The Games of the SEGA Genesis Mini: Part 2

In this second batch of games found in the SEGA Genesis Mini, we’ll look at a variety of first party and third party games.  Some of these have been on previous Genesis collections, but most of these haven’t.  The only other thing most of the games in this section have in common is that most of them didn’t impress me much when playing them now.  But don’t worry, like I said, we’ll get to the good stuff in the next blog, I promise!

Alisia Dragoon

Since I never had a Genesis as a kid, I had never heard of this game until recently when folks on message boards I visit started talking about it.  It’s a hybrid shooter/2-D platformer starring a woman who can shoot lightning and also has dragons following her.  I hate to say it, but to be honest, I wasn’t really impressed.  Your lighting attacks hone in on enemies, but when you can only shoot three at a time, and about eight baddies swoop at you right from the beginning, you get a lot of cheap hits on you.  So yeah, I guess I just didn’t ‘get it.’

Space Harrier 2

One neat thing about the Genesis Mini is that it gives a bit of history before you start each game, and they said this was a launch title.  Looks like more of the same to me.  There are some different locations and bosses, but no other significant improvements.  I have respect for Space Harrier, but I never got into it as a kid because in arcades, all the bigger kids would hog the Space Harrier machine so I didn’t get to play it as much.

Super Fantasy Zone

I love the cute graphics and cheerful music in Fantasy Zone games, but I sure do wish they weren’t so hard!  This one is especially tough!  But otherwise, it’s just more of the same.  Like Space Harrier 2, it just has different graphics and music mostly, no other significant improvements.  Did you know that according to SEGA, Fantasy Zone and Space Harrier take place in the same universe?

Eternal Champions

This was a 2-D fighter by SEGA.  Guess they had to jump on the 2-D fighting bandwagon back then.  But holy cow, this game is a lot worse than what I remember, unless I’m not remembering it properly.  It’s so slow and choppy and the graphics are horrible.  There is a character that I like, though. She’s a female circus performer named Jetta, and has a cool design.

Street Fighter 2

I had heard the Genesis version of Street Fighter 2 was no where near as good as the SNES version, but I had no idea it was this bad.  I guess it’s a technical marvel they were able to get it on home consoles, but the graphics took a big hit and so did the sound!  And even on the Easy setting, it’s much harder than the SNES version.  I can remember getting much farther on the SNES game than the Genesis one.

Virtua Fighter 2

Sadly, of all the fighting games on this collection, Virtua Fighter 2 is the most playable.  And that’s pretty bad, considering how awful it is, too.  I don’t know what caused someone at SEGA to think to make a 2-D version of a game whose whole gimmick was that it was in 3-D was a good idea.  This came out late in the Genesis life cycle, too, like 1997.  The sound quality is laughable, especially the voices.

Road Rash 2

This was a third party game by Electronic Arts, before everyone hated them.  I never played Road Rash back then, but I remember reading and hearing about it a lot so I imagine it must’ve been popular.  It’s a motorcycle racing game except the gimmick is that you can hit other racers with punches and other weapons.  After playing it, I don’t really understand the draw.  It’s choppy as heck and the gimmick didn’t really add anything to the gameplay for me.


Another third party game, from Capcom again.  I remember when this came out, magazines and ads made a big deal out of it because I think it was one of the first 8MB Genesis cartridges.  It still wasn’t arcade perfect, but it was close, and that was also a big deal at the time.  I just wish it wasn’t so darn hard!

Gunstar Heroes

And speaking of hard.   You know, maybe it was because I didn’t have a Genesis as a kid, but back then, I didn’t really hear about this game.  It was only when I started reading how people were raving on the Internet how cool this game was, that’s when I first heard of it.  It’s a run and gun game by Treasure, and I have to admit, it’s pretty darn good on the Genesis.  I’m not really a big fan of Treasure because I feel like their games are either too hard and/or too short.  But this is certainly one of their better offerings and pushes the Genesis hardware in ways that rival the SNES.  Has anyone ever played the Gunstar Heroes sequel on the GBA?  There are lots of SEGA references in that one, with stages based on Thunder Blade, After Burner, and even Flicky!

Shining Force

This is a strategy RPG, which I’m not really a big fan of.  Probably SEGA’s answer to Fire Emblem, which was picking up steam in Japan at the time, I’m sure.  Even the graphics can’t compare to SNES RPGs at the time.  In my opinion, the SNES really won out on that category.


This is an action RPG with a 3-D isometric perspective, so making certain jumps and locating exactly where you are in relation to platforms can be tricky.  I do like the cartoony art style and it is similar to how Shining Force looks.  But then, they were both made by the same company, Climax, so it makes sense.  If I had a Genesis as a kid, I probably would’ve been into this game, or at least gave it a rental or two.  Speaking of action RPGs, you know which game I wish were on this Mini?  Crusade of Centy.  Boy, that was a Link to the Past ripoff if I ever saw one!

Light Crusader

And speaking of 3-D isometric action RPGs, here’s another one.  It takes more of a serious fantasy approach, but I still probably would’ve given it a rental at least if I had a Genesis as a kid.  Only other notable thing about this one is that it was also made by Treasure.

Beyond Oasis

This is a top down action RPG with a slight Arabian theme to it.  It kind of reminds me of Secret of Mana meets Streets of Rage in the gameplay department.  As I said before, if I had a Genesis as a kid, I’d probably be into this game.  The team at Ancient made this one, with Yuzo Koshiro in charge of the music as usual.  Although the tunes in this one aren’t his most memorable work, in my opinion.

Toe Jam & Earl

As I’ve said, I didn’t have a Genesis as a kid, and most of the time I was happy with that.  But the cartoony characters and unique gameplay of this title was one of the few times I would be curious about SEGA’s console.  It’s really a cleverly disguised randomly generated dungeon crawler, but it’s still a very unique game in the Genesis library and there isn’t really much else like it.  I really wanted to enjoy this game, but the random luck-based nature of the game just kept me from really getting into it.

And that’s all for this batch!  For the final blog we’ll look at the really good stuff, I promise!  Later!  –Cary

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