Editorials Features

America’s Least Wanted Vol. 02: The Case Against the Genesis

Back again today is America’s Least Wanted. Before it was a simple list of games to avoid, but now other games in the genre of “crap” have actually been caught and actually taken to court! Now we enter the courtroom, as a battle of Sega and Nintendo is to take place. Ace Attorney Phoenix Wright has been hired to represent Nintendo. In this case of Turn-about 16-Bit, we sneak a peek over Nick’s shoulders as he reviews them slightly before the proceedings…ahem, proceed.

From the Desk of Phoenix Wright…

Your honor, as we’ve seen over the years, despite the Genesis having a longer life span than the SNES, it may still be seen by some as the losing console of the 16-bit war. Today I was asked to be here, being Nintendo’s only attorney, to provide the case against the Sega Genesis. I have brought you five examples of why the Genesis was inferior to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

(Notes: Don’t mention Bible Adventures, Joshua, etc since they weren’t authorized by Sega and thus not viable in Sega’s decisions.)

The People’s Case

Exhibit A: World Championship Soccer. Unleashed upon the world when the Genesis itself was in 1989, the game promises to be a much better showing that anything else at the time, including the PC and Nintendo’s NES console. When the game came about, many wondered why it wasn’t better like they were promised. Instead of soccer fun and action, we get the tops of heads running around a box kicking a dot they had the audacity of calling a ball. With barely enough teams and graphics that barely rival a glitch version of Pac-Man, this game just wasn’t what the buying public wanted, and was not what a launch game should have been. If it wasn’t for the American audiences almost non-existence of soccer fandom, the game could have been a major console killer!

(Note: If Bebe’s Kids is mentioned during the defense’s speech, crawl under table and cry)

Exhibit B: Sword of Sodan. Soon after the console’s launch, a real sword and shield adventure was released for the Genesis. Sword of Sodan quenched the thirst of many a fan that were waiting for a chance to just grab a sword and use “Blast Processing” to confront countless enemies! Well, they got the sword game, but many players still felt dehydration after playing it. Instead of a smoothness, they get clunky. Instead of crisp graphics, they get muddy sprites that take over the screen, making progress even harder. The controls made for something that just doesn’t constitute as fun in anyone’s book. On top of all that, because of its attempts at RPG elements, the game was made with and even higher difficulty than what should have been considering so many other elements would hinder the gameplay.

(Note: If Faceball is mentioned, try using a quick defense of “Well, at least we could achieve the graphics without another peripheral piece of playing equipment”).

Exhibit C: Fighting Masters. The fighting genre was something that was hard to get into in those early years. We all know of the success of series like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. Watching companies try to jump on this new “cash cow” was almost humorous at times. Included in the joke was Fighting Masters, which looked good on the outside and on the inside too, but was a joke in the end because of its controls. Your honor, The Genesis controller had three buttons at the time, the SNES had four. Why in the world would a game be released that only used TWO buttons? After jumping and attacking, the game was soon revealed to be 98% style, 1% substance and 1% plastic cartridge. It’s just plain not worth it, and was a major let down to Genesis hopefuls waiting for a true fighting game.

(Note: While Sonic Spinball may seem like a good idea, there’s too great of a defense for it for it to work with the rest of the games mentioned)

Exhibit D: Captain America and The Avengers. Although the technology was obviously greater in the arcades, most games ported over to the home consoles of the day were fine games in their own right, and were simply done right. Captain America was not one of them. While the arcade game wasn’t perfect, the Genesis version has no excuse for being the overall “hunk of crap” that it became. Not only did it have laughable graphics and some off the worst voice overs this side of the Action 52 (note: Which is a court case all its own), but it had the Genesis-playing world asking “who the hell is Vision?” among other questions of why did they spend the money, or how much this little collectors pin would be worth one day. Captain America is a great American hero, Your honor, and he deserves much better than this! God Bless America!

(Note: May be taking things a bit far, maybe cut that last part out. Also, a usual defense to the graphics allegation is that they are made to be choppy because of the game’s comic origins. Simply talk of Spider-Man to combat this claim)

Exhibit E: Fantasia. Sure, the defense may talk of how the game was rushed, or how in the grand scheme of things it wasn’t THAT bad of a game, but your honor, there was something greater in the process here that makes this game an official piece of evidence. Months before it came out; fans were presented via advertisements of a new Mickey Mouse game. But this was more than your average platformer. The graphics were presented in picture form. The pictures seemed to show one of the best looking games of the year! Not only were they worked on by professional animators, but that famous Disney orchestra was put in as well! How could the game lose? Well, fast forward to release day. You go home and put it in your console. The beginning seems great, but the actual game left a bad taste of mislead dreams in many a gamer’s mouth that day. Not only did those graphics look a lot worse in motion, but the actual gameplay just didn’t work at all. The potion attack system was more trouble than it was worth and the actual movement of Mickey just wasn’t worth the learning process. Many were jilted that day and all this court official can say is “hey, Sega gave it that Seal of Approval!”

(Note: Try ending with a joke. See what happens)

Exhibit F: The Great Waldo Search. I rest my case.

(Note: I see no reason why we don’t have this case in the bag, unless ABC’s Monday Night Football is thrown out there, then I may be in trouble.)

Leave a Comment