Sega Genesis

By: Nick Gambino

When I was coming up back in the day there were two types of kids: those that played Nintendo and those that played Sega. Now there was some overlap and we each dabbled in playing the other system but you were viciously loyal to the one that took up most of your evenings and weekends.

I myself was a Sega kid or more accurately a Sega Genesis fiend. As Rakim said, “I was a fiend before I became a teen.” While the other kids were running around hopping on mushrooms or rescuing Zelda (Zelda was a princess, right?) I was spinning out of control playing numerous versions of Sonic.

While others were playing kiddie games made up of pink and bright blue colors I was ripping heads off opponents in Mortal Kombat using blood cheat codes. Sure, Super Nintendo (SNES) had Mortal Kombat but they did away with the blood and some of the more gruesome fatalities, replacing them with sweat and tamer options to “Finish Him.”

Because of my history with the all black gaming console I was super excited to hear that the original Sega Genesis (known as Mega Drive outside North America) would be going back into production. Now, I still have my original system and a large box of games but it’s nice knowing that if that ever dies I’ll still have the option to get my Sega fix.

Tectoy, a Brazillian toy manufacturer, is producing the officially licensed system. While they’ve made a couple of modifications, they’ve also done a pretty good job at staying faithful to the original. Modifications include an SD slot and 22 pre-loaded games which are listed on their site. I see Altered Beast is on the list which was my JAM!

Now if you’re looking to start playing Genesis again, or for the first time, you’ll probably want some sort of guidance on what games to play. Here is a list of my favorite Genesis games hands down:

  • Altered Beast
  • Sonic Spinball
  • Jurassic Park
  • Flashback
  • Batman Returns
  • Rocket Knight Adventures
  • Ecco the Dolphin (yeah, yeah I know but just check out this gameplay)
  • Shadowrun
  • NBA Jam (obviously)
  • Madden ‘92 (the game that taught me everything about Football)
  • Jungle Strike
  • Streets of Rage
  • Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker (again, I know but it’s a good time, trust me)
  • Mortal Kombat (1, 2 and UMK3)
  • Outlander
  • Skitchin’
  • WWF Royal Rumble
  • T2: The Arcade Game
  • Eternal Champions

I saved the best for last as Eternal Champions is easily my #1. It is one of the first, if not the first, fighting games to be built from the ground up on a home console system, not ported from an Arcade. The game put a new spin on what Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat were doing.

There are probably plenty of others that at least deserve an honorable mention but that’s a decent list if you’re looking to give retro gaming a try.

Now that I’ve whet your appetite I’ve got some bad news. Tectoy doesn’t currently have any plans to release the Sega Genesis outside of Brazil. I know, bummer. But don’t worry, all is not lost. You have two plays here. If you’re going to Brazil or know someone in Brazil, you can pick one up for about $125

If international travel plans aren’t on the horizon then you can check out the AtGames version of the classic Genesis console. It’s not exactly the same as what we had back in the day but it allows you to play your old cartridges and also has 80 games built into it. Wireless controllers and a simple plug and play feature make it an interesting buy. The $99.99 price tag doesn’t hurt either.

Reminiscing in this article has got me psyched about pulling out my Genesis and playing some games. I’ll see you in about 14 hours!


Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.