Tag Archives: sega genesis

RetroArch And Emulation On Steam

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In case you haven’t heard, RetroArch is coming to steam at the end of this month. I still can’t entirely believe it — game emulation right there on Steam. It’s kind of a big deal, but apparently it’s also not entirely unprecedented. Continue reading

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Late to the Party: Contra Hard Corps

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I played the Nintendo Entertainment System version of the first Contra game, Super C, and Contra III: The Alien Wars for the Super NES growing up, but had actually never heard of the Sega Genesis Contra Hard Corps – which many apparently called the best Contra game, until many years later. I’m only just now learning the myriad reasons it’s so revered that involve what it does for the Contra formula as well as the circumstances surrounding its release.

Playing the game now, I’m astonished at how much it added to the series’ gameplay after Alien Wars. I think it’s officially known as a side game or a sub-series (it got a direct sequel on the PS3 and Xbox 360) but I honestly still think it’s close enough to its forbears to more or less be the “Contra IV” before WayForward made Contra 4 on the original Nintendo DS. Continue reading

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Late to the Party: Gunstar Heroes (And 8BitDo’s M30 Controller)

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I’ve been kind of on a run n’ gun game trip since trying out the Metal Slug series, and I thought I’d give Gunstar Heroes another shot as an excuse to try out 8BitDo’s new M30 bluetooth Genesis/Mega Drive controller.

I’d never heard of this apparently seminal 1993 shooter until probably over a decade after it came out. The first time I bought it was on Wii Virtual Console, but I ran into a brick wall at the game’s infamous “Seven Force” boss. Later I bought the PC version of the Sega Genesis Classics collection, copied the ROM out of the game files, and played it on the BlastEm emulator through RetroArch (supposedly the most accurate Genesis emulator yet made). Only just recently did I finally manage to clear the game, finding it to be a really intense but also really unique take on the genre, that likely inspired a lot of what came after it. Continue reading

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Gaming Anniversaries That Will Occur In 2019

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As usual, I’m starting the year on this blog by looking back at previous years through gaming anniversaries. Maybe it’s not as big in that regard as last year, which was the 20th anniversary of all the stuff that came out in 1998, but there were still some surprises looking back on years like 1999 or 1994. 1999 in particular kind of gets overshadowed by 1998, which is still one of the most influential years for video games. Continue reading

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Why Do The Classic Mini Console Games Have To Be Locked Up In More Pieces of Plastic?

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Sony has jumped on the classic console bandwagon with the PlayStation Classic that includes 20 games from the original PlayStation for $99. Look man, I just want to play those same games on the PlayStation 4 already sitting under my TV, I’d happily pay the same price. Or better yet let me transfer the ones I already bought to play on my PlayStation 3 and PSP.

Microsoft is absolutely right to jab Sony with that “Play 500+ classic Xbox games on Xbox One today” tweet, even if it they didn’t perfectly word it. The point is you don’t have to put another plastic box under your TV to play a handful of games exclusive to it. That’s the whole problem with console gaming. At the same time though I see why console manufactures are making these nostalgia consoles and why Microsoft probably won’t, I’m just asking for some more options here, which SEGA and SNK have been happy to provide. Continue reading

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Virtual Console, And The Two Ways Platform Holders Are Maintaining Classic Games

 

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Virtual Console, one of my main hopes for the Nintendo Switch, isn’t coming to the system. Oh classic games are being and will continue to be released for the system, but that wasn’t the point. Virtual Cosnole represented the prospect of something Nintendo seems to have left behind today. Today there seem to be two main ways in which companies are bringing back classic games. Continue reading

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Sonic Mania And Sonic Fan Cynicism

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For the 25th anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog SEGA at Comic-Con announced its latest attempt to revive its mascot franchise. While recognizing that we Sonic fans are going through the Sonic Cycle again, we also have to admit that Sonic Mania is probably the company’s most earnest and promising attempt yet. We want to be excited, but hate ourselves for getting wrapped up in this mess again. Continue reading

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Why Sonic Is Still Important to Me After 25 Years

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I probably noted it when I charted all the major gaming anniversaries of 2016 back in January, but this wave of anniversaries caught me by surprise. This week saw not only Quake and Super Mario 64 hit major anniversaries, but also Sonic the Hedgehog. I feel like I have to type something about Sonic because it was a pillar of my childhood. Continue reading

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The Completion of Taxman And Stealth’s Sonic [Updated]

Correction: I’ve only just now become aware of the involvement of the entire other half of the team behind the classic Sonic remasters — Simon “Stealth” Thornley. This blog post has been updated to include Stealth’s role in the projects. My sincerest apologies.

I’ve been aware of Christian “Taxman” Whitehead’s efforts to remaster Sonic The Hedgehog 3 for a while, but never really paid them a whole lot of attention. It’s only now after someone asked me to bring some attention to the petition for its release that I’ve investigated the project and become a lot more interested in maybe one day playing it. My only reservations are regarding platforms and support. Continue reading

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25 Years Of SEGA Genesis: My Personal Experience

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This one kind of went right by me, but the SEGA Genesis turned 25 years old in North America this week. I didn’t even put it on my 2014 anniversaries list. I personally had a simultaneously close and distant relationship with the console.

The Genesis was basically my first experience with a “next-gen” leap. My earliest memories are of Mario and Ninja Turtles on the NES, and soon after being exposed to Sonic the Hedgehog 2. If you’re familiar with Sonic 2’s release date along the Genesis’ lifespan, then you already know how old the Genesis already was by the time I got into it. Truth be told I didn’t even own one until 1995 — the year before I got a Nintendo 64. Despite that, the Genesis was host to some of my most beloved childhood gaming.

Compared to the original Super Mario Bros.Sonic 2’s speed, loops, graphics, and sound encapsulated the first time I thought a game had reached the “next level.” It was like a kid having been raised on Grand Theft Auto III (as messed-up as that sounds) all of a sudden being exposed to Grand Theft Auto V. I think that was the start of how I pretty much grew up on Sonic. I say that as someone who simultaneously still reads the Sonic Archie comic book and avoids the part of Sonic fandom that get’s so much ridicule these days.

You see, I spent my formative years in the 90’s console war — the vicious schoolyard arguments between Super Nintendo and Genesis. For most of that time I was firmly in the SNES camp, spending my time on games like Super Mario WorldTurtles in Time, and Final Fantasy VI. Despite that, I had to have Sonic. It was most of the reason I went to other kids’ houses. When I eventually did get a Genesis it was basically a Sonic player, and that was enough.

On it I mastered Sonic 3 — my personal top game ever, and spent who knows how many hours cracking the original SonicSonic 2, and Sonic & Knuckles. On top of that the Genesis became the center of things whenever friends gathered at my house. Sonic 2 in particular was a main multiplayer game for that era in my experience. Thinking back it’s kind of odd Sonic multiplayer never became much of a thing afterwards. Even more odd is how nobody picked it back up since the old Sonic games became available on pretty much every modern system (even phones). Maybe Sonic multiplayer was the first real casualty of the fall of that franchise. In any case, it helped build friendships.

That was pretty much my entire old school experience with the Genesis, which brings me to my strangest point: most of my SEGA Genesis gaming is probably ahead of me. In recent years as I’ve discovered retro game shops, my library of Genesis games has grown alongside my SNES and N64 libraries. You’d be surprised how cheaply you can find Genesis classics like Revenge of ShinobiSpace Harrier 2Aladdin, the Illusion games, and X-Men 2: Clone Wars, most of them in their original boxes. I even managed to track down hidden gems like Mystic Defender and Ranger X for barely any money. And then you’ve got SEGA’s own Genesis classic collections, particularly the one on Steam. For like $10 I was able to legally get over 30 Genesis classics running on my PC.

I still haven’t played any Streets of Rage games, RistarPhantasy Star, or the Shining Series, and I’ve only barely touched Treasure’s Genesis works like Gunster Heroes and Dynamite Headdy, but they’re all sitting on my backlog. I’m just waiting for the right time to dive headfirst into that library.

BULLETS:

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