This month Sega-16 celebrates its fourth anniversary, and what better way to spread the love than to talk about those games that we learned about through the site? We strive to inform our readers of all the great titles available on the Genesis, and the Reader Roundtable is a big part of that. It’s been going strong for almost three consecutive years, and lots of people have managed to pick up something from it or from another article on the site. We hope that we can continue to serve the Genesis public for many more years and hopefully continue to bring out those gems you might have missed!
Phantasy Stay II Text Adventures By Ken Horowitz
I remember reading about the Phantasy Star II Adventures way back in Mega Play and thinking about how cool they must be. I mean, more Phantasy Star II couldn’t be a bad thing, could it? Ironically, it wasn’t until well after Sega-16 was underway that I finally got a chance to play some of them (specifically Kind’s and Shilka’s adventures) while researching for my article on the ill-conceived TeleGenesis modem, and I have to say that I’m left with mixed feelings. I love that they’ve been translated and are finally getting another chance to shine, but there’s just something about them that’s lacking. It’s not the fact that they’re text-based, as I used to play those on computer back in middle school. No, my gripe is that the games aren’t really exciting at all. I wanted some “you turned and fell into a sand trap!” kind of suspense, and alas, the text adventures just don’t have it. Perhaps being originally made for a download service forced the developers to make things as simple as possible, but we’re talking story here folks, not massive, multi-jointed bosses. Isn’t that why they’re called text adventures?
Wonder Boy in Monster World By Vince Thornburg
Honestly, when by the time I had found Sega-16 in late June 2004, I had pretty much a good idea of what games really existed for the Genesis. For studying Genesis Collective, to Digital Press, and to even looking around GameFAQs (I know). So I really don’t have a real game that I didn’t know about before. The closest thing I got is remembering one of the very first features posted, and that was The Ten Best Games with Bad Box Art.
Plenty of people commented that feature talked of something a bit trite, and the direction of Sega-16 changed for the better. Evolution is the creator of greatness. One thing stood out though. A certain boy in non-existent high tops, fighting a giant goblin head. Wonder Boy in Monster World seemed like the epitome of video games in the early ’90s. Young hero, monsters, special power ups, saving the world, platforming, magic. And overall grand adventure.
I didn’t play it ever until 2006. I regretted the delay. I finally bought a complete game off of eBay and received it soon later. I soon played little else. The basic premise keeps you going just because this is actually a pretty fun little game! You start out with your basic sword and shield, but you’ll soon receive other weapons that create that awesome feeling of “I need to finish this!” It is one of the systems classics, and deserves any praise it gets!
Robo Aleste By Tom Briggs
Honestly, sad as it sounds, I had never heard of the Aleste series before discovering Sega-16. I had played/experienced/loved M.U.S.H.A, but I didn’t know it was a part of an ongoing franchise. Imagine my glee when I wandered upon Zach Karnazes’ review of Robo Aleste! I ran down to my local retro shop, and couldn’t believe my luck, there on the shelf was a complete copy of the Sega CD gem. I bought the game and never looked back. Fantastic visuals, beautiful audio, and frantic gameplay mixed for one of the best experiences available on the Genesis add-on.
It was then when I realized how valuable of a resource Sega-16 could be. I wanted to spread the word, visiting other popular forums and promoting the site. The real appreciation for the site, though, began when I visited THESE forums. The site went from a Genesis/Mega Drive reviews site to a Genesis/Mega Drive community, and I wanted to be a part of that community bad. So thank you to everyone that has made this site what it is, especially Ken, who has been exceedingly patient with me (Ed. note. Thank you, and everyone else, for all the great work!).
Vapor Trail By Alex Burr
Wow, what game got me into Sega-16. I would have to say Vapor Trail. That game is a lot of fun and as soon as I became acquainted with this site, I knew that that game would be perfect for a review. Luckily, my friends and I were playing NBA Jam TE an awful lot and knowing me I was completely unstoppable with Chaney, Webber, Skiles and the Washington Bullets. So I was on a huge Sega kick and I believe I was searching for 32X stuff when I bought mine last year and got on this site from Google. The game I probably would have never played is totally M.U.S.H.A. though. I still don’t remember what it stands for, but I actually gave it a chance, and its not too bad. This site has opened the door to many 16-bit adventures and for that I am unendingly grateful. Really though, everything on this site is a good time, the forums, the reviews, the features. It is all a good read. I love this site a lot and I congratulate Sega-16 on making it this far! Here’s to many more years, Sega-16!
Monster World IV By Carl-Johan Brax
Monster World IV is a very special game to me. Of the Japanese Mega Drive games I own, I got to know of the vast part through Sega-16. Monster World IV is one of those games. It is also one of the few games that has a full translation patch available, and actually the first for the console. I didn’t want to play it on an emulator, and not in Japanese on real hardware, so I had to find a way to use the patch on my Mega Drive. At first, it seemed like the flash cartridge Mega Cart was the solution. But it wasn’t, since it has no SRAM function built in, something that is required to have when playing this game. Later I found out about the MD-Pro, another flash cartridge. It has a battery, so it can use many games’ save function. One potential problem is the saving function of the game itself. Some use EEPROM, which I think is built into a chip instead of using a CR2032 battery. Monster World IV is said to be one of those games, so there would be a risk that it wouldn’t work. But I tried, and it worked 100% flawlessly for me. So I could play the English version and save progress on real hardware, while my original Japanese copy rested on the shelf.
Some weeks ago, an updated version of the translation patch was released by a guy called Shion. It has newly translated text missing from the older patch, grammar error fixes, bug fixes and a lot of other things that makes the other version and the reproduction copy obsolete. I played through the game again with the new patch, and I liked it even more this time. The main characters Arsha and Peperogu are so cute and fit well together, in a world with excellent palette and animation usage, wrapped in simple but fun gameplay.
If it wasn’t for Sega-16, I would never have experienced this game, although most of the dirty work was done by me. Sega-16 isn’t only the road that lead me to my Japanese Mega Drive games, but also the home which welcomed me as a Mega Drive collector and kept me being one. It is my favourite forum and site with many friendly fellows and talented writers. I think without Sega-16, the Mega Drive wouldn’t have been the fondly remembered console it is among retro gamers, more a forgotten one-off by Sega many years ago. I hope the site’s mission to be the ultimate source for it will continue for many years. With a forum of over 875 active members and a staff of nine dedicated editors, how can we fail?
King Colossus: Tougi Ou By Sebastian Sponsel
I thought I had known them all. Every time I saw a review for a Genesis game, I remembered the subscription to the Sega magazine I had when I was a kid, participating as a Sega fanboy in the first big console war. I thought I knew everything, the existence of the Nomad (that never was sold in Germany), console specs, Import titles, games that were previewed but never came to be…
And then I found the Lost in Translation feature – and not much time later there followed a review about a RPG for the Genesis that never found its way outside of Japan – and that someone had recently translated.
Fresh food for my Genesis-starved mind! Bliss!
The only gripe I had with this game was that I had it beat way too quickly. But I fondly remember one evening, when I joined my former girlfriend – who was excessively playing Final Fantasy X – on the couch, Nomad in hand, with a translated King Colossus Tougi Ou on a Flash Cart. And we spent the most beautiful evening, next to each other, close to each other, each playing an RPG on his or hers console of choice…
Beautiful, beautiful memories…
Gleylancer By Joe Redifer
The first game I recall truly learning about for the first time here at Sega-16 is Gleylancer. This game was never talked about in EGM, GameFan or Mega Play. If they mentioned it, it was only a tiny blurb. But Sega-16′s informative Shmups Extravaganza made me want this and many other games. I tried it really quick via an emulator to see if it would be a good game to waste my money on. Sho’ nuff, it was! I bought it, played through it and even enjoyed it. I like a lot of the music and the parallax in the first level is phiggidy phat! The weapons system was fairly unique and that added some uniqueness. Although the game’s MEGA POWER is not advertised anywhere on the box, I must assume that it is somewhere under the mid-70s. Not quite enough MEGA POWER to tickle the g-spot all the way to fruition, but still plenty to be entertained. All in all I was very happy that I completely wasted my money on this game, and it will forever have a place on my shelf and inside my Sega Genesis Video Entertainment System which politely offers 16-Bit power, arcade graphics & sound as well as new dimensions in gameplay.
Monster World IV By Daniel Horvath
Almost two years of Sega-16 (as the rumored years that are said to have passed before I joined are naturally not noteworthy). It is so hard to pick a single game this website has brought to my attention, be it Beggar Prince, which seemed like a miracle to me at first, or Phantasy Star IV, a game I had never given the chance it deserves before. But one game I had never given any attention at all, although somewhere in the far, dark regions of my brain I knew of its existence, was Monster World IV. Having been owner of its predecessor for over a decade already and remembering it to be a nice little action/RPG, I decided to read more about it. Sega-16′s review, as well as the Mega Drive-experts in the forums, really awakened my interest. Thanks to fellow forum member Bratwurst I was finally able to play the game on the original hardware this year; emulating was no option for me to experience a game with such a reputation! Although my personal preferences had changed from jump-’n-runs to RPGs over the many years since I had played MW III, this masterpiece, having changed focus in exactly the exact opposite way for the MW franchise’s final simply blew me away!
Here I was, in 2008, playing my first jump-’n-run in years…. one that easily let me forget the RPGish third entry in the series. Such amazing, colorful graphics! Wonderful animations that instantly made me fall in love with the heroine! And the most awesome level-design I have ever had the pleasure to experience, never boring and never repetetive! I had learned to know a game that even after all these years, even on this old system, even for someone like me having lost all interest in the genre long ago put all competitors to shame and did not let me go until the end.