Sega-16 staff and readers ring in the new year the best way possible: by playing more Genesis! Hey, we have to get cracking if we’re going to fulfill our resolution to chop down that pile of shame (games owned but still not played). Now is as good a time as any!
Ghostbusters By Ken Horowitz
After watching some trailers for the upcoming game for current gen consoles, I was in kind of a bustin’ mood, so I fired up the ol’ Genesis version of Ghostbusters. What a great little game this is! I love the catchy music and big-headed characters, and the levels are both expansive and engaging. The last stage can be a bit of a pain, but the game isn’t too hard overall. My only gripe has to be the lack of love for poor Winston, but I guess his awesomeness would have required a larger cartridge to contain it all. I really wish we had gotten a sequel, but it seems that the boys have saved their best for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 (unless the gods hate me and Atari manages to screw this one up). Until then, I have the great Genesis game to keep me from crossing the streams!
ToeJam & Earl By Vince Thornburg
I realized something a couple weeks ago, staring at a buddies Wii. I NEVER finished ToeJam & Earl! Like, never! Panic on Funkotron I beat years ago, and that was cool and all, but I have no clue what the heck happens when you beat TJ&E 1. So, we each grabbed a GameCube controller and started. He ToeJam, me Earl. He thinks I just want to mess with the Jam-out mode, but then I say “Random mode, now!” His eyes light up.
I forgot how irritating this game gets after level ten. Sandtraps+moles+tornado= almost broken controllers. We knew it was worth it though. He had done it before years ago. Hell, everyone’s done it already. I’m slow. So, life continued for a good half hour. We remembered level zero existing at about level fifteen, so we said “whateva” and fell ALL THE WAY DOWN, then flew to the island with the hole in the middle. Hot tubes and lemonade. I throw a tomato at the hula girl just because of horrible memories of trances and lawnmowers.
We eventually make it ALL the way back, and things get CHEAP! Dear lord. Ice cream trucks arrive and we all die. Were back, lets get those slingshots… No! Don’t hit that… RANDOMIZER! Joe, you asshole! Fine, lets see what this present is… TOTAL BUMMER.
So, after finding a third controller, since mind suddenly hit a wall and exploded all by itself, we continued. On level twenty-four a tornado picked me up and spun around on nothing but space, then dropped me. Right onto the path of an ice cream truck, which shoved me off THAT level. Then I landed on an small island that I needed to fly off of. I still have no clue what my gifts are so I risk it. ROCKET SKATES!
Down ANOTHER level… I still have the skates and eventually drown. I’m out of lives, while all this happens Joe is sitting in the elevator laughing his ass off. He then flies to level twenty-five, as the last ship piece is FOUR FEET AWAY!
He gets to walk around Funkotron-lite and celebrate with his family. As he walks towards his family at the end of the path, Earl’s family watches intently for me. I never come, not even as a ghost. ToeJam explains my tragic fate to the family, and takes off his hat out of respect and lowers his eyes.
Then my family laughs and goes home. Assholes.
NBA Live ’95 By Alex Burr
NBA Live ’95... IS FREAKIN AWESOME! Everything about this game is fun, and everything about it is so 1995. All it lacks is a cool halftime show. I’ve been playing this pretty much non-stop since putting my Pat Riley Basketball review in, and it is terrific. The difficulty can be adjusted so that pretty much any shot past the half court stripe will go in or to where anything inside is a foul. Anything about its rules can be changed, which leads to an outstanding experience. The game has slow motion jams for gosh sakes and only a few small things wrong with it. NBA Live ’95 is worthy of spending an awful lot of time for a full eighty-two game franchise mode. It could possibly be the best realistic basketball game ever made for Genesis and could be one of the ten best sports games ever made. Pick it up, and dish this one in your Genesis for two.
Beyond Oasis By Tom Briggs
I haven’t had much time to play video games this month. School has started back up, and because this is (I pray) my last semester, it’s time to give it my all. Who doesn’t like being forced to read three hundred pages a week? These are the best times of our lives!
When able to sneak some Genesis time in, I’ve been playing Beyond Oasis. I used to rent this game multiple times a month, and I’ve probably owned it a good four times. Still, something always goes wrong, and I can NEVER seem to find my copy. So, to right this imbalance in the universe, I checked my local shop for a copy. Sure enough, a complete copy of Beyond Oasis was offered for $10. Sure I could have downloaded the Wii Virtual Console version for $2 less, or waited for the Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection for an additional forty-eight games, but this was a complete cart!!! I’d kick myself if I didn’t pick it up.
I shouldn’t have to describe the joy of playing Beyond Oasis. Like so many classic novels that are required reading throughout our educational careers, Beyond Oasis is required gaming for Genesis owners. The game is beautiful, has fantastic music (maybe I’m in the minority with this opinion), and it just plays so darn well. I should state that I’ve never liked Zelda clones. I think games like Crusader of Centy are fun, but a lack of creativity and innovation has always been a major problem in the gaming industry. Which is why I love Beyond Oasis so much! The game looks like an action/RPG, but plays so differently than what gamers are used to. Combine this creativity with the level of polish gamers expected from Sega in the early ’90s and you have a classic.
Streets of Rage By Sega Fan
This month, I have had some surprisingly decent time for gaming, which is quite rare. While not killing my time with games that I have been reviewing for Gamespot and doing other things in hope to get my foot in the door at 1UP, I have been cramming on Genesis titles. Over the past three months I’ve been going to Play-‘n-Trade and picking up games such as Zero Tolerance, Battletoads, Lethal Enforcers, and out of curiosity Shaq Fu, Aero The Acrobat and Wacky Worlds. The game that most inspired me, however, has to be the original Streets of Rage. Yes, I have already written an anecdote for Sega-16 involving it, but I have to admit, when you have strong nostalgia for something, it’s hard to not go back to your roots. The original Streets of Rage is spectacular with its good visuals, responsive controls, and the ability to bombard you with up to eight enemies on-screen with little or no slowdown. It was this game, along with Sonic 2, the Genesis Mortal Kombat ports (Yes, I play MK for the frame-counting mechanics, not teh Bludzzz), and a few others that got me into Genesis, and it was the Genesis that got me into retro games. In turn, retro games got me into gaming journalism.
Booting up my old CDX brings me back to the Summer of 2006. Those were great times – living in England, being brand new to the Sega-16 forums, Getting ready for seventh grade, and waiting for the upcoming Retronauts Podcast and listening to Knoxkast Radio. Great shows like “X-Play” and “Attack of The Show” were still on G4 TV, surviving off of Cheez-Its and Microwave Pizzas, . . . I feel old. Even three years later, Streets of Rage is just as great as I remember, and nostalgia has not made this game seem better than it is. Sega’s beat-’em-up classic has aged perfectly. I also have the same skills I had when I was twelve. For example, I always start screwing up around level five, and I’m on eggshells through levels seven and eight because I’m pressed for extra lives. My gaming skills are like riding a bike. For instance, I started playing Metal Gear Solid 2 in November 2006, Now I can breeze through the Solid Snake section in about an hour.
To keep from getting off topic, Streets of Rage is a game for anyone. I have a bunch of hardcore current gen gaming friends, and they seem to have trouble when I pull out Double Dragon 1 or 2, but Streets of Rage just “clicks” for them. If you can find a Genesis and a copy of SOR in a bargain bin or at a pawn shop or thrift store, by all means pick it up. Bring some friends over, make sure you have an extra controller or two, and make some memories.
Trouble Shooter By Edward Figueiredo
One afternoon I got home and there it was, a still shiny second hand arcade power stick for the Mega Drive, pumping in my mailbox for some action. As I took the elevator and got home, I kept thinking of a game that was nicely paced, not so difficult and would fit well for a one hour session with my new toy. After setting up my Sega 16-bit station, I went to my shelf and looked at the awesomeness of my MD collection, deciding upon Trouble Shooter.
What can I say, besides the fact that this little gem is still fun after more than a decade? Those two gals are full of attitude, and the humor is right on. I also love the parallax and the absence of slowdown. My only gripe is that this game is too easy, and I can honestly say that it’s probably the easiest shooter on the system. I started playing on HARD after I beat it, but I had a cheap sudden wall death in stage four with almost twenty lives and then gave up.
Now I’ll see Crystal and Madison again in Battlemania 2!
Super Monaco GP By Daniel Smith
I am not a huge fan of racing games, however, Super Monaco GP is a big exception to the rule. Most modern F1 racing games are boring. Hell, most modern F1 races are boring! I don’t want to spend ten minutes adjusting my downforce, only to discover at the first corner I set the sodding thing up incorrectly, and my ultra powerful F1 car has all the handling of a shopping trolley.
Super Monaco GP’s World Championship mode is the casual racer’s F1 game, and it is awesome. There are no irritating setup screens (unless you want to make the game difficult for yourself by having a manual gear shift) and you dive straight into the race. Most corners in the game can be taken without the application of breaks, which makes jetting round various global tracks a sheer joy of speed. One of the best touches in this game is the option to select a rival and, if you beat him twice in succession, to get the option of driving his car. With each car varying in ability (i.e. some move quicker than others) it adds an extra dimension to simply racing for the World Championship. My only source of disappointment is the instruction manual. I am one of those pitiful creatures who likes pointless details in the manual, and this is devoid of such trivial intricacies. Never-the-less, Super Monaco GP is a worthy and, most importantly, cheap game for any collection.