JP October 29, 1988
NA August 14, 1989
PAL November 30, 1990
I was the weird kid on the block in the late 80’s with a Master System, which was great but the schoolyard battles of say Ghost House vs Castlevania were obviously not in my favor. come spring of ‘89 though, that all changed! A couple friends a few houses down frantically called me over to see Altered Beast, Thunder Force 2, Space Harrier 2 & i wanna say Last Battle? our 8-bit systems were home to many distant ports from the vastly superior arcade offerings, and this was one of the first times I felt I saw that gap close a bit - Tekken 3 would do it years later, and of course the Dreamcasts’ Soul Calibur was the one to finish the cycle for me (a fitting end to both closing said gap & sega’s hardware finale, i thought).
A year later, we’d mostly play Moonwalker until I finally got my own system with Phantasy Star 2, my first real JRPG (i still have a polaroid shot of the ending!). To this day, I’ve hadsome of my best co-op experiences on it, from ToeJam & Earl, Streets of Rage 1/2, Bonanza Bros and so many others - i managed to wear out several pads & an arcade stick, and i don’t drop those things. Good times.
Not to indulge the aforementioned schoolyard battles too much here, but while SNES is (rightfully) cheered on here for many classics, the Genesis had more than its fair share of fantastic arcade action, JRPG, SHMUPS and many others - if you only play the many rehashed collections Sega puts out now, you’d really miss out.
On that note: what were some of your lesser-known favorites? Mine were:
- Valis 3
- Rolling Thunder 2 (never could find 3!) oh yeah MERCs too
- Gunstar Heroes is kind’ve a given
- General Chaos
- MUSHA (Elemental Master was dope)
- Shining Force 1 & 2 are still better than any Fire Emblem
- Wonder Boy in Monster World
- Strider was like the best thing ever
- Castle/World of Illusion - also, the superior Aladdin (i remember Quackshot being fun too)
- Zombies ate my Neighbors (though this is cheating for me, as i had it on SNES)
- El Viento
- Thunder Force III + Lightening Force
- Battle Mania Daiginjō/Trouble Shooter 2
- Alisia Dragoon
- Mega Turrican
- Punisher (Spider-Man was fun but Sega-CD had definitive version!)
- Mutant League Football
- The Haunting
- Alien Storm, i’m like the only guy who liked this better than Golden Axe
- Bonanza Bros was my shit - I dug the Crack Down port too
- Micro Machines (Super Off Road too!)
finally: anyone thinking of getting a Genesis :
If you’re really into getting the good sound, you want the one actually labelled “HIGH DEFINITION GRAPHICS” (it wasn’t on all the Genesis 1s), and lacking copyright protection screen at the beginning. The Walkman-style headphone jack gives it great bass. Pop in SoR2.