Sega Genesis Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Sega Genesis RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Sega Genesis Mini Review: Perfect Enough Sun, 29 Dec 2019 13:38:45 -0500 Ashley Shankle

I am not ashamed to say I never grew out of my Sega kid phase. The Sega Genesis ignited an obsession in me that's carried on these past near-30 years, through the Sega Saturn, Dreamcast, and well into the 2010s and now into the 2020s.

The Sega Genesis Mini is one piece of hardware I was eager to get my hands on because, while I do still have the exact same model the Mini is designed to replicate, quality CRT televisions aren't exactly the easiest thing to come by these days. I love the Genesis library, I don't love how hard it is to track down a proper Sony Trinitron television.

The first thing I noticed taking this bundle of joy out of its box is that it really is an exact replica of the original first-model Sega Genesis consoles. The only differences lie in the fact the cartridge slot doesn't work, the audio adjuster doesn't work, the power and HDMI ports are different, and the stickering on the bottom has changed slightly. Looking at it, it's perfect.

You get two controllers with the Sega Genesis Mini for some multiplayer action and the console is packed with 42 games among the best-remembered titles of the Sega Genesis library.

Earthworm Jim, Ecco the Dolphin, Strider, Shinobi 3, Sonic and Sonic 2, Golden Axe, Ghouls 'n Ghosts, Gunstar Heroes, Landstalker -- most gamers know these titles, whether they've played them or not; and this is a fraction of the games included in the Mini.

Colloquially known as 'a buttload of games'.

A console is nothing without games. Though 40 games isn't a huge amount, the entire Sega Genesis Mini library is notably impressive. The titles included aren't just nostalgia bait, they're nearly a perfect introduction to gaming on the Sega Genesis.

What's also notable is the lack of Sonic 3 & Knuckles, which is flagship title for the console one would consider a shoe-in. The two-games-but-really-one-game that introduced stacking cartridges to millions of kids in the early '90s is nowhere to be found in the Genesis Mini. Rumor is this is due to music licensing, as Michael Jackson reportedly had a hand in a number of compositions for the game.

The lack of Sonic 3 & Knuckles is a glaring omission among the rest of the console's near-stellar collection of games. I say "near-stellar", because it does include Sonic Spinball. Sonic Spinball always has and always will sound like a spoon stuck in a garbage disposal, so its inclusion instead of Sonic 3 & Knuckles is a little frustrating.

So what does this modern day replica box have over the original Sega Genesis? Save slots. Well, those, an HDMI output, and the ability to swap game regional versions.

If you ever wanted to save scum your way through a bunch of Sega Genesis games on your TV, now's your chance. Toss those Ecco passwords out, tell Ghouls 'n Ghosts to shove it -- now you can just save and load via a menu by holding the start button.

The Sega Genesis Mini does also have a CRT filter option to add scanlines to its display. This is something most retro gamers, myself included, insist upon as games released in this period were designed with CRT televisions and the extra blurriness they provide.

The CRT filter on the Mini is a bit of overkill, however. The scanlines are hard against the otherwise crisp video. As it stands the filter is harsh enough I have to switch it off after just a few minutes due to eye strain. Some softening would have done the CRT filter some good. 

Finally, we come to the Sega Genesis Mini's secret move: You can use actual Sega Genesis controllers with the Mini. That includes six-button controllers, which you're going to want for Street Fighter 2: Special Champion Edition. Luckily I've still got a couple sitting around, but if you don't there are some reproductions that will tide you over.

Spoilers: Get them off Retro-Bit.

As a Sega kid and someone who still unabashedly posts on retro game forums, the Sega Genesis Mini is almost perfect.

Though it doesn't have Sonic 3 & Knuckles (I just can't stop whining about it), it does serve as a much-needed entry point into gaming on the platform in the modern age. My only complaint outside of the lack of S3&K is the sub-par CRT filter, but honestly you probably weren't going to use it anyway.

  • 42 iconic Sega Genesis games in one unit
  • Near-perfect visual replica of the original console
  • Compatibility with real Genesis controllers
  • Easy to use save slots and loading
  • CRT filter is painful to look at
  • Seriously, no Sonic 3 & Knuckles is a big deal

Whether you grew up in the early '90s and were crazy about Sega, are a general retro gamer, or are just now dipping your toes into the classic game pool, you could make a much worse purchase than the Sega Genesis Mini.

The Super Nintendo was best known for its platformers and RPGs, and the Sega Genesis known for its action and arcade-like titles. This is the best way in the modern age to see what all the hubbub was about in Sega's camp all those years ago.

[Note: Sega provided a Sega Genesis Mini for the purpose of this review.]

The U.S. Is Finally Getting a Physical Edition of Mega Man: The Wily Wars Fri, 23 Aug 2019 14:59:05 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Retro-Bit Gaming, suppliers of almost all things retro gaming these days, announced a physical edition of Mega Man: The Wily Wars during Gamescom. It is to be released at an unspecified time in the future.

This re-release will be a cartridge playable on the Sega Genesis and Sega Mega Drive.

On top of that, Retro-Bit Gaming promised that several other extras will release alongside the game. What those will be, and how much the entire package will cost, was not mentioned.

Wily Wars was unique in its day. It's to the first three Mega Man games what Super Mario All Stars is for the early Super Mario games. The catch was that the U.S. market didn't actually get a physical copy of it, which was rather unusual for the time, while Japan and Europe did. 

Instead, Wily Wars was confined to the Sega Channel service.

Sega Channel was an early form of subscription-based game streaming built on a model similar to the equally ill-fated Famicom Satellaview in Japan. For an extra fee on a monthly cable bill, players would get a special Sega box attached to their TV that allowed access to 50 games.

The problem was cost, access, and the fact that Sega was moving resources on to its new system anyway, making Wily Wars one of the Genesis' rarest games — that is, until recently.

The wave of retro rebirths and mini consoles, including the Genesis Mini, means fans can easily get hold of the game now as part of a bundle including plenty of other Sega classics.

Still, there's nothing quite like a physical copy of a classic game, especially when it (hopefully) won't cost thousands of dollars.

Sega Genesis Mini Gets 10 More Titles Announced, Includes Street Fighter II Thu, 16 May 2019 11:39:49 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Each time Sega announces more titles for the Sega Genesis Mini, a wave of nostalgia slaps me in the face like I did it wrong because I don't have the thing yet.

Ten additional titles have been announced for the upcoming miniature nostalgia box, and all 10 games fit in perfectly with those that have already been announced.

Today's announcement includes:

  • Mega Man: The Wily Wars
  • Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition
  • Ghouls 'n Ghosts
  • Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
  • Beyond Oasis
  • Golden Axe
  • Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millenium
  • Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball
  • Vectorman
  • Wonder Boy in Monster World

Most of these games are more than welcome additions to the Sega Genesis Mini library, but some are certainly more notable than others.

Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition is the shining star in this lineup as a unique and overall superior Street Fighter II edition, the only problem being you'll need a six-button controller to be competitive.

Luckily Retro-Bit is making a six-button controller, prime for use with Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition and Comix Zone. Retro-Bit's six-button Genesis and Mega Drive controller will be available in late August for a smooth $19.99 that's certainly not bad.

In case you haven't been keeping up, here are the other titles announced so far for the Sega Genesis Mini. Keep your eyes peeled for the last 10 games to be announced and get ready to open that wallet for the hardware's September 19 release date.

  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Ecco the Dolphin
  • Castlevania: Bloodlines
  • Space Harrier 2
  • Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine
  • ToeJam & Earl
  • Comix Zone
  • Altered Beast
  • Gunstar Heroes
  • Earthworm Jim
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
  • World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck
  • Contra: Hard Corps
  • Streets of Rage 2
  • Thunder Force III
  • Super Fantasy Zone
  • Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
  • Landstalker
Sega Genesis Mini's Second List of Announced Games Is Fantastic Thu, 18 Apr 2019 13:30:46 -0400 Ashley Shankle

The previously announced lineup for the Sega Genesis Mini was decent before, but as of today, it's starting to look like a must-buy. If you're a player that either lost your Genesis sometime in the past near-30 years or simply did not experience that generation, the Genesis mini just got more enticing.

There are some good games on this thing!

Sega announced 10 more titles to be packed into the upcoming throwback console. For fans of the Sega Genesis, it's close to impossible to say no to the list:

  • Earthworm Jim
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
  • World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck
  • Contra: Hard Corps
  • Streets of Rage 2
  • Thunder Force III
  • Super Fantasy Zone
  • Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
  • Landstalker

Castle of Illusion? World of Illusion? Landstalker? Shinobi 3?! Okay okay, I'm sold. Everything on here is great.

These aren't the only titles announced for the Sega Genesis Mini so far, though, and they do not appear to be the last. Twenty games have been announced for the miniature console so far, and 20 more should be announced over the coming months.

The other games already announced for the Genesis Mini are:

  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Ecco the Dolphin
  • Castlevania: Bloodlines
  • Space Harrier 2
  • Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine
  • ToeJam & Earl
  • Comix Zone
  • Altered Beast
  • Gunstar Heroes

This is also a pretty great list. Between these 20 titles, there is an amazing lineup and array of games packed into the Mini as it stands.

Who knows what's going to be announced next maybe some Phantasy Star, Zombies Ate My Neighbors, or Jungle Strike or Desert Strike.

It's literally impossible to tell, but with the star-studded line up the Sega Genesis Mini has announced so far, anything is possible here. Nobody expected any of the Disney games to make it, but we've got two announced already.

It seems the sky is the limit for the Genesis Mini lineup and my $79.99 is ready for launch on September 19 of this year.

The Spirit of the '90s Is Alive in ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove Mon, 18 Feb 2019 13:36:21 -0500 Ashley Shankle

Console wars may not be a huge thing today, but back when I was growing up in the early '90s, they were roaring and they were fierce. Sega Genesis or Super Nintendo? Sonic or Mario? Arcade-y games or RPGs?

Whichever console you pledged allegiance to in the early portion of the decade affected your social circle in school, and probably which friends' houses you'd go to. Close friends for the same console, somewhat estranged for the other.

If you had a Genesis and you had a friend with a SNES, you'd probably try to go to their house once in a while to check out their games. Maybe you'd act snooty and say what you have at home is better. Maybe you'd push those feelings of wanting a SNES deep down because you knew you'd never get one.

The same would apply to SNES owners with a friend who had a Genesis, too. It was a weird time.

My family wasn't rolling in money, so I only had a Nintendo, PC, and Game Gear until 1997, but I'd hound my friends and family to let me come play their Genesis for years before that. So although I didn't have a Genesis, I was a Sega kid at heart. Sonic was crazy cool, the Shinobi games consistently blew my mind, and ToeJam & Earl just kept finding its way into my life.

I'd go to someone's house who had a Genesis, and they'd either have the first or second game in the series. It was inevitable: It seemed like everyone who had a Sega Genesis had ToeJam & Earl or the sequel.

(Image source)

When I finally got my Genesis in 1997, ToeJam & Earl was one of the first games I grabbed. Before I knew what a roguelike was, I was restarting (see: losing) ToeJam & Earl again and again.

I loved that it was different each time, and opening presents to see what they did was pretty satisfying to little Ashley. At one point, I even had dreams about running from the devil enemy to save my presents. One might say I played a little too much ToeJam & Earl, but such is the nature of the beast. At least that is what I tell myself.

Growing Pains

For many Genesis owners in the '90s, ToeJam & Earl was their first taste of a randomized game. It was certainly my first taste, but by no means was it my last. From there, I went to freeware Castle of the Winds on PC, and to increasingly difficult titles as I got older and even into today. 

For many reasons, TJ&E lit a fire in me for roguelites and roguelikes that has yet to go out, the burning need for games that will always surprise, always challenge, and always force me to consider their unpredictable natures. 

Although it was a graphically impressive platformer at the time, I skipped buying ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron because it abandoned those roguelike qualities of the original. I'd played it enough, I was done.

Sega kids who owned a Dreamcast may have been as excited as I was when they heard TJ&E was being developed for the Dreamcast, but were most likely equally disappointed it never made it to the console. Releasing one of my favorite childhood games on a non-Sega platform (Xbox) almost immediately after the Dreamcast died felt like a punch to the gut. It honestly felt like the end to those characters and the series.

I'm sure some other Sega kids can echo having a similar feeling, too; they can also probably relate to my excitement regarding the launch of the ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove Kickstarter in 2015 and its subsequent funding. 

While Panic on Funkotron on the Genesis veered a little too far from the original formula and Mission to Earth on the Xbox seemed to flub up the series' classic gameplay, Back in the Groove promised to stick to the core top-view gameplay found in the first ToeJam & Earl, while still being fresh.

Today, less than a month ahead of Back in the Groove, I can say that it's not so much that the game "seems" to stick to the core gameplay found in the original game, but that it really "does" it. I can't say much just yet because embargoes, but I can say that fans of the 1991 original will find themselves feeling at home with Back in the Groove, as I certainly have.

(Image source)

Time Wins

Over the years, there are little details you forget about a game you haven't played in a while. Perhaps a longer than optimal introduction, a whole aspect of the gameplay, or little bits of information like what certain items do. It's only natural, totally normal.

Of the original TJ&E, I still remember looking for secret passages, collecting ship pieces, and using presents to my benefit and occasional dismay. With Back in the Groove on the horizon, I started thinking about how the series may have affected my tastes in games even today. 

Both of the TJ&E's Genesis games oozed the era's funk and hip hop culture, and they were completely made in that style. The music, the dialogue, the entire feel of each game was something otherworldly yet familiar to anyone who stepped foot outside at the time.

ToeJam & Earl was born of an era filled with platform-based tribalism that no console generation has been so subject to since, and in some ways, it encapsulates what made some people choose the Genesis aside from its lower price. Thanks to Sega's marketing, the Genesis was framed as being the "cool" console, and games like TJ&E and Panic on Funkotron did a lot to aid that perception.

Even now, it's impossible not to think about the overall package of these games because they seem to be developed with that exact window and that exact timeframe of North American media and culture in mind, and both titles play it up without an ounce of shame or derision.

Nothing in TJ&E seemed out of place in the early '90s. ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove could not have come at a better time.

Nostalgia for the 1990s is at its peak and, sans the odd Nicktoon reboot, nothing could do a better job of displaying the sort of attitude so unique to the early portion of the decade than the revival of a game series so dripping with earnest love for that point in history.

We all know who won between Sega and Nintendo now, 25+ years in the future. I could write a thousand more words on my personal theories about the differences between Sega and Nintendo kids, but those differences mean little now in the ever-ticking face of time.

To say one is a "Sega kid" or "Nintendo kid" today is just foolish, it just doesn't work that way anymore. Things have changed. However, to take a dip in that pool to take a dip into a time where we were all more optimistic, more focused on the now and not the past or the future makes all those old memories come flooding back like they were just hidden in the cabinet under the sink and waiting to be found. It's a good feeling.

If at some point you did consider yourself a Sega kid, mark your calendar for ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove's release on March 1. It's not 1991 anymore, you can get it on any one of many platforms, PS4, PC, Xbox One, Switch, whichever. Take your pick.

You won't have any trouble remembering what it was like back then, you won't even do it on purpose. It just happens, as with all things.

Sega Genesis Classics Receives Nintendo Switch Release Date Tue, 30 Oct 2018 13:50:11 -0400 William R. Parks

SEGA has confirmed that SEGA Genesis Classics will release for Nintendo Switch on December 7.

This compilation will put over 50 retro games into the palm of your hands, and it comes with features that give fans new ways to play.

These features include a rewind function that allows players to replay segments, "mirror mode," which flips games horizontally for a whole new experience, and game-specific challenges that allow you to dive deeper into your favorite titles.

While the list of games is not fully comprehensive (I am looking at you, Ecco the Dolphin), SEGA Genesis Classics for Switch is certain to provide hours of on-the-go, 16-bit fun.

Retail price will be $29.99, and a full list of games is as follows:

  • Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
  • Alien Soldier
  • Alien Storm
  • Altered Beast
  • Beyond Oasis
  • Bio-Hazard Battle
  • Bonanza Bros.
  • Columns
  • Columns III: Revenge of Columns
  • Comix Zone
  • Crack Down
  • Decap Attack
  • Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine
  • Dynamite Headdy
  • ESWAT: City Under Siege
  • Fatal Labyrinth
  • Flicky
  • Gain Ground
  • Galaxy Force II
  • Golden Axe
  • Golden Axe II
  • Golden Axe III
  • Gunstar Heroes
  • Kid Chameleon
  • Landstalker
  • Light Crusader
  • Phantasy Star II
  • Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom
  • Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millenium
  • Ristar
  • Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi
  • Shining in the Darkness
  • Shining Force
  • Shining Force II
  • Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • Sonic 3D Blast
  • Sonic Spinball
  • Space Harrier II
  • Streets of Rage
  • Streets of Rage 2
  • Streets of Rage 3
  • Super Thunder Blade
  • Sword of Vermilion
  • The Revenge of Shinobi
  • ToeJam & Earl
  • ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron
  • Vectorman
  • VectorMan 2
  • Virtua Fighter 2

This seems like a great deal for SEGA fans or whose who missed out on the Genesis library during its heyday. Look for SEGA Genesis Classics on your Nintendo Switch on December 7 later this year.

5 Things SEGA Wants Gamers To Forget Thu, 26 Oct 2017 12:04:32 -0400 ReadyPlayerPaige

The Demise of the SEGA Dreamcast

Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. When the SEGA Dreamcast was released, it seemed like SEGA was getting their groove back in the console wars by putting out some of the best games from Street Fighter vs Capcom to Sonic Adventure 2. That was until Sony's PlayStation 2 was released, and boy, was it a massive blockbuster. Not only were the sales and reviews of the system unbelievable, it ultimately annihilated the Dreamcast and there was no way that SEGA's console could beat the product. With the graphics, hardware, games and backwards compatibility of PS1 games, there was no way SEGA could compete with the PS2. When it was all said and done, the Dreamcast was no more and SEGA withdrew from the console wars.




Nothing lasts forever, and in this case, SEGA had to exit stage left after quite a few mistakes. What are other things SEGA wants gamers to forget? Be sure to leave your comments below and thanks for reading.

Sonic’s 15th Anniversary

Question. It's Sonic's 15th anniversary. He is the biggest mascot in SEGA and is a legend in the video game industry. How do you celebrate his legacy? Well, not the way SEGA did. When Sonic The Hedgehog's 2006 game arrived, the game was lambasted across the board. The loading time, bugs found in the game, and don't get me started on the story mode.



Not even Nintendo celebrated Mario in the way SEGA celebrated Sonic. Sonic deserved to be treated better and he was on his 20th anniversary, Sonic Generations.



SEGA Saturn

After 32X was released, SEGA announced the SEGA Saturn--a console with 3D graphics that was supposed to be big competition against the Playstation. We all know how that turned out. Not only was the console a flop, it was too difficult to create games for the system. The controls for the system were also too complex. To make matters worse, there were no Sonic games! None! Don't think that gamers forgot how SEGA treated Sonic on his 15th anniversary. Speaking of which...

SEGA 32X Add On

In the dying days of the SEGA Genesis, SEGA figured they could boost more life into the Genesis and make it a more powerful console by adding the 32X. It sounded like a good idea on paper, but the execution failed. There wasn't enough support for the add on, and there weren’t a lot of games released for the product. In less than a year, it was scrapped, but the 32X wasn't the only thing that damaged SEGA's reputation.

The SEGA Genesis Did Not Outsell the Super Nintendo

When SEGA burst onto the scene with one of their gaming consoles, the SEGA genesis, Nintendo had some fierce competition. SEGA's main campaign was "Genesis Does What Nintendont" a catchy way of saying SEGA can do what Nintendo can't do. This included providing games at a low price with a system that was super powerful. Sales for the Genesis skyrocketed and sold very well in the US and overseas. Selling over 29 million units is extremely impressive, but Super Nintendo out sold the genesis by selling 49.1 million units. Even with games like Streets of Rage or Sonic the Hedgehog, they were no match to Nintendo's popular titles Street Fighter and Super Mario World.


Ahh, SEGA. Every time you see or hear the name, you know that you are gonna be satisfied with what this gaming company has to offer. Even though SEGA had their ups when they were Nintendo's main competition and had one the hottest gaming consoles in the early 90s, they also had their downs. Here are a few they want gamers to forget.



AtGames Announces Fall 2017 Lineup of Classic Gaming Hardware Fri, 09 Jun 2017 16:07:18 -0400 Angelica Dimson

AtGames® Digital Media Ltd., a leading force in interactive entertainment products, has announced their classic gaming hardware lineup for Fall 2017. In partnership with Activision, the Atari Flashback® 8 Gold, Atari Flashback® 8 Classic Game Console, and the Atari Flashback® Portable Game Player were announced in addition to their other latest classic gaming releases: Sega Genesis Flashback, Classic Game Console, and Ultimate Portable Game Player. 

Each of these consoles and portable systems include a fantastic amount of built-in games and innovative features. Plus, a lot of them share the same games -- the only variance being the amount of games that can be on the consoles.

The Atari consoles are slated for release everywhere September 2017 but can be pre-ordered at select retailers in July 2017. While the Sega classic consoles don't have a set release month, they are expected to be in stores everywhere in Fall 2017 and are available for pre-order at select retailers Summer 2017.

Here's what we know so far about each console.

Atari Flashback® 8 Gold


  • Features 120 built-in favorite classic games, including Centipede™, Missile Command®, and Frogger.
  • Includes two high performance 2.4 ghz wireless controllers that are styled like the Atari 1600 originals and also two legacy controller ports for optional wired controllers.
  • Features 720p HDMI output, scan line filtering, and a save/pause/rewind feature for every game.
Atari Flashback® 8 Classic Game Console

  • Valued priced edition with 105 all time favorites like Space Invaders and Pitfall!
  • Two styled wired controllers made to look like the 2600 originals, and two legacy controller ports for personal wired controllers.
Atari Flashback® Portable Game Player

  • 70 built-in amazing retro games, including PAC-MAN™ and Kaboom!
  • A built-in rechargeable battery for gamers on-the-go.
  • Can add your own games with an optional SD card.
  • Games can be played on the 2.8" high resolution display or on a TV via an optional cable.
Sega Genesis Flashback

  • Features a new design that is inspired by the original Sega Genesis console.
  • Includes 85 built-in games, such the Mortal Kombat™ series and the Sonic™ series and an integrated cartridge port that plays almost all Sega Genesis and Mega Drive original cartridges.
  • Two high performance 2.4 ghz wireless controllers modeled after the Sega Genesis originals are included, in addition to two legacy ports for optional wired gamepads.
  • Has 720p HDMI output, scan line filtering, and a save/pause/ rewind feature for every game.
Sega Classic Game Console

  • Valued price edition of Sega Genesis Flashback with 81 built in games, such as Shining Force™ and Shining Force II™.
  • Includes two wired controllers modeled after the original Sega Genesis and two legacy controller ports.
Ultimate Portable Game Player

  • Contains 85 built-in Sega Genesis and Mega Drive enhanced games like PAC-PANIC™ and Splatterhouse 2™.
  • Ability to add your own games with an SD card.
  • A built in rechargeable battery for portable gameplay on its high resolution 2.8" display, or on a TV via optional cable.

With all these features and classic games built-in, AtGames is delivering a lot of favorite retro content.

What do you think? Are any of these consoles on your wishlist? Comment below.

Watermelon Games New Game for the Sega Genesis Is a Beat'em Up Thu, 30 Mar 2017 11:40:26 -0400 GeorgieBoysAXE

The studio behind the JRPG love letter to 16-Bit, Pier Solar, has officially announced their new game after 4 years of quiet development. It's called Paprium, and will be made available on the Sega Genesis console. 

Initially known as Project Y, the game will be an action-packed beat’em up in the vein of classics like Streets of Rage and Final Fight. Crafted around the architecture of the Sega Genesis, Paprium will feature 24 levels to punch and kick through -- with five different characters and three save slots to accommodate the large number of stages it offers.

The brawler will be sized at 80 MB and packaged onto a physical cartridge that will be compatible with both Genesis and Mega Drive hardware, promising advanced sprite detail and pixel art in 60 FPS. 

WaterMelon is stressing that this will be a limited run of physical copies, and it's uncertain as to whether or not they’ll launch a Kickstarter campaign to bring the title modern hardware like they previously did with Pier Solar. Until an announcement like that crops up, the only way that you'll be able to play Paprium is on a Sega Genesis or MegaDrive.

The game is available for pre-order now on WaterMelon’s Magical Game Factory webstore. For the first 1,988 people who reserve pre-order copies, WaterMelon will also send out a free limited-edition manga that acts as a companion to the game's story. The game is set to release on September 16 of this year.

Underrated Genesis RPGs (Part Two): Crusader of Centy Mon, 30 Jan 2017 09:27:04 -0500 Rob Kershaw

In this three-part series, I’ll be looking at three of the most important Genesis RPGs that impacted my life. They may not be games you enjoyed, or even games you have even heard of. But for me, they were formative, and established my love of story-driven adventure gaming that still burns today.

Part One: Landstalker


When I think back to my Genesis years, it's with a lot of fondness. There were some mediocre titles, sure, but I was a fairly savvy buyer even then, and I scoured the pages of gaming magazines fervently. Anything scored lower than 70% wouldn't even get a glance from me. I was obsessed with RPGs -- having migrated from text adventures -- so when I spotted what looked to be a Zelda game on the Genesis in a copy of Sega Power, I was instantly transfixed.

I couldn't glean much about it from the one-page article. It was covering the Japanese version (Ragnacenty) but it was colorful, had those huge font text boxes synonymous with pretty much any 90s RPG, and it looked like it could well be an excellent alternative to one of Nintendo's finest series.

Like most games from that era, it cost a fortune -- at least to a kid. I patiently waited for it make its way over to our little island, and breaking from tradition, didn't bother reading the reviews. I just parted company with eighty bucks, knowing that it was going to be right up my alley. 

Its name was Crusader of Centy, and it was the first game to make me cry. 

OK, This Is DEFINITELY Similar To...

In fairness to the developer, Atlas, it didn't really try to hide its inspiration. Crusader of Centy (or Soleil, as I knew it in the UK) wore its influence proudly, from the opening hour in which you're given your father's sword on your 14th birthday to the action-RPG mechanics. After reporting your special day to the king, you have to head to a training ground to learn about the game's controls via an obstacle course.

The sword-swinging, grass-chopping, coin-collecting hero will seem awfully familiar to anyone who has ever experienced an adventure with Nintendo's green-hatted chap, but there's a great deal of comfort to be found in that similarity. Where the differences lay were in the story and your animal companions.

Shortly after your powwow with the king, you meet a fortune-teller who gives you the ability to speak to the local wildlife, but at the cost of your communication with humans. Your quest from then on is to try and track down the fortune-teller again and work out what has happened to you. It's a fairly simplistic narrative initially, but it takes a tangential approach to A Link To The Past later on.

If I Could Talk To The Animals

Rather than taking the standard action-RPG approach of offering a progressively more powerful selection of different weapons to work your way through, Crusader of Centy takes the unique slant of allowing you to collect animals. Each animal imbues your sword -- and you -- with different powers, and their abilities are necessary to help you get through some of the game's many puzzles.

For example, if you equip Cecil the lion on its own, you'll be able to use a flame attack with your sword. However, if you also have the Dodo with you, the flames will stick to enemies and cause ongoing damage. Similarly, the Monarch butterfly will let you throw your sword and control its trajectory for a short time, but in combination with the Moa bird, you can unleash it and move it around indefinitely -- perfect for navigating it around a maze to hit various switches. 

Some of the animals are more useful than others, and since you can only use two animals at any given time, you will need to switch up your menagerie regularly in order to traverse puzzle areas with whatever sword abilities are required. It's an interesting take on the genre, and since you accumulate new animals on a fairly frequent basis -- with the puzzles they are used for coming soon after -- the game continues to engage all the way to the end. 

Who's The Bad Guy, Really? 

As you travel the world of Soleil, you'll meet (and be attacked by) a variety of monsters. The design of them -- especially the bosses -- is distinctive. There's little in the way of reskinning in the game, and the locations you're taken to are equally interesting. A cloud city, a desert oasis, and a stormy ocean island are all on the agenda, with enemies which match their environments. 

As you mash your way through boss after boss, dodging their signposted attacks and learning their patterns, more and more animals are freed to help you on your quest. Yet, at the heart of the cutesy slaughter lies a devastating conclusion. One of the final bosses you come across is Mother Monster, a literal beating heart who offers no resistance as you attack her. Just after you land the killing blow, she asks why you hate monsters so much -- why can't humans and monsters co-exist peacefully?

After that, the game piled on the pathos relentlessly, offering up friendly monster after friendly monster who talked rather than attacking. That was enough to tip my young mind over the edge and send me into blubsville.

I realized soon after that this had been spelled out for me right at the beginning. The three minute introduction which explained the reason for the monsters being on Earth (and the conflict that arose with humans) had been there every time I turned on the console. 

Thankfully, everything gets resolved neatly at the end. You discover a way of altering the past, sending monsters back to the world which they accidentally arrived from. After that, you're sent back in time too, and your dead father is now alive and well in Soleil, presumably because he didn't get killed by monsters. Everyone is happy, and all is right with the world.

The icing on the the schmaltzy cake is a stroll through the forest during the end credits, where all of the animals you befriended on your journey accompany you. If Richard Curtis and Doctor Doolittle made a game, it would be Crusader of Centy.

Seems Simple

The cute graphics, engaging gameplay and bittersweet story can't mask the fact that the game is very easy to beat -- mainly because it was aimed at younger gamers. At one point, Sonic can be spotted on a beach, lounging on a deck chair, an odd and very obvious attempt to crowbar in Sega's hero for the gratification of a juvenile audience.

As such, despite the box hilariously stating that it offered 60 hours of gameplay, I managed to get through it in less than eight. If you sped through it, you could plow through the game in less than three. It was a high price to pay for such a short game, but the way it affected me on an emotional level was something I'd never experienced before. The effect it had on me has stayed with me throughout my entire life.

Motokazu Shinoda can take a fair amount of the credit as he crafted a series of wonderful tracks for the game, including jaunty piano pieces in Rafflesia, the mysterious synth in Castle Freesia, the soothing lullaby of Animal Town and the emotive finale. Each piece worked perfectly, and although an orchestral version was never produced, it is still an incredibly catchy soundtrack.


Crusader of Centy never really got the credit it deserved for challenging the conventional "humans good, monsters bad" narrative prevalent in almost every RPG. For older gamers, it was a Zelda clone without the challenge. For the younger generation, it was perhaps too expensive. For those of us -- like me -- who happened upon it during the sweet spot of our formative years, it was a truly captivating game.

Did you play Crusader of Centy on the Genesis? What are your memories of it? Let me know in the comments!

Underrated Genesis RPGs (Part One): Landstalker Mon, 23 Jan 2017 07:00:02 -0500 Rob Kershaw

In this three-part series, I’ll be looking at three of the most important Genesis RPGs that impacted my life. They may not be games you enjoyed, or even games you have even heard of. But for me, they were formative, and established my love of story-driven adventure gaming that still burns today.

Part Two: Crusader of Centy


Firstly, some backstory.

It’s late 1993, and -- like most years -- I’ve spent a lot of my free time mooching around our town’s only videogame store. The owner knows me well, given that I’ve been buying Amstrad games from him on a weekly basis for the last few years, essentially helping to keep him in business. I bought a lot of games. His eyes light up as I enter, and he motions me over to a Genesis system, which he knows I was given as a gift the previous Christmas. “Take a look at this game. It’s just arrived.”

The five-minute intro flashes up and leaves me mesmerised, even before I actually get to take control of the character. When I finally do get to move around, I’m sold. I ask him for the price. He tells me it’s $89. I almost keel over. A week later, I go back and hand over everything I’d saved up for the last three months. Taking pity on me, he hands me $10 back with the game.

To date, it’s still the most money I’ve ever paid for a title, on any format. It was worth every single penny.

That game was:

Landstalker: The Treasures of King Nole

Isn’t This A Bit Like…?

As far as action RPGs go, there’s no question that Landstalker owes a tip of its cap to the Zelda series. The combat is incredibly similar, but the entire game is viewed from an isometric perspective which imbues it with a freshness never before seen in the genre. It’s as if someone had played Head Over Heels and decided to see if they could convert it into a role-playing game.

Landstalker took the template for A Link To The Past and combined verticality with a hero who could jump, resulting in a much more versatile and vibrant world. Towns and sprites were three-dimensional, and puzzles were given an extra element of cunning.

One particularly memorable challenge in a mausoleum saw you trying to solve riddles in a series of crypts which often played on the isometric nature of the game. In one of them, if you couldn’t think laterally you’d never have worked out that you could get to a secret door by turning and walking through a wall next to a tomb. Landstalker taught you to leap for the unknown, embrace the game’s visual identity, and take chances.

So, You’re A Treasure Hunter?

It wasn’t just the gaming world that provided influence, as the introduction made perfectly clear. Chasing after a golden statue? Running away from a huge boulder? As a big Indiana Jones fan, this captured my young imagination immediately.

But what fantastic name would my protagonist be given? Something bold? Something dynamic? Something thrilling?


He was called "Nigel," and he was eighty-eight years old. (Interestingly, Nigel was named “Lyle” in France, and “Ryle” in Japan, which feel far more “treasure huntery” to me. Still, who am I to judge?)

If you could move past the bizarre name -- and I did, quickly -- what followed was a charming, simple tale of one person’s quest for treasure. Well, actually, two people. You’re accompanied by a tiny wood nymph named Friday, who actually knows where the riches are, but needs someone to protect her from a group of rogue treasure hunters in return for giving you the location.

Nigel and Friday’s relationship is very sweet, despite Nigel being a bit of a single-minded dick. At one point, Friday emerges from his backpack at night and lays bare her feelings, only for her to realise that Nigel is asleep. It’s a moving moment in a game that generally plays for broad laughs from its larger-than-life characters, and is all the more poignant for it.

“I Am But A Shadowy Reflection Of You.”

You find out fairly early on that you’re not alone in your search for the treasures of King Nole. Throughout the game you’ll run into a recurring supporting cast of NPCs who are as delightful as they are unhinged. From Pockets, a shifty bloke who looks like a used car salesman, to Friday’s nemeses Kayla, Ink and Wally (the comic relief trio who have their own theme tune), and the seemingly benevolent but ultimately dastardly Duke Mercator, each character is distinct. At one point, a witch turns you into a dog and you have to run through a basement solving switch-based puzzles with your paws. It's as crazy as it sounds.

Even the shopkeepers are interesting. Friendly’s Item Shop is run by a guy who sells items at low, low prices, but when you’re stuck in the middle of the mountains, you meet his brother Greedly. If anyone’s looked at service station prices in the backend of beyond, you may be able to guess where things go from there.

One of the best aspects of the tale is its black and white simplicity. Duke Mercator is a ruthless, but ultimately base man who wants nothing more than gold. He’s pitched as the main antagonist, but he’s only a couple of steps removed from Nigel in terms of how he goes about achieving his goals.

Despite initially coming across as charming, it’s revealed throughout the game that he’s more than happy to resort to kidnap and slavery to beat you to the treasure. He wields no special powers, other than being one step ahead of you for the duration of the game, and as a villain, he’s rather ordinary. But then so was Belloq in Raiders Of The Lost Ark, and we all know what happened to him...

Landstalker doesn’t aim to weave a particularly challenging narrative, instead concentrating on fun mechanics and a colourful cast. However, I’d argue -- perhaps controversially -- that it’s at least on a par with A Link To The Past from a storytelling perspective.

Those Screams, Though...

Landstalker’s combat is simple and frenetic. Weapon-wise, Nigel is equipped solely with a sword for the entire game, but better upgrades are discovered as you explore which inflict elemental effects on enemies. Every single death is indicated by a horrific scream, like someone strangling a crow.

Eventually, you’ll tune it out like white noise, because there are hundreds of things to kill in the game and it might otherwise send you insane. Bubbles, mushrooms, worms with human faces, chest mimics, golems, skeletons... the menagerie is impressive and is rounded off by some wonderful bosses.

As in most Zelda titles, your aim is to just smack an enemy with your sword -- or your sword’s elemental power -- until it’s dead. There’s no complex combat system, other than jumping around the screen as needed to maneuver out of the way of enemies. Bosses are a little trickier, since you have to learn their pattern, but this isn’t Dark Souls. It can get tricky but not frustrating, and the pacing is perfectly pitched and keeps momentum going onto the next area, the next dungeon, and the next clue.

The introduction saw Nigel leaping from screen to screen and from platform to platform by pulling off the most incredible feats of timing. As a marketing tool, it could potentially have put people off buying the game. Even I had to pause briefly when I saw some of the jumps that -- I assumed -- I would be expected to emulate. Thankfully, I was never required to achieve anything remotely close to those opening few minutes.

If I had, I’d probably have never finished the game.

There And Back Again

Further equipment such as armor, boots and rings can also be acquired to boost Nigel’s defenses, but usually help him navigate previously inaccessible areas. One of my favorite parts of the game was discovering that, after a dozen hours of adventuring in search of the treasure, I ended up returning to the start.

Replaying the intro sequence on my second runthrough showed me that Climax had laid out the clues right in front of me at the very beginning, but I simply hadn’t twigged. Friday had been right all along about the treasure’s location, and if Nigel had just gone back there immediately, he’d have found it. Granted, the quest would probably have been over in an hour, but then he only has himself to blame.

Many of the environments in Landstalker’s world are like this, revealing inaccessible (and often optional) areas that need to be returned to once you’ve picked up a new, shiny toy. Back in the days where cartridge memory was at a premium, it was a clever way of reusing assets whilst providing content. Here though, unlike similar games which may have you rolling your eyes at the obvious cheapness of the tactics used, it didn’t feel like you were being cheated. Enemy strength was static, so as my swords increased in power, the length of time I needed to spend in each area was reduced to the point where I could smash through skeletons with a single sweep. It was genuinely gratifying.

Do De De Dooooooo…

Motoaki Takenouchi was only 25 when he composed Landstalker’s soundtrack and, like the best earworms, it remains with me today. The town theme was a supremely jaunty affair which I immediately associated with safety -- “Yes! I can finally save my game!” -- but it stuck in my head. It wasn’t the only tune either. Kayla, Ink and Wally had their own theme which played whenever they made an appearance. The adventuring cues were catchy enough for me to be able to whistle from memory a quarter of a century on.

Simply put, it’s a hugely underrated OST, and Takenouchi-san worked wonders with synths, beats and keyboards to produce a dazzling array of tracks. For me, it wasn’t the pinnacle of his Genesis output though -- that would be the soundtrack for the third game I’ll be covering in this series.

So, What Happened To The Sequel?

Landstalker took me around fifteen hours to complete. Truthfully, I was a little obsessed, thoroughly captivated by the story (about which I kept a diary, charting my progress from the eyes of Nigel), and as soon as I was done, I started over again.

Every time I played it, I found something new -- whether it was items being flung from Mercator Tower by the imprisoned princess in a cry for help, or a sword that I’d somehow completely missed on my previous playthroughs. There was something captivating about the game’s delivery, and it didn’t outstay its welcome -- the exception being the final labyrinth that never, ever fails to cause me grief even today.

Unfortunately, despite my desperate wishes, a true sequel never made it to western shores. The official follow-up Lady Stalker was released in Japan to mixed reviews, removing the protagonist’s ability to jump, and therefore discarding one of the key features of the original. Climax Entertainment followed this up with Dark Savior on the Saturn, which was more of a spiritual successor and one that simply didn’t capture that same magic I’d experienced as a (broke) kid.

The studio may have wrapped up a couple of years ago, but we’re living in a world where anyone can ask for crowd-funding. With Landstalker available on Wii and Steam, there’s still plenty of opportunity to try out this gem and gather support. The Genesis is even making a comeback in Brazil. Who knows, perhaps we’ll see a genuine successor at some point? If so, I’ll be first in the queue to fund it.

“Nigel”, though?


Do you have fond memories of Landstalker? Or was the final dungeon too much for your controller to take after you hurled it across the room? Let me know in the comments!

10 of the Greatest RPG Boss Battle Themes Wed, 14 Sep 2016 06:11:14 -0400 ThndrMge

In an RPG, a boss battle is like a punctuation mark at the end of a dungeon or event. They can be a defining moment of a game, creating tense feelings in a player who may not have been expecting a tough battle or driving the narrative through an encounter with the primary antagonist. You tend to remember boss battles more than others, and you usually spend a lot more time in a boss battle than your run-of-the-mill encounters.

This is what makes a great boss battle soundtrack all the more important. The change from the standard battle theme to something more intense can give the player a real feeling of "shit just got real." Below are ten examples of some of the greatest boss battle themes.

Warning: This list contains mild to severe spoilers, read at your own risk.


Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium

Uploaded by SNESosT

When this song starts, you know you're in for the real deal. The rockin' beat of the synthetic instruments playing the foreboding melody of this song really gets you amped up. You can just feel the intensity of this boss battle just from the song, and if you haven't been properly training or preparing for a tough boss fight this is certainly going to be the song that heralds your Game Over. I hope you saved recently!

Fight With Seymour

Final Fantasy X

Uploaded by CrazyMan03

Nobuo Uematsu really knows what he's doing, and this is why he's considered one of the most legendary video game composers in the business. Final Fantasy X features one of the greatest boss battle themes in the entire series, "Fight with Seymour". The spine-tingling electronic buildup at the beginning of the song that leads into the operatic vocals and finally into the intense percussion just gets you fired up when the blue haired antagonist of FFX engages you for what promises to be a challenging battle.

The pacing of the song keeps it upbeat, but the underlying theme of a dark and foreboding ambition really sinks in as the song progresses. There's nothing bad to say about this song, except that it only plays once or twice in the entire game.

Best Friend

Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth

Uploaded by VGMOST

With a title like "Best Friend", how could you predict such a dark and ominous song would follow? This song plays as you battle the boss at the finale of the first half of Persona Q. In a game as difficult as Persona Q you know to look forward to bosses, and the game adequately warns you as you approach the chamber of each boss, providing a save point and a chance to return to the shops and heal up. However, when "Best Friend" starts playing at the beginning of the battle with this boss, you know something is seriously different.

Compared to the previous bosses, this one is no joke, and you better take it even more seriously than the others. The dread this rock song instills in you will haunt you every time you hear it afterwards, even with the tinges of hope it might include with its more upbeat sections.

Battle! (Gym Leader)

Pokemon X & Y

Uploaded by utuber6061backup

Pokemon games are about a journey through the land, taming wild creatures and bonding with them as you face the challenges of the gyms and the threat of the organized crime gangs you might encounter along the way. This journey culminates at the Elite Four, where you'll battle to become the champion of the league. This song is the anthem that plays as you battle your way through those Gyms, facing their various themed leaders.

The introduction of this song can get your skin crawling in anticipation of the challenge you're about to face from some of the most skilled trainers in Kalos. The meat of the song keeps up a steady toe-tapping beat and the uplifting music can help you focus on overcoming the difficult battle you're in. The excitement as it builds into a full fledged anthem can instill you with the confidence you need.

Dante Battle

Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Uploaded by wpellot

Featuring Dante from the Devil May Cry series! This tag on the cover of the North American and European versions of Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne has spawned a meme that echos across the internet. However, Dante's addition to Nocturne added one of the greatest battle themes in the series to the game. The first time you meet Dante you'll have to fight him, in a very unexpected encounter.

When the song fires up you know the Devil Hunter means serious business, capable of clearing out your entire team in a single round if you aren't careful. In a game as unforgiving as Nocturne, this is a serious threat. The rock tune is very befitting of both games, I could easily picture Dante flipping around and juggling a half dozen demons with his signature stylish skills in his own game as well as I can picture the Protagonist of Nocturne facing up in turn-based combat with him.

Battle Conditions

Lost Odyssey

Uploaded by Zapper101

Right from the beginning of this song you can feel the intensity, and it never drops. Nobuo Uematsu didn't screw around when he composed this brilliant piece for Lost Odyssey. Lost Odyssey can be a very punishing game if you aren't prepared properly for what lies ahead of you, and bosses are the prime example of such preparedness being mandatory!

When you hear this song kick in, you'd better hope your immortals are healed up and your mortals are well prepared to support them -- or else you're in for a beating that the main character, Kaim, will never forget. The frantic beat of the song is really emphatic about how desperate the struggle you're about to face could be, and it really sets the tone for the boss battles.


Xenoblade Chronicles X

Uploaded by Napon [OST Uploads]

This is both the first vocally driven track and the first non-turn based RPG to pop up on the list. Xenoblade X plays this track whenever you engage in combat with one of the optional bosses wandering around the world of Mira. Ranging from small to exceptionally large, these creatures are all deadly for one reason or another -- and without proper care you can find yourself walking directly into the maw of a particularly deadly monster without realizing it.

Hearing this song start up as you're wandering around the world gives you a sense of panic as you try to gauge what your best option would be, running away or standing and fighting. The vocals are gorgeous, and you just can't help but sing along once this song buries itself into your ear. Just let the beat carry you as you struggle against the hostile world of Mira.

Battle of Tribulations

Bravely Second: End Layer

Uploaded by EightGiratina

I knew I wanted to include one of the various boss themes from the Bravely series but I had a hard time choosing, they're all so good. I settled for Bravely Second's "Battle of Tribulations", as I feel it emphasizes the mood of the battle the best. As your party struggles in battle with one of the various new Asterisk -- symbols of power that grant you the ability to use special jobs -- holders in the game.

The frenetic pace of the drums and the sense of desperation the song gives off is augmented with its operatic vocal backings and glorious guitar riffs. As the song goes on, you notice that there is an underlying tone of hope that builds the more you listen to it. This song just has the perfect blend of emotional messages in it that makes it so fitting for a boss fight. Instant classic.

The Edge of Green

Radiant Historia

Uploaded by James Turner

Radiant Historia is one of those RPGs I never hear people talk about in conversations regarding the best RPGs of all time. I don't think enough people give this game the credit it deserves, and this track is a perfect example of what the game is capable of.

This boss theme is mellow compared to my previous entries, featuring both piano and violin synchronizing in perfect harmony over a heart-pounding beat that leaves you ready to do battle with the deadliest foes. Yoko Shimomura's composing work is brilliant and this is just another note on the ever expanding list of fabulous work she has done.



Uploaded by Hawelo92

You know you're in for a bad time when you hear this glorious track. Honestly, I had a hard time settling on a song to pick from Undertale, as all the boss songs are just so great. They are all perfectly thematic for their respective boss along with the tone of the story at that particular point in the game. I decided to go with "Megalovania" for a couple reasons.

I feel as if this song really drives home my point about a boss song setting a mood that should make a player feel like something serious is about to happen. Additionally to my previous point, I feel as though this song is one of the best composed in the game, as well as being memorable for having appeared in Toby Fox's other work. It is simply overall just a great track, and the battle that goes with it is one of the most well coordinated and intense fights in Undertale.

These are just a fraction of the great selection of boss tunes out there to find in all the various RPGs available to us. Did I include your favorite game? Share some of your favorites in the comments.

Miles "Tails" Prower - Trusty Sidekick or Eager Sibling? Sat, 20 Aug 2016 09:09:19 -0400 Jeremy "Digit" Brown

When I was a young boy, the first video game I ever played was Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Genesis. I wasn't very good - for the longest time I couldn't get past the second level, Marble Zone. But like many younger siblings (as I was the youngest) I did what I could to succeed. I asked my older brother - who had beaten the whole game, whoa! - to help me beat the hard part, a.k.a. do it for me. 

For the record, I think it's a maturity thing for any kid who did this. If I wasn't winning, I wasn't having fun. I didn't even have to play the game, I just wanted to be the winner. No wonder I hated Demon's Souls when it came out. Hint: I was still pretty young then, too.

I mean, look at Tails up there. In special stages, he'll never be in front.

But when my family got a PC that the kids could use, the kids of the house quickly played a massive amount of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Knuckles. Once again, a young Jeremy Brown was going to play a lot of the first zone, then get crushed by the unforgiving second one -- this time it was Hydrocity Zone. Luckily, there was another way to play. My brother would be Sonic, "the blue blur," but I'd get to be the sidekick, Miles "Tails" Prower. He wasn't as fast --though I would never admit that to myself -- but he could fly, and even better was the fact that he couldn't actually die.

These moments in my life were the first time I had not only played a cooperative game, but also the first time I felt I was succeeding in a game. It wasn't true, though.

Alright, almost anyone whose ever played Sonic the Hedgehog 3 with 2 players knows that the Tails player gets the short end of the stick. He's not as fast, and because there's only one screen, the camera stays on Sonic. Meaning, if you have perfect team coordination, like the nanomachines in MGS 4: Guns of the Patriots, your duo will remain intact. If you're a human being, though, Tails gets stuck way off-screen to the left and you have to wait for "Player One" to stop for a moment to catch his breath before you can even get back to the gameplay.

This is taken one nano-second before Tails is left in the dust.

In many ways, he's the epitome of the younger gamer sibling. Eager to help the greater good, eager to please the more successful figure, and hungering for validation -- I feel for the guy. I understand his plight, because I connected with his gameplay in such a way that made me feel embodied by him.

It was one of my favorite co-op game memories, until I played as him recently, and I realized something. From a game standpoint, Knack's co-op felt flawless when compared with Sonic the Hedgehog 3's. It's really bad, but it was just what I needed. It let me have fun with my brother and sister, when they played as Sonic and I as Tails.

He's the little brother of gaming, always ready to keep coming back, no matter how far behind he gets. In that last respect, I still connect with him... I have a lot of games to finish.

Let me know your thoughts or any other characters you've connected with over the years in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!

Best retro gaming buys: Console edition Fri, 12 Aug 2016 13:30:02 -0400 kate.farrow

With the NES: Classic Edition (aka mini NES) coming out this November, and a SEGA mini Genesis on the way, you may feel the need to dust off your old systems and boot them up again. What? You don’t have your old systems?! Inconceivable!

No worries, though. These systems will save your retro-deprived soul. You’ll be groovin’ to 8-bit tunes in 7-10 business days. Remember, you can’t use physical cartridges with the NES: Classic Edition, so now’s your chance to snag the OG NES.

The RetroN 5

Play all the retro games on one machine. Really. It will play NES, SNES, Super Famicom, SEGA Genesis, Mega Drive, Famicom, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and GBA cartridges. If you have a lot of cartridges, but non-functioning consoles or don’t want to mess with converters and adapters, this is the solution for you.

Neo Geo X Gold Limited Edition

In more of an arcade gaming mood? The Neo Geo X has your back. It comes preloaded with 20 arcade games, and this edition gives you the Neo Geo X Station, the Neo Geo X Handheld, and the Neo Geo X Joystick. You can save almost $100 by going with a used version, starting at $189.


Original NES Console

Original NES Console - $57.23

Here’s your chance, guys. Finally, you can load up Duck Hunt and Super Mario Bros again! (Note - depending on the seller it may not come with hookups or controllers).

Original SNES Console

Original SNES Console - $33.58

If you’re a hardware enthusiast, here’s an original SNES. The console is definitely used, as it has been out since 1991. If you really want a new original SNES, though, there do appear to be some available if you’re willing to spend upwards of $600.

SEGA Genesis Model 1 Console

SEGA Genesis Model 1 Console System - $22.00

And for you SEGA enthusiasts, the Model 1 Genesis. Again, check with the individual seller for what comes with it.


I’m always looking for new awesome products, so please send me your favorites at

Return of the Console War: Nintendo and Sega Are Both Releasing Retro Consoles Wed, 27 Jul 2016 09:33:31 -0400 MattLoffhagen

This Christmas is going to be a busy time for retro gamers.

For the first time since it ceased production in 1995, Nintendo is going to be releasing a version of its original home console, the Nintendo Entertainment System. The NES Classic is smaller than the original chunky brick of a console that debuted in 1983, and comes with thirty games bundled in, plus HDMI support for those who like to glory in each individual pixel on a blocky retro display.

Not to be outdone, Sega has announced plans to revitalize its miniature Genesis console. The new device, which is being launched to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the original Sonic the Hedgehog, is based on an earlier rerelease, but boasts a full collection of Sonic titles, as well as more roleplaying games than previous iterations of the hardware.

All of this means that, for the first time in years, this December will see Sega and Nintendo competing for dominance of the same console market demographic. Both of their machines are ostensibly very similar, and both are targeted towards twenty-something and thirty-something nostalgic gamers.

For one final festive season, the Console War of the nineteen nineties is back.

What’s particularly fun about this home console tribute act, is how quickly each company has slipped back into their respective roles, with Nintendo relying primarily on its library of games, and Sega pushing to do ‘what Nintendon’t’, to borrow an old marketing phrase.


Nintendo’s new NES, while featuring certain exciting new technological improvements (such as HD display and a controller which is compatible with the Wii and Wii U consoles), is actually fairly lacking when it comes to the features that its primary audience expects from a retro console.

The NES Classic lacks the ability to plug physical cartridges into the device to play games that aren’t in-built, and gamers can’t use original NES controllers with the machine. Both of these features come as standard in existing ‘new’ retro consoles such as the RetroN range of third party hardware, and the fact that NES Classic owners will have to buy a second controller separately isn’t going to help the console to sell to those who want to play together with friends.

In a humorous disappointing question and answer session with Polygon, Nintendo of America have explained that the NES Classic basically lacks almost every feature that eager gamers had been hoping it would include, making it little more than a fancy emulator for a prescribed list of Nintendo’s bestsellers.

Meanwhile, Sega is up to its old tricks, trying its best to one-up Nintendo in every way. The Sega Mega Drive Classic comes with eighty built in games (fifty more than the NES Classic), and also features a cartridge slot so that additional physical games can be played on the device. It comes as standard with two controllers, which almost feels like a deliberate move to make the console more appealing than the NES Classic, as both will retail for the same price.

Yet Sega’s emulation of its nineties role is perfect, including one of its major follies: its obsession with releasing endless iterations of similar hardware. There have been plenty of ‘new’ Genesis emulators on the market over the past twenty years, and plenty of the gamers who will be most likely to want the device already own one.

To make things worse, Sega are even releasing a second Genesis compilation device at the same time, the second one being a handheld version of almost exactly the same hardware (it’s also almost entirely pointless for anyone who owns a phone that’s capable of emulation, or a Raspberry Pi).

And so we end up right back in the same Console War that existed in the nineties, with Nintendo staunchly defending its console that doesn’t quite do everything its audience wants, while Sega attempts to steal market share from the NES with free games and endless unnecessary hardware updates. The only thing that’s missing is an attempt at lock-on connectivity and a mad dash towards CD-ROM games.

Last time the NES went up against the Genesis, the fight didn’t last long – the technical superiority of Sega’s home console pushed Nintendo to create the Super Nintendo, which still struggled to pull ahead of the Genesis for much of its early lifespan (before ultimately outselling the Sega console by a large margin).

This time, though, the idea of an official Genesis emulator is already so commonplace that it doesn’t stand a chance at making a splash. Nintendo’s famously aggressive protection of its back catalog of games makes the NES Classic a special event, while releasing a slightly improved version of existing hardware is just another day at the office for Sega.

For that reason, this time around, Nintendo’s likely to win the Console War redux without much of an actual fight. Even though the console lacks the capability to play cartridges or accept classic NES controllers, it’s hard to argue with a nostalgia piece that comes preloaded with so many of Nintendo’s most famous games.

The good news is, come January, the Sega Mega Drive Classic will be dirt cheap in bargain bins across the country.

Future Sonic games to be inspired by Classic Sonic Wed, 28 Oct 2015 04:10:40 -0400 Goldenbolt

Despite what we've seen in recent years, there were a handful of Sonic games that both sold and played pretty well, notably Sonic Generations in 2011. As the name implies, the game saw Sonic returning to both his classic formula and art style, following the platform-based gameplay that made the hedgehog popular. And it looks like SEGA is headed back to those roots once again (especially in light of Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric). 

Jon Rooke, the Marketing Director for SEGA Europe, is definitely aware of this struggle and promises to return Sonic the Hedgehog back to the way it used to be.

“Sega has publicly apologised to the fans as the quality of console games in the Sonic franchise hasn’t been acceptable over recent years. It’s been tough translating that iconic side scrolling 2D experience from the 90s into 3D but Sonic is still huge for us so the new games will be more inspired by how it played in its heyday.”

Sonic the Hedgehog is one of those perfect examples of a video game franchise having an incredibly difficult time breaking out from two dimensions into three. It's complicated to take a game so perfectly crafted to the character's momentum, like in the original Sonic games, and adapt it to the modern era. Sonic has gone from behaving like a vehicle boosting down a pathway, to bashing enemies as a werewolf, to slicing up his enemies with his sword, Caliburn. None of these concepts really stuck all too well, with the latter two serving as mere spin-offs of the Sonic formula.

But you have to wonder Jon Rooke means exactly. Sure, there's mention of Sonic's heyday being in 2D, but I can remember a time when the Sonic Adventure series on the Dreamcast was absolutely on fire. It was everyone's favorite back in elementary school. But maybe someday soon we'll have a shiny new Sonic game that we all can agree is a comeback for the beloved series.

Would you rather see more "Classic Sonic" inspired games? Or are you a little more nostalgic for the era of Sonic on the Dreamcast? Let us know!

Duke Nukem 3D gets a worldwide release for the Sega Genesis Sun, 18 Oct 2015 08:24:40 -0400 Daniel Williams_2179

Duke Nukem got a new game release, but not where you'd expect it. Instead of a new game for the current generations, it is coming out for the Sega Genesis, released all the way back in 1989.

Yes, the previously Brazilian exclusive Duke Nukem 3D for the Sega Genesis is finally getting a worldwide release. According to a post on Eurogamer, Retro gaming studio Piko is going to be publishing the game on Sega Genesis after acquiring the rights for the console port from the Brazilian publisher Tectoy, along with 3DRealms, the developer Duke Nukem 3D. 

Right now you can order the game from Piko's website. It will cost $39.99 to order the cart on its own or $54.99 for a boxed version that will also include the manual.

This is the first time Piko has published a game for an old console. Back in 2014, they acquired the rights to reprint Super 3D Noah's Ark for the SNES. 

Comparison of Every Home Console Launch-Price from the Beginning of Gaming Mon, 06 Apr 2015 09:25:46 -0400 amaadify

We're well into the 8th Generation of gaming. With the high price-tags on consoles today, many have wondered how our prices compare to consoles of the past. Well, it turns out, consoles have always been expensive.

Below is a complete list of major gaming consoles along with their launch year, launch prices (USD), and the gaming generation they belong to. 


Launch Date

Launch Price

Magnavox Odyssey Aug 1972 $99.99/$561.48 1st
Farichild Channel F Nov 1976 $169.99/$701.07 2nd
Atari 2600 Sep 1977 $199.99/$774.62 2nd
Intellivision Jan 1980 $299.99/$854.54 2nd
ColecoVision Aug 1982 $199.99/$486.45 2nd
Atari 5200 SuperSystem Nov 1982 $269.99/$656.71 2nd
Nintendo Entertainment System July 1983  $199.99/$471.31 3rd
Sega Master System Oct 1985  $199.99/$428.30 3rd
Atari 7800 June 1986 $139.99/$299.81 3rd
TurboGrafx-16 Oct 1988 $199.99/$413.22 4th
Sega Genesis Oct 1988 $189.99/$376.96 4th
Neo-Geo Jan 1990  $649.99/$1,167.31 4th
Super Nintendo Entertainment System Nov 1990  $199.99/$359.16 4th
Phillips CD-i Dec 1991 $699.99/$1,206.34 4th
Atari Jaguar Nov 1993 $249.99/$406.08 4th
Neo-Geo CD Sep 1994  $299.99/$475.13 4th
Sega Saturn Nov 1994 $399.99/$633.51 5th
PlayStation Dec 1994 $299.99/$487.30 5th
Nintendo 64 June 1996 $199.99/$299.18 5th
Dreamcast Nov 1998  $199.99/$287.99 6th
PlayStation 2 March 2000 $299.99/$408.91 6th
Nintendo GameCube Sep 2001  $199.99/$265.21 6th
Xbox Nov 2001 $299.99/$397.82 6th
Xbox 360 Nov 2005 $399.99 - $299.99/
$480.73 - $360.54
PlayStation 3 Nov 2006 $599.99 - $499.99/
$698.57 - $582.14
Wii Nov 2006 $249.99/$291.06 7th
Wii U Nov 2012 $349.99 - $299.99/
$357.81 - $306.69
Ouya June 2013 $99.99/$100.75 8th
PlayStation 4 Nov 2013 $399.99/$403.02 8th
Xbox One Nov 2013 $499.99/$503.78 8th

Moral of the story? We probably shouldn't be complaining so much about console prices. It seems as though consoles have always had a relatively similar price range, but when considering the adjustment due to inflation, today's consoles are drastically cheaper.

This is especially true when compared to the Phillips CD-i and Neo-Geo, which take the first and second place for most expensive console, respectively.

The cheapest of all, with inflation considered, is the OUYA micro-console. This makes sense, as it has relatively low specs and was designed to run processor-light Android-based games.  

However, when focusing on base-price alone, Ouya ties with the first home console ever released, the Magnavox Odyssey. It's nice to see that $99.99 price point has returned, even if it was attached to a micro-console. Could we see this price re-adopted into traditional home consoles in the future? I sure hope so. 

Top 10 Biggest Fails of the Gaming Industry Tue, 31 Mar 2015 19:08:46 -0400 GamingGuru

Video games.  As much as we love them, there have been some exceptional fails over the last forty years or so, with some being much worse than others. From perceived simple "lapses" in good judgment to all-out wackiness, this list will leave you scratching you head wondering "What the hell were these people thinking?".

Sure, every business has its failings from time to time, but what makes these fails so memorable is that, even though the video game industry is projected to currently be worth $15.4 billion U.S. dollars, they still can make very human mistakes. You'd think with that amount of cheddar that they'd be able to buy an effective marketing team, but alas...

Here's a list of my Top Ten Worst Video Game Industry Gaffes of All Time! Enjoy!

Wow, just wow...

10) Daikatana - "John Romero is About to Make You His B&#$@!"

Daikatana was much hyped prior to its release, but proved to be a commercial flop. Hampered by multiple delays, technical problems, lackluster gameplay, and an alienated fanbase due to poor marketing, Daikatana was destined to fail.

Even though John has publicly apologized for the game's poor marketing, it forced him out of the industry that he was previously a pillar of, and into the mobile gaming market. At least he gets to spend all that time with his wife...right?

This was painful to watch...

9) Jamie Kennedy Wrecks E3

The video speaks for itself. Jamie was invited by Activision to host their 2007 E3 presser, but it proved to be the trainwreck to end all trainwrecks. Apparently inebriated out of his mind, the self-proclaimed "comedian" went on an incomprehensible tirade against the very audience he was supposed to entertain.

Long after the event, Jamie is still sore about it, and has gone on multiple Twitter rants against those who reference it. A crash course in effectively handling social media interactions would do this guy well, and perhaps some comedy lessons to boot. Yeesh.

The King is Dead, Sorry

8) Duke Nukem Forever

Let's face it. Duke Nukem Forever sucks, and the reasons it does are numerous. From outdated, sexist jokes to limited weapon options, Duke Nukem Forever reminded us all that time and distance do not make the heart grow fonder.

The growing pains are glaringly apparent to anyone who plays this game, and it has been lambasted in countless Metacritic reviews. It also doesn't help when your team's only PR guy acts like a total tool on Twitter. Bury this one, folks, because it's beyond dead!



Quick! Everybody point and laugh!


7) Nokia N-Gage

Sure, we could all use some convenience in our lives, right? Surely a phone that doubles as a video game system would be a good idea? Unfortunately no, and the Nokia N-Gage proved just that.

The point behind it was to emulate the Gameboy Advance, but sadly, it did a horrible job. With a confusing button layout more geared towards dialing as opposed to gaming, it failed to capture interest. Even worse, it started with a relatively steep price point ($299). Even shaving $100 off the price a mere 2 weeks after release, gamers still opted for Nintendo's Gameboy Advance 100 to 1. May I suggest "more pockets" as your next commercial venture?

"Buy because video games" - Sega

6) Sega 32X and Sega CD

Wow...what a mess! The Sega 32X was released on November 21st 1994 and the Sega CD on October 15th, 1992, both of which were designed to increase the lifespan of the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive into the 32-bit era. Unfortunately, they both did little but annoy gamers and third-party developers alike.

However well-intentioned, both were too little, too late, as the Sega CD became obsolete quickly and the Sega 32X was viewed as "unnecessary" with the Sega Saturn's looming release. With three separate "big box" power sources necessary for each unit, AVGN said it best "it's on life support". 

Like headaches, blurred vision and nausea? Step right up!

5) Nintendo's Virtual Boy

Growing up poor, my parent's couldn't afford the Virtual Boy's $180 initial price point when it was released in 1995, and it's a good thing they couldn't! Developed by the legendary Gunpei Yokoi, the Virtual Boy was designed as a "portable" system that displayed games in "true 3D". However, anyone who's played this console will only remember the headaches they endured due to the console's "all red" LED display.

Obviously not seeing a return on investment for the $25 million in advertising costs due to its lukewarm reception, Yamauchi decided to publicly humiliate Yokoi at the company's annual Shoshinkai trade show, even though the console was publicly declared "dead" by this point. Yokoi left Nintendo in 1996 and went on to develop the Bandai Wonderswan, but died tragically in a car accident shortly after. Rest in peace, Mr. Game Boy, you will be missed.

Someone adopt these children IMMEDIATELY!

4) Acclaim's Crazy Advertising Campaigns

Acclaim's list of offenses is quite extensive. Some of their hair-brained marketing schemes include : 1) giving out a $10,000 savings bond to the parents who name their newborn child "Turok", 2) staging fake "Christian protests", 3) paying the resulting tickets of those who sped to the store to grab Burnout 2, 4) bus stop billboards that spray fake blood on the sidewalk, and perhaps their most egregious, 5) offering to buy advertising space on actual tombstones to promote Shadowman: 2econd Coming.

We can merely theorize that human beings concocted these horrific ideas. We can only guess that these so-called "marketing professionals" disregarded a simple term: "market research". Human emotions? What are those?

Don't you DARE rile up Kratos, you darn ASPCA!

3) God of War II Launch Party

What better way to generate hype than to host a release party, Bacchanalia-style? For those who don't know what Bacchanalia is, it's a party that revolves around drunken revelry and ecstasy with roots in ancient Rome. However, no one mentioned that a raw, decapitated goat carcass was going to be the main course!

Handing out raw innards for the revelers to eat, all this stunt did was put Sony Computer Entertainment in the crosshairs of every animal rights activist out there, perhaps until the end of time. Bon Appetit! 

THESE guys' bullets are more real!

2) Splinter Cell: Conviction Gunman in New Zealand

We can all be thankful that this didn't end tragically. In an attempt to promote their upcoming game Splinter Cell: Conviction, Ubisoft thought it would be a good idea to slap bandages on a man's hands and give him a fake gun to carry around. Nearby bar patrons who spotted the man naturally called the police, who were nice enough not to turn the man into a blood-soaked block of swiss cheese.

Given Ubisoft's lackluster reputation in development and customer relations, a fake gunman seems almost like a breath of fresh air. Keep up the good work, Ubisoft!

And now....drumroll, please!

Yeah, nothing threatening or offensive about this, right?

1)  PlayStation Portable White Netherlands Billboard

Yes. This actually happened. As part of their marketing campaign in The Netherlands for their upcoming PSP White, some genius at Sony thought that this would actually fly. A Caucasian woman dressed all in white, forcefully grabbing a black person dressed all in black by the face shouldn't offend anyone right?

While the campaign never left The Netherlands, the entire world eventually heard of this debacle and put pressure on Sony to remove the offensive ad, which they quickly did. Why does the term "market research" keep coming to mind? I know eight-year olds who are better at marketing lemonade than some of these jokers that call themselves "professionals".

History is not always fun, folks, but it is through mistakes like these that we truly learn. Thanks for reading!

Sega Reimagines Their Consoles as High School Girls in Hi-sCoool! Seha Girls Mon, 13 Oct 2014 19:57:50 -0400 Brian Crimmins

This is certainly an under-the-radar announcement. Sega has released the first episode of Hi-sCoool! Seha Girls, an anime based on their long running series of consoles. The twist is that each console is represented as a high school age girl. (According to Wikipedia, these girls are actually goddesses spread across Japan.)

The first episode (available on Crunchyroll) only shows Sega's three biggest consoles: the GenesisSaturn, and Dreamcast. However, we can expect a wider cast of characters in later episodes. Wikipedia lists voice credits for systems like the Master System, Mega CD, 32X, and even later iterations of consoles like the Genesis. It's also worth noting that the series is based on a series of light novels titled Sega Hard Girls.

Looking back on Sega's other crossovers

Surprisingly, this isn't the first meta crossover Sega's made for themselves. If anything, they have an attraction toward the concept. Sega distributed HyperDimension Neptunia, a game where major consoles are also represented as anime girls.

But years before that, Sega released Segagaga for the Sega Dreamcast. Unlike these other examples, though, Segagaga focused more on Sega's history than on its consoles specifically. In any case, Hi-sCoool! Seha Girls represents a running trend in Sega's history.