Summer of the SEGA Genesis Mini 2: Part 1

While they aren’t as huge as they were a few years ago, mini consoles are great because they package some of the systems’ best games onto one tiny console you can relive the classics on.  But the problem is they don’t put ALL the great games onto one console!  Luckily last year SEGA released a second version of their Genesis Mini console with more different games, including some unreleased and SEGA CD titles.  I heard it was kind of hard to get, and even though I paid a tiny bit more for mine than I wanted to, it still wasn’t that bad.  So let’s take a look at what’s on the Genesis Mini 2!

First let’s take a look at the box.  It’s actually pretty tiny, much smaller than the Genesis Mini 1 console’s box.  No wasted space here!

And here’s the back of the box.

Here’s the mini console in my hand.

And here’s the controller.  I’m glad it’s the six button version!

OK now let’s take a look at the games.  There are so many (60 in all) that I’ll have to split this into two parts.  So look for the next part in a week!

After Burner II

Not as good as the arcade, but I think this was an early Genesis title.  I never really got into this one, but I did like the After Burner track in one of the recent Sonic and SEGA crossover racing games.

Alien Soldier

This is a 2D run and gun game by Treasure.  They really had mastery of the Genesis hardware so this one looks great and runs smooth.  Only problem is it’s way too hard.  That’s why I don’t like Treasure as much as others because I find their games either too hard or they feel like only half a game.

Atomic Runner

This is based on an arcade game called Atomic Runner Chelnov.  They changed the graphics here and dropped the Chelnov name, although you still play as Chelnov in the game.  It’s a continuous runner/shooter, and I’m awful at it because if you hit anything you die.  Even a wall.  It was made by Data East and I’ve heard that Chelnov has some relation to the Russian strongman Karnov.  Chelnov makes a lot of cameos in other Data East games at least.

Bonanza Bros.

I freaking loved this one in arcades!  You play as one of two robbers who must steal treasures from all sorts of buildings while finding ways to creatively get around cops and guard dogs.  I also love the art style in this one.


I was so excited this was on here but sadly it’s the Genesis version.  The graphical power of the SNES was just so much better at showing these clay visuals.  As an early fighting game, it’s also a bit slow and clunky.  I think Clayfighter is due for a revival or remake!

Crusader of Centy

This is one of the main reasons why I got the Genesis Mini 2.  I really wanted to play this, and while you can also get it on the Switch, I didn’t know that at the time.  Even though I paid a little more than what I wanted for the Genesis Mini 2 for this, it’s at least way cheaper than the cartridge!  Anyway, Crusader of Centy is a Zelda clone through and through.  The graphics look so much like Link to the Past that I’m surprised Nintendo didn’t sue.  I first played this via emulation back in college, and really wanted to take another stab at it someday, so now I can!  It’s definitely the kind of game I like, and one of the few Genesis games that really impressed me.  There’s a funny Sonic cameo in it, too.

Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf

You fly a helicopter in an isometric perspective and shoot at stuff.  I think I rented this once on the SNES.  It seemed pretty popular back then, but not really my cup of tea.

Earthworm Jim 2

Everyone says the Earthworm Jim games were better on the Genesis, but I dunno, I liked them just fine on the SNES.  I love the cartoony graphics and humor, but I also think these games are more fun to watch than they are to play.

Elemental Master

This is a 2D vertically scrolling shooter, but instead of spaceships you are a wizard blasting spells while walking around fantasy landscapes.  Interesting idea, but I’m horrible at it.

Fatal Fury 2

This SNK series was one of the first imitators of Street Fighter 2.  I never really liked the SNES and Genesis ports of NEO GEO games.  I’d rather just play them in the arcades.  Never was very good at Fatal Fury either.  Those early fighters were a bit slow and clunky to me.

Gain Ground

I actually kind of like this one.  It’s an overhead shooter like Ikari Warriors, but also mixes elements from single screen puzzle action games like Bubble Bobble.  Your goal is to get all your guys to the top of the screen one by one, and each one has different weapons and speed and such.  It’s a fairly original idea, especially for the time.

Golden Axe II

SEGA’s flagship fantasy beat ‘em up series is all right.  A bit slow and clunky, but not bad.  Can you guess who my favorite character is?


You control a futuristic tank (or spaceship I can’t tell), in an overhead perspective as you zip around mazes shooting other tanks that come out of lairs that you have to destroy.  So because of that, it also reminds me of Gauntlet.


In this 2D horizontally scrolling shooter, you can switch between four weapon types at any time to best suit your needs.  Unfortunately this is one of those one hit and you die games and you don’t get to start over where you left off, you have to go back to the beginning or a checkpoint.  I hate those kinds of shooters.  You know what Genesis shooter I wish was on here?  Gaiares.  That one was so awesome.  You could absorb enemy weapons like Kirby, and the music was awesome.

Herzog Zwei

I’ve always heard from Genesis fans how unique this game is, in that it’s a RTS game but you control an airplane in real time and can deploy and build things where you need them on the fly.  During my play, I couldn’t figure out what to do so I think this is one of those where I would need an instruction booklet to play.

Lightening Force: Quest for the Darkstar

Another 2D horizontally scrolling shooter.  The background graphics made it hard to see projectiles and it gave me a headache after a while so I didn’t play long.

Midnight Resistance

This is a 2D run and gun arcade game from Data East, and not very good.


I guess the Genesis version of this is all right, but I’d much rather play the arcade one.  I also really liked OutRun 2000.  SEGA should revisit this series.


It’s a two player split screen competitive version of OutRun.  The title cards have Data East on it, which confused me.  I like the arcade version of this a lot more.

Phantasy Star II

I was never impressed with this RPG sequel.  It wouldn’t be until the fourth installment where I would feel like it would be something I’d want to play.


This was one of the first ‘god games.’  I rented it once on the SNES and couldn’t figure out what to do.  Same goes here.

Rainbow Islands Extra

This Bubble Bobble sequel arranges the levels from the original game, hence the “Extra” in the title.  I was impressed with how close they got the graphics and sound on the Genesis, though.  Pretty much arcade perfect.


It’s a 2-D shooter but it scrolls in all directions and you can shoot forwards or backwards similar to games like Section Z and Side Arms.  You pilot a robot mech and there are some pretty cool 3D effects and huge bosses, so I was kind of impressed with this one on a technical standpoint.


I like Ristar better than Sonic.  There, I said it.  This is one of the few Genesis games that really impressed me when I first played it.  Almost SNES quality.  The stretchy arm and grabbing mechanic is used in lots of cool ways.  I remember when this game first came out and everyone was worried that Ristar would replace Sonic as SEGA’s mascot!

Rolling Thunder 2

This is the sequel to Namco’s side scrolling spy game.  I never was very good at it.  The sequel has better graphics, more locations, and you can now play as the female spy who was captured in the first game.

Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi

And speaking of Rolling Thunder, Shinobi games are just Rolling Thunder with ninjas.  But who copied who?  It’s hard to say, since both Shinobi and Rolling Thunder came out around the same time I think.  Anyway, this is loosely based on the arcade game sequel.  The levels are a little different, but you get a dog just like in the arcade.

Shining Force II

It’s a strategy RPG in a fantasy medieval setting.  It kind of reminds me of a more cartoony Fire Emblem.  The developers of these games say they were not influenced by Fire Emblem, but I called BS on that one.  Did you know the Shining Force games were developed by Camelot, who would go on to make stuff like Golden Sun and Mario Golf?  You may be wondering where Shining Force 1 is, but we’ll get to that later.

Shining in the Darkness

Actually before the first Shining Force game, there was this.  It was a first person perspective RPG, but still had that distinct cartoony look.  I hear the same folks who did the first person dungeons in Phantasy Star helped with this game, too.  You’ll like the Genesis Mini 2 if you’re a Shining fan!

And that’s all for now.  Tune in next week when I’ll go over the rest of the Genesis games, as well as the unreleased stuff and SEGA CD titles!  Later!

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