The Sega Genesis is a 16-bit video game console released by Sega Corporation in 1988. As the peanut butter in Nintendo's chocolate, it was Sega's biggest success as a console manufacturer in North America and Europe, though it bombed in Japan. Though gone and completely forgotten, its contribution to video game fanboyism is a legacy which, if we're not careful, will endure until the end of time.
In almost all other parts of the globe outside of North America, the product sold as the Sega Mega Drive, even in France.
- 1 History
- 2 Landmark Titles
- 3 Teh Great War
- 4 See Also
- 5 Links
GENESIS: The Genesis
In the late 80's Sega made the brilliant discovery that morons would pay out the ass for accurate home versions of mediocre System 16 arcade games like Hang-On and Alien Syndrome. Powered by an impressive 16-bit Motorola 68000 processor, a Zilog Z80 co-processor, built-in headphone support, and a mule, Sega Genesis was born.
Originally a stand-alone unit designed to play Altered Beast and Pong, the decision was made for Genesis to accept interchangeable cartridges. Altered Beast, in cartridge format, was made the "pack-in" game. This obsession with using Altered Beast as a flagship title would later burn Sega when the game was exposed to be horseshit.
The Good Times
Though most of Genesis's early portfolio consisted of nothing more than unappealing arcade and Amiga ports along with a shit-ton of sports games, Sega was helped tremendously by the fact that its competitors didn't know what the hell they were doing. On top of that, Sega instituted a brilliant marketing campaign where they totally shat on everything that came before them and promulgated their sheer dominance of the industry through the precept of Divine Right. It was the Genesis Does campaign. This approach was a hit with gamers and earned Sega "Advertiser of the Year" honors from AdWeek Magazine.
Eventually, Sega's arch-nemesis, Nintendo, got their shit together and released the Super Nintendo. This severely cut into Sega's hardcore fanbase of dumbfuck graphics whores. With its successful heritage and mostly superior hardware, Super Nintendo's only weakness seemed to be its substandard processing speeds. Like some cheesy bitch who punts her rapist in the groin, Sega thus ordered its developers to design a game that would exploit this mismatch.
The result, called Sonic the Hedgehog, was released in 1991, and was advertised as a game that could make the screen scroll from left to right faster than Super Mario World. Gamers loved playing as the spunky cartoon hedgehog who moves so fast that no one can tell what's happening on the screen. Sales of Genesis skyrocketed, thrusting Sega into first place. Sonic would go on to be the internet's #1 source of faggotry for the next 19 years, until bronies came along.
Eventually, the counter-cultural advertising became stale and Sega dropped any pretense that they weren't repeatedly trying to bone loyal customers. As sales began to lag, they released dozens of add-ons, summarily dropping support for each whenever they forgot to take their Adderall. Soon after, they massively fucked over developers and retailers alike with their super-secret surprise launch of Sega Saturn, effectively ending support for Genesis entirely. Subsequently, they forgot to make a good Sonic game for about 5 years and were forced to go third-party in 2001.
Sega, blinded with fame, marketed a add-on optical disc palyer that cost $10 billion and you taped it to the underside of the console with duct tape. Unsuprisingly, it sucked. Most of the games were advertised as having Full Motion Video, which today would look like watching a Youtube video in 144p. Most of them were interactive movies, which were considered shit back then, but ironic considering the games that get acclaim today. There was also that one Sonic game for it, but nobody cared (mainly since it just fucking sucked). Other notable games include Final Fight CD (which was pretty much the only way to play the original Final Fight with 2 players until Capcom released a port of it on the Game Boy Advance), Snatcher (which is often praised by many Hideo Kojima fanboys), and some JRPGs imported by Working Designs that were eventually out on the PS1 anyways.
SEGA, thinking that people still gave a shit about 16-bit consoles when 32-bit machines were coming, decided to release another add-on for it. This one plugged into the top of the Genesis like some fugly brain tumor and still required its own power supply. Fared even worse than the MEGA-CD, with barely any titles on it that you couldn't just get on another platform.
Sega, who thought that people would play Sega Genesis games out of their houses, created the Sega Nomad in 1995. While it was fun, Sega made the same mistake that killed the Game Gear by having consumers spend over $9000 in AA batteries. Even with batteries, however, the Nomad sucked the life out of them within 3 hours. And it didn't have a reset button, so X-Men is technically unplayable. It was also prone to freezing up due to over-sensitivity to nudging.
Michael Jackson's Moonwalker (1989)
Based on the blockbuster hit, a launch title for the genesis that has you playing as Wacko Jacko himself. Rescue kids from evil henchmen by kicking them in the shins with pixie dust, and then turn into a giant robot version of yourself to rescue even more kids.
Rings of Power (1991)
Otherwise a clunky, non-descript assfest, Rings of Power made waves among gaming fanatics with its secret code that would make a topless woman appear on the copyright screen. Though later projects would expose developer Naughty Dog as a seamy confabulation of wanton homoerotic furries, their influence on the field of heterosexual game development lives to this day in classics like BMX XXX and Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball.
The Ooze (1994)
Normally when a game's protagonist gets melted into a puddle of smoldering ooze, it's a fair signal that the player needs to pack it in and start over. But that would be abiding by the old, Nintendo way of thinking. What if, instead, the game never ended and you actually got to experience life as a wobbling coagulation of viscous green slime? Such an extraordinary idea is the basis for the classic Genesis action-RPG game The Ooze.
Released alongside an embarrassing Super Nintendo version, Interplay's Boogerman: A Pick and Flick Adventure for Genesis was a stirring affirmation of the Sega lifestyle. Chronicling the heroics of everyman Snotty Ragsdale in his struggle to defeat the evil Boogermeister of Dimension X Crement, Boogerman delivered arguably the most compelling entertainment experience of 1994.
Indeed, never before had boogers been portrayed with such flair and abundance as in the Genesis version of Boogerman. By comparison, the Super Nintendo version, sans the inscrutable sorcery of Blast Processing, was limited to a paltry six boogers on-screen at a time.
Alien Soldier (1995)
This game is fucking awesome. You play as some bird robot thing named Epsilon Eagle and dash your way through tons of enemies coming straight out of a Giger piece. GOTYAY, everyone else go home.
Virtua Fighter 2 (1996)
One of the system's final releases, Virtua Fighter 2 Genesis is a fascinating interpretation of the popular arcade game. When it was announced, fans thought they were getting a semi-faithful conversion using the special 3D chip from Virtua Racing. What they got was a watered down, two-dimensional approximation of what Virtua Fighter would be like if it was developed by the makers of Pit Fighter. Further salt in the wound was the omission of characters Shun and Lion, which was about the only thing that differentiated Virtua Fighter 2 from the first one.
Teh Great War
Before the 16-bit systems, fanboyism had been a diffuse, interdisciplinary struggle between adolescent computer nerds and small children who played Nintendo. Buoyed by a two-year head start over 16-bit Super Nintendo however, Sega Genesis was able to build a strong foundation of renegade players determined to take it to The Next Level.
With a schism evident, and no internets for the facilitation of stupid bickering, the drama IRL would surely lead to a pathetic confrontation. Frightened and confused, beleaguered gamers rapidly polarized behind either upstart Sega or juggernaut Nintendo. A period of aggressive recruitment followed, each faction aggressively wooing "undecid-eds" with promises of ritzy sleepovers, exclusive homework syndicates, and unlimited creamsicles for all.
And then there was war. Opening salvos were tentative-- a remark about one's mom perhaps, a wandering spitball, or an innocent flick to the earlobe. Gradually, the walk to morning homeroom became a solemn march into the simmering abyss of hell. Sportsmanship was now at a premium, dodgeballs in PE Class hideously morphing into pain-inducing spheroids. Lunch period, once a gentlemanly paragon of order and tact, became a desperate, knife-wielding free-for-all, unstymied by the traffic light's protestations for 30 more seconds of quiet time.
The aftermath was severe, and the effects far-reaching. To this day, no one can purchase a video game system without it making a profound statement about their value as a human being. Whether it be a Playstation or a Xbox, a Dreamcast or
an N-GAGE (NOBODY IN THEIR RIGHT FUCKING MIND BUYS AN N-GAGE), rest assured that a claim of ownership upon a game console is hardly a right, but a privilege and a commitment to a way of life. The buyer should nevar forget that console ownership entails a grave ideological responsibility, both to those who have come before him, as well as to all who follow in his stead.
Sega Genesis is part of a series on
Visit the Gaming Portal for complete coverage.