Another series of Sega Genesis games have been released digitally for PC and as before the Sega Addicts are here to help you make an educated decision on what games to buy. Right now the games are all available on www.gamersgate.com and should be coming to Steam in the near future. If you’re interested in some of the emulation specifics and reviews for the first series of games you can find that here.
Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
Alex: Get it. Of the five Alex Kidd games released this is the only one made for the Sega Genesis. It’s a decent effort and it plays more like the original game, Alex Kidd in Miracle World, than any of the sequels. It’s not as good as many of the platformers that would appear later on the Genesis but it has some interesting ideas and is one of the better games in the Alex Kidd series.
Tom: Get it. How can you pass up Alex Kidd on the Genesis? By most platformer standards, it’s a really hard game–the controls are floaty, you die after only one hit, and simply grazing an enemy means you’re screwed. But, it does have cool items/vehicles, rock/paper/scissor matches to win swag, and some very interesting level designs and enemies. Visually it’s great, and it captures that strange, colorful, playful style that Alex Kidd has come to embody.
Alex: Get it. One of the earliest stealth based videogames, Bonanza Bros. can’t be criticized for not being unique. It can be overly difficult and frustrating at times but the game has a lot of charm and playing with a second player always makes it more enjoyable.
Pat: Don’t get it. This game hasn’t aged as very well, and it’s not a whole lot of fun to play alone. It’s also one of the hardest games on the list, which will most likely cause you to stop playing it very fast, even if you find someone else to play with.
Alex: Don’t get it. There are hundreds of falling block games out there and Columns is yet another one. It lacks the personality of Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine and the gameplay itself often falls on the boring side.
Tom: To all puzzle game fanatics or completists, get it; everybody else, don’t get it. For its time it was pretty good, but with all the innovative puzzle games to come out afterward, it doesn’t hold up very well. Its visual style is unique (at least it was before everyone and their Grandma made a jewel-based puzzle game) and the soundtrack’s solemn synthesized organ fugues give it an unique feel, but in the end that’s not enough.
Andrew: Get it. While I can completely understand where Alex is coming from in his love of Dr. Robotnik and his Mean Bean Machine, Columns definitely harkens back to some of the best times I had sitting in front of a Genesis and in my opinion still holds up today.
Stevie: Don’t get it. It’s a sub-par puzzler which is neither exciting or fun. You’d have better fun contemplating your existence on a rainy day in the park. Not fun.
Brett: Don’t get it. With the HUGE amount of games in the same vein available on the PC, with some of those being freeware, I just can’t justify buying it unless you REALLY loved it.
Pat: Don’t get it. There’s nothing Columns has that some other puzzle game doesn’t. It’s very bland and I can’t imagine anyone not getting bored of it quickly.
Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
Alex: Get it. Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine is one of the best puzzle games on the Genesis. If you’re familiar with any of the Puyo Puyo games you’ll know exactly what to expect as this is basically just a Sonic styled re-skinning of the series.
Brett: Get it. Very borderline here. Like I’ve said, there are so many falling object puzzle games on the PC, and that makes this a little redundant. On the flip side, to my knowledge, there aren’t many like the Puyo Puyo series, and this one’s really good (and still is!), so… I guess I’d say I’m 60/40 in favor of buy.
Pat: Get it. It’s basically Puyo Puyo against Robotnik’s crew. The enemies all have unique play styles which keep the game feeling fresh for much longer than you would expect. The multiplayer mode could consume your life though if you have a friend who likes it.
Josh: Don’t get it. Many of the people who endured the sky-high difficulty of the original Eccos managed to remain hooked because of the engaging ambience and interesting challenges. Ecco Jr. drops all of that in exchange for bland scavenger hunts and a hand-holding difficulty.
Tom: Get it! Get it three times. Just because. Back in the day, it stood out to me as a refreshingly methodical and detail-oriented fighting game compared to the button mashing fighters that flooded the market at the time, and even though 2D fighting games are pretty passe by now, Eternal Champions holds up well. It’s also got unique characters, innovative special moves and a bevy of extras, like a customizable training room, instant replay on versus matches, and a surprisingly original and complex plot for a fighting game. Plus, it’s got a female ninja in leather lingerie. Why are you still reading this? GO BUY IT!
Andrew: Get it. For a unique and interesting fighting title, Eternal Champions was doubtlessly overlooked when placed side-by-side against the media juggernaut that Mortal Kombat became. Despite a few shortcomings and a learning curve that can spiral into ridiculous on the higher difficulties, it’s worth a look if for no other reason than the stellar soundtrack.
Josh: Get it. It’s rare that a fighting game gets so much praise for its unique story. The fighting’s nothing amazing, but the creative character design is undeniably vintage Sega. It’s just a shame you can’t hook up an Activator to your computer.
Galaxy Force II
Alex: Get it. If you like the After Burner games and have ever thought to yourself “this would be better if it took place in outer space” then this game is for you. The gameplay and controls are almost identical and I found the visual style and soundtrack to be just as, if not more, impressive than the Genesis After Burner games.
Andrew: Get it. I think we all know how I feel about this one.
Stevie: Get it. Awesome little game. Fun and refreshing, with a nice style of gameplay. Maybe a bit hard for some players but it defiantly has it’s charm. Worth a try at the very least.
Pat: Get it. With over 100 levels and branching paths between them, it’s not uncommon to find yourself playing this game a lot. The power-ups are great, the stages are well-designed and the controls are smooth; it’s everything a platformer should be. But beware, it’s really hard.
Alex: Get it. This is one of the most beautiful and well designed games on the Genesis. Ristar is actually inspired by the original designs for Sonic the Hedgehog and his first and only game is just as good as Sonic’s were. It’s too bad it never spawned a sequel.
Tom: Get it. This game’s easy on the eyes, innovative, and most importantly, fun! The level design is much more interactive than your typical 90s platformer, and by the end of the game, you’ll feel like a master of acrobatics! It’s clear by its quality and appearance that Ristar was made by the same developer as Sonic, and even feels like it could take place in the same universe.
Stevie: GET IT NOW. Oh my god this game is so good. I could go on for hours about the subtle things that make the game great, or the fun visual style which keeps me engaged. But really it’s just a fun little game you have to discover for yourself. Please, if you haven’t played this, get it. You won’t regret it unless you’re a horrible person.
Pat: Get it. The mechanic behind this game makes it unique from other platformer. You don’t jump on enemies; you grab them and smash into them! It’s not only fun to play but gorgeous to look at, and the music is great. It’s rewarding on all fronts and well worth your money.
Josh: Get it. The graphics are gorgeous and colorful, the music is as catchy and enjoyable as some of Sonic’s best, and the arm-stretching gameplay is like Stretch Panic with out all the nightmares.
Alex: Get it. The game may be a little gimmicky and overly difficult but somehow the combination of Sonic and pinball just works. The ability to actually have some control over the ball and where it goes makes this more than just a regular pinball game that you can play on the Genesis. Good luck getting past just the first level though.
Stevie: Don’t get it. Really this is just an average game. Ii would love to say it was a surprising gem, but I just can’t get into it. It’s too hard for it’s own good, don’t bother.
Brett: Get it. Seriously one of the best pinball games I’ve ever played. Frustrating, but very fun. Plus it’s one of those rare Sonic spinoffs that actually worked.
Pat: Get it. If you like pinball on any level this game is definitely worth your time. Sonic is the ball and you can control him outside of smashing him into things. He fell through the bumpers? No problem, just navigate him back up and keep playing.
Josh: Get it. Despite disappointingly weak sound design and a crushing difficulty level, Spinball remains my favorite franchise-based pinball title. If challenging table layouts, clever physics and the Sonic name aren’t enough to justify your purchase, then I might steer clear.
Super Thunder Blade
Alex: Don’t get it. Imagine Space Harrier only with helicopters and horrible depth perception and you’ll get an idea of what Super Thunder Blade is. Dodging oncoming missiles has never been so frustrating.
Brett: Don’t get it. Do not WANT. The little bit I played to get the achievement on the PS3 Mega Collection turned me off of ever wanting to play it again.
Pat: Don’t get it. It’s really hard to tell where you are in relation to the objects coming towards you, which makes this game very difficult and frustrating. A modern re-imagining of this game might be more fun, but, until that happens, you should pass on it.