Genesis/Sega CD/32X

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Where can I download video game emulators to play these games? What is VGZ music? How can I cheat? ...
Q: Where can I download video game emulators to play these games?
I've got all the good ones in my emulators page.
Q: I'm having trouble with the video game emulators. I need help.
You can refer to my emulation help subsite, Video Game Emulation for Newbies. I have tutorials for (most) of the popular emulators.
Q: What is “VGZ”? How do I play these VGZ soundtracks you distribute here?
VGZ music is the exact programming of the song ripped from the game. They're very small in size and the highest music quality possible. They require special software for playback. And if you'd like, you can convert them to WAV or MP3. You can learn more about them in my extracted music tutorial.
Q: How can I cheat?
GameGenie.com has a good collection of Game Genie cheats. You can also use any search engine of your choice to find more cheats. Search with keywords like “<name of game> cheats” to find 'em.
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Mini reviews by the FantasyAnime webmaster. Last revised 8-24-14.

Adventures of Batmand and Robin

Adventures of Batman & Robin

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Like the SNES version, the Genesis version also pushes the system to its limit. It's incredible how they somehow pulled off mode 7-like special effects! In the first stage you see buildings stretch across in 3D perspective as you're running. In the Two Face stage the tower and buildings lean left and right. When you're battling against the Cheshire Cat its giant head rotates left and right. The battle system, though, is a copy of Gunstar Heroes. You're tossing batarangs against a constant barrage of enemies. You don't gain different weapons, but your batarangs does upgrade as you progress into stages. They mix up gameplay by throwing in a Bat jet flying stage, where they have a horizontal scrolling spaceship shooter thing going on. This game is one of those must-plays for the Genesis! I recommend it.

Adventures of Batmand and Robin (Sega CD)

Adventures of Batman & Robin (Sega CD)

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This is entirely a car chase racing game with some battle elements thrown in. The game begins by immediately throwing you into traffic. The play control takes some getting used to. Have some patience if you find yourself constantly dying from just trying to figure out how to play. I recommend starting out by using emulator Save State cheating so you don't feel so bad dying so much. Once you get used to it the game is actually pretty cool. There are animated cut scenes between stages. What's awesome is that these cut scenes were made by Warner Bros animation exclusively for this game! You can watch all of them on YouTube. All these original scenes practically add up to the full length of a single Batman animated series episode.
*By the way, this game requires “Perfect Synchro” enabled in your emulator or else it'll freeze after the first animated scene.

Aladdin
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Out of all the Aladdin games across the systems, the Genesis version is the best one! What made the Genesis version good is that they actually cared about it. The characters and animation are drawn as if they came from the movie. The animation is fun and exaggerated, like in Earthworm Jim. It's kind of a shame that the Genesis version is superior over the SNES version of Aladdin. The SNES version is rather stale in comparison; it's just another average platformer. Anyway, Aladdin for Genesis is a very good and exciting game!

Alien Soldier
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From the team who made Gunstar Heroes, this was their next game for the Genesis. It's another fast paced shooter. This time they focused on larger, more detailed sprites. Your weapons include 'buster force' (like Mega Man's), 'flame force' (flame thrower), 'sword force' (a laser), 'ranger force' (like Contra's Spread weapon), 'homing force' (like Contra's homing weapon), and 'lancer force' (a powerful laser but with less intervals). You pick from this assortment of weapons before every stage. And there are 2 tricky traits with these weapons: they run out and you can only carry four at a time. It's a neat weapon system, just like Gunstar Heroes. Your alien eagle character has a nifty dash, can reverse gravity and jump on ceilings, can double jump, and can even hover in the air. The stages are gorgeous and distinct from each other. The bosses are massive and challenging. Each boss requires a different battle strategy to be beaten. They really wanted to make the boss fight memorable! The game's only drawback is that the difficulty is pretty high. I recommend going into the options and setting the difficulty to Super Easy. Alien Soldier is a really awesome game!

Alien Storm
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By the team who brought you Golden Axe, here's another beat 'em up themed to an alien invasion. Although they mix up the genre by having some stages being a first person shooter or a side-scrolling 'running' shooter. Along with games like Altered Beast, Alien Storm was one of the first games for the Genesis. Like Golden Axe the gameplay is pretty straight forward. You can summon an aircraft to blast all enemies on the screen, which use is limited to your energy meter. For an early Genesis game, Alien Storm was fantastic. The multiple genre's of gameplay offer a nice variety and make it really fun.

Alisia Dragoon
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This game is very awesome!! I'm amazed I've never heard anyone mention it. It's a hidden gem for sure! To begin with, you're a dragoon wielding lightning and you have a dragon fighting beside you - how cool is that?! Both you and the dragon level up as the game progresses. Your lightning attack automatically homes in on enemies, but you still need to move in the general direction of the enemy to hit it. If you wait to attack you unleash a super powered lightning attack that hits all enemies. And you don't have just one dragon, you have several to choose from!! Like Pokemon, each dragon can level up. Oh man, and the stages are gorgeous. The level of detail here for a 1992 game is incredible. I highly recommend it! But why is this game so good? Well, to my complete surprise I learned that's because animators from Studio Ghibli did the art! Don't believe me? Check out the Wikipedia article about this game.

Altered Beast
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This was the first pack-in game for the debut of the Sega Genesis system. They pushed Altered Beast as the star game that showed off the 'blast processing' of the Genesis. It's a simple, fun platformer. Throughout stages you pick up power-ups that increase your strength. After enough power-ups you transform into the super powered beast. With 5 stages it's not very long. For the time it was a very awesome game.

Amazing Spider-Man Vs. The Kingpin (Sega CD)

Amazing Spider-Man Vs. The Kingpin (Sega CD)

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This is a remake of the original Genesis release of Spider-Man Vs. The Kingpin. The Sega CD remake brings in animated cut scenes, new levels, extra moves, and collectible comics throughout the levels. There's even a bit of openness by allowing you to choose which stage to enter. The CD soundtrack consists of snazzy 80s style rock, even one with lyrics. The difficulty is the same. The graphics were improved a bit; if you compare the two closely you'll see smoother graphics and more colors here.

Android Assault: The Revenge of Bari-Arm

Android Assault: The Revenge of Bari-Arm (Sega CD)

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This is your typical awesome shooter. You have a fun assortment of weapons that you can pick up. Your weapons can be powered up by picking up power-up items. If you hold down the attack button you charge up for a super attack. Best of all, your ship can transform into a mech at anytime! As the cherry on top of this game's awesome-ness, it has an equally awesome rock n' roll/heavy metal soundtrack.

Beyond Oasis

Beyond Oasis (The Story of Thor)

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The graphics in this game are stunning! They're so good this game could be confused as an early PlayStation 1 game. It's obvious a great deal of care and love was put into the production. However as ground breaking as Beyond Oasis was, I don't know if it was due to lack of marketing but I barely heard about this game back in the day when it was released. Anyway, so Beyond Oasis plays a lot like Zelda. You venture through dungeons collecting keys and special items. You obtain 4 cool elemental spirits: a fairy that shoots ice and heals you; an efreet that blasts fire and punches enemies; a shadow creature that pull you across pits (like Zelda's hook shot) and pick up items at a distance; and a plant creature that can open sealed doors and help you solve puzzles. In additional to your default dagger, you can also equip swords, equip crossbows, and use bombs. Probably the only drawback with Beyond Oasis is that it doesn't have a very in-depth story. Overall, it's a fantastic game. If I have peaked your curiosity to try out Beyond Oasis, then I also recommend that you view this YouTube review on it. It brings up some important points about the game.

Cadash
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Cadash was originally an arcade game. It was ported over to the Genesis and the TurboGrafx16. This Genesis version is a more loyal port in every way, but only has 2 playable characters (the fighter and mage). The TurboGrafx16 version of Cadash (covered in the TG16 section) has all 4 playable characters: the fighter, mage, priest, and ninja. The graphics and music in the TurboGrafx16 version were watered down even further than the Genesis version. Anyway, Cadash is your traditional fantasy adventure with swords, sorcery, mythical creatures, and dragons. The fighter slashes away with his sword and has the highest defense. The mage has a collection of eight attack magic spells (starts out with one but learns the rest as he gains levels). The game has some elements of an RPG; this could be considered action/RPG. Cadash is a very good game. However I must admit that in general people prefer the TurboGrafx16 version as the superior port versus this Genesis version. (By the way, I have the TurboGrafx16 version covered in the TurboGrafx16 section.)

Cadillacs and Dinosaurs

Cadillacs and Dinosaurs (Sega CD)

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Like Sewer Shark and Star Wars Rebel Assault, this game consists of gorgeous fully animated FMV driven stages. It's actually better than Sewer Shark and Star Wars. The “cinematic” cut scenes between stages look more like PowerPoint presentations. The comic book style artwork is cool, though. The game's drawback is that it seems like they really want you to appreciate the awesome graphics because you spend a long time looking at them. Stage 1 seems to take forever, and then when you think it's done they repeat it for stage 2. I wouldn't call this a bad game, but I wouldn't call it a good game either. Its pretty graphics give it a charm.

Castlevania: Bloodlines
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This game is a must if you're a fan of Castlevania. Konami pushed the Genesis to the limit with Castlevania Bloodlines! Several stages utilize stunning graphical effects. For example, the reflecting water in Atlantis shrine, the Tower of Piza as the entire stage sways and rotates, and the shape shifting cogwheel-built boss of the German factory (it looks 3D!). This is the only classic Castlevania title where you can choose from two characters in the beginning. The game is much easier if you choose the other guy with the spear. You have the usual bundle of special weapons (dagger, holy water). As a bonus if you collect all of the special weapons one after another, you gain the super holy water! As expect of a Castlevania game, the soundtrack is excellent! I still have several of its songs on my MP3 playlist. I highly recommend this game!

Columns
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Any collection of Genesis games isn't complete without Columns! Nintendo's systems were known for having Tetris, and the Genesis was known for having Columns. Gameplay is simple: combine jewels with similar colors to make them disappear.

Columns 3: Revenge of Columns

Columns 3: Revenge of Columns

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Single player mode has you venturing through a pyramid and “battling” an array of monsters. The added challenge to these battles is that your opponent can reduce your free space by raising the floor. You can also raise your opponent's floor if you clear multiple sets of gems in one turn. Note: You need to press “C” to do that (which isn't very obvious). You also have the occasional white glowing gem that comes down that does something special depending on which gem in the set of 3 touches ground first. Another interesting feature of Columns 3 is that you can play with up to 5 players simultaneously! It's a neat game. Don't let its cutesy graphics turn you off.

Comix Zone
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This is such a unique game! You're literally fighting in pages of a comic book. The story plays out as if you're reading a comic book. It's not all about fighting, sometimes you need to solve a puzzle to proceed further into the stage. This is a very good game!

Contra: Hard Corps
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Just like what Konami did with Castlevania Bloodlines, they also brought over Contra and made a whole new game utilizing the potential of the Genesis. It's very cool! The enemies are heavily animated. You can choose from 4 playable characters. The character that most people like is the wolf man with the machine gun arm. I can tell the developers had fun making this game.

Devil Crash
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This is a port of Devil's Crush from the TurboGrafx16. It's a welcomed port because Devil Crash quickly became the best pinball game on the Genesis. Battle monsters, demons, and even Satanists with your pinball!

Double Switch (Sega CD)

Double Switch (Sega CD)

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This game is like a more elaborate version of Night Trap. You're watching 6 cameras in an apartment building. It's your job to protect its inhabitants from invaders and suspicious individuals. You do so by waiting patiently for the right moment when an invader step on the mark for a trap. What makes Double Switch different from Night Trap is that you have a diagram of the building notifying of intruders and the amount of people in each room. This game can be really fun if you give it a chance and get used to its unique style of gameplay.

Doom (32X)
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Doom wasn't the first FPS (first person shooter) to be entirely in 3D, but it was definitely the first popular one. And the fact that it was so violent and gory made it even more popular. As an early 3D game it was the first 3D game for many. The goal of each stage is to reach the exit. To do so you need to collect colored cards to open locked doors. Along the way you're picking up devastating weapons and blasting away at demons. Doom for 32X is one of many ports, but this version in particular is the best port for a cart based system. Seventeen of the 18 levels from the first two episodes are present, but none of the levels from episode 3. Most of the textures are in tact. If you want to play a better port than the 32X version then try the N64 or PlayStation 1 version. And if you want to be really hardcore, play the SNES version of Doom. It was the most watered-down port of them all.

Dungeon Explorer (Sega CD)

Dungeon Explorer (Sega CD)

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Technically this game is supposed to be called Dungeon Explorer 3. The original Dungeon Explorer came out for TurboGrafx16 and Dungeon Explorer 2 came out for TurboGrafx16-CD (and I have them both covered in the TG16 section). Dungeon Explorer plays like Gauntlet. In this version you can play as a Knight, Ninja, Beast, Elf, Monk and Wizard. Unlike its TurboGrafx16 cousins, you get experience points through killing enemies, which in turn raises your maximum HP. The only way to improve your stats are either through finding accessories in the dungeons, which wear off as soon as you leave, or by purchasing more powerful equipment in town. The graphics are more detailed. They bumped up the difficulty; monster generators spawn like crazy. The CD soundtrack is good, but I liked Dungeon Explorer 2's soundtrack better. If action-packed dungeon crawling is your thing, then Dungeon Explorer is right up your alley!

Ecco the Dolphin
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Your pod has been kidnapped by aliens so your goal is to save them. The premise of Ecco the Dolphin is simple: you swim around oceanic mazes to solve puzzles. Ecco has a dash attack to defend himself against offensive sea creatures. Ecco can talk to others by emitting a sonar. It's a unique game. Although it's not for everyone. I recommend it if you don't mind a slower paced platformer about solving puzzles.

Ecco the Dolphin (Sega CD)

Ecco the Dolphin (Sega CD)

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What makes the Sega CD version superior is that the soundtrack consists of absolutely beautiful oceanic ambiance. It makes for a very pleasant and relaxing gameplay experience. Other than that it's the same exact game as the Genesis version.

Ecco: The Tides of Time
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The sequel offers better graphics and more variety of gameplay. At certain points Ecco can transform into certain sea creatures to proceed further into stages. There are cool “3D” stages where Ecco needs to swim through rings. As for the story, you deal more with the aliens that were introduced towards the end of the first game.

Ecco: The Tides of Time (Sega CD)

Ecco 2: The Tides of Time (Sega CD)

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Just like the original Ecco the Dolphin for Sega CD, Tides of Time for Sega CD has a soundtrack that consists of beautiful oceanic ambiance. Other than that it's the same exact game as the Genesis version.

Elemental Master
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This is an awesome overhead shooter with a sorcerer! Master the elements of earth, fire, wind, and water. You begin by choosing one of four stages. Defeating the boss of each stage awards you with a new elemental power to your arsenal of magic. Each elemental power blasts enemies in a different style. After the first stage you recruit a little fairy that follows you around. It's a really cool game.

Eternal Champions
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I want to give you a little back story first to give this game the appreciation it deserves. In the early-to-mid age of the Genesis, the system had a lousy selection of one-on-one fighters. It was until the Genesis port of Mortal Kombat came out that it finally had a good fighting game. Sega realized they were weak in this area. The SNES reigned supreme in this genre with Killer Instinct and their own ports of Mortal Kombat. Sega's reaction was to create the 6-button controller to better mimic arcade decks, and they created Eternal Champions! This is a high quality game; Sega put a great deal of care into it. To begin with, the graphics are gorgeous. They pushed the Genesis to its limit here. There's a detailed back story to the game and its characters. It adds depth to the game (if you take the time to read them). Each character has a very unique assortment of attacks, unlike Mortal Kombat where characters tend to have similar attacks. What's cool is that not all moves cause damage. You can stun opponents, slow them down, suck their health, and more. There are fatalities like in Mortal Kombat, except here they're unique to the stage rather than the character. For example, in the warlock's stage you can punch your opponent into the bonfire to be engulfed by green flames. All in all, I appreciate Sega's effort to make a great, original game using the Genesis' strengths instead of giving in to fads of the time to make a quick buck. They made a genuine effort to challenge Nintendo.

Eternal Champions (Sega CD)

Eternal Champions (Sega CD)

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The Sega CD version of Eternal Champions includes the nine playable fighters and non-playable boss from the first game, and adds 13 new playable characters (nine of which are hidden) and a new boss. The game makes most special attacks use less of the special attack meter than in the previous game. There are also some special attacks that do not deplete the special attack meter. Combo attacks are also introduced, and jumping attacks can be linked to ground attacks and most normal attacks can be linked into other normal attacks. Mild “juggle” combos can also be executed by landing an additional hit on an already aerial opponent. Three new types of finishing moves. The first is a second “Overkill” in each stage, called “Sudden Death”, that can be activated when the victim still has a little life left. The other two, “Vendetta” and “Cinekill”, can be performed on a dazed opponent that has 20% or less of their life in the final round only. Sudden Deaths and Vendettas are often exceptionally gory, and the original Overkills were made gorier to match. “Cinekills” are essentially fatalities rendered in full motion video. Lastly, as a Sega CD game it has a neat CD quality soundtrack.

Fahrenheit (Sega CD)
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There are several cool things about this game that other live action FMV games don't have. Firstly, it's the only fullscreen FMV game for Sega CD. Secondly, it's the only live action FMV game that gives you a sense of exploration. As a firefighter this game is all about rescue operations. Your job is to explore fiery buildings in search of the trapped innocent bystander. Along the way you discover the cause of the fire. Some passages are blocked and require force. You have a fellow fireman guiding you through the blaze, but you're the one who makes the big decisions. This game is unique and very cool. It's like you're going through a maze with traps.

Final Fight CD (Sega CD)

Final Fight CD (Sega CD)

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This port of Final Fight is very close to the arcade version! It adds voice acting to the game's opening and ending sequences, an arranged version of the original soundtrack, and an exclusive time attack mode. It's a pretty cool game. And the CD soundtrack is awesome.

Golden Axe
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The famous arcade hit, Golden Axe! You can choose from three characters: a male swordsman, female swordsman, and dwarf. There are several things that make Golden Axe a great game. The stages are beautiful and creative. At times you can ride creatures and use their special attacks. You pick up potions to cast a variety of attack magic that attacks all characters on the screen. If you're patient enough to pick up enough potions, you can even summon a dragon to breath fire across the battlefield.

Golden Axe 2
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With the exception of better graphics, there's not much new here. This is the exact sequel you'd expect.

Golden Axe 3
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There are more characters to choose from such as a huge barbarian and a panther man. The stages are more creative here; the game gives a stronger sense that you're on an exciting adventure. They even threw in character dialogue to illustrate a story.

Ground Zero Texas (Sega CD)

Ground Zero Texas (Sega CD)

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Parasitic aliens are invading and taking humans as hosts! As a new recruit to special forces, it's your job to stop them. This is a shooting gallery type game. It's similar to Night Trap where you need to jump between four cameras. And camera jumping is a critical element to the game because it's critical that you're at the right place at the right time. For example, there are specific moments where you need to save people. I think this is a good game. They took care in supplying plenty of FMV fillers to build up the story and get your adrenaline pumping.

Gunstar Heroes
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Without a doubt, this is one of the best games on the Genesis! It's a gorgeous, heavily animated shooter. The weapons you pick up are awesome. And it doesn't stop there, the game lets you combine weapons to create new ones! Gunstar Heroes is just such an incredible game.

Haunting Starring Polterguy

Haunting Starring Polterguy

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This is the most original and unique game I've ever played! You control a ghost who seeks revenge against an evil family. Your job is to drive them out of their house(s) by scaring them. You do so by possessing various objects within the household to create a scare (because they can't see you). For example, possessing a piece of furniture would cause something to fly out from it or make it come alive in some way or another. You need to be quick with the scaring because you're running on ecto (think of it as fuel); it slowly decreases over time. You're awarded more ecto after you scare one of the people out of a room. The more successful scares you achieve, the more ecto you get. If you run out of ecto then you're instantly transported to the netherworld (or Hell, whatever it is) where you have to survive its depths to regain enough ecto to go return to the surface. Basically you have unlimited continues--if you can survive the netherworld each time. The graphics are GORGEOUS. They're crisp and detailed, as if this were a PC game. The characters are heavily animated. Each time you scare them they freak out with a variety of different animated expressions. Haunting is an excellent game and I highly recommend it!

Jurassic Park
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Like Aladdin, the Genesis version of Jurassic Park was the best one across all systems. The graphics are awesome. There's a variety of gameplay here. You have multiple weapons to choose from such as dart guns, bombs, and a lightning gun. In one stage you're riding a boat. The advertising of this game highlighted “PLAY AS A RAPTOR”. The game is shorter if you play as a raptor. The stages are arranged differently and there are less of them. It's fun; the raptor is really powerful and can jump high.

Keio Flying Squadron (Sega CD)

Keio Flying Squadron (Sega CD)

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This is a “silly shooter” like Parodius and Cotton. The game begins with a real anime sequence! Not some PowerPoint-ish slideshow like most Sega CD games. You control a teenage girl dressed like a Playboy bunny who rides a dragon who can asexually reproduce with itself to give birth to baby dragons that follow you around and aid you. Between stages are cute little slideshows. The weapon system is somewhat limited compared to other shooters. The soundtrack is excellent! I still have a couple of its tracks on my MP3 playlist. You'll love this game if you're in the mood for something with a heavily cartoony anime style.

Kid Chameleon
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A definite Genesis classic! This game is a great platformer turned puzzler, with action too. Upon picking up special items, you transform into various characters with special abilities. For example, there's the knight that allows you to scale walls, or the "Maniaxe" that transforms you into Michael Meyers and lets you throw axes. The puzzle element comes in with the many boxes scattered throughout stages. Some shoot out arrows when you touch them and activate other blocks, require thought, as they may activate arrows that fly back and hit you. Other difficulties are the crazy enemies, the weird level design, and random warp zones that can transport you to alternate stages, providing ton of ways to beat the same level. What I like best about Kid Chameleon is that it's very video game-ish. In other words, it's a shining example of a well-rounded good classic.

Knuckles Chaotix (32X)

Knuckles Chaotix (32X)

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What better way to introduce the 32X than to make a Sonic game for it. They introduced several new characters and a new style of gameplay. You're connected to another character via a line of stars that behave like a bungee cord. With this bond you can bungee and hurl ourselves all over the place to reach new heights. It takes awhile to get used to the gameplay, but the game is really fun once you do. The stages themselves don't look very different from Genesis Sonic games. It's the 3D bonus stages that really show you the power of the 32X in this game.

Lords of Thunder (Sega CD)

Lords of Thunder (Sega CD)

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I have a weakness for fantasy themed shooters. There are 7 unique (and long) stages, each with a theme such as earth, fire, wind, and water. And you get to choose which one you want to tackle! You get to choose different suites of armor; each have weapons focusing on a specific element (i.e. fire, water, wind). You collect money so you can buy various upgrades and shields between stages. What's incredible about this game are the graphics and the aggressive creativity. Each stage is unique adventure. I can't stress to you enough the amazing amount of detail they put into this game! It's incredibly fun with the surprises and variety they throw at you. For example, some stages scroll in different directions, sometimes backgrounds change, sometimes sub bosses come at you without warning. It's obvious a great deal of love was poured into the creation of this game. It was also released on the TurboGrafx16-CD.

Mansion of Hidden Souls

Mansion of Hidden Souls (Sega CD)

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This game is pretty cool! It's completely pre-rendered in 3D. Your goal is to go around solving puzzles to save your sister from turning into a butterfly. There are only a couple instances where you can die or get turned into a butterfly (meaning you lose). You meet various wandering butterfly souls in the rooms you explore. Some try to make you stay there, some warn you about dangers to try to scare you, and some try to help you. I highly recommend this game! The only drawback is that you can beat it in like 20 minutes if you know what you're doing.

MegaMan: The Wily Wars

MegaMan: The Wily Wars

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A compilation of NES Mega Man 1-3 with improved graphics and animation. This re-mastering was so well done that you'd swear these games were originally released for the Genesis! It was released towards the end of the Genesis' life so it fell under the radar for many. It finally became popular with the debute of the Internet and video game emulation. If you're a Mega Man fan then The Wily Wars will be a real treat for you!

Mickey Mania
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Mickey Mania is a beautiful game that reimagined 6 classic Disney cartoons as side-scrolling platformers. The first level begins with one of the earliest Mickey cartoons, Steamboat Willie, and proceeds in chronological order covering the other five. They include The Mad Doctor, Moose Hunters, Lonesome Ghosts, Mickey and the Beanstalk, and The Prince and the Pauper. The graphics and animation are absolutely gorgeous! The soundtrack is average. Mickey attacks by stomping on enemies or throwing orbs. Mickey Mania was released on the SNES, Genesis, Sega CD, and PlayStation 1. You would think the SNES version is the superior version, but actually the Genesis version is. They removed several sprites and effects from the SNES version. The SNES version even added loading times! Anyhow, although the aesthetics of Mickey Mania are beautiful to look at, game itself is average.

Mickey Mania

Mickey Mania (Sega CD)

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For the Sega CD version they added a CD audio soundtrack. Mickey also talks more; he even warns you about certain dangers. This version makes the already better Genesis version (vs the SNES version) even better with a quality soundtrack it was meant to have.

M.U.S.H.A.

M.U.S.H.A. (Musha Aleste)

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Your bullets are actually electric shurikens, you fight against mechanized Japanese castles, and the enemies are a mesh of mythological demons and giant battleships shaped like Japanese fortresses. There are only three secondary weapons that can be powered up multiple levels. More interesting are the little satellites that surround your ship - you can set several different modes that allow them to provide additional firepower in the front, attack from the rear, or even home in on enemies around the screen. MUSHA also has some of the best rock track you'll find on the Genesis! Robo Aleste on Sega CD is its sequel.

Night Trap
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I LOVE NIGHT TRAP! It's like a cheesy 80's horror flick. The cheesy dialogue and bad acting is hilarious. As for its gameplay, your job is to navigate the cameras of 8 rooms to monitor the invasion of “Augs” (the people dressed in black) and capture them by activating a trap when they step over the trigger area. Each room has different activities going on at different times. The challenge comes in with the fact that you can only watch one room at a time. It's tempting to watch the story unfold by watching the actors, but you can't watch them all the time or you lose. Another aspect of its challenge is that the traps will not work if your color code does not match the current color code of the trap system (there are 4 color codes in total). It starts out Blue, but the enemy will change it a couple times throughout the game. I really love the actors. I laughed so hard watching those girls “party”! It's so weird to see stuff like this in a video game. Night Trap is truly quite the unique game. Although it does have its drawbacks. One is the lack of replay value - capturing Augs gets repetitive. The other drawback is not being able to catch every aspect of the storyline in just one playing session. You have to play the game several times and explore different rooms at different times to catch all the events between characters. Or you can just watch my compilation on YouTube where I put together all the sequences in Night Trap into a full movie.

Night Trap 32X (Sega CD 32X)
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Night Trap was one of a small handful of games that had a Sega CD 32X release. Sega CD 32X games required you to own both the Sega CD and the 32X add-on. Currently, the only emulator that supports playing Sega CD 32X games is Kega Fusion. Anyway, the video quality with Night Trap 32X is definitely much better than the Sega CD version! As for the game itself, some instances have been changed around so don't rely on Sega CD guides to help you beat this version of Night Trap. Also, don't forget about my compilation on YouTube where I put together all the sequences in Night Trap into a full movie.

Quack Shot Starring Donald Duck

Quack Shot Starring Donald Duck

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The first time I saw Quack Shot was when it was the game being used in a demo Genesis system at a Costco. This was before Sonic 2 came out so Quack Shot was the game being used at the time to flaunt the 'blast processing' power of the Genesis. I remember being one of those kids who dropped their jaw in amazement at how awesome the graphics were in Quack Shot. It's a good game, too. It's slightly like Metroid in the sense that you can't proceed further into stages without obtaining a certain ability or item. The game doesn't directly mention that it's based on the Duck Tales cartoon but there are several references to it.

Ranger-X
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This hidden gem is an incredible game! It takes the typical mech shooter to the next level with an innovative battle system. In every stage you have an assisting vehicle or aircraft. With the regular 3-button Genesis controller, this vehicle is controlled by the computer. But if you hook up your 6-button Genesis controller (or configure it in the emulator), you get to control this vehicle. X (your mech) can merge with the vehicle to become more powerful, but he's pretty powerful on his own. X can hover for short period of time. There are up to 5 different special weapons that you can pick up during gameplay. The goal is each stage is not to reach the end, but to defeat all instances of a special enemy that was pointed out during the 3D cut scene. Ranger-X has absolutely stunning graphics!! It even had 3D cut scenes between stages! Several stages make heavy use of parallax scrolling to create simulated 3D effects. For example, as you move in one stage you see aircraft tunnels go by in perspective. The only annoying thing about Ranger-X is that you have to press a button to turn around. And I wish the soundtrack was as good as the graphics.

Revenge of Shinobi

Revenge of Shinobi (Shinobi 1)

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The Shinobi series is very awesome! It was the Genesis' ninja series that rivaled the Ninja Gaiden series on the NES. For the time it had awesome graphics. You have a sword attack and throwing daggers. The daggers are limited, but you pick up more during stages. You also have your ninjutsu special abilities. For example, the lightning ninjutsu gives you temporary invulnerability. It was so good it gained two sequels: Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi and Shinobi 3.

Ristar
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Ristar came out at the tail end of the Genesis' popularity. It kind of fell under the radar because at this point many already switched to the SNES. Nevertheless, Ristar is a shining example of the Genesis' potential. The gameplay is unique. Similar to Bionic Commando's bionic arm, Ristar extends his hands to maneuver around stages as if using a whip. Ristar damages enemies by grabbing them and hurling them onto his face. It's a very beautiful, heavily animated game.

Robo Aleste

Robo Aleste (Sega CD)

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The sequel to M.U.S.H.A.. Here you can get a few different weapon upgrades that affect the behavior of disks that fly around you. The levels are a bit shorter than other games, but greater in number, and even the smaller enemies take a lot of hits, resulting in a more difficult game. It's a cool Sega CD game. Although people tend to prefer M.U.S.H.A. over this sequel.

Rocket Knight Adventures
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This is a very beautiful, heavily animated game. It feels like you're playing a cartoon with the many animated sequences that illustrate the story. What makes this game so fun is the variety of gameplay. Holding down the attack button executes a rocket dash in any direction. Since this guy is a possum he can grab onto branches with his tail. They mix up the pace by having some stages consist of you riding a vehicle. This game was good enough that it got a sequel that was released for the SNES and Genesis: Sparkster

Scooby-Doo Mystery
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And we have another game that was way better on the Genesis than on the SNES. Heck, even the Game Boy Color version of Scooby-Doo has more creative graphics than the SNES version. The difference in quality is so dramatic that I have to show you a screen shot comparison. See what I mean? Hands down, this game has the best cartoon graphics on the Genesis. No other games have such detailed backgrounds. They're so good this game could be confused with a Sierra point-and-click game on DOS. You feel like you're playing a Scooby-Doo cartoon! As for the game itself, if you're familiar with point-and-click games then this game is exactly what you expect it to be. You interact with the environment, pick up items and use them elsewhere. Every so often there are animated sequences that give life to the progressing story. It's a very good game.

Sewer Shark

Sewer Shark (Sega CD)

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As the pack-in game for the Sega CD, this was meant to be the flagship title to show off the potential for the system. From a graphical perspective, the game is indeed very awesome with its live action cutscenes and gorgeous FMV powered gameplay. I think this game can be good if you give it a chance. The tricky part is that you must read the manual (or watch a review on YouTube) to understand how to play the game because there are several important details you must know; details which are not explained in the beginning of the game. For example, you're supposed to shoot the rats, not the bats. You can't shoot too much or your ship loses power. You need to recharge your ship every so often. You need to release hydrogen every so often or else you explode. You need to listen to your little robot companion when he tells you to steer into a different tunnel or else you hit a dead end.

Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi

Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi (Shinobi 2)

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Now this is the Shinobi game everyone remembers! This is the one where you're followed by the attack dog. They totally took this game to the next level. It's so much more awesome than the first. Your throwing daggers are now unlimited. This time your ninjutsu doesn't give you puny abilities. They unleash the power of the elements and attack all enemies on the screen! What the dog does is hold down an enemy for you when it's at a spot you can't easily reach. This is a very fun game!

Shinobi 3: Return of the Ninja Master

Shinobi 3: Return of the Ninja Master

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This game aimed to bring it back to its roots; its style is more like the original Shinobi. The throwing daggers are limited again, and the ninjutsu just gives you puny abilities like before. As expected from a third sequel, the graphics and animation are very awesome. The first stage has your adrenaline pumping with you on horseback and ninja flying down on kites! In another stage you're riding a jet surfboard! You have several new abilities: you can dash, climb on walls, climb on ceilings, and attack with a jump kick.

Snatcher (Sega CD)
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Ever watched one of those 80s anime horror movies like Demon City, LILY Cat, or Wicked City? Snatcher is in the same art style. I'm not usually into point-and-click style adventure games, but Snatcher is GOOD. I'm a sucker for 80s anime sci-fi horror. Figuring out what to do next is actually relatively easy, unlike other games of the genre. The majority of the game's dialogue is via real voice acting! That would explain why only a few of my shots here have words. Snatcher is such a high quality game that it has a strong fan following. In terms of consoles, it's probably one of the best point-and-click games ever made.

Sonic and Knuckles
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Sonic & Knuckles is like an extension of Sonic 3; like a “Sonic & Knuckles: Sonic 3 part 2”. It has the same items, same graphics/animation style, same type of stage layouts, etc. The only exclusive difference is that you can play with either Sonic or Knuckles. With the Sonic & Knuckles cart Sega experimented with a new “lock-on technology”, which is best explained with a scan of the box.

Sonic and Knuckles + Sonic 2

Sonic & Knuckles + Sonic 2 (Hack)

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Naturally, ROM hackers aspired to recreate the experience of the “lock-on technology” for video game emulation. Here is a special version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 combined with Sonic & Knuckles in the same fashion of the real thing. Now you can play Sonic 2 as Knuckles!

Sonic and Knuckles + Sonic 3

Sonic & Knuckles + Sonic 3 (Hack)

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Ditto from above. Here is a special version of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 combined with Sonic & Knuckles in the same fashion of the real thing. Now you can play Sonic 3 as Knuckles!

Sonic CD (Sega CD)
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You might notice that Sonic CD closely resembles Sonic 1's style. Well, Sonic CD and Sonic 2 were made at the same time by different teams. Clearly, the Sonic CD team was stuck on recreating Sonic 1's success by creating a carbon copy of Sonic 1. At the very least, they did innovate a little bit. They added a time travel system that warps Sonic into past & future versions of the stage he's currently in. The past is all happy and colorful, and the future is all dark and gloomy post Robotnik's invasion. It's interesting to see how the invasion effected Sonic's world. The CD soundtrack is good, too. I have a couple tracks on my MP3 playlist. And there's a neat 3D stage using scaling similar to the SNES's “mode 7” graphics. Sonic CD is probably the most popular Sega CD game - just because it's a Sonic title. The game is good, but Sonic 2/Sonic 3/Sonic & Knuckles are far better.

Sonic Spinball
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Riding on the Sonic's popularity, here's a pinball game themed to our favorite blue hedgehog. Each stage has multiple pin boards. Your goal is to make it through the lower pin boards to reach the boss pin board. The game's drawback is that Sonic (as a pinball) feels sluggish and jerky. You can at least control him a bit while he's pinball-ing, such as sway him a bit to the right if you're pushing right. Sonic Spinball is an okay game. It's nowhere near the quality of Devil Crash.

Sonic the Hegehog
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The original Sonic game that started it all! Help Sonic crush Doctor Robotnik and his robotic minions! The Sonic series has a reputation of each game being very well made. The graphics and music are awesome. It's fun; the challenge isn't too high or too low. With each release, Sonic games keep on getting better and better. They hyped Sonic fandom further with spin-off cartoons, anime, and comics. Check out Sonic at Wikipedia for the full breakdown.

Sonic the Hegehog 2
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Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a major improvement! Even when compared to Sonic 3, its graphics and animation are still very impressive. From what I've experienced in Sega fan communities, I think its safe to say that Sonic 2 is the #1 game for the Genesis. It's just perfect. The fun factor is very high. It's variety filled stages give plenty of replay value. The soundtrack is awesome. The challenge is a bit higher than with Sonic 1, but its not ridiculously hard. You can play as Tales (Miles), and you can even play as Knuckles if you use the Sonic & Knuckles add-on. The 2-player vs stages are very fun, too!

Sonic 2 Delta

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Delta (Hack)

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This hack restores several deleted levels and prototype elements to Sonic 2. It's pretty hefty what they did. I put the full description of this hack in the “More Info“ button.

Sonic the Hegehog 3
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They added some new features with Sonic 3. Instead of the boring old shield there are three cool shields with special moves for you: the fire shield, the water shield, and the volt shield. With the fire shield, pressing the jump button in mid-air shoots you horizontally. With the water shield, pressing the jump button in mid-air makes you bounce on the ground and you can breath underwater infinitely. The volt shield attracts rings to you like a magnet. What's neat is that stages are continuous - when you beat one stage you're already at the entrance of the next one. Sonic 3 offer lots of eye candy, has a high fun factor, and great soundtrack. It's a very exciting game!

Sonic 3 Complete

Sonic 3 Complete (Hack)

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Sonic & Knuckles was actually the result of cutting Sonic 3 in half. This awesome hack restores Sonic 3 to what it should've been! This hack changes A LOT. I'm talking, the full list of changes is several pages long! You can find this list at Sonic Retro. The gist of it is that the following has been restored: stages, bosses, music, cutscenes, and various graphics. And all the bugs were fixed.

Sparkster

Sparkster (Rocket Knight Adventures 2)

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This game came out for the SNES first. They didn't want to leave Genesis owners out so they ported Rocket Knight's sequel over as well. So with Sparkster they perfected Rocket Knight Adventures to produce a much better game. Level designs were expanded some to allow for better use of the jetpack.

Spider-Man & Venom: Maximum Carnage

Spider-Man & Venom: Maximum Carnage

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Also released on the SNES, Maximum Carnage immerses you into the world of Spider-Man with comic book inspired cut scenes and tons of characters from the comics. Spider-Man has an assortment of punch and kick attacks. He can do his famous web slinging and pull enemies to him with a web stream. The coolest feature is the ability to summon supportive characters to hit all enemies on the screen. Characters such as Shadow Cat, Firestar, Cloak, Dagger, Ironfist, Captain America, and more! You can choose to play as Venom at some parts of the game. The music was by a band called Green Jelly, and it's pretty awesome. The game's drawback is the difficulty. Towards the end the game gets really brutal with its boss battles. There are cheats to help with that. Plus the game can get repetitive. Maximum Carnage was good enough to gain a sequel: Separation Anxiety, also released on the Genesis. It was terrible.

Spider-Man Vs. The Kingpin

Spider-Man Vs. The Kingpin

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Battle against Doctor Octopus, Electro, Lizard, Venom, Sandman, Mysterio, Hobgoblin, and more in this exciting platformer! Spider-Man can entangle enemies with his web, use his web as a shield for projectiles, do his famous web swinging, and crawl on walls. The graphics & music aren't bad. The difficulty, though, is pretty high. The boss fights in particular are brutal. Even if you memorize boss patterns, you die after a few hits from a boss. There are plenty of cheats, though, to ease your suffering. For an early Genesis game, Spider-man Vs The Kingpin is pretty good. And good enough for a Sega CD remake, which made the game much better.

Splatterhouse 2
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The original Splatterhouse was released on the TurboGrafx16 (I have it covered in the TurboGrafx16 section). With the sequel they crossed systems and brought it to the Genesis. Splatterhouse is a gory arcade style action platformer. As the title suggests, the game involves a great deal of splattering and smashing as you mash away at enemies. The atmosphere is very dark and eerie. Along the way you pick up temporary special weapons such a rod that splatters enemies against the wall and a rifle that splatters enemy guts everywhere. The game itself is ok. Its charm comes from the experience of playing such a dark game on a system known for 'cutesy' games.

Splatterhouse 3
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They took a different approach with Splatterhouse 3. They switched genres to a beat 'em up like Streets of Rage and Final Fight. And the flow isn't so linear like its predessors. They give a sense of exploration by having you travel around rooms in haunted mansions. Your goal is to find the stage's boss. The story is illustrated through gorgeous graphics. Overall, despite the game's enhancements I still kind of like Splatterhouse part 1 and 2 better.

Star Wars Arcade (32X)

Star Wars Arcade (32X)

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This was the first pack-in game for the 32X to show off its potential. This full 3D game blows SNES Starfox out of the water! The power of the 32X allows much more polygons. Looking at screen shots & gameplay videos of this game is misleading because it looks as though you are free to fly anywhere. It actually plays more like Starfox. You're on a fixed flight path, but you can rotate your ship to different directions as you follow the flight path. It's a short game. All you're doing is flying through the Republic's armada toward the Death Star to blow it up in a similar fashion as in the movie. It's a gorgeous game, and definitely better than Star Wars for Sega CD.

Star Wars: Rebel Assault (Sega CD)

Star Wars: Rebel Assault (Sega CD)

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This game was really impressive for an early FMV game. For the time it was incredible to see all these fancy "3D" graphics animated in full motion. When you're flying through outer space, you actually feel like you're flying through outer space. The game itself is ok. The challenge fluxuates: stages are either really easy or really hard. You need to be a fan of Star Wars to truly appreciate this game. They filmed new scenes for it, too!

Streets of Rage
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The SNES has Final Fight, and the Genesis has Streets of Rage! It's your average street fighting brawler. What makes Streets of Rage stand out is that it's a very well made average street fighting brawler. All the stages take place at night. The music is catchy, the graphics are cool, and there's a fun variety of enemies. The “super attack” summons a cop car to shoot a bazooka at your enemies - it's awesome!

Streets of Rage 2
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The sequel is where Streets of Rage starting owning its style and being respected as its own game (instead of a Final Fight copy). They took the game to the next level. You have different, more interesting characters to choose from. The graphics are gorgeous; things are more in perspective instead of looking flat. They did away with the cop bazooka super attack. Instead they gave you a super attack that hits only the enemies next to you, at the sacrifice of some of your health.

Streets of Rage 3
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Now this is the Streets of Rage that everyone talks about! The soundtrack is very, very good. The action is faster paced. There are new characters to choose from. The graphics are, of course, top notch. There's a bit more variety in gameplay: you can dash and do uppercuts. It's enough to pull off some combo attacks. This time your super attack doesn't take away from your health! Instead you have a meter that only lets you pull off your super attack every so often.

Strider
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The Strider arcade game had been ported to many systems (I have the TurboGrafx16 version of Strider covered). This was the first port on a home console. As an early game for the Genesis it was a shining example of the power of the system. For the time it was quite innovative. The bosses are large and fully animated. Strider's movement feels so fluid since he can move in any direction, even run up hills in diagonal angles. Strider is a very awesome game! There was a sequel, “Strider Returns”, released on the Genesis. However it wasn't made by Capcom and it was just awful (this review on YouTube explains the atrocity well).

Supreme Warrior (Sega CD)

Supreme Warrior (Sega CD)

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This game is like an interactive Japanese martial arts movie. It begins with a bunch of warlords battling monks in a town. Then a powerful lightning guy comes in and demands the master monk to give him the other half of a mask of power. The master monk is too old to fight and all the other monks were injured from the battle - now it's up to you! You need to defeat the warlords and all their minions. Gameplay involves movie sequences of people fighting you. You need to fight back with the right fighting moves at the right moments. It's an okay game. I like the original idea of it.

Toejam and Earl
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Toejam and Earl are stranded! Help them recover the pieces to their ship with dungeon crawler style gameplay. It's a wacky, cartoony game. Some stages are covered in cheese and bombard you with cheese tornadoes. The assortment of enemies are just as wacky. One 'enemy' is a Hawaiian hula girl that makes you hula with her. Toejam and Earl is one of those games that become more popular after the test of game. It's very much worth playing!

Toejam and Earl in: Panic on Funkotron

Toejam & Earl in: Panic on Funkotron

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Humans have invaded Funkotron! The Toejam & Earl sequel is about helping our favorite wacky aliens purge their planet of those pesky Earthlings. You do so by capturing them into small jars. You pick up a variety of weapons to help you do so. Gameplay has changed from a top view map to a sidescroller with large sprites. There are a few mini games such as the bouncing on fungus game and the 'funk dancing' game. The graphics and animation definitely improved. Panic on Funkotron's a good game.

Vectorman
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This is the game that pushed the Genesis to its limit! It's probably the most visually stunning game on the Genesis. Some stages even have such detail as a lens flare when you walk by the sun. The animation is so fluid because all characters are based the orb technique (not sure what it's called). You know, when a classic game uses balls to animate an arm or tentacle. The game mixes up the pace by every so often having you do a mini-game type stage. These mini-games usually incorporate a really awesome graphical effect that scale the graphics in a way you've never seen on the Genesis! For example, in the first mini-game stage you're a train avoiding a robot grabbing onto the tracks ahead of you. All the while, the track shifts around in cool 3D perspective angles as his giant hands are reaching out for you.

Vectorman 2
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I like it that the sequel is darker and not as cutesy. There are more weapons and “vector transformations”. Instead of fighting robots you're fighting aliens. I think the stages are more creative in this sequel. In the the first Vector Man they recycled stages often.

Virtua Fighter

Virtua Fighter (32X)

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This was one of the first mainstream 3D fighting games. So what makes it so special? It wasn't just about dazzling you with early 3D graphics. By having 3D characters you have a very smooth gameplay experience with fluid animation. The pace is fast and exciting. To add to the realism, they focused on making this game as real as possible. The characters here don't have exaggerated moves or throw balls of energy. This is a very solid and well made fighting game.

Virtua Racing
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This was the only true 3D game on the Genesis. The cart came bundled with a special chip to achieve this, which bumped up the price to $100 US. Yeah, that's a bit steep. Keep in mind, though, that Virtua Racing was revolutionary in the arcades. It probably wasn't the first 3D arcade racing game, but surely it was the first popular one. So it was a BIG deal to have it released on a home console; a real 3D game on the aging Genesis. The 3D graphics here look like Starfox and Stunt Race FX, but animated more smoothly and with a bit more detail. The only thing about this port that leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth is that there are only 3 racing tracks. Overall, it's a simple fun racing game.
*Take note that Virtua Racing doesn't work on most Genesis emulators. So far that I've tested, it only works on Kega Fusion.

Virtua Racing Deluxe

Virtua Racing Deluxe (32X)

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With the power of the 32X, this release of Virtua Racing is closer to the original arcade version. With the exception of two new cars, there isn't anything new or special about this release. I can't help but feel like this version of Virtua Racing was a cheap attempt to push the 32X. Don't get me wrong, this is an awesome game. I just wish Sega would've put more effort into making something different.

X-Men
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X-Men is AWESOME. This is my favorite X-Men game! Play as Cyclops, Gambit, Wolverine, or Nightcrawler. They all have their usual powers, especially Nightcrawler's ability to teleport. You have the ability to summon other X-Men to assist you (only a couple times each) such as Rogue, Storm, Iceman, and Archangel. Ah, but to play X-Men via emulators there's a catch. At the end of Mojo's stage (stage 5) it tells you that you need to 'reset the system' in order to continue. This means you need to literally reset the Genesis! So far that I know, via emulation this type of reset is only possible using Kega Fusion by using its “Soft Reset” feature (in the File menu). Anyway, X-Men is a really good game. It's loyal to the famous 90s X-Men cartoon series. After all, this game was released during the height of the show's popularity.

X-Men 2: Clone Wars
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X-Men was so wildly successful in the 90s, so of course there would be a sequel to the Genesis game. The marketing for X-Men 2 highlighted “NOW YOU CAN PLAY AS MAGNETO”, resulting in all of us pissing in our pants. Graphically, X-Men 2 is a very awesome game. You can play as Psylocke and Magneto this time. However, X-Men 2 is awfully repetitive. Some of the stages seem to never end, with every corner looking the same and always fighting the same two enemies. It's not a bad game, though. I would just say that the first X-Men game is better; it was more creative.