God bless the 16-bit video game system! Sega Genesis, known in Japan as the Mega Drive hit the stores in 1990. It went up against the ever-popular Nintendo Game system as well as the early arrival of the home PC gaming movement. While Nintendo was an 8-bit system, the Sega Genesis was the first video gaming system on the market, console-based wise.
In its time, the Sega Genesis sold over 30 million units around the world. The system, failing by the wayside to the stability of the Nintendo sales, and then eventually, the introduction of the Nintendo 16-bit system, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, the Genesis fell off the market in popularity. In the end, Sega tried to re-coop interest via the public in their brand via the introduction of the ahead-of-its-time CD-Rom console system Sega Saturn, but that too didn't make the cut up against the Nintendo juggernaut. But, the Sega Genesis was not without its fans, or without its run of wonderfully under-rated games that were exclusive to the system. What follows is the list of our favorite Sega Genesis video games.
Besides Sonic The Hedgehog, Altered Beast may be the most recognized Sega Genesis video the console ever released. Certainly, it had its fans, and Altered Beast was badass. Moving left to right across the screen through graveyards of dark realms, while being attacked by creatures, monsters, and zombies, Altered Beast afforded the player to catch these cool little glowing orbs which allowed you to shift into a wild werewolf creature that had superpowers. As the beast, you were so strong that you could kick zombies and they would explode right in front of you. Totally cool.
They don't make games like Earthworm Jim anymore, as it had this great blend of comedy and fun gaming interface. It wasn't like today, where we have games that revel in extreme kid-dom or goofiness and don't necessarily afford for serious gameplay. And it was damn weird too. As an earthworm you would race a crow through space, you had to stop a puppy-dog from eating you, and you were a worm in a superhero outfit. Weird, but damn cool.
Toejam and Earl
Along the same lines of Earthworm Jim, comes Toejam and Earl. The entire basis of the game is that you basically just walk around, stopping here or there to open presents. Toejam and Earl were aliens, and they traversed an alien world trying to find gifts. You did this, while at the same time you had to get away from moles, swarms of bees, and even sharks--yes, sharks. It was weird, perhaps, even weirder than Earthworm Jim.
While, on the surface, Golden Axe, on the exterior looks in some way closely-related in appearance to Altered Beast, Golden Axe is anything but. It was a game like Altered Beast in the sense that you walked across the screen killing ass but what made the game so fun was that you could be a variety of characters during. You could be a midget, a crazed-warrior, or an Amazon. The challenge? You had to defeat Death. Yes, a literal death, a harbinger. Crazy, cool.
Zombie Ate My Neighbors
Perhaps, the first zombie game, and one that beat out Resident Evil for that title. The basic premise was that you walked around through a mass of undead but also had to deal with aliens, haunted toys, mummies, and giant babies. Yes, it was weird. The beauty of having to deal with the undead was that they couldn't chase after you unless you were facing them or within a certain proximity to them. So, it that made it all just a little bit easy. Fun and easy.