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DrVenkman

Genesis - Best Games I Probably Didn't Know About

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... A Thread For Recommendations! :)

 

So some background - I owned a Genesis from late 1990 through about 1995 or so when I bought a PlayStation. I was out of college and working my first job, but my ex- and I also bought a house during that time, then moved when I started grad school, etc. So I didn't have a very big library of games. I had Altered Beast, Joe Montana Football, Sonic and Sonic 2, M1 Abrams, 688 Attack Sub and maybe one or two others but my memory is faulty. Along the way I got a 32X but I only ever bought Star Wars and that's it, I think. I sold the whole shebang when I bought the PlayStation. 

 

Anyway, last year a friend found a really good condition Model 1 like the one I had 30 years ago, and I then bought a MegaEverdrive. I'd like to eventually pick up a working 32X at some point but for now, what are some of your favorite Genesis/Megadrive games that I've obviously never played? Why do you like them?  What don't you like about them, if anything? 

 

Educate me!

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Sonic 3 & Knuckles is probably the single best game on the system and is one of the best games ever made. Other than that, Gleylancer, Castlevania, Earthworm Jim (EWJ 2 is also good as long as you don't expect it to be anything like the first game), After Burner II (get After Burner Complete if you can), Virtua Racing (Deluxe if you can), Langrisser, Comix Zone, Thunder Force 2, 3, and 4, and Xeno Crisis come to mind.

 

So do Desert Strike, Jungle Strike, Urban Strike, Panorama Cotton, Contra, Kolibri, Alien Soldier, Gunstar Heroes, and basically all of the Disney games. Sonic CD if you can, as well, preferably the Japanese version. Anything that's on the Japanese and Asian Mega Drive Mini is also good, and although the hardware itself is basically terrible (I have the Japanese one. Sonic 2's input lag makes it unplayable), the Asian and Japanese games were all chosen very well.

 

Edit: forgot Earthworm Jim Special Edition for Sega CD. That is probably the single best version of the game.

Edited by Steven Pendleton
Forgot EWJ SE
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Thanks for all the suggestions! I don’t have a Sega CD nor did I spring for the super-deluxe version of the Everdrive that supports those games, so that’s out for now at least. But the others will still give me plenty to explore. :)

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Sure. I forgot to mention that the levels that are shared between Sonic 3 and Sonic 3 & Knuckles have some notable differences in level design and music. The Sonic 3 layouts are generally more difficult and more enjoyable, especially the spring in Hydrocity act 2. The music for bosses and Knuckles are also different.

 

If you want more, there's also Lotus II, any version of NBA Jam, Sonic 3D Blast, V-V (that's read vee five) all 3 Jurassic Park games, Musha Aleste, Dynamite Headdy, Gain Ground, Gaiares, Eliminate Down, and Hellfire (don't play this on a Genesis 2/Mega Drive 2. Slow music). Bubsy is actually not as terrible as people say it is. Bubsy 2 is trash, though.

 

Edit: I meant Kuuga, not V-V. V-V is not bad, though. I always forget about Herzog Zwei, as well.

Edited by Steven Pendleton
Forgot some stuff again
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Man, there is a lot of great stuff out there. You owe it to yourself to try

 

MUSHA

Herzog Zwei

Gaiares

Dune 2000

Phantasy Star IV

Streets of Rage II (any of them, but particularly II)

Revenge of Shinobi

Shinobi 3 

Gunstar Heroes (a MUST!)

Castlevania: Bloodlines

Contra: Hard Corps

Thunder Force III (and IV, aka Lightening (sic) Force)

Beyond Oasis

 

Steven mentioned Xenocrisis (that's a brand new game) and yeah, believe the hype on that one. A fantastic game in the mold of Smash TV.

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Yeah, there is a good reason that I mentioned Xeno Crisis. It's quite something.

 

I forgot about ResQ, as well. It got cancelled either just before it was 100% complete or after it was completed. I guess the devs put the game on the internet so all of their work wouldn't be abandoned forever and forgotten. It seems pretty complete to me, and it's definitely interesting and worth playing.

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Bitmap Bureau will also send you the ROM if you buy the cart. That's great if you're like me and prefer having the real game, but also like the convenience of a flash cart for your Nomad or Mega Jet or whatever so you can play Xeno Crisis on the train or at the coin laundry with your Nomad or in the car or at your friends' houses with the Mega Jet or the Nomad.

 

Some more awesome games are all 3 Road Rash games, Alisia Dragoon, Ristar, Shadow Dancer, Sonic 1 for Master System (it's totally different from Genesis/MD Sonic 1 and Koshiro Yuzo did the music!), and Slap Fight MD (2 games in 1, and Koshiro did the music for the "special" mode). I kind of covered Alisia Dragoon, Road Rash 2, and Slap Fight MD indirectly since they are on the Japanese and Asian versions of the Mega Drive Mini, which I mentioned earlier, but I think they deserve to be mentioned specifically. Same with Alien Soldier, which is on the Asian Mega Drive but not the Japanese version for some reason.

 

Lots of people make the mistake of passing on Shadow Dancer and Thunder Force 2 just because they are not like the other Shinobi and Thunder Force games. I think I'm probably the only person in the world aside from Joe Redifer that actually likes Thunder Force 2, but that's probably because we are the only 2 people in the world who have actually played it. Gleylancer is still my favourite shooter on the system, though.

Edited by Steven Pendleton
Spelling
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One game that I dig that doesn't get mentioned much is Blades of Vengeance. Also, two of the Splatterhouse games are on the Genesis (with Splatterhouse 2 being my favorite of the series). Wonder Boy in Monster World and Monster World IV are fun as well. Oh, and if you like the TMNT arcade games, there is The Hyperstone Heist. The Shining Force games are great as well.

 

There is also Tanglewood, if you're interested in recently released games for the Genesis. If you buy it on Steam or itch.io, you can pull the ROM file out and put it on your Everdrive.

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I keep forgetting to buy Tanglewood. Every month I buy a ton of games that are not Tanglewood, forget about Tanglewood, run out of money because Japanese Mega Drive games are crazy expensive, remember Tanglewood, decide to buy it next month, and forget again. This has happened every month for almost a year. Probably has something to do with the fact that I have to buy it online instead of going to a store and seeing SO MANY GAMES that I want to buy and spending/wasting my money on those instead.

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Most of what I would recommend has been recommended. But I will try and add to this a bit..

 

Rolling Thunder 3 - This I feel is the best one to get if you can only get one of them.

Burning Force - Similar to space harrier but...not space harrier LOL. I like the music in this one.

Wiz n Liz - I recommend this game all the time and it is a great fast paced game. It has some incredible tunes from the famed Matt Furniss

Alien 3 - It is...believe it or not... a good movie license game and also features music from Matt Furniss

ResQ - I will second this recommendation. It was completed but never released due to interest in the Genesis having faded. It is a good puzzle platformer type game

Virtua Racing - no it doesn't look nearly as good as its superior on the 32x but as you don't have a 32x then you should get this version. I was blown away by it when it first came out and still like to pop it in and play every now and then.

Star Control - this is really best with 2 players but it was a great game on the PC and it is just as good here on the Genesis

Pirates Gold! - Again, this came on PCs of the day but the Genesis one is easier to pick up and play and overall enjoy. Make sure you get a copy of the map!

 

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Keep in mind that regular Virtua Racing will not work with a 32X attached. Same with Master System games. You need to either remove the 32X or play Virtua Racing Deluxe, which is absolutely better than Virtua Racing in literally every way. I has a higher resolution, better graphics, better sound quality, higher frame rate, more cars, and more tracks. The SVP chip can also die, leaving you with a useless cart. The first Virtua Racing that I bought last year was like this, but I was able to return it. Deluxe doesn't have the SVP, so that can't happen. Regular Virtua Racing is still a good game and fun, though.

 

For 32X, I mentioned Kolibri, Virtua Racing Deluxe, and After Burner Complete already, but also look into Tempo and Space Harrier. Star Wars is okay, but I would rather play X-Wing, TIE Fighter, or any Rogue Squadron game instead. There's not much else on 32X except for Stellar Assault, which I have not played yet since it's a bit expensive here, but it's supposed to be pretty cool and it has a sequel on Saturn that I think is Japan-only, just like every other Saturn game that's worth playing. Darxide is region locked, so forget about that one unless you want to buy a slow PAL 32X. US 32X is definitely the best of the 3 options.

 

For regular Mega Genesis Drive, there's also Uncharted Waters, which I have not played, but people say it and its sequel are good. There's also some game that I forgot the title of but is described as basically being Star Citizen. Maybe someone else here remembers what it's called. Zombies Ate My Neighbours is a fun game, and I remember seeing ads for it all over the place in the 90s. Never played it until last summer, though.

 

Ecco series is weird and I have never really cared for it personally, but it's not actually bad and some people who are not me like it, so maybe try it. The CD versions have much better music. For another weird game, try Battle Golfer Yui. It's a weird RPG golf thing that was never released outside Japan. It's usually regarded as not being exceptionally great, but has an interesting premise. The Japanese is pretty simple and should be okay if you are learning that language.

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Thunder Force II/III/IV (Lightening Force) I only own III though...

Arrow Flash (similar to the Thunder Force games)

Grind Stormer 

Mega Bomberman

Ranger X (best with 6 button controller)

King of the Monsters 2 (I hear some say it's better than the Neo Geo version)

Task Force Harrier EX

Truxton

Bio Hazard Battle

 

 

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16 hours ago, Steven Pendleton said:

Sure. I forgot to mention that the levels that are shared between Sonic 3 and Sonic 3 & Knuckles have some notable differences in level design and music. The Sonic 3 layouts are generally more difficult and more enjoyable, especially the spring in Hydrocity act 2. The music for bosses and Knuckles are also different.

 

If you want more, there's also Lotus II, any version of NBA Jam, Sonic 3D Blast, V-V (that's read vee five) all 3 Jurassic Park games, Musha Aleste, Dynamite Headdy, Gain Ground, Gaiares, Eliminate Down, and Hellfire (don't play this on a Genesis 2/Mega Drive 2. Slow music). Bubsy is actually not as terrible as people say it is. Bubsy 2 is trash, though.

 

Edit: I meant Kuuga, not V-V. V-V is not bad, though. I always forget about Herzog Zwei, as well.

Oh V-V is also known as Grind Stormer here in the US (you can play V-V by changing a setting in the options... I actually prefer to play it in this mode). 

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It's weird being an American in Japan because I never remember the US titles of Japanese games that I never grew up with. That's why I use Japanese titles for most things that I've mentioned so far.

 

It took me forever to figure out what Target Earth on the Mega Drive Mini is. I had to actually play it to figure out that it's actually Assault Suit(s) Leynos. That itself is confusing because the title screen says Assault Suits Leynos but the box art says Assault Suit Leynos.

 

Edit: yes, I normally use the Mega Drive Mini in Japanese, so when I switched it to English to see what all changed, I was confused by the sudden appearance of a game called Target Earth.

Edited by Steven Pendleton
Forgot some stuff

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12 hours ago, Steven Pendleton said:

Keep in mind that regular Virtua Racing will not work with a 32X attached. Same with Master System games. You need to either remove the 32X or play Virtua Racing Deluxe, which is absolutely better than Virtua Racing in literally every way. I has a higher resolution, better graphics, better sound quality, higher frame rate, more cars, and more tracks. The SVP chip can also die, leaving you with a useless cart. The first Virtua Racing that I bought last year was like this, but I was able to return it. Deluxe doesn't have the SVP, so that can't happen. Regular Virtua Racing is still a good game and fun, though.

Did you miss the part where he said he would eventually like to pick up a 32x again but doesn't currently? That is why I advised the standard release of Virtua Racing and also noted that the 32x version was superior...but if you don't have that add-on then the standard version is fine for many people. I played the standard version for years until finally getting a 32x of my own.

 

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10 hours ago, -^CrossBow^- said:

Did you miss the part where he said he would eventually like to pick up a 32x again but doesn't currently? That is why I advised the standard release of Virtua Racing and also noted that the 32x version was superior...but if you don't have that add-on then the standard version is fine for many people. I played the standard version for years until finally getting a 32x of my own.

 

This is why I mentioned it, so when he tries to run regular Virtua Racing through the 32X like I did because I didn't have Deluxe yet he doesn't think the game is broken, especially since the SVP chip can stop working.

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Honestly, given the various threads here about non-working or wonky 32X units, and the YouTube repair vids showing how much of kludgy bunch of stuff is stuffed inside, I’m not sure I’ll ever invest in a 32X, especially not one that isn’t sold as guaranteed working. :) I certain’t don’t mind taking stuff apart and fixing it, but those stupid white ribbon cables look like the kind of thing that would just piss me off!

 

Anyway, there are quite literally hundreds of Genesis/MegaDrive roms sitting on my Everdrive card that I’ve never heard of let alone played, so I do appreciate everyone’s suggestions!

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11 minutes ago, DrVenkman said:

Honestly, given the various threads here about non-working or wonky 32X units, and the YouTube repair vids showing how much of kludgy bunch of stuff is stuffed inside, I’m not sure I’ll ever invest in a 32X, especially not one that isn’t sold as guaranteed working. :) I certain’t don’t mind taking stuff apart and fixing it, but those stupid white ribbon cables look like the kind of thing that would just piss me off!

 

Anyway, there are quite literally hundreds of Genesis/MegaDrive roms sitting on my Everdrive card that I’ve never heard of let alone played, so I do appreciate everyone’s suggestions!

Want my opinion as a Super 32X owner? Not worth it unless you're a hardcore Mega Driver like me who is totally obsessed with the system. Most of the games are not that great, and there are only a handful of titles that I would consider to be excellent: Kolibri, Space Harrier, After Burner Complete, and Virtua Racing Deluxe. Everything else is okay at best or barely playable at worst, and even Kolibri is honestly not all that special.

 

I would look into getting a Mega-CD/Sega CD/ MegaSD if you are interested in the CD games, though, as there are some really solid titles on there like Sonic CD, Earthworm Jim Special Edition, Snatcher, and Road Blaster FX/Road Avenger. Your call, though.

 

Just be sure to play this game, which I picked up today! Well, the one of the two of these that actually fits in the system! Good thing I already recommended it!

Pic_0219_229.jpg

Edited by Steven Pendleton

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On 2/14/2020 at 11:42 PM, Steven Pendleton said:

play Virtua Racing Deluxe, which is absolutely better than Virtua Racing in literally every way. I has a higher resolution, better graphics, better sound quality, higher frame rate, more cars, and more tracks.

quoted for truth. 😆

Edited by derFunkenstein

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Not knowing what genres you generally favor, I'll just throw a few of my favorite Genesis offerings below.

Shining Force I & II: Probably my favorite SRPGs of the 90s. The level of charm the exude is through the roof, and the combat is snappy and cerebral. 
Phantasy Star IV: A criminally underappreciated role-playing game that's often overshadowed by the Super Nintendo's more well-known releases.
Beyond Oasis/Story of Thor: Think The Legend of Zelda, but with a fun Middle Eastern aesthetic and punchy, combo-based combat. Highly recommended. Shame the soundtrack is weak for a Yuzo Koshiro production though.

Streets of Rage 1, 2, and 3: They're all fantastic. However, if you have to choose one then I'd recommend SoR II as it's probably one of the most memorable and satisfying brawlers of all time. Killer soundtrack, great graphics, and some unforgettable sprite work really make this one shine.
Splatterhouse 3: A fun horror-themed beat-'em-up with some genuinely eerie production values and non-linear gameplay. I really appreciate the digitized cinematics and satisfying challenge this one offers. 
Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master: Ninja games are great! And when it comes to retro katana-swinging, shuriken-slinging fun, none can beat Shinobi III. A stellar and varied soundtrack, fluid gameplay, and some unforgettable stage designs and boss encounters ensure this title deserves a spot in your collection. 
 

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Pretty much all of my sega cartridges are lesser-known games with the exception of the sonics.

Out of this World / Another World - really early polygonal graphics and pre-rendered video on a genesis cartridge! This game was beautiful when it was created, it's also ridiculously hard (I love hard video games) and has a TON of different levels. Recommend.
 

Bart's Nightmare -  Widely considered a terrible game but I actually really enjoy playing it. The area you start in is basically an over world area, once you find and jump on a page of paper you can play on of the mini-games. It's basically a giant Simpson's mini-game collection on one cart. For sure check out the Bartman and Itchy&Scratchy levels!

 

Haunting starring polterguy - really cool idea for a game where you play as a poltergeist and posess a plethora of household objects to scare the family out of their house. This game is actually really fun all the way up til the nearly impossible final boss of the game (But that happens after every family member is scared out of every house, so you could basically shut the game off and call it done at that point.)

 

Rocket Knight Adventures - A fantastic beat 'em up where you play as a possum in knight armor with a jetpack strapped to his back. The jetpack allows crazy mobility and attacks and the game stays fresh by throwing something new at you on each stage. It starts off looking like a simple kids game but you'll want to play on the easiest setting (give you more life and health) so you can get deep into this fairly long game.

 

I'll also +1 for the above poster's suggestion of Splatterhouse as it's a super fun series. I do have some even less common sega games in my collection but for my opinion the ones I listed are some legit hidden gems of the Genesis console.

 

 

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