From Altered Beast, to Golden Axe, to Comix Zone, Sega was once deeply invested in the beat-em-up genre. Of all their efforts, none were more highly regarded than the Streets of Rage series. Its success in the nineties carried across three entries on the Genesis.
While the genre has long since fallen out of favour due to its simplicity among many other factors, Streets of Rage isn’t exactly down for the count. We just got the critically-acclaimed Streets of Rage 4, which seems like a great modern take on the genre. Does the 90s fan-fave still hold up?
Before Tetris exploded in popularity on the Game Boy, Sega made their own arcade version of the legendary block stacker. From what I gather, a port of this title for the Sega Genesis was in the works before being canned. I’ve also heard that Sega’s arcade version was well-regarded during its time. Finally, it’s arrived as part of the Sega Genesis Mini. Was it worth the wait?
Sega could have been the publisher that kick-started the modern wave of mini retro consoles. They were releasing products in this market years before Nintendo did. Unlike the Big N though, Sega didn’t take this market seriously for a long time. Outsourcing the work to AtGames, they published shoddy devices with poor emulation meant to be sold on the cheap.
Then the NES Classic happened. Consumers appreciated its quality hardware and emulation and the device sold gangbusters. Taking the operation back in-house, the Genesis Mini represents Sega’s attempt at creating a high-caliber mini console that can not only compete against the new wave of competition, but present their legacy in a better light.
Playing old video games in modern times is a weird experience. On one hand, we’ve been able to play older games on newer hardware for quite some time. However, I’ve always preferred the experience of playing games with original controllers on original hardware.
Going the other way, collecting and playing retro games in their original form is such a pain and only getting harder. Classic consoles are oftentimes difficult to hook up to modern TVs and the picture is often compromised. Worse yet, the prices for original copies has soared due to scarcity and demand.
When done right, the modern wave of retro mini consoles is proving to be a solid compromise between the two.
On the morning of Thanksgiving Monday in Canada, I sat down to sample a number of games on the Sega Genesis Mini! We played Sonic the Hedgehog, Tetris, Eternal Champions, Comix Zone, Mega Man: The Wily Wars, Streets of Rage 2, Darius, Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse, and Virtua Fighter 2!
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I did what Nintendidn’t.
Though I’ve been flip-flopping on whether to buy a Sega Genesis Mini for quite some time, a combination of good news and a 20% off coupon at a national pharmacy chain pushed me over the edge. Here’s a look at what’s inside the box!
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What an episode! Kris and Rachel from Double Jump, Jason from Downstab, Mat from Biff Bam Pop, and Jon join me to discuss a whole host of games, including Link’s Awakening, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Celeste, Galaxy Champions TV, Greedfall, the Sega Genesis Mini, Super Mario Maker 2, and more! We also play a round of Video Game Scattegories and OH MY GAWD THAT ENDING THO!!!
Click through for the highlights and shoutouts!