The 30th Anniversary of the Sega Mega Drive

Today, is a very special day because it marks the 30th Anniversary of one of the most legendary game consoles of all time. On October 29th, 1988 the Sega Mega Drive was released and since that day the landscape of the gaming world had changed for the better. The Sega Mega Drive was the first 16-bit game consoles to achieve mainstream success. The Mega Drive was also the game console that pushed Nintendo to release the Super NES back in 1990 to compete with Sega. The visuals for games on the Mega Drive were simply amazing which made the console seem like it was ahead of its time.

We got to see games such as Sonic the Hedgehog along with the Phantasy Star which became popular during the early 90’s. Without the Mega Drive console it would be hard to imagine what the landscape of gaming would have looked like back in the early 90’s. The Mega Drive console will always hold a special place in the the hearts of retro gamers who grew up between the late 80’s and early 90’s.

Thunder Force II (1988) vs Super R-Type (1991) which game was more popular?

When it comes down to the scrolling shooter genre of gaming there are many retro gamers who remember titles such as the R-Type and the Thunder Force series which were popular in the late 80’s and early 90’s. While Super R-Type is well known for its unusual level of difficulty there are many people who remember Thunder Force II for its gameplay in general. After the first ever Thunder Force game was released back in 1983 as a Japanese exclusive Thunder Force II saw various improvements from its predecessor such as the inclusion of stages from a top-down perspective in addition to the side scrolling levels. Also, the Thunder Force II a unique weapon system along with CRAW add-on which enhanced ford power while protecting plate from enemy attacks.

Both Super R-Type along with Thunder Force II looked very impressive visually and were fun 2D titles to play back when the side scrolling shooter genre of gaming was still somewhat popular. In terms of gameplay some would probably give Thunder Force II the edge over Super R-Type. However, in relation to which game was more popular in general Super R-Type would be a game that most people would probably choose over Thunder Force II. Bu

Did Super Nintendo have better platform titles than Sega?

Besides Super Mario World and Super Mario All Stars the Super Nintendo had a bunch of platform that does not get talked about as much as they should. We had games like Aero the Acrobat, Sparkster, Yoshi’s Island, Kirby Super Star, Actraiser, the Mega Man X series and more. While the Sega Genesis had its fair share of platform titles such as the Sonic the Hedgehog series, Ristar, Altered Beast, Strider and Revenge of the Shinobi the SNES arguably had better graphics and sprites.

In terms of gameplay many people can argue that the Sega Genesis was better because it was fast paced compared to most SNES platform titles probably with the exception of the Mega Man X games.   A gamers opinion on which console produced better platform games depends on whether or not the were fanboys of the Super Nintendo or the Sega Genesis.

While the Sega Genesis did have impressive visual effects during the 16 bit era the SNES had some interesting features in their games as well.  In games like Super Castlevania IV and Yoshi’s Island player got to witness special features for the SNES such as Mode 7.  16 bit titles that featured Mode 7 were special because it would make people think twice on which system had better video games during console wars between Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis. In terms of which console had better platform games it usually comes down to which games certain players like more and what features stand them more.

Which genre was better for Phantasy Star RPG or MMORPG?

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The Phantasy Star series has been around since the 80’s and since then we have seen so many cool titles featured on consoles such as the Mega Drive, Sega Genesis and Sega Dreamcast.  When the Phantasy Star series first began it started off in the 16 bit RPG genre.  When the original Phantasy Star game was first released in the winter of 1987 many people were impressed by various aspects of the game in terms of gameplay mechanics and visual presentation.   Phantasy Star was so popular during the late 80’s and early 90’s to a point where it was considered to be Sega’s version of Final Fantasy which was often featured on Nintendo consoles.  When it came down to the RPG genre of gaming the Phantasy Star series was faced with a significant amount of competition with popular titles on the SNES such as: Breath of Fire, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VI along with many games for that console.

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The Phantasy Star series for the 16-bit Sega Genesis game console are considered to be RPG classics by many gamers.  Despite, not being as popular as many other Sega titles such as the Sonic the Hedgehog series, Streets of Rage, Golden Axe and others the Phantasy Star series from I to IV were still high quality 16 bit games that are tough to find in used game stores.   In terms of price many would argue that Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium is the most valuable 16 bit game in the series.  Some of the prices for Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium on eBay seem quite expensive for a Sega Genesis game which was developed over twenty years ago.  Even though, the Phantasy Star series started out in the RPG genre Sega had eventually decided to try something new by developing an MMORPG title for the Sega Dreamcast for the year 2000.

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When Phantasy Star Online was first released for the Sega Dreamcast it looked impressive because it was something new.  In fact, some people might credit games like Phantasy Star Online for making the MMORPG genre popular on game consoles.  Prior to the inceptions of  Xbox Live and PlayStation Network we had the Sega Dreamarena where people could play games like Phantasy Star Online on Dreamcast.  When it comes down to the MMORPG games Phantasy Star Online 1 & 2 are among the most recognizable titles of the genre.  While many people have different opinions on which genre best suited the Phantasy Star series their opinions are most likely influenced by which era of gaming they grew up in.

Was the 16 bit era too short?

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The early 90’s had probably seen the best era of 16 bit gameplay with many games such as Illusion of Gaia, Super Mario Worid, Sonic the Hedgehog, Mega Man X, Super Metroid, Secret of Mana Streets of Rage and many others.  Towards the beginning of the decade many people were blown away by how much the gameplay and graphics had improved in comparison to the 8 bit era of gaming which was mainly during the 80’s.  While 8 bit gaming continued to live during the first half of the 90’s  for the NES and throughout the whole decade because of the Game Boy the 16 bit era had started to decline around the mid 90’s.  The reason why 16 bit gaming had started decline was due to the rise of 3D gaming provided by consoles such as PlayStation, Nintendo 64 and the Sega Saturn.  3D Gaming seemed so cool when it first because popular during the 90’s.  However, looking back at the basic 3D graphics of games from the 90’s makes us wonder  was this really better than 16 bit gaming in terms of visuals?

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The graphics and sprites of many 16 bit games liked more refined and appealing but they were restricted to 2D gameplay which was something that many people were getting sick of by the mid 90’s.  Looking back, at things now it would have been cool if the 16 bit era lasted longer or just went directly into the 32 or 64 era of gaming.  While there were so many cool games for the Sony PlayStation including Gran Turismo, Tekken 2, Tomb Raider and Metal Gear Solid it felt like the console was ahead of its time.  In fact, some might argue that consoles like the Sony PlayStation was the reason why the 16 bit era was shorten while others might contend that it was starting to become obsolete.

Retro Games- Mortal Kombat II: (1993)

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When it comes down to classic fighting games from the 90’s how can anyone forget about how cool Mortal Kombat II was during its arcade release in 1993.  While the arcade version of Mortal Kombat II was produced by Midway Games a majority of the home ports were developed Acclaim Entertainment for consoles such as the Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo,  Sega Saturn and a few others.  Out of the first three Mortal Kombat games in the 16 bit series the second one is arguably the best when it comes down to visual presentation.  Not only were the visuals for Mortal Kombat II great but the game itself included an interesting storyline along with new characters as well.  Mortal Kombat II introduces both Shao Kahn & Motaro as the main villains of the game following the aftermath of Shang Tsung’s defeat in MK I.  Not only does Shao Kahn restore Shang Tsung’s youth but he also holds a tournament in the Outerworld.  Not only does this game include returning characters such as Liu-Kang, Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Johnny Cage, Reptile, Shang Tsung and Raiden it also introduces new ones like Kitana, Mileena, Baraka, Jax and Kung Lao.

Along with the addition of new characters Mortal Kombat II also included some secret battles in arcade mode with the likes of Jade, Smoke and Noob Saibot who where almost as difficult as Shao Khan himself.  While having new characters and stages were great features to the second installment of the Mortal Kombat series people were also interested by the fact that characters had more than one fatality.  Also, the addition of babilities and friendships made the gameplay for Mortal Kombat II more interesting because it shows the lighter and humorous side of game itself.  While some of the babilities, fatalities and friendships in this game were tough to pull off playing Mortal Kombat II in arcade centers or one any game console was a unforgettable experience to many people.  When it comes down to classic fighting games Mortal Kombat II is without a doubt one of the greatest arcade games of all time and arguably the best out of the first three games in the trilogy.

16-Bit Gaming- Batman Returns: (1992)

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We all remember the famous movie Batman Returns which was released in theaters worldwide in 1989.  While the movie for Batman Returns was well liked by many people following its release the video game was also considered to be very popular along with being one of the 16-bit titles of its time.  When video game movie of Batman Returns was developed in 1992 it was released for a variety of game consoles including the Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo, Mega-CD,  NES and Game Gear.  Out of all of the video game releases many people would argue that the Super Nintendo version of Batman Returns was probably the best.  The Super Nintendo version of Batman Returns not only had detailed graphics but it also included special gameplay which facilitated between beat em up and 2D side scrolling action.  While the beat em up levels of Batman Returns looked pretty cool and resembled games such as the Final Fight series the 2D side scrolling stages seemed somewhat constrictive since players were more limited in their actions.

The 2D side scrolling levels were tough to complete since players could only attack using weapons like the batarang and smart bombs.  Also, the battle against the Penugin is very difficult since players were limited in their actions along with the fact that almost every boss in this game seemed tough to defeat.  Some people might argue that Catwoman was easier to defeat than the Penugin which is saying a lot.   Even though, Catwoman is a difficult boss in this game that players must battle more than once she is probably easier to defeat than the Penugin since Batman is with more freedom to move around the level.  When people start playing Batman Returns for the first time they are most likely to be impressed by numerous aspects of the game from the intro all the way down to the character and stage designs of this title.  Batman Returns for the SNES is probably one of the coolest games that Konami has made among many in the early 90’s.  While the NES and the Sega Genesis versions of Batman Returns are cool in their own respective ways many would argue that the SNES version was the most superior version of the game overall.

Classic Gaming- Mortal Kombat: (1992)

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When it comes down to memorable fighting games of the 90’s it almost impossible for anyone to forget about the original Mortal Kombat game that was released during the early part of that decade.   When the original Mortal Kombat game received it arcade release in 1992 many people were both impressed and shocked by the level of violence included in the game.  While games like the Street Fighter II series were popular throughout most of the 90’s the Mortal Kombat series in many ways rivaled it.  While the Street Fighter II series had great gameplay, character designs and cool mini games Mortal Kombat had also included those same elements.   One of the key elements that Mortal Kombat had that made it stand out from the Street Fighter series was the use of fatalities after players win using their respective character.  Not only was Mortal Kombat one a groundbreaking fighting game but it also introduced some of the most legendary characters in the gaming world today such as Liu Kang, Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Johnny Cage, Kano, Raiden and Sonya Blade.

Mortal Kombat one also features two boss characters known as Goro and Shang Tsung along with a hidden character named Reptile.  Along with having cool characters the plot for Mortal Kombat was also interesting since it involved a deadly fighting tournament in the Earthrealm which Shang Tsung was seeking to control for centuries. Even though, Shang Tsung is the final boss in this game players have to complete an entire arcade ladder full of fighters to get to him.  The arcade ladder in Mortal Kombat may appear easy to some people towards the beginning but slowly becomes more difficult as players reach the endurance battles before battling Goro and Shang Tsung.   Playing the original Mortal Kombat games in arcade centers was fun depending on how many quarters people had on them.  While the home console versions for Mortal Kombat was also exciting for many people opinions may vary on whether Sega Genesis or Super Nintendo had a superior port in comparison to each other.  Even though, the Sega Genesis version of Mortal Kombat allowed players to perform fatalities some would argue that the SNES version had better graphics.  Despite, which version of the game people have played a majority of them can agree that the original Mortal Kombat game was definitely one of the most revolutionary fighting games to have ever been released in general.

Classic Games- Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball : (1993)

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When it comes down to Sonic the Hedgehog most of the 2d platform games of the early 90’s were great for the Sega Genesis.  But sometimes people forget that Sega had once developed a pinball based game for the Sega Genesis called Sonic Spinball.  The concept of Sonic Spinball appeared to be very cool in theory but in practice others may agree that it did not live up to their expectations.  While Sonic Spinball was a very unique game that highly differed from any other games that we have seen in the series during the early 90’s it was also more challenging than it looked.  In fact, some people may argue that Sonic Spinball might possibly be one of the toughest 2D games to beat within the series.   Not only did the controls seem tight to some people but it felt like there were far too many ways to lose in this game at times.

The story for this game was also interesting since it was highly different from anything we have seen from the other Sonic titles for the Sega Genesis.  Sonic Spinball had focused on Dr. Robotnik building the Veg-O-Fortress on top of a volcano known as Mt. Mobius which was stabilized by the seven chaos emeralds.  Not only do players have to free the animals from being changed into robots but he must collect all seven chaos emeralds in the process.   Even though, the game only contains a few levels each stage seems almost impossible to beat especially if one is playing the game for the very first time.  Like most Sonic titles this Spinball game starts players off with only three lives but one of the most interesting things about this game is that it felt like an actual arcade game. While some people may have negative opinions about the overall game itself other would argue that Sonic Spinball was probably one of the most innovative concepts that Sega has ever developed for Sonic title on the Sega Genesis.

Games from the 90’s- Shining Force: (1992)

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When it comes down to popular RPG titles of the early 90’s some of the games that comes to mind involves the Shining series for the Sega Genesis.  Shining Force was not only the direct sequel to Shining in the Darkness released in 1991 but the game itself seemed very different from the prequel in some aspects as well.  Unlike Shining in the Darkness this game does not utilize the dungeon crawler format of gameplay but instead movement throughout the game in between battles are generally grid based similar to that of Final Fantasy Tactics.  In order for people to master the game they must be good strategists and know what to do when battling opponents prior to approaching them.  The story of Shining Force focuses on the main character named Max who must lead the Shining Force against Dark Sol who plans on resurrecting the Dark Dragon in order to send the Land of Rune into darkness.

While some people may have found the plot to be interesting others would probably argue that it seemed generic in comparison to many other RPG titles that came out in the 16 bit era during the early 90’s.  Along with the grid based movement of characters in this game some of the coolest features in Shining Force involved the battle sequences.  During battles people got to see how great the artwork and graphics of the game truly was.   The graphics for Shining Force was nothing short of spectacular and in some ways looked better than anything one would see on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.  Since most of the popular RPG titles were featured on the Super Nintendo during the 16 bit era it was also interesting to see games like the Shining Force series on the Sega Genesis.  When it comes down to RPG titles for the Sega Genesis the Shining Force series is considered to be among the best along with being a game within its genre if one did not own the Super Nintendo Entertainment System during the 16 bit era of gaming.