The Games of SEGA Genesis Classics Part 1

Recently SEGA released a collection of Genesis titles on current consoles.  I love classic game collections so in this blog we’ll go over all the games on here.  Back in the 16-bit days I was a SNES guy so I missed out on a lot of Genesis games so many of these titles aren’t as familiar to me.  There also a lot of neat features in this collection like trophies and challenges, online play for certain games, and the whole setup is like you’re in a gamer’s bedroom from the 90’s, complete with SEGA posters on the wall!  Speaking of which, the game even comes with a poster with Golden Axe on one side and Streets of Rage on the other.  Anyway, since there are so many games on this collection, we’re going to split this blog into two parts.  So let’s get started with the first set of games!

Alex Kidd and the Enchanted Castle

Before Sonic, SEGA had many mascots, and Alex Kidd was one of them.  I never really liked this 2-D platformer, though.  Controls are very slippery and it’s one of those one hit and you die kinds of games, which I don’t like.  It’s hard to believe this is what SEGA thought would compete with Mario!

Alien Soldier

One of the draws of this collection is that there are a few games from Treasure on here.  Treasure developed a few exclusive Genesis titles back in the day that rivaled the power of the SNES (for the most part).  One of these was the run and gun game Alien Soldier.  It has a dumb story set in the distant year 2015 (we’re not living up to our ancestors’ hopes and dreams of the future are we?).  Also the game is so hard that I couldn’t get past the first boss.  I’m not really a big Treasure fan for that reason.  Most of their games are either too hard or too short (or both).  Only Treasure game I really liked was Astro Boy: Omega Factor.  Anyway, another neat thing about this and some other games on this collection is that you can switch between the English and Japanese versions of the game, as many of them have noticeable changes between them.

Alien Storm

I’m surprised more people don’t talk about this game like they do Streets of Rage, as Alien Storm is still a fairly decent beat ‘em up with a sci-fi setting.  It has a bit of gameplay variety, too.  Sometimes you enter a first person perspective to shoot aliens and sometimes you run REALLY fast and shoot like a side scrolling shooter.  Only problem is you only get 3 continues and then it’s Game Over, so it can get kind of hard.

Altered Beast

Did you know that before Sonic the Hedgehog, Altered Beast was the pack-in game for the SEGA Genesis?  This was pretty big in arcades, but I never liked it that much as it was kind of slow and clunky and hard.  But I did find it amusing when you’d pick up a white orb and “Power Up” and get more muscles.  That just looked ridiculous.

Beyond Oasis

This is a neat little Zelda-like game that I don’t remember playing before.  It’s made by Ancient, which is the studio that Yuzo Koshiro works for.  He’s one of my favorite video game composers, but his work doesn’t shine as much in this game.  It’s a top down action adventure game with an Arabian style setting and kind of reminds me of titles like Secret of Mana.  I’ve been enjoying it so far, although it is a bit choppy.  I’m sure I would’ve at least rented it back in the day.  And speaking of Ancient, did you know they also did the Game Gear version of Sonic the Hedgehog?  They also made a game on 3DS called Gotta Protectors that’s really fun, too.

Bio-Hazard Battle

It’s just a generic 2-D shooter where you zap bugs and other creatures.  Didn’t really impress me much.  You know what is a good Genesis shooter?  Gaiares.  I wish that was on this collection.

Bonanza Bros.

Oh man I LOVED this game in the arcades!  The Genesis version isn’t quite as good, but it ain’t no slouch either.  You play as a robber who must go inside houses and museums to steal loot and sneak past guards.  It’s one of the few ‘stealth’ games I like.  It also has a basic early computer animated graphics style that I like, too.  What’s cool about the Genesis version is that some of the stuff you steal are artifacts from other SEGA games!  I loved it when the Bonanza Bros. were characters in Sonic and SEGA All-Stars Racing!

Columns & Columns 3

So whatever happened to Columns 2, I wonder?  Oh well, no matter, they’re both practically the same game anyway.  When Tetris got super popular, every company had to have a similar puzzle game out.  And this was SEGA’s.  Since it came out so early, it hasn’t aged as well as it’s pretty slow and basic.  Columns 3 has a few more modes, but that’s it.  Have you ever played Columns Crown on the GBA?  That one’s actually not too shabby.

Comix Zone

This came out way late in the Genesis life cycle and it shows.  You are trapped inside a comic book and must fight your way out and the graphics look just like comic book illustrations.  One of the few Genesis games to give the SNES a run for its money!  They get pretty creative since you’re in a comic book, as you can bash and crash from panel to panel.  Only problem with this game is that it’s WAY too hard!

Crack Down

This is an interesting concept.  You run around mazes that go from left to right, and place time bombs on X’s while avoiding and shooting other guys.  When all the time bombs are set, you must find the exit for the stage.  You view the action from a top down perspective but you don’t get a lot of screen room.  I think that’s because they dedicate a lot of the screen to the map, and a second player can start on the other side.  But I wish they still could’ve made the screen you move around on bigger if you’re only playing one player.  Not quite my cup of tea, but still an interesting concept.

Decap Attack

This is a 2-D platformer with a spooky yet cartoony monster theme.  You play as a mummy who can throw his head around as a power-up.  It actually plays very similar to an older game on the Master System called Psycho Fox.  Did you know that this game is totally different in Japan and they reworked it with the monster theme for US audiences?  In Japan the game is based on an anime and you play as a witch girl and can throw your hat around.  I wish we could’ve gotten that version on here, too.

Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine

As I’m sure most of you know, this is just a reworked version of Puyo Puyo.  The SNES got a version of it, too, rebranded as Kirby’s Avalanche, which I’d rather play.  You battle Robotnik’s robots, some of which are from the cartoon!  I loved how the boss of Chemical Plant in Sonic Mania is just a round of Puyo Puyo as well!

Dynamite Headdy

Another Treasure game.  In this one the stages are set like a puppet show, so it’s pretty creative.  You play as a puppet who can launch his head at opponents, and get new heads for different powers.  I like this a bit better than some other Treasure games, but it’s still hard because there is just so much going on the screen at once, and the controls feel slightly delayed here, too.

ESWAT: City Under Siege

You can tell this came out when games and movies like Rolling Thunder and Robocop were popular, because this plays like a mix of those.  Not really anything notable about it other than that.

Fatal Labyrinth

This plays like a dungeon crawler in the vein of the Mystery Dungeon series.  But with no instruction booklet and hard to figure out controls, it’s not easy to get into here.


I LIKE this game and I don’t care!  This is one of SEGA’s earliest arcade titles and I’m kind of surprised they ported it to the Genesis.  You play as a bird and must collect baby birds in 2-D maze levels while avoiding cats.  If you can reach the exit with a big chain of birds, you get a higher score.  Flicky has a place in Sonic history because many of the Sonic games where you rescue birds, they are called “Flickies.”  Flicky was even SEGA’s mascot for a short while, too!

Gain Ground

I always liked this idea of a game, even if it’s not totally my cup of tea.  At first it looks like a generic top down shooter like Ikari Warriors, but the levels are only one screen long, and you must make it to the exit (usually on top of the screen).  If you get hit by an enemy, you’ll go to the next character in the lineup, but you can save the other character if you walk over them on the map and make it to the exit.  And each character has different skills and abilities so you must choose the best one for the screen you’re on.

Galaxy Force 2

Anyone remember this in arcades?  It was like a early on-rails Star Fox shooter, except the cabinet would rotate 360 degrees and tilt, too?  It was almost like a carnival ride, and was really expensive to play back then, too.  Well they made a version of it for the Genesis, and boy is it AWFUL!

Golden Axe 1, 2, and 3

So I don’t think the first Golden Axe has aged very well.  Both the Genesis and arcade versions are a bit choppy.  But people still like it anyway.  I think the main draw is the barbarian setting, which hadn’t been done in beat ‘em ups that much back then.  Golden Axe 2 is a bit better as it’s smoother and faster.  Golden Axe 3 was never released in the US back in the day, supposedly.  A lot of people say it’s the worst, but I don’t think it’s THAT bad.  Only thing I didn’t like is that when you use magic, all your magic jars disappear in the third game. Can you guess who my favorite character is and why?

And that’s all the games for the first part of my blog.  Check back next week when I’ll go over the next half!  Later!  –Cary


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