Thursday, May 23, 2024

The Sega Genesis had a long life as it released in 1989 but received new releases up until 1998. With that many years under its belt there were destined to be plenty of games that slip through the cracks. While sports games, platformers, and arcade conversions received the lion’s share of attention on the console it has a diverse lineup of titles spanning every genre. These are some of the Genesis games I feel deserve a higher profile and are every bit as deserving of your time as the more popular classics. Trust me, there are enough hidden gems to make three more of these lists too!

Alisia Dragoon

Released early in the Genesis’ life span Alisia Dragoon is a lost classic from the makers of Lunar and Grandia. Like those games it is also a collaboration with animation studio Gainax. You will not find the extensive cutscenes of those games here however. What you will find is a kick ass action game with a unique mechanic unlike anything else in the genre. Alisia’s homing thunderbolt automatically charges and will seek out any enemies in the vicinity. At full power it makes a full sweep that usually clears the rank and file trash. It wildly changes your approach to the game since you cannot treat like a typical run and gun action game. In combination with your four familiars you’ll have a hell of a time working your way through the game’s eight stages in this fusion of high fantasy and science fiction. Even stacked up against later offerings the graphics and music are still impressive and you sure as hell won’t finish it in one sitting. As a bonus it’s also dirt cheap due to its low profile. You have no excuse not to pick this one up!

Trouble Shooter

Vik Tokai never published a breakout hit that garnered them mass market attention. However the numerous B-tier releases they did have are the reason I miss their presence. Trouble Shooter could easily have been a licensed Dirty Pair game but wholly original. You control both Madison and Crystal simultaneously with the option to change their positions as the situation dictates. It is certainly different and the multi scrolling levels take full advantage of this. The level design is excellent as the game offers opportunities to By the end of the game you’ll control three characters at once which is absolutely nuts. The game’s plot and wacky situations belie a game that can be tough yet still enjoyable. If it were a bit longer it would be a classic. But that is what sequels are for….

Granada

Anyone who owned a Sega Genesis early on is more than likely familiar with Renovation. They were one of the earliest supporters of the platform and provided a variety of content. While you had dogs like Earnest Evans you also had great games like El VIento and this gem. Granada has an awesome sense of scale even though you are in a tank. The levels are massive as you must plan your route to destroy your targets within the time limit. The clock is strict as you not only need to eliminate all the targets but also have enough time to beat the end level bosses as well. The action quota is high and the boss battles are epic due to the game’s scale. I love the strategy plotting a course to accomplish your goals and explore a bit; the later Desert Strike games would take this ball and run with it. Granada did it first however and remains a great buy to this day.

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Ristar

Ristar was a victim of Sega infighting by 1995 and did not receive the marketing push it deserved. With Sonic Team pedigree behind it Ristar should reside alongside the platforming greats rather than languishing in obscurity. Alas, someone was asleep at the wheel. Ristar’s elongated arms can be used to grab nearly any surface in the game to aid in platforming hijinks. But you will mostly use it to deliver a vicious head butt to anyone in your path. While you can see the areas where it borrows… …

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