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Found 13 results

  1. Over at SegaAge I ran a thread focused on confirming as much information as possible on Sega Genesis games and the contents of CIB games. A lot of it was pulled from my own collection and from years of watching eBay auctions. Over time, I've pulled in lots of great info from other members and the project has continued to evolve and improve: Here is the spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1IKheEp9_Ww1YFwj_1MvMF_1Vw8Ed6nksmDy9-BfA9nQ/edit?usp=sharing In its current form, there is still a lot of data I'm transitioning over to the new format, which will allow for greater use of filtering. For example, at a minimum you'd be able to sort release by Canadian to see all Canadian releases (or Sega Classics, or Mega Hit, or VG Classics). For any games that originally came packaged with no inserts, the plan is to write "No inserts" in the Insert 1 column (column I), which would also allow for filtering on that criteria. Posters and reg cards have their own columns. Columns O, P, and Q are eventually intended to allow for more thorough input on data to account for games with lots of print runs. Column R "Box Sort" would let you sort by games that are Clamshell Only, Cardboard Only, or Both. But that will take a long time for me to go back through and fill out. Anyway, I wanted to get the link shared over here. I'm always soliciting new information and if you open up a game from sealed, please share as well!
  2. Sega Genesis games and accessories wanted. Loose only please. Boxes and manuals not needed. Condition needs to be Excellent/Very Good. Please see the picture below as an example. Payment via PayPal. The values listed are what I am wanting to pay, shipping (to Oklahoma) included. I also have a very nice copy of Demon's Crest for SNES available in trade. Let me know if that is of interest and I can send pictures. Example of game condition wanted: Wanted: Alisia Dragoon ($40) Championship Pro-Am ($5) DJ Boy ($10) Ecco the Dolphin ($5) Ecco: The Tides of Time ($5) Ghostbusters ($40) Mystical Fighter ($40) Shadowrun ($30) Street Fighter II Champion Edition ($10) Tecmo Super Bowl ($5) Wonder Boy in Monster World ($30) 3 button controller with red numbers ($10) 6 button MK-1470 turbo controller ($15) Sega branded controller extension ($5) *Would buy a matched pair also
  3. While there are several collector's guides for games themselves, I've noticed there doesn’t seem to be a good list of console box variants anywhere. There is an old list on the Sega-16 forum from ~10 years ago, but it only covers some of the Genesis Model 2's variants, and unfortunately all of the image links are long-defunct. So I spent some time these past few weeks researching and putting together a list and images of all the variants for the North American Genesis models 1-3, CD model 1 & 2, 32X add-on, CDX, X’EYE, and Nomad that I could find. I’ll break this up into a few posts due to the number of images. Front and back images have been provided, where available. Note: This should not be regarded as a complete list, I will update it as more are found/images provided, so please feel free to contribute! Genesis Model 1 US Base System (No Pack-in) Variants 1) Base model – game not included, "The Core System" badge in bottom-right corner, “Join the 16-Bit Revolution” badge in top-left corner: 2) “Eternal Champions” sticker, "The Core System" badge in bottom-right corner, “Join the 16-Bit Revolution” badge in top-left corner. I was on the fence about including this one, it doesn’t really look like the kind of sticker Sega would slap on there before shipping to a store, but I could be wrong... I’m open to opinions about this: US Game Pack-In Variants 1) “Arcade Hit! Altered Beast” badge on right side: 2) “Arcade Hit! Altered Beast” badge on right side, "Value Pak" badge on left side: 3) “Fighting System” (Streets of Rage 2) badge in bottom-right corner, “Leader of 16-Bit Revolution” badge in top-left corner, red/yellow background: 4) “Sonic System” badge in bottom-right corner, “Join the 16-Bit Revolution” badge in top-left corner: 5) “Sonic the Hedgehog” badge in bottom-right corner is a little bigger than the below variant, “Includes Inside” text at bottom-left is only one line, “Leader of 16-Bit Revolution” badge in top-left corner: 6) “Sonic the Hedgehog” badge in bottom-right corner is a little smaller than the above variant, “Includes Inside” text at bottom-left is two lines, “Leader of 16-Bit Revolution” badge in top-left corner: 7) “Sonic the Hedgehog” badge in bottom-right corner is smaller (like the above variant), “Includes Inside” text at bottom-left is two lines, “Leader of 16-Bit Revolution” badge in top-left corner, “Value Pak” sticker (box includes Columns & 2nd controller): 8.) Two carts included: “Sonic the Hedgehog” badge in bottom-right corner is bigger than the above variant, "Taz in Escape from Mars" badge on left, “Includes Inside” text at bottom-left is one line, “Leader of 16-Bit Revolution” badge in top-left corner, “Value Pak” sticker (box includes Columns & 2nd controller): Canadian Base System (No Pack-in) Variants 1) English/French language, “The Core System ” badge in bottom-right corner, “Join the 16-Bit Revolution” badge in top-left corner, "$50 Rebate" sticker on the left: 2) English/French language, “The Core System ” badge in bottom-right corner, “Join the 16-Bit Revolution” badge in top-left corner, no "Rebate" sticker: 3) English/French language, blank box (no “Core”/”16-Bit Revolution” badges): 4) English/French language, blank box (no “Core”/”16-Bit Revolution” badges), yellow "$50 Rebate" sticker in bottom-right: Canadian Game Pack-in Variants 1) “Arcade Hit! Altered Beast” badge on right side, English/French language: 2) English/French language, “The Sonic System ” badge in bottom-right corner, “Join the 16-Bit Revolution” badge in top-left corner: 3) English/French language, “Sonic The Hedgehog” badge in top-right corner:
  4. Greetings all! I'm a Sega Genesis collector and only a hair's breadth away from a full CIB North American set. All I'm looking for now is a copy of Normy's Beach Babe-O-Rama, specifically one with a good condition manual (a better condition box would be nice too, but the manual is the key part). If you have one and are willing to part with a copy, or have any leads on one, please let me know! I'm willing to pay fair market price (negotiable) or to work out a trade from my growing collection of Genesis extras (I have a lot of stuff I'm in the process of selling off, most are complete & in good condition, inquire for better pics): (N.A. residents are preferable for trades, international is always a hassle ) Thank you for helping a fellow collector! EDIT: Nevermind, found one!
  5. Greetings, all. We're back for part 2 of my riveting journey through the top 10 shoot 'em up games on the Sega Genesis. If you didn't catch part 1 which covers numbers 10 through 6, you can find it on the home page of my blog, or on the bottom of this page where it says “previous entry.” I'll reiterate here that the criteria of my top 10 is based on the North American releases for the Sega Genesis. I realize that there are many highly regarded shoot 'em up games which were released in foreign markets and did not make it to North America, but my list does not take them into account. In the future, I hope to branch out into Japanese releases in particular, but thus far, I have only collected and played through the North American shoot 'em up releases. And once again, I'll preface the list with the disclaimer that my list is not the be all end all, just the opinion of a wild and crazy guy. Feel free to call me an idiot or whatever if my opinion differs from yours. And with that, here's the conclusion to the 'Top 10 Sega Genesis Shoot 'em Ups.' 5. Lightening Force (aka Thunder Force IV) The most beautiful looking shooter on the Genesis and one of the most beautiful looking games on the entire system, Lightening Force is a graphical juggernaut. This game pushes the Genesis to the limit, there’s no other way to put it. The finest examples of parallax scrolling, and there are some effects that I’ve only ever seen duplicated on later CD-based games. However, for all of the incredible graphical effects that make my eyes weep, there is a hefty price to pay……SLOW DOWN! Holy spit is there a ton of slow down in this game. It’s not Super R-Type bad, but it sho ain’t good. With that elephant out in the open, the game is still Thunder Force, and is therefore, still a blast to play. In comparison to the prior game in the series, this one definitely ups the ante in the difficulty department, particularly with the boss battles. And while you can switch between weapons on the fly in this game just as in the prior, here there just seems to be a bit more strategy involved in your decisions. Not that that wasn’t also the case in TFIII, but in this game, choosing the right weapon for each situation seems to be more important and comes up more often than in the predecessor. There’s no doubt that this is the most polished game in the Genesis TF series. Anyway, I get that many a gamer fawns over this one, and rightfully so, it is a great game with incredibly impressive visuals and an excellent kickass Technosoft soundtrack that is memorable and highly appropriate for the proceedings, particularly the deeper into the game you get; however, while the gameplay has some tweaks from the previous game, it is not anything that we haven’t seen in the series before, as it basically plays the same as TFIII. Now, that is not a bad thing, as TFIII is one of the best shooters on the system, but the massive amount of slow down in Lightening Force just makes it less fun to play overall, so I don’t like it quite as much. Obviously, with all of that said, Lightening Force still broke into my top 5, so I still enjoy playing the heck out of it, but it’s just not the pinnacle of Genesis shooters to me that it is for many gamers. 4. Granada Have you ever wanted to man a super powered tank and eff some stuff up? If so, then Granada is the game for you. As Leon, you get to drive Granada, “a maneuver cepter from which unit or country of origin is unknown. This weapon has been destroying all kinds of weapons one after the other regardless of attached camps, north or south. Somebody calls it “god of the African continent,” another calls it “ghost of the soldiers.” Only those who actually happen to see it know the truth.” Yeah, yeah, yeah, Wolf Team, we get it. It’s a badass tank that blows stuff up. Hahahaha. What makes Granada different than the other Genesis shooters is not only the fact that your vehicle is a tank instead of a plane or ship, but that each level of the game has a set of objectives that you must complete before getting to face the stage end boss. This brings in the ability to strategize your way through the levels as you have to choose which targets to take out in which order. The stages are laid out in a maze pattern, and there are traps along the way which can impede your tank. The tank can shoot and move in any direction, plus it has the ability to strafe while holding a button which is absolutely imperative during certain boss battles. There are different weapons which can be picked up for your tank as well as little satellite buddies which help your tank out by giving a little added protection and extra fire power. These little fellas are hidden throughout the levels which adds more incentive to search the levels a bit instead of just making a beeline for the targets. And finally, regarding your shots, you can hold the button to power up your shot to make it do extra damage. This is a big help during boss fights, just be sure to hold your strafe to dodge attacks while that baby is warming up. Graphically, the game is nothing to get all that excited about. While the level layouts are clever and fun to negotiate, the colors and textures are rather bland. Also, your tank and most of the enemies are small and don’t exactly have all that much detail. The bosses, on the other hand, are huge, creative and often colorful. They really stand out compared to the rest of the design choices in the game. The music is average to perhaps slightly above average for the shooter genre, as it’s upbeat and appropriate for the goings on, but I wouldn’t load it up on a mixtape or anything. Serviceable is probably the best word to describe it. Phew, now with all of that out of the way, is Granada fun? Hells yes, it is! Maneuvering that little tank throughout the stage mazes is fun as all get out, and the designs of the levels have obviously had plenty of thought put into them. There are 9 levels total and some of the end bosses are really cool looking. One of the end bosses hangs out in a box with walls that deflect your shot. To best describe what I mean, this simulates a pool table. So, you must use your geometry skills to judge the angles of your shots to bounce of the walls the right way to hit the boss. I loved this boss fight and wish there were more like it in the game. Regardless, it’s all fun, and while it is certainly unorthodox in comparison to the multitude of other Genesis shooters, Granada stands out as one of the best. 3. Thunder Force III When I first picked up Thunder Force III on my Genesis back in the day, I wasn’t yet familiar with the series. I hadn’t yet played TFII or Lightening Force, and didn’t know exactly what to expect beyond the screenshots and what was written on the back of the box. I just knew that I liked shooters and I thought that it looked like a cool game. Well, I chose wisely that day because TFIII is a top-notch horizontal shooter that does everything right. Right off the bat, the game is jam packed with character as you get to choose from 5 different planets, each well-defined with its own individual ambiance and feel. It’s clear that a lot of thought went into creating this universe. And when you’re starting up a new game, it’s refreshing to able to do it your own way by choosing which order to play through it. This was a rather novel concept for shooters of the era. Now, being able to hold an arsenal of five shot types, and only losing the one that is in use when your ship is shot down, and keeping the rest in your arsenal is rather forgiving for a shooter. And with the ability to power up these shots and protect your ship with a shield, once you’ve put some time into the game, and memorized some of the more random moments that can sneak up on you, TFIII is definitely one of the easier games in the shoot ‘em up genre. But in order to get to the point where you can breeze through much of the game, you have to put in the time. On the flipside, it’s more forgiving nature makes it much more attractive to new players who may not be experts in the genre. Anyway, that is a small quibble I have with the game, it is a bit on the easy side compared to most of my favorite shooters. But it is still so much fun to pick up and replay frequently, and being able to start the game on any of the 5 initial planets is a big part of that, the Baskin Robbins of shooters. For me, TFIII is Technosoft’s masterpiece. While it is not the graphical stunner that its sequel is, the visuals are still jaw dropping at times; particularly that famous wavy fire background on the Planet Gorgon. But each of the levels have their own charm with tons of detail and lots of visual treats like layered backgrounds and parallax scrolling. TFIII goes to great lengths to create its own immersive universe. And while the soundtrack may not be the all time classic of its sequel, it is still fantastic. Each stage has music that has clearly been thought out and inspired by the level’s theme, and the boss fights all feature a more dramatic and uptempo theme that helps you to get into the proper mindset and step your game up for the bigger challenge. But most importantly, TFIII has it where it counts, gameplay; all the TF goodness without all of that pesky slow down. The best horizontal scrolling shoot ‘em up on the Genesis, mark it. 2. Truxton Truxton is pure shoot ‘em up nirvana. No gimmicks, just balls out shooter action that packs a ton of fun into a measly 2 mega power package. This was a very early release, so you’d think it would be a plain Jane fugly frau, but they added so much character and personality to this game, and even after all these years (I had this game in the early 90s, I think it was my first shmup), it’s still a blast to play. Unlike the other 2 Toaplan games on my list (Fire Shark and Twin Cobra), the backgrounds of Truxton have texture and colors and actually create a universe which makes the game that much more immersive. The ship and enemy sprites are even more detailed. That said, Truxton doesn’t have the graphics or technical virtuosity of many of its more heralded genre brethren, but it has it where it counts, fun addictive gameplay. Now I realize that this game has its share of haters, but what can I say? To quote Sly and the Family Stone, “different strokes for different folks, so on and so on and scooby dooby doo.” All right, so Truxton isn’t a technical marvel, but it is action packed and loads of fun. And with adjustable difficulty, as well as getting progressively tougher each time it is looped, the game packs a solid challenge. There are only 5 levels, but they are split up into 2 sections each, so a single playthrough without looping still runs about the average amount of time as most Genesis shooters. And the end battles feature some massive bosses that are plenty of fun to defeat. The 3 main shot types are red spread fire, green laser blast and a blue homing electro beam. Each of these weapons can be powered up numerous times until they can handle just about anything the game throws at you. And you can always clear the screen at will with the colossal signature skull bomb which was the most metal thing 10-year-old prof had ever seen. There are also speed power ups, and while I like to grab a few here and there because the default speed is rather slow, I find that fully powering up the speed can get a bit too ridiculous for me, to the point that you barely touch the d-pad and your ship is zipping across the screen. Some may dig that, but it’s too much for me; hence, my preference for half speed or so. Going back to the Thunder Force games, I like that they let you adjust your speed level on the fly, I wish more games had that feature. Finally, the music in Truxton is some of the most memorable on the system for me. It’s so fast and intense, and it really gets me pumped up for blasting away at some alien bastards. I realize that Truxton isn’t a favorite of many gamers, but heck, most of my list probably isn’t and I love this game. Even after playing it for over 20 years, I still pop it into my Genesis and loop it at least a few times a year. And I can’t even say that for every game on this list, let alone some other more heralded games out there. 1. MUSHA Right from the opening animated cutscenes which set up the story, I was hooked. “How can you expect the five of us to attack this massive enemy armada?” “Shut up Greg, all you ever do is complain!” Hahahaha, yes! It doesn’t matter anyway, Greg, because you’ll be shot down before the actual gameplay even begins. Compile's MUSHA encapsulates all of my favorite things about the shoot ‘em up genre into one glorious little cartridge. Engaging story with anime-style cut scenes, the most amazing Sega Genesis music that has ever been recorded, beautifully detailed character and enemy sprites, backgrounds which utilize the Genesis hardware with layers, transparencies and parallax scrolling as well as some stuff that people don’t even realize is possible on the hardware (when the floor tiles fall and enemies are shot down into the lava pit in the second or third level, it’s a similar effect to the SNES mode 7). But on top of all of this technical prowess, MUSHA’s gameplay is amazing and second to none in the genre. The fact is that MUSHA appears to be somewhat more complex than the average shooter on its surface, but in actuality it is quite simple, and a great example of “easy to pick up and play, but difficult to master.” There are only 3 types of weapon shots available, but they can each be powered up numerous times, and when your ship is hit, you lose a power level. However, your life isn’t lost unless you are on the lowest power level. So, while MUSHA has a reputation for its difficulty, it is actually rather forgiving compared to most shoot ‘em ups, and once you put some time into it and understand the ins and outs, you’ll be able to beat it in no time. From collecting little cylinders that you can shoot out of a helper ship (similar to the gnomes with the magic bags in Golden Axe) your ship also gets some aid from 2 little robotic satellite ships that are called arms. These fellas can be adjusted to shoot in different directions by pressing the A button. Granted, they aren’t all that powerful, but in some sections of the game, their help is greatly appreciated, particularly considering the lightning fast pace at which MUSHA runs. It definitely seems quicker than a lot of shoot ‘em ups, and blasting my way through it (with that killer soundtrack cranked up on my stereo) can be a real rush. In addition to the excellent gameplay, music and graphical effects, what makes MUSHA really special is the overall universe that it creates. It all takes place within an alternate Japanese history in which feudal architecture and culturalisms exist side by side with advanced futuristic robotics. It makes for a very cool setting, and some of the bosses have to be seen to be believed. MUSHA just has so much character and personality. I realize that over the years it has built a reputation among collectors and now commands a hefty price tag. I was fortunate to pick up a copy many years ago before it started going for crazy prices. But if there was ever a game that flash carts like the Everdrive were created for, this is the one. My all time favorite shoot ‘em up, and one of my favorite video games of all time, MUSHA! *Feature photo of Lightening Force gameplay courtesy of Hardcoregaming101.
  6. Hello all! I've been collecting for Sega Genesis a while now and I've finally got around to listing a bunch of extras I've accumulated. I'm putting these for auction on eBay, but if you're interested in any of them and want to buy directly, shoot me a message and we can work out a deal (I'll save on fees, you'll save on tax ). Sega Genesis Battle Master BattleMaster -- CIB BattleTech: A Game of Armored Combat -- CIB Beavis & Butt-Head -- CIB Blades of Vengeance -- CIB Bonanza Brothers -- CIB Bubba 'N' Stix -- CIB Chakan: The Forever Man -- CIB Chuck Rock II 2 Son of Chuck -- CIB Cyborg Justice -- CIB Dashin' Desperados -- CIB Disney's Aladdin -- CIB General Chaos -- CIB Kid Chameleon -- CIB King of the Monsters 2 -- CIB Lightening Force: Quest for the Darkstar -- CIB Phantasy Star III -- CIB Pier Solar and Great Architects -- CIB Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi -- CIB Shining Force -- CIB Shining in the Darkness -- CIB Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master -- CIB Sonic the Hedgehog 3 -- CIB Space Harrier II 2 -- CIB Sword of Vermilion -- CIB The Simpsons: Bart vs The Space Mutants -- CIB Wiz 'n' Liz -- CIB World of Illusion Mickey Mouse Donald Duck -- CIB Back to the Future Part III -- Cart/Case Batman: Revenge of the Joker -- Cart/Case Fantasia -- Cart/Case Midnight Resistance -- Cart/Case Phantasy Star II 2 -- Cart/Case Tinhead -- Cart/Case ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron -- Cart/Case Toki: Going Ape Spit -- Cart/Case Shining Force II -- Cart/Manual Whip Rush -- Cart/Manual Sega Genesis 32X Metal Head -- Cart/Case https://www.ebay.com/sch/billybob8484/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_ipg=&_from= This is just the first small batch of a whole bunch of extras I'm letting go of, so I'll post here as more get listed. Thanks for looking!
  7. Over the years, I have come to realize that the shoot em up genre is among my favorite video game styles, and quite possibly my favorite. And while I enjoyed some of the earlier arcade games from the 80s which I would play whenever I came across a cabinet at the mall or pizza parlor or wherever, I fell in love with games such as Gradius, 1943 and Captain Skyhawk which I could play at home on my NES. But by the early 90s when I received a Sega Genesis for my birthday, my love for the genre exploded. You see, for a kid who was into shooters, the Genesis was a treasure trove of riches, and boy, did I take advantage of what was available on the console. But by 1994 or so, shoot em ups were old news as everyone was obsessed with Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter II, Eternal Champions, and the litany of similar 2D fighters which proliferated the console. As a result, I was able to pick up a number of excellent shoot em ups from store bargain bins, as they were older games that no longer sold well. Of course, I picked up other types of games as well, but shoot em ups were definitely a high priority for me. In the subsequent years since the Genesis has fallen out of vogue (and now seemingly back into vogue), I have managed to collect and play every Sega Genesis shoot em up released in the North American market. I realize that there are many shooters which were released as foreign exclusives, many of which are held in high regard, but I have not played them. I plan on venturing into some of these foreign releases in the future, however, particularly some of the Japanese releases by Toaplan (one of my favorite developers). But after years of careful, painstaking consideration, I have compiled the ultimate list of North American Sega Genesis shoot em up perfection, and will now share it with you. Hahahaha, just kidding. This is just a subjective list of my favorites, some that I think are strong representatives of the genre, and what I like and appreciate abouut them. And believe me, there are a number of others that didn't quite make the cut, but very well could have. Compiling lists like these is always a painful exercise in the art of elimination. Finally, always remember that I'm just a random dude on the internet, so try not to take it too seriously, eh. 10. Bio Hazard Battle This may not be the most fun or technically advanced shooter on the Genesis, but it is one of the most creative. In the aftermath of a great biological war, the planet Avaron is inhabited by a plethora of deadly biological viruses. There are a few humans left, and they are all aboard a space ship which is in orbit of the planet. You are a member of this group and must choose a bioship to go down to the planet, fight these biological forces of evil and find a suitable part of the planet in which to settle your people. There are 4 ships to choose from and each can be modified by different weapon power ups which are conveniently plopped in your flight path throughout the game. No chasing floating icons around the screen like in the Toaplan games. The gameplay is solid. You have a satellite ship, similar to R-Type, that can be powered to use different types of shots, and the movement of your bioship controls the satellite ship's orbit, so this adds a strategic element, particularly in the boss battles. The graphics get better the deeper you get into the game. At first, the bioship is dropping in from space, and the backgrounds here are rivaled by those of the Atari 2600. But as the game progresses and different geographic regions of the planet are revealed (forests, underwater, bombed out cities, mountain ranges, et cetera), the detailed backgrounds become sights to behold. While the sound does not reach the quality level of the graphics, what is here is unlike anything heard in other Genesis shooters. The music is just solely unique to the game and is often of a spacey quality instead of the normal upbeat rocking tunes that are generally associated with the genre. The bass and percussion would be right at home in a David Lynch flick, and I think if your Genesis is hooked up to a stereo system you’ll appreciate it. However, I can see the soundtrack polarizing gamers as it is so unique, but I think it works as it adds significantly to the overall atmosphere of the game. Bio Hazard Battle does not reinvent the genre, and there are funner shooters on the system, but the atmosphere created here between the graphical elements and moody soundtrack makes for a unique gaming experience that you can’t find elsewhere on the Genesis. Furthermore, everything about the gameplay is solid and responsive, and being able to choose different bioships and weapons makes it customizable enough to tailor the game to your playstyle. This all contributes to a great gaming experience. 9. Gaiares Gaiares is one of the most technically impressive shooters on the Genesis. It features exquisitely detailed graphics, both on the sprites and on the parallax scrolling backgrounds. And there are beautiful anime-style cutscenes which are animated and convey the crazy story about a foreign monarch that wants to exploit the radioactive, polluted Earth’s resources and destroy the sun. But the monarch offers you a deal, that should you stop them, they will restore the Earth to its original luster. So as one of the last surviving members of the human race living on a space station, it is your duty to save the Earth. The synth soundtrack, with its pulsating rhythm section, will get you pumped up to do your job. That said, while this game is as pretty as a diamond, it’s also as hard as one. Aside from just blasting away at enemies with your ship, you control a little satellite ship that can not only shoot as well, but can also be launched at enemies where it can take control of their weapon and give it to you. This feature adds an entire dimension to the gameplay as there are a myriad of weapon choices available. This is an excellent hook which gives Gaiares its own singular style and feel among a sea of space shooters on the Genesis, but it is also a difficult ability to harness and use correctly. With time and patience, Gaiares can probably become the favorite game of any serious shooter fan, but for me, I just don’t have that time and patience. As it is, I find the game to be technically brilliant with an engaging story, beautiful graphics and kickass soundtrack that can be fun in doses. But for me, the difficulty level is such that I’ve never mastered it and can’t imagine that I ever will. But I still have a great appreciation for the game, and get enjoyment from playing it when I sit down and put in the effort. And considering the frustration that it's bestowed upon me over the years, the fact that I keep coming back for more speaks to the game's unique charms and qualities. 8. Twin Cobra Twin Cobra is not one of the flashiest games on my list, but it is definitely one of the funnest. While I appreciate the graphical and technical achievements of some of the Genesis shooters, for me, gameplay trumps all, and Twin Cobra has that in spades. This is a port of an early Toaplan arcade game, and it translates perfectly to the Genesis. You control a helicopter and attempt to traverse 10 levels over sea and air in which a faceless enemy military goes to incredible lengths to stop you with cannons, tanks, planes, choppers, and some stuff that I don’t think even has a name. The further into the game you get, the more brutal the challenge becomes, with enemies that swarm you from every direction. Similar to the other Toaplan shooters, you can power up your helicopter and there are 4 types of shots available by picking up the color-coded icons (red - straight fire, blue – spread shot, yellow – 4 way, green – laser beam). I’m most partial to the blue spread shot, but each of them offers something that can be helpful at different stages of the game. Twin Cobra has rather average graphics, there’s nothing remarkable here, but it does the job. Your helicopter and the enemy sprites are well-detailed for the most part while the backgrounds are plain and uninspired. The sound is pretty dang good with a rocking soundtrack that keeps you pumped up throughout the game. The songs eventually begin to repeat themselves by the later levels, however, so I wish they had added a few more. What I really like about Twin Cobra is that, unlike many Genesis shooters, the action fills the entire screen. Too often in these games we see that an entire portion of the screen has a black strip filled with statistical information. This is usually due to games being originally designed for arcade screens which have a different aspect ratio than the Genesis, but it is annoying nonetheless, and that is not an issue here. In fact, as you control your helicopter from side to side, even more of the playfield reveals itself. And this can be used to your strategic advantage at certain points in the game to avoid certain enemies when the screen is already filled with enough to keep you busy. What sets Twin Cobra apart from many of its contemporaries is that, in spite of its often brutal difficulty, the fun factor is so high that I don't want to throw in the towel, and feel encouraged to keep going. And that is the single biggest reason why it is one of the best shooters on the Genesis. 7. Elemental Master Elemental Master takes place in the kingdom of Lorelei which is in a fantasy Middle-Earth universe. This is a setting not unfamiliar to RPGs and adventure games, but wholly unique to shooters. As Laden, a long-haired caped crusader with magical sorcery at his disposal, you must defeat the evil Gyra to restore the kingdom to its original tranquil state of being. Along the way, Laden gets to battle all sorts of mythical creatures who have been unleashed upon the kingdom by the evil Gyra and take on a series of truly epic bosses, some of which transform into massive grotesques. With the occasional animated cutscenes between levels which provide the story progression, EM is one heck of an adventure. Graphically, this game is a sight to behold with so many creative enemies and backgrounds. You fight in dark swamps and forests as well as castles and dungeons, and each setting is well thought out in its design. Our hero’s flowing brown mane and shimmering red cape make for one of the most unique shooter vehicles of any of the games in the genre I can think of. And the music has that thumping Technosoft rhythm that powers you through the game, but still has that element of fantasy epic that fits the setting of the story; and it can be effective at times, particularly during dramatic cut scenes. Laden has the ability to shoot his magical sorcery both ahead and backwards which is necessary to navigate the levels as the enemies come at you from every which way. Being able to switch magic types on the fly is an excellent feature that adds a strategic element to the proceedings as different techniques are more effective for certain enemies and situations which often change within a level. Furthermore, each technique can be powered up for a super shot which makes taking down some of the bosses much easier. And while all of this requires you to think on your feet, it can be mastered with practice. That is perhaps what I like best about this game, the way it makes you think your way through it. This isn’t a mindless shooter where you just fire away at everything willy-nilly, you have to devise a strategy to succeed in Elemental Master, and that is what sets it apart. 6. Fire Shark In Fire Shark you control a little red World War I era biplane and take on waves of enemies that are decidedly not from the WWI era. More like Cold War era tanks, cannons, jets and battle ships among other far more technologically advanced war machines. But that lack of logic does not matter in the least because Fire Shark is as fun as shooters get. And don’t worry, the weapon power ups to your little plane turn it into something out of a science fiction movie anyway. Similar to the graphics in the aforementioned Toaplan game Twin Cobra, the main plane and the enemy sprites are drawn well enough, and ooze that early Genesis charm, but the static backgrounds leave much to be desired. They're generally desert or water, and often appear rather plain Jane with no movement and little detail. At the conclusion of each level, your plane will briefly land at a base where tiny little green soldiers can be seen running around and sometimes form into a formation which is a cool sight. And these sequences occasionally throw in some humor, such as when a soldier boards a plane and takes off next to your plane as if he is going to be your wing man, but then promptly crashes before the level begins. If you look closely, you'll see the poor little fella lying in the smoldering wreckage twitching. It's sick, but hilarious, and I love these little details which occasionally pop up throughout the game. And Fire Shark features great music, but sadly, there’s just not enough of it. The songs begin repeating themselves in later levels which was also an issue in Twin Cobra. However, the music that is here is rocking, and keeps you alert during some of the game’s more difficult sequences. The gameplay is as good as it gets in the shooter genre on the Genesis. Your biplane has 3 types of shots available throughout the game, green, teal and red. Green is a powerful laser that goes from straight ahead to sort of a lateral pattern as it is upgraded. Teal is the least powerful of the bunch, but it spreads outward across the screen which can be very effective at times. Red is a flame thrower, and when fully powered it can nearly cover the entire screen in a crazy pattern unlike anything I’ve seen in other games. The power ups are little colored squares which float around and bounce off the sides of the screen. If my teal or red weapon is powered up and the green square (or sometimes squares; yes, plural) is bouncing around, I do my damndest to dodge it like an enemy, but I don’t know, some gamers may prefer the green laser, I just happen to think it sucks. Fire Shark does suffer from a lack of true end bosses. While some levels feature a large powerful ship or plane that must be defeated toward the end of a level, others have nothing to offer and the level just ends uneventfully. Okay, technically there may be a series of planes in a row that are a bit more difficult than a normal enemy, but nothing like a true end boss. Some of the levels are on the short side as well. As in, you blink and they're done, so when there's no true end boss, this is cause for disappointment. However, there is little to no slowdown to speak of throughout the game, even during an end boss battle or when an abundance of enemies fill the screen. This is impressive considering it is such an early Genesis title. The game's flaws notwithstanding, it is quite fun and addictive. The plane handles smoothly with the ability to upgrade its speed throughout, and the shooting just feels so effortless and natural. While the later stages can test your patience when enemies appear fast and furiously, I always feel in control, and that if I am shot down, it is of my own doing. Speaking of which, when you're shot down, the game gives you a couple of seconds to get off a shot or two before you crash to your demise, so you get the chance to exact a little revenge, which is a great touch. So while Fire Shark is not perfect by any stretch, the amazing gameplay more than makes up for its deficiencies, and it is easily one of my favorites in the genre. Be sure to check back soon for part 2, the incredible conclusion of the Top 10 Shoot 'em Ups on the Sega Genesis... (insert dramatic music here) *Feature photo of Gaiares gameplay courtesy of Hardcoregaming101.
  8. Shortly before the world descended into this virus-induced chaos, I took the family on a long-planned Disney vacation to Florida. We had an amazing time at the parks and whatnot, but naturally, as I'm wont to do when I'm somewhere away from my home town, I did a little google maps research and discovered a game shop that was within driving distance from the resort. And when the wife and kids were content in the pool one afternoon, I ducked out for a couple hours and hoped to get lucky. Now the shop that I found wasn't much more than a hole in the wall in a depressing little strip mall, but they had a pretty decent selection of older games, so it was worth the effort. Unfortunately, while I managed to see a number of SNES and Genesis games in particular in the glass case, none of them had prices marked on them. When I inquired about one of them, the clerk who was working acted as if I was inconveniencing him greatly as he came over, took the game out of the case, adjourned back to his PC and proceeded to look it on on ebay or some other source. He fired back a number that wasn't exactly outrageous, but certainly wasn't a deal either, so I told him I'd look around a bit and let him know. Since I now knew what I was up against, I basically cast aside the SNES RPG that I was interested in as well as the CIB Dune for Genesis because I figured if I was willing to pay ebay prices for them, it would better behoove me to go that route seeing as I was out of town here, and if there were any issues with the games, I wouldn't be able to return them. All of that said, I had made the 30ish minute drive to this place, and there were some good games to be had, so I didn't want to leave empty handed. I just didn't want to get held over the coals on the more pricey games in the case is all. And I also wanted to be discerning about my choices, as I knew that the fella working was slightly irritable, and would only be ebay checking for prices anyhow if I asked him about a game. So after about twenty minutes of looking over everything that they had, I managed to come up with a handful of games that struck my fancy. I figured that if I bundled up, it would be easier to negotiate a better price for the wares. All told, I grabbed a loose Adventure Island II for NES, 2 non-CIB 3DO games (Star Control II and Jurassic Park) but they were in their CD jewel cases, and a CIB copy of the Genesis game Starflight. When the smoke cleared, I got them for about 10% off of pricecharting, and ended up having a nice conversation about 90s gaming with the clerk who actually turned out to be a decent guy when he decrankified. So, why have I told you all of that? No idea. Hahahaha, but hopefully it was a fun read. When I decided to a write-up about Starflight, I began thinking about when I bought it in February, and how that was basically the last great time we had as a family before Coronageddon struck, so there you go. But anyhow, Starflight is a 1991 port of a late 80s space simulation PC game which was co-developed and published by Electronic Arts. And the EA of the early 90s was one of the best companies in gaming, nothing like that of today, and they pumped out a number of excellent games for the Sega Genesis. Starflight is actually much more Star Trek-esque in its gameplay and presentation than most of the licensed Star Trek games that I played in that era. You're the commander of a space ship and your home planet is in imminent danger due to increased flares from the sun. So the goal is to explore the universe, in search of new planets to inhabit. I'd estimate that of all the planets across the game space, perhaps 5% are inhabitable. Upon discovering a good planet, you have your scientist log in the journal and upon returning to your space dock, the bosses will credit you with a heap of cash for the effort. But if you log an uninhabitable planet, the bosses hoot and holler and nail you with a stiff fine. Now, aside from that objective, you can mine planets for lucrative minerals to sell or use (this reminded me very much of the later Xbox Bioware series Mass Effect), and encounter all sorts of alien species; some friendly, some dicks, and you can choose to eff them up or become bros. There are some highly entertaining dialogue exchanges to be had if you let them. Mining is a primary source to make that cash for fuel and upgrades to your ship and weapons, training your crew, et cetera, all of which are necessary to get deep into the game. When it comes to traversing the massive universe, there are wormholes which can be taken as short cuts to lower your fuel usage. However, you don't know exactly where they'll take you until you're there. But, once learned, the path will be logged on your starmap which can be accessed in the user interface. And finally, there are all sorts of ancient artifacts and such to find and collect throughout the universe, some of which are necessary to defeat the game, so exploration and charting where you've been are crucial to your success. Anyhow, it took some thinking, deciphering lots of information from conversations with aliens, and trial and error before I found the final planet which you need to destroy to save your planet and race, but it was a heck of a ride. The gameplay is lots of fun for those who like an action/adventure component to their strategy games, and you really need to think your way through this game. And like I said, if you're a Star Trek fan, it plays more like a Star Trek game than most Star Trek games, so if you're anything like me, you'll feel right at home with this one. Here are the final screens from me hastily snapping pics of the screen with my phone quickly while I still had the chance. Note that I forgot to turn on the dither blending option on the Mega SG that time which makes the cross hatch graphics look much better to me, but your mileage may vary.
  9. A buddy of mine picked this one up recently and was talking to me about it, asking some questions because he was having a tough time with it. Now I've had a copy for at least a decade and probably hadn't played it in about half that time, so I decided to fire it up for a refresher. Playing through the game took me a while, and a couple of tries, and when I finally made it to the boss in the Skynet level, I ended up burning through all of my continues and almost all of my lives before I finally beat the giant bouncing Terminator head (which kind of reminds me of Zombie Nation). Holy crap, does that thing take a ton of damage. That was about a 15-20 minute boss fight, no exaggeration. Sheesh! Fortunately, he drops weapons and power-ups throughout the fight, and because you rack up so many points blasting away at him and his minions, you'll occasionally earn a bonus life. Throughout the first 9 levels, there are numerous health and one ups to be found throughout each maze-like stage, which makes the game manageable in spite of its difficulty. I mean, there is a steady barrage of bullets and projectiles coming your way throughout the game, so it is definitely tough. I learned that if I had a good weapon to swap it out when I was about to die so that I didn't lose it. You can carry two weapons at a time, and can swap between them with the A button, so it's recommended to switch to your less powerful one when your health is getting low. And whenever you respawn, you're invincible for several seconds, so that's a good time to just plow through a difficult spot in the level as quickly as possible, thereby skipping through enemies. And the boss fights all have set patterns which you can pick up on fairly easily with a little practice. After I mastered these techniques, the game was much easier to manage.
  10. EDIT: See my post below for pictures of the finished restoration! ----------------- I just added this beautiful Sega Genesis store kiosk to my collection! This style of kiosk was sold by Kidzpace (the frame was reused for several different systems), and this dark cobalt colored variant typically comes with a white "Sega Sports" poster as the front artwork. From what I've seen, they don't usually come with the DS-16 cartridge switcher, so it's possible this unit was custom ordered or modified sometime later (DS-16's were supposedly made available for sale to retailers to upgrade their already-owned kiosks). Picked this beauty up off craigslist just a week ago and it's in good shape all things considered, surprisingly-so given the conditions it's been kept in. The seller unfortunately wasn't a collector or enthusiast; he only picked it up from a video store that had gone out of business 20-odd years ago as a toy for his children, and after they grew up and moved out it spent the next few years languishing in an outdoor storage shed. Now I'm working to restore it! It definitely needs some love, but the essentials are in good condition. When I went to get it, it was absolutely covered in caked-on dust and grime, the "Sonic" art was stained and water damaged, the "Sega" marque was yellowed from the sun, and the controller mount was nowhere to be found. But despite all that, the plastic and paint don't have any notable cracks, scratches, or other damage (other than very light wear -- it must not have been a popular video store ). Amazingly, and probably unbeknownst to the seller, tucked behind the displayed "Sonic" artwork was the original "Sega Sports" art, and it's in mint condition! The missing controller mount will be the toughest piece to restore; but fortunately there's a kiosk at a retro game store somewhat nearby that I can visit to model my replacement off of. I've made some paper models of how the original mount wraps around the controller, and I'm going to try to cut the shape from a steel plate. As for the rest of the electronics..., the only piece worth keeping is the DS-16 (and begrudgingly the case light, as it's riveted in place). The switcher didn't work at first, which was disheartening, but it saved me a hundred off the list price. I was eventually able to repair it after noticing the flex in the expansion port's connector, it just needed a solder reflow (and a good cleaning). The Genesis is a Model 2 VA0 (which has pretty bad audio and video output as far as model 2's go), so I'll replace that with an s-video modded VA3 (despite HDG model 1's having proven higher-quality audio/video, I'm sentimental for the model 2). The TV only has RF input (and a bit of burn-in, it was made in 1987 after-all...) so I'll replace that with a newer Svideo-capable monitor I have on the way (it'll also match the kiosk better as it doesn't have the garish faux wood appearance). The original speakers are completely shot - the cone on one is damaged, and the other outputs a horrid static noise. In addition to replacing those, it turns out the original audio amplifier circuit board only takes mono input despite having a chip capable of stereo output, so I'll replace that with a stereo-capable one (not technically historically accurate, but I'll live with it). I'll add progress pictures as I go!
  11. So I just acquired a copy of the ESRB variant for the original Sonic the Hedgehog (Genesis), and while it's physically in good shape, the game won't boot properly. It usually reaches the title screen, where it improperly loads the tiles/colors and crashes to either an "illegal instruction" or "address error" message, or sometimes it will actually load into the first level, but doesn't actually load the level, so Sonic just falls to his death 3 times (then the game crashes on the game over screen). I've cleaned the pins to a mirror shine, and tried reflowing the solder on the chip's pins, and I'm not finding any continuity problems on the traces, so my guess is the chip has failed (though from what I know, this is still pretty rare). I've got plenty of spare Sonic 1 copies to swap out the board, but for the sake of accuracy, does anyone know if the ESRB copy is a ROM variant?
  12. I managed to find this extremely helpful guide for all the contents of Sega Genesis games that was originally posted in Sega Age. I believe the author went by Supergamboy (or some variation of that). https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1IKheEp9_Ww1YFwj_1MvMF_1Vw8Ed6nksmDy9-BfA9nQ/edit?usp=drivesdk
  13. Selling my Analogue Mega SG Comes with system and all the hookups + 1 OEM Sega Genesis 3 Button Controller $175 shipped within the US. Will send pics to those interested
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