet another attempt by Sega to bring the arcade
into the living room. Another August release was a Sega-programmed
port of Cyberball, a moderately successful 4-player Atari arcade game. The Mega Drive port of this futuristic, 7-on-7
robot-based football-style game supported the Mega Modem for online play. Unfortunately, its North American equivalent,
the TeleGenesis, was cancelled before Cyberball was released here. What’s left is still a reasonably fun pseudo-sports
title reminiscent of games like Base Wars or 2020 Super Baseball. But hardcore football fans would have been
better-served by renting this one, and keeping most of their cash in their wallets for a
few short months. The first of two summer Hollywood tie-in games,
Ghostbusters was developed exclusively for the Mega Drive and Genesis through a collaboration
between Sega and Compile. An action platform game taking place in the
Ghostbusters universe but unrelated to previous games using the Ghostbusters license, you
can choose to play as Peter, Ray, or Egon, but not as Winston for whatever reason. Going out on calls to, naturally, bust ghosts
the game is a lot of fun, and for some reason is one that you don’t hear talked about
very often. The last Genesis release in the summer of
1990 was Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker, one of two games developed by Sega as a tie-in
to the 1988 movie of the same name, the other being a System 18 arcade release. While the arcade game is an isometric beat-em-up, the home version is a side-scrolling action
game. In both cases, your objective is to save children
kidnapped by Mr. Big, and both games’ soundtracks feature 16-bit versions of many of Jackson’s
hits. Subsequent events aside, Michael Jackson was
one of the biggest stars of the 1980’s, and I’m surprised that it took as long as
it did for a video game to bear his name. As summer became fall, the Christmas shopping
season was fast approaching, and the frequency of Genesis releases increased exponentially. In early October, Tengen released a Genesis
port of the Atari arcade game, Klax. Seemingly ubiquitous in the early 90’s,
Klax holds the distinction of being the last official release on the Atari 2600. A unique take on the falling object puzzle
genre, Klax features brightly-colored tiles moving down a conveyor belt. You catch the tiles as they fall, and then
stack them so as to create rows of three or more. Klax has a wonderful audio-visual presentation,
and I wish it were somehow possible to build a real-life version of the machine featured
in the game. A month later, Namco released their first
Genesis game, a home port of their system 2 arcade release, Burning Force. Combining the gameplay of a rail shooter like
Space Harrier with elements of more traditional shooters, Burning Force is a neat game with
a wonderfully vibrant color palette and a great soundtrack. Meanwhile, between mid-October and mid-November,
a total of six shooters were published on the Genesis. Renovation released their first game, the
Mega Drive and Genesis exclusive Whip Rush, by VIC Tokai. A solid game that seems to have been forgotten
by the sands of time, Whip Rush is a horizontally and vertically scrolling shooter that features
little Gradius-style options, and also features an R-Type-esque need for level memorization. You can also adjust the speed of your ship,
or just have it adjusted for you when you go underwater. Fire Shark was another Toaplan shooter, this
time released by DreamWorks. Rather than taking place in space, Fire Shark
has you flying a bi-plane whose pilot has traveled into the future to secure more advanced
weaponry, allowing him to stave off a massive army trying to take over the world in a 20th
century alternate reality. Fire Shark is one of the Genesis games that
I like to revisit from time to time, but once you get your plane fully powered up, the game
can get a bit boring. Namco released a port of their System 2 mythologically-themed
shooter Phelios, which conjures up images of Clash of the Titans. You take control of Apollo riding Pegasus,
the mythical winged stallion, in an effort to rescue Artemis from the snake-footed Typhon. Ew, I’d just let him have her. Though the plot is obviously quite different,
the fantasy themes of this game remind me of Dragon Spirit on the TurboGrafx-16, in
terms of both gameplay and atmosphere. Sage’s Creation released their first Genesis
title, Insector X, a horizontally-scrolling shooter from Taito that, outside of its entomologically-themed
motif is fairly uninteresting. At times, the color palette can look drab,
your character has an annoyingly-large hitbox, and overall the gameplay fails to leave much
of an impression. It’s far from terrible, but among an embarrassment
of shooter riches in the fall of 1990, Insector X was entirely skippable. Seismic released a third Toaplan port, the
horizontally and vertically scrolling Hellfire. A slower-paced shooter, like Zero Wing, Hellfire’s
hook is that has you switching weapon configurations on-the-fly in order to necessarily attack
in different directions. Ironic as I would place it at the top of the
stack, Hellfire might be the Genesis Toaplan shooter that you hear mentioned the least,
though Mega magazine in 1992 named it the fourth best game released on the system up
to that point. But the biggest shooter release of 1990 was
also the first Genesis game to be the sequel to another Genesis game, when Techno Soft’s
Thunder Force III hit store shelves in the first week of November. While the original Thunder Force was comprised
entirely of overhead levels, Thunder Force II was a 50/50 mix. Thunder Force III on the other hand removes
these levels altogether and is strictly a side-scrolling affair. Also new to the mix is the ability to choose
the order in which you play through the game, which certainly gives it more replay value. Thunder Force III is ridiculously difficult,
requiring a massive amount of practice and level memorization, but in a way that only
makes you want to keep playing it. It probably doesn’t hurt that the graphics
are some of the most gorgeous yet seen on the Genesis, with a soundtrack to match. The game has wonderful variety between its
excellently-designed stages, and one of the best parts about the fact that you can choose
your level progression is that you can see each and every stage regardless of your skill
level. As is the case with most shooters, you can
pick up various weapons, but like Hellfire, Thunder Force III gives you the option of
switching between them in real time, which you’ll need to learn to do on a situational
basis. You can also adjust the speed of your ship,
though this is something that I generally set once and then forget about. Thunder Force III was the first game in the
series developed specifically for the Mega Drive, and was also the first released in
the arcades, as in a reversal of the usual flow, the home version was adapted into Thunder
Force AC for Sega’s aforementioned System C arcade board. Although it may have been the seventh shooter
released on the Genesis that year, in terms of fit & finish, Thunder Force III really
stood head & shoulders above the competition. While even the beloved Truxton could, in my
opinion, be relegated to “weekend rental” status, Thunder Force III was clearly 1990’s
must-buy shooter. Unbelievably, the first Genesis sports game
of 1990 wasn’t released until the middle of autumn. Super Real Basketball was released in Japan
in the Spring of 1990, but became another one of Sega’s celebrity-licensed titles
when it was announced for western release as Pat Riley’s Slammin’ and Jammin’
Basketball. The “Slammin’ and Jammin’” was dropped
when the game came out in November, but while not awful, graphics aside, it didn’t give
sports gamers much reason to put down Double Dribble. But the next sports game released on the system
was also one of the biggest hits of 1990, and started one of the most storied franchises
of all time. Trip Hawkins had been fascinated by the idea
of creating a computer game based on football even before founding Electronic Arts. While a student at Harvard, in 1973 he created
a football simulator based on the pencil & paper Strat-o-Matic football on a PDP-11 minicomputer. Ten years later, Electronic Arts was born,
and Hawkins still wanted to bring video football to the masses. Unable to secure deals with his first two
choices to endorse the yet unfinished game, Joe Montana and Cal Coach Joe Kapp, Hawkins
fortuitously approached retired Oakland Raiders coach and CBS broadcaster John Madden, and
in doing so got more than just an endorser, as Madden would take an active role in ensuring
that a game with his name on it accurately represented its real-life equivalent. A major sticking point, and the reason that
it took 4 years for the game to finally be released on the Apple II, was that Madden
insisted on a full 11 players per side, a big ask for primitive computer hardware. As a result the game ran poorly, but the sheer
detail along with a vast and editable playbook made for a more than impressive release on
the Apple II. In 1989, the newly-formed Park Place Productions,
as their first release, developed ABC Monday Night Football for the home computer. The game lacked any other licensing and had
no playbook to speak of, but did feature the full 22 players on the field. The game was popular in the EA office, and
Hawkins approached Park Place about coding a Genesis version of John Madden Football. The game was coded by rookie programmer Jim
Simmons, and was released on the Genesis in early November. Outside of the man himself, John Madden Football
is totally unlicensed, though like many sports games of its day, cities and associated color
schemes were used to give the illusion of legitimacy. Sixteen pseudo-NFL teams are available, plus
an All-Madden team which no doubt is silver and black as an homage to Madden’s Oakland
roots. As was fairly common at the time, it’s not
possible to play a complete season, but a playoff mode is included, complete with password-based
game saves. While perhaps not an audio-visual tour de
force, John Madden Football looked and sounded “next gen” when compared to its contemporaries
on the NES. The top—down oblique perspective gave the
field depth and the illusion of 3D, the players are well-detailed, and the game clock even
looks like it’s on a real scoreboard. Normal for a sports title, music is mostly
non-existent, but the sound effects further add to the sense of realism. The game also has variable weather, which
I had certainly never seen in a sports game, and it’s pretty fun to play football in
the snow. The real genius of John Madden Football is
that it gives the illusion of being a simulation-style football game, while still having the approachability
and playability of an arcade game. It’s easy to see that Park Place took what
they had done with Monday Night Football and expanded on it, bringing in the now-signature
playbook featured in the Apple II game. With Michael Katz signing him to an endorsement
deal earlier in the year, Joe Montana Football was originally scheduled for release in-time
for the holidays, but due to development delays, didn’t make it out until early 1991. While that game did spawn its own shorter-lived
series on the Genesis, Master System, and Game Gear, it was John Madden Football’s
release in November of 1990 that would kick off the most successful football franchise
of all time. The second sports game developed for the Genesis
by Electronic Arts was also the second basketball game released on the system. Lakers vs. Celtics and the NBA Playoffs is
a fully-licensed, though not fully-featured game, with just 8 of the 27 NBA teams in the
league at the time, plus east and west all-star teams. While the branding was shown very briefly
in John Madden Football, Lakers vs. Celtics marked the true debut of the Electronic Arts
Sports Network, or EASN. While this was intended to give their games
a greater air of realism, with a presentation very reminiscent of Sportscenter and an initialization
to match, it might come as no surprise that ESPN would sue Electronic Arts for trademark
infringement, although not until 1992, with an out-of-court settlement causing the creation
of the now-famous EA Sports. Lakers vs. Celtics has a level of detail that
had not yet been seen in a basketball game. Recognizable players, hardwood courts, a head
coach pacing on the sidelines, and real, working shot clocks made the game an impressive feat,
but were balanced out by sparse sound effect and music that was grating on the ears. More importantly, the gameplay was sub-par,
so while the fact that you could play through an entire playoff tournament was cool, I’m
not sure why you’d want to. Lakers vs. Celtics foreshadowed better things
to come from EA in terms of basketball, but at the end of 1990 the discriminating sports
gamer was probably still playing Double Dribble on the NES. Other November releases include EA’s Zany
Golf, a port of an excellent miniature golf game developed by Sandcastle Productions and
originally released on the Apple IIgs. Meanwhile, Renovation released their second
game, Final Zone, a third-person isometric mecha shooter that was originally developed
for the Sharp X68000 home computer by Wolf Team, a subsidiary of Telenet Japan who developed
a number of games released in the west under the Renovation label. Kaneko released their only Genesis game of
the year, DJ Boy, which is sort of a cross between Double Dragon and the Ice Capades. Another handful of pre-Christmas releases
from Sega began with ESWAT: City Under Siege, a side-scrolling action game based on, but
not a port of their own System 16 arcade release Cyber Police ESWAT. Another solid first-party title that you don’t
hear much about, the game very much reminds me of The Revenge of Shinobi, although obviously
with a completely different theme. A second Yu Suzuki game was released in November,
although this time one custom-developed for the Mega Drive and Genesis, Sword of Vermillion. An action RPG that looked great on paper in
more ways than one, Sega’s print ads made the game seem like a must-buy, as did the
soundtrack composed by Hiroshi Kawaguchi of OutRun fame. In practice, the game was a bit of a let-down
for those who bought it, but in the early days of the Genesis it was slim pickins’
if you were an RPG fan. But Sega’s next two releases, coming out
at the very end of November, were clearly intended to push Christmas sales of Genesis
hardware. Before they got more creative with things
like the Sega scream, celebrity endorsements aside, Sega’s Genesis marketing was largely
a numbers game. With a 16-bit processor, they could tout that
“Sega does what Nintendon’t.” Well, in the late fall of 1990, Sega had a
new number to talk about; eight. That’s the size, in megabits, of what was,
according to Sega, the largest game ever released on a home console up to that point. Well, outside of Japan, maybe. Like Ghouls ’N Ghosts before it, Strider
is a Capcom CPS title that was simply licensed by Sega, who then programmed the home version
internally. This side-scrolling action game has you playing
the role of Strider Hiryu, a futuristic, energy-sword wielding ninja whose task it is to assassinate
the “Grandmaster,” who has naturally taken over the world. Primarily taking place in various parts of
the old Soviet Union, the dystopian atmosphere of Strider is a real stand-out feature of
the game, as are the audio visuals in general. The sprites are large and detailed, and the
music is outstanding, although the sound effects not so much. What’s not a stand-out feature at least
in my opinion is the gameplay, which is hampered by clumsy controls, dodgy hit detection, and
cheap deaths. Especially considering the game’s elevated
price tag at the time of it’s release, due to the larger ROM size, Strider is a game
that simply doesn’t live up to the hype. But, whether you’re a fan of the game or
not, there’s no denying that Sega did an excellent job bringing Strider home with minimal
compromise. And much as Ghouls ’N Ghosts had the previous
year, Strider would be held up as a shining example of Sega’s ability to bring the arcade
experience home. “Here’s Mickey Mouse and if you take a
look, he really looks exactly like himself. We haven’t gone and sacrificed any of the
detail on the character at all.” “Is this new this year?” “This is brand new; it just started shipping
within the last couple of weeks.” Another big first-party holiday release clearly
intended to put Genesis consoles under the Christmas tree was Castle of Illusion starring
Mickey Mouse. While the game may have been intended for
younger audiences, thanks to its solid gameplay, impressive presentation, and reasonably-challenging
difficulty level, Castle of Illusion was and still is a great game for ages. Castle of Illusion reviewed well at the time
of its release, and was a stand-out game for the Genesis. It plays like a pixelated, interactive version
of the classic Disney cartoons which, even if you were an older gamer, you no doubt had
fond memories of. For some reason, Castle of Illusion sticks
out from the Genesis library in a way that the other Disney titles somehow don’t. Not to say that any of them are bad games,
except for maybe Fantasia, but Castle of Illusion just seemed to come along at the right time
for the Genesis, and no doubt found itself under many a Christmas tree in 1990. In early December, another publisher kind
of joined Sega’s lineup, when Accolade released the first of several unlicensed games on the
Genesis. Rather than trying to work out a more favorable
licensing deal with Sega of America, as Electronic Arts had, engineers at Accolade simply bought
a Genesis console along with handful of games, and figured out how to disable the system’s
security lockout. This set off a chain of events that led to
a lengthy court battle that could easily be the subject of its own video. But in 1990 all that it meant was that Accolade
could release Ishido: Way of the Stones, a board-based puzzle game that has largely been
forgotten on the Genesis due to the fact that it’s only compatible with early model 1
consoles that lack Sega’s Trade Mark Security System. Other pre-Christmas December releases include
Sega’s own Buster Douglas Boxing, a mediocre game best known as Sega’s first busted celebrity
signing, as by the time the game was released, Douglas, who had signed on the back of his
shocking victory over Mike Tyson, had already lost the heavyweight title to Evander Holyfield. Sage’s Creation released Shadow Blasters,
an unremarkable side-scrolling action game, while RazorSoft brought out their first Genesis
title: TechnoCop, primarily remarkable due to its over-the-top blood and gore. Technocop is the kind of game that you hoped
your parents would just buy without asking too many questions. Or reading the back of the box, which clearly
said “not suggested for children under 12.” The game has you playing the role of a cop,
driving Roadblasters-style in a futuristic Ferrari between crime scenes, where you could
either arrest criminals, or just shoot them and watch as they collapse into an amorphous
pool of blood and entrails. This is, unfortunately, the defining feature
of a game that is otherwise largely forgettable. Another Electronic Arts game to hit the market
was Battle Squadron, a well-regarded Amiga shooter originally designed by Innerprise
Software. The eighth and final traditional shooter released
on the Genesis in 1990, Battle Squadron has some interesting options that you don’t
normally see as adjustable parameters, including enemy bullet speed and maximum number of enemy
bullets on the screen. The game’s not bad, but has one of my biggest
genre pet peeves in that it takes about 19 shots to kill anything on the screen. Tengen released a port of the hit Atari arcade
game Hard Drivin’, which it turns out may have been a bit much for the Genesis hardware. Hard Drivin’ was an awesome arcade game,
albeit one that cost about a dollar to play, but gave a then-realistic approximation of
driving a car to those of us too young for the real thing. Unfortunately, neither the relatively smooth
gameplay nor the signature arcade cabinet could be preserved bringing the game home. Well-preserved however are the creepy death
replays, reminiscent of high school driving safety videos intended to shock you into compliance. As an interesting aside, Hard Drivin’ was
ported to the Genesis by Sterling Silver Software, who would go on to develop the outstanding
PGA Tour Golf series, published on the Genesis by EA. Released exclusively in North America was
Trampoline Terror by Dreamworks, a game that certainly seems charming, but whose intended
source of fun eludes me. And Sega themselves ported arcade shooting
gallery game Dynamite Duke, who might take the crown for the worst box art of 1990. Originally developed by Saibu Kaihatsu, perhaps
best known for the Raiden series, Dynamite Duke probably would have made for a good light
gun game but isn’t one, even in the arcade. The final three Genesis games managed to sneak
their way into stores in the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Electronic Arts released Sword of Sodan, another
Innerprise Software game and therefore another Amiga port. A side scrolling hack ’n slash, or maybe
poke ’n slash, Sword of Sodan has awesome graphics but absolutely horrific gameplay,
and might just be the worst game released on the Genesis up to that point. Decidedly not one of the worst Genesis games
is Granada, Renovation’s third release of 1990. Another Wolf Team game, this time originally
released on the Sharp X68000, Granada is sort of a free-roaming shooter that I can best
describe as a cross between Thunder Force II and Gauntlet. The game takes place in the distant future:
2016, which I suppose in 1990 felt like a lifetime away. You drive your Hypertek-Cannon tank around
a huge map, destroying a number of pre-determined targets, be they enemy generators or large
gun emplacements, in order to trigger the boss battle and bring the level to an end. Although it seems like a common-sense control
mechanic, Granada has a much-welcome strafe button, making the game arguably more playable
than many other shooters of its ilk. The game’s graphics are impressive, but
not as much as its soundtrack. The music was written by prolific composer
Motoi Sakuraba, who is has almost 180 game credits to his name, including the recently-released
Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom on the Nintendo Switch. Although Granada may not be on the average
gamer’s radar when it comes to the Genesis library, it certainly has a deserved reputation
among the hardcore, and at least in my opinion was and still is one of the of the must-play
games for the Genesis. Finally, Sega released their own Genesis game
that was itself a sequel to a previous Genesis game. Just as The Revenge of Shinobi had been the
last game released on the Genesis in 1989, Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi was among
the last games released on the system in 1990. The original Shadow Dancer was released on
Sega’s System 18 the previous year. The game is considered a part of the Shinobi
series, but unlike The Revenge of Shinobi, does not continue the plot from the 1987 original. Instead, you take control of a young ninja
trying to protect an orbiting space weapon from the terrorist group “Asian Dawn.” Wait, Asian Dawn? “I read about them in TIME Magazine…” Oh, alright. The game play is quite similar to the original
Shinobi, but with the addition of a canine companion that can attack enemies while you
hide behind cover. Shadow Dancer is a great arcade game that
saw home ports on the Amiga, as well as the Master System in Europe and Brazil. But for the Mega Drive and Genesis, a new
game was created that carried over the name, the dog, and not much else. Unlike the arcade game, The Secret of Shinobi,
which really should have been the game’s stand-alone title, does continue the storyline
from the previous game. Following the events of The Revenge of Shinobi,
after a brief retirement Joe Musashi is back at it, this time trying to save New York City
from the evil terrorist group Union Lizard. The gameplay itself is, for me, not quite
as on-point as The Revenge of Shinobi, but is still more than respectable. The game also brings back bonus stages, which
were a part of the original Shinobi, but were left out of The Revenge. The dog mechanic introduces a whole new dimension
to the game play, though I find I don’t use it as often as one might think. I could really do without the one-hit kills,
which definitely lead to some cheap deaths, and Shadow Dancer seems to rely less on fast
reflexes, and more on level memorization through trial & error. The game is however very generous with extra
lives, so I think frequent death just has to be taken as par-for-the-course when mastering
the game. While not composed by Yuzo Koshiro as The
Revenge of Shinobi had been, Shadow Dancer’s music is still quite good. As is probably the case with most games, the
graphics in Shadow Dancer can be hit or miss depending on the level, but as a whole are
a marked improvement over the previous installment. Shadow Dancer is a praiseworthy title, and
like a few other 1990 releases has a certain polish to it that many earlier Genesis games
lacked, and certainly would have made for an excellent addition to one’s Genesis library. As the year came to a close, Sega had 62 games
on the shelf for the Genesis, many of which are still considered all-time classics on
the system. The TurboGrafx-16 may have provided a worthy
adversary in the early days of the 16-bit generation, but in the coming months, a new
challenger awaited. A 16-bit console from Nintendo that was going
to give Sega of America the fight of their lives. But that’s all a story for another day. That’s going to do it for this episode of
Classic Gaming Quarterly. As always, thanks for watching, and we’ll
see you next time.

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  1. This video was available early to CGQ Patrons and channel members. Please consider supporting the show by following one of the links below. Thank you!!!
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  2. Excellent video, with the Genesis making a resurgence of late, the timing couldn't be better! I rate it Zero throat punches out of Five!

  3. Your voice is awesome. Reminds me of the guy Rick Sebak that use to narrate all those nostalgia documentaries on WQED back in the day. I could listen to you talk all day.

  4. 18:25 it might not be the case for North America, but the MSX was quite popular in Brazil and Europe

  5. Fantastic video. Loads of information and well made. A lot of time and effort went into making this video!

  6. I always thought Sega was cool, it had some great graphics and games, but I HATED the controllers. They felt so bulky and cumbersome in comparison to NES and SNES. Even the smaller Sega controllers still just felt weird to me. I am sure they were made for larger hands due to the demographic though so I don't hate on Sega for it. I remember playing Batman and Robin non stop when I was young on Sega but I only knew of a single person with a Sega and they only had the generic games like Sonic and Knuckles type games so I never really got exposure to the system.

  7. I appreciate Sega now more than I did when it was out. Esp for all the arcadey games and pick up and play, which I have more time for. Back then though, I wanted long games like Zelda, Secret of Mana, etc…

  8. That interview with David Rosen at 1:36 was broadcast on the Movie Time network, which became E! Entertainment Television on June 1, 1990…memories.

  9. Columns is so much better than Tetris, for me at least. Simpler and easier to control.

    That was indeed Malibu from American Gladiators in the Genesis Does ad.

  10. Totally forgot about some of the games thanks for bringing up my childhood lots of great games there Great Video

  11. Truxton has always been a top 10 Genesis game for me and my friends back in the day. I don't know, maybe was the awesome music

  12. Ah! Yes the Sega genesis a true classic gaming console and experience and a wonderful host of memories of a lot of late nights especially on the weekends playing and trying to beat some of those great video games keep on gaming!!!

  13. Another fantastic video. Well produced. If only it was Classic Gaming Monthly! I was a big Genesis fanboy. I got my Nintendo only about a year before the Genesis came out and I got my Genesis before most of my friends did. It was also when I was really getting into RPGs. I didn’t own many games but I rented most of the ones you covered. I did own Sword of Vermillion, and while I would agree it doesn’t hold up as many legacy RPGs don’t… I still loved that game. The music I thought was particularly great. Phantasy Star 2 I also hold great reverence for. Loved the story as well as the moral of the story.

  14. Amazing work, very impressed and entertained. Also like your quick and honest reviews of the games, especially the ones I thought looked amazing as a kid like Buster Douglas Boxing.

  15. What is that intro music? It sounds like the tune that plays at the movie theater when movie trivia/did you know slides would show before the film started

  16. Asesome video, I love how it take a look at a specific era of the console and not everything like most video. It give a better idea of how it was during the life of the console and give it a different vibe than all the other Sega Genesis video all talking about the same games.

  17. 47:40 Love your reviews, but I can assure you, the discriminating sports fan was absolutely blown away by Lakers vs. Celtics and the NBA Playoffs for the Genesis in 1990. That game was amazing in its day. Double Dribble looked ancient in comparison.

  18. Would be nice if you could make a video about "Genesis vs Turbografx" and "SEGA CD vs Super CD Rom2" i consider the Snes the ultimate 16 bit power house system (not counting the neogeo which was 24 bit i think) but really the PC Engine consoles (all of them) and the Genesis are very similar, the PC FX comes equal to the Snes, but really even with all the add ons both the Genesis and PC engine are inferior to what the Snes can do

  19. I love Golden Axe : ) I got all three fro the Japanese Mega Drive. Cant go wrong with a good beat em up game : )

  20. Whats wrong with Dynamite Dukes box art ? Only thing i would add to it i guess is some fire ball explosions to the background

  21. Another great video with plenty of depth, and respect to the games we grew up with. Your detail and research into all the related developments of each title is appreciated!

  22. As kids, my brothers and I actually quite enjoyed Budokan (on the PC) trying to figure out the complex moves & blocks, and having a great time versing each other 🙂 Putting the different weapons against each other was always really interesting.

  23. Had a lot of fun with the Genesis. Got it a launch, had to beg my mom , telling her it could be my younger brother and i both Christmas gift. Firing up Altered Beast for the first time blew us away. Many nights of playing Golden Axe coop was a blast.

  24. WIsh you had had more to say about Shadow Blasters… I have a lot of nostalgia for that game. Being able to swap characters on the fly, increasing move speed, attack power, and jump height through collecting drops… and free choice of six initial stages! Much more than a generic platformer, it's a solid action/platforming game that hides in the obscurity of Genesis deep cuts.

  25. Man, I rented and played SO many of these games, that I had completely forgotten about until seeing this video! Technocop, for example. Wow. Thanks for the memories.

  26. I think Phantasy Star II is one of, if not the, most boring RPGs I've ever played in my favorite genre. Like, Tecmo Secret of the Stars boring, but uglier. Flame away.

  27. Such a wonderful nod to a great company, at least they still make games if not hardware. Genesis was my first love. Coincidentally the game that eats most of my time is a SEGA published Total War: Warhammer right now.

  28. Very well done researched and , nicely shown video. I played arcade at the time and to be honest , NES graphics were so crude compare to the better home alternative which was the genesis. Thanks for posting this. Liked and subscribed.

  29. “Golden Axe was the first proper beat-em-up on the Genesis”. Umm….what about Altered Beast?

  30. Another great video that I really enjoyed. I would just disagree a little bit on characterizing Hydlide on the NES as "a bad port." The game is a perfectly adequate port. It's just that the original game was already quite old by the time it reached the US (Japan 1984, US 1989), and its simpler mechanics had been far surpassed by the time of its release.

  31. As a kid without a computer back in the days of the SNES and Sega: I had no clue about new release games unless I happened to pick up a gaming magazine or see the game physically on the shelf. Even then, I only had the cover to judge it by. So many games I know I would have fallen in love with but had no idea existed =p

  32. Look no further than Ninja Gaiden to see how much more technologically advanced the Master System was compared to the NES


  34. I remember going to the store to buy Alex Kidd for the Genesis, but ended up looking at and instead purchasing Phantasy Star II. The "6 MEGA" sticker on it got my attention. Best decision ever. And.. they HAD to include that book because otherwise those dungeons (mazes) would have been frustrating as heck to navigate without a map.. going up and down all those floors.

  35. Hello, i love this channel and your dedication towards retro gaming. Just wanted to ask you or anyone who is looking at this post; that since past couple of months i am trying to find out one old NES/SEGA type soccer game which is more like anime style gaming where we play as a protagonist and regarding the gameplay there is only one player displayed on screen while dribbling the ball and the players can shoot the ball with super powers like in Shaolin Soccer…. If the power is op then the keeper fly away like an airplane and the goalpost net is destroyed and so on….. I used to play this game when i was a kid and now i am 33. I am quite sure that lot of other players played this game as well and it would be a great appreciation if anyone tells me the name of this game. I am really desperate right now..????.. ( Note::: It is not GOAL franchise, which has also super power shootings like in cartoons..) Thank you in advance.. ????

  36. Can someone help me… i used to play this combat racing game which also had an option for multiplayer. The game was played on zsnes or kgen emulator on pc. Snes or sega genesis. It's an overhead racing laps game similar to biker mice from mars. The vehicles or players were hippie bus driver , ice cream truck, scientist etc. Also had weapons we could use by running over a blue spot. Sometimes were chased by a dinosaur, or getting smashed by a huge gorilla at the side of the road. Can anyone name it

  37. 51:58 Clumsy controls and cheap deaths are beginner problems, not game problems. They are both due to player inexperience with the game and are not an issue once you "git gud".

  38. Loved this certainly was a great time growing up with the Genesis in the 90’s…I was born in 84, so this console has a deeper meaning..TGIF…NICKELODEON..Rental stores..the NEO GEO red cabinet. This console being with me as a kid and during that transition to tween phase before junior high and upwards.

  39. after burner machine gun can changable on options even you can change no machine gun at all. it was def not weekend rental it was hard. there is level select cheat when pres a+c start. after burner 2 one of the fastes game with sonics and sparksters. lucly game have slowdown button which no one use generally and dies. donw side of game the ammo was limited and bonus section make you die if you try to get scores.

  40. Great content!
    I gotta say, the narration style… that sounds so generic. Here's to embracing your personality! It will take you to the next level.

  41. Legendary Axe good game; similar The Astyanax Arcade game. 16-bit was a big deal in the days. Sky-shark was an excellent game.

  42. Bad Dudes ,Ninja Gaiden, Rastan, Aliens, the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Should have made it to the Genesis and never did. The Genesis definitely was an arcade system.

  43. These retrospectives are great… keep it going! I just bought a Mega SG and am rebuying all the SMS and Genesis games I had when I was a kid. Watching these videos is reminding me of how many great games Sega made. Please keep making Sega videos.

  44. Great video, really brings back memories. Also has gotten me interested in some of the Genesis’s early releases that I might not have been interested in.

  45. Since I've witnessed arcade and observed consoles home and portable, I haven't properly been steered clear away from Sony's ps3 slim, ps4 slim both front slide in loading discs, just the massive amount of games available, in Australia I haven't seen any console that beats those two Sony's, wouldn't mind borrowing a switch for a month, Sony's vita still was incredible, Sony does make some incredible products

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