The Sega Mega Drive was, to most of the rest of the world, the Sega Genesis. I had one of these excellent consoles growing up and I often end up looking up videos, remembering the great games the console had. Oh sure, there’s Sonic, for sure, but that’s not all the console had. Today I’m just going to chat about four different games from the Sega Mega Drive that I absolutely adored as a kid. For obvious reasons, I am not going to count Sonic, because I think that’s a given. Nevertheless, check out some of these more obscure games and one that everyone should know.
Bubsy the Bobcat
Right, starting with the one that wanted to rival Sonic, it’s Bubsy. At the time, Bubsy was one of the most hyped characters for a video game, as well as earning a “Best New Character” award in a printed publication. So Bubsy was on a great path, but let’s be honest – Coming for Sonic was a bad idea. Nevertheless, Bubsy was a fantastic action platformer for its time, with a few great twists. However, some elements really upset people – Fall damage in a platformer? Personally, once I understood the mechanics, I found the game really well thought out.
You play as the titular Bubsy in his bright white t-shirt. He collects yarn and beats up aliens. He can glide around the place, as well as slot into specifically shaped walls and more. Bubsy invited exploration and it was easy to play through. The levels got progressively more challenging, but a lot of the early levels if you got enough momentum, you could just go from one end of the map to the other.
Codemasters is a name that’ll mean a lot to us Sega fans. They were literally everywhere and this, to me, was one of their absolute best games, although again I feel like a lot of people either won’t know of it, or won’t necessarily have cared for it. Cosmic Spacehead was effectively half a point and click adventure game and half an action platformer. You did the platforming between stages, which led to you unlocking the next stage. You would get items in the stages to progress the game further.
What I really liked about Cosmic Spacehead is how it was unapologetic for what it was. It knew it was a game and gave you occasionally ridiculous tasks to do. The last level is that of a space station and you have to unlock every room to finish. You had to basically fuel up a space car, which led to you then getting to an asteroid field that you had to blast your way through in order to be victorious. Cosmic Spacehead was equally funny and ridiculous.
Toejam and Earl
Right, this game was weird as hell and that’s why I loved it. You play as a pair of groovy aliens, called Toejam and Earl. These two want to just get back home, by repairing their space ship that’s crash landed on Earth. Now, to these guys, Earth was a totally strange place, with really weird customs. So they would groove their way through this strange planet, trying to learn how to get on by so they could collect their spaceship parts.
A bizarre game, well worth looking at. There’s a new title on Steam called Back in the Groove, so check that out.
If you’re telling me you don’t know this game, you really need to change that. Now.
“Rise from the grave!” – This is etched in my memory. You would play as a man with the power of various beasts. You collected power ups by kicking the heads off of zombies, for real. Once you collected a power up, your shirt would shred to pieces and you’d be a mountain of a man. After that, you’d turn into a beast; perhaps a werewolf, perhaps a bird-man, whatever. It didn’t matter. You were just the coolest and that’s all. I loved Altered Beast, this game was too cool, drenched in the honey of mythology.
As a kid, there were a few consoles I absolutely loved. I had a Game Gear, a GameBoy (normal and colour) and more. There were a lot of consoles I didn’t have access to, such as the GameCube and pretty much most Nintendo home consoles. However, the Sega was the one I always went back to – It was one of the easiest to get behind, one of the coolest in terms of the diversity of the titles… And it was pretty much a staple of my house. If you were a Sega MegaDrive (or Genesis) fan, leave your favourite games in the comments below, or on Facebook and Twitter.